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The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle (1980)

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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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
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
Mary Millington ...
Mary, The Crook's girlfriend
...
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
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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 1

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The staggering story of the group who wrung the neck of rock 'n' roll See more »

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Release Date:

12 March 1981 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

La grande truffa del rock'n'roll  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Marianne Faithfull was to play Sid Vicious' mother in the original draft of the film, but backed out at the idea of a sex scene. 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: Lesson seven: cultivate hatred; it is your greatest asset. Here at home, create a tour that no one can turn up to. Throw the groups name away, and leave a question mark in its place. Create confusion. The Sex Pistols made sure that they failed to turn up at certain venues. Reading false rumours wherever they could.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Gift: The Great Saxophone Swindle (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

 
This is the fiction, yo
18 May 2015 | by (New Zealand) – See all my reviews

I was a 2nd-generation punk in New Zealand, selling my soul to this awesome raw-cuss r'n'r movement in 1979. I was quite excited to see this flick on the big screen, but 15 minutes into the film my friends & I started growing restless, feeling that the ones who'd been swindled were ourselves. Oh well. This still stands as an interesting snapshot of "Talcy Malcy's" version of events,but anyone with half a brain to rub together (& had read more than one NME punk expose on punk rock) could discern it as utter bollox.

So, be advised, youngsters, this is Malcolm's wet dream of himself as the king of all Svengali, whereas the truth was FAR from that. Malcolm had no major game plan beyond stirring things up, and while he should be credited for providing "the lads" with a focus in his Sex boutique (and an education in Seditionist politics), much credit must also be given to Vivienne Westwood's fashion ideas.

Naturally, Johnny Rotten's contributions are shamelessly ignored (he famously impressed Malcolm by wearing a Pink Floyd tee-shirt with "I Hate" scrawled at the top before he'd even joined the Pistols), due to the fact he'd left the group in disgust by the time this sad cash-grab of a film came to fruition.

So - watch 'The Filth & The Fury' for the fact, & watch this for the fiction. There ya go! :-)


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