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The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle (1980)

6.6
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A rather incoherent post-breakup Sex Pistols "documentary", told from the point of view of Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren, whose (arguable) position is that the Sex Pistols in particular ... See full summary »

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Title: The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle (1980)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Steve Jones ...
The Crook
Paul Cook ...
The Tea-Maker
...
...
The Collaborator (as Johnny Rotten)
Ronald Biggs ...
The Exile (as Ronnie Biggs)
Liz Fraser ...
Woman in Cinema
Jess Conrad ...
Jess
Mary Millington ...
Mary, The Crook's girlfriend
James Aubrey ...
B.J
...
Man
Johnny Shannon ...
Man in Prison Cage
Helen Wellington-Lloyd ...
Helen (as Helen of Troy)
...
Tadpole (kiosk attendant) (as Tenpole Tudor)
Faye Hart ...
Secretary
Edit

Storyline

A rather incoherent post-breakup Sex Pistols "documentary", told from the point of view of Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren, whose (arguable) position is that the Sex Pistols in particular and punk rock in general were an elaborate scam perpetrated by him in order to make "a million pounds." Silly and hard to follow at times, but worth seeing for some excellent Pistols concert footage, some wickedly amusing animated sequences, and Sid Vicious' eerily prophetic performance of "My Way." Written by Marty Cassady <martyc@vt.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The film that incriminates its audience. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Music | Musical

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 March 1981 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Who Killed Bambi?  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Contrary to popular belief the woman shot by Sid Vicious during his performance of "My Way" was not his mother Anne Beverley. She later stated in an interview that she was approached by Malcolm McLaren to play the role but turned him down, saying that "They used someone else in the end, an actress that didn't look like me at all, but because no one had seen me they all believed that it was me". See more »

Goofs

Towards the end of Sid Vicious' Punk rendition of Paul Anka/Frank Sinatra's "My Way", he pulls a revolver out of his pocket and starts shooting at the audience. He fires eight shots, which is more bullets than a revolver can hold. See more »

Quotes

The Embezzler: (How to Manufacture Your Group) "Find yourself four kids. Make sure they hate eachother. Make sure they can't play."
See more »

Connections

Followed by The Filth and the Fury (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Patch-worked movie about the Sex Pistols is a hit and miss project.
19 November 2003 | by (Sacramento, CA) – See all my reviews

During the Sex Pistols heyday, their manager Malcolm McLaren had an idea to market the band as a noveaux Beatles. From 19776-1980, McLaren spent the band's money trying get the film off the ground. He went through several directors and writers until he finally settled on Julien Temple (a young film-maker). Temple and McLaren himself shot hours and hours of footage, sketches and concert footage. After working on this project for almost four years and with nothing resembling anything like a coherent movie, Temple decided to make a collage out of the footage and re-shot and edited the useful film segments and made a surprisingly entertaining film (considering the tight budget and time restraints). By the time the movie was released, Sid Vicious was dead, John Lydon was in Public Image Limited and Paul Cook and Steve Jones were in a new wave band called the Professionals. Neither of them were even speaking to their former manager. So, at the last minute, Temple decided to make the movie about the rise and fall of the Sex Pistols.

As for the band members, John Lydon didn't want to have anything to do with McLaren's project. Sid Vicious went along because of the money he was promised, ditto for Cook and Jones. The three former band members participated in the film without Lydon. Most of the music for the soundtrack was composed by Paul Cook and Steve Jones, Sid Vicious sang vocals on a few tracks but the music was played by Cook and Jones. Watch for Nancy Spurgen, she makes cameos in several of Sid Vicious sketches. Several scenes from the movie that showed up on the double album soundtrack do not appear in the final cut of the film. Maybe one day they'll release a director's cut of the movie. Yes, that is the Great Train Robbery participant Ronnie Biggs playing himself in the movie. He even sings on a couple of tracks and he's not that bad of a lead vocalist.

Recommended for fans of British punk and of the Sex Pistols.


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