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Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll (2010)

 |  Biography, Drama, Music  |  5 May 2010 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 3,198 users   Metascore: 57/100
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A biography of Ian Dury, who was stricken with polio at a young age and defied expectations by becoming one of the founders of the punk-rock scene in Britain in the 1970s.



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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Chaz Jankel
Clifford Samuel ...
Charlie Charles
Joseph Kennedy ...
Davey Payne
James Jagger ...
John Turnbull (as Jimmy Jagger)
Shakraj Soornack ...
Norman Watt-Roy
Russell Hardy
Betty Dury
Kilburns' Drummer
Julian Cox ...
Kilburns' Bass
Nick Rowson ...
Kilburns' Guitar
Wesley Nelson ...
Young Ian Dury
Ross Boatman ...
Pub Landlord
Msimisi Dlamini ...
Kilburns' Drums


Flamboyant entertainer Ian Dury, backed by the Blockheads, takes to the stage, explaining to his audience how, as a child, he contracted polio from a swimming pool and attended a special needs school where he was bullied, particularly by orderly Hargreaves, a fact which shaped his tough and frequently iconoclastic approach to life, culminating in his controversial contribution to the Year of the Disabled. From his early days with Kilburn and the High Roads, playing seedy pubs with no dressing rooms Ian moves onto chart success with the Blockheads, collaborating with musician Chaz Jankel. His private life is complicated as, separated from the tolerant Betty with whom he remains friends but refuses to divorce for many years, he lives with the much younger Denise along with his adored son Baxter, who will himself become a performer. Ian dies in 2000, having packed an enormous amount of living into a comparatively short life. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Biography | Drama | Music


See all certifications »


Official Sites:



Release Date:

5 May 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Секс, наркотики и рок-н-ролл  »

Box Office


£2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£173,831 (UK) (8 January 2010)


£427,956 (UK) (15 January 2010)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Filmed around Egham and Watford between April-June 2009. See more »


In the Kilburns' pub gig towards the start of the film (in the early 70s), the drummer is playing Sabian cymbals (a Sabian logo is clearly visible when the audience start throwing toilet rolls). The Sabian cymbal company didn't exist until 1981. See more »


Featured in Angela and Friends: Episode #1.39 (2010) See more »


Billericay Dickie
Written by Ian Dury, Stephen Nugent and Chaz Jankel
(c) Templemill Music Ltd (PRS)
All rights administered by Warner/Chappell Music Ltd
All Rights Reserved
Performed by Andy Serkis & The Blockheads
See more »

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User Reviews

Not a waste
16 October 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Ian Dury's span of popular success in the UK only lasted a few years and I can't say I was over-familiar with either his work (bar the early hit singles and albums) but this film belied my fear that perhaps there wasn't much of a story to tell. In fact, it probably over- compensates by adopting a non-linear narrative approach as well as some arty- farty jump-cuts and tricksy animation sequences to inject a knockabout feel to proceedings.

This is again a somewhat contrived and forced contrast to the bathetic scenes of Dury's growing up as a young boy, abandoned by his father, bullying at school by his class- mates and one particular teacher, his adult predilection for treating his womenfolk very badly indeed and finally the difficult relationship with his own son Baxter, who has since become a recognised musician in his own right.

I felt the scenes with the two women in his life, his wife and mistress Denise a bit overwrought and overwritten, their dialogue too forced and you're always expecting a pearl of wit or wisdom from Dury when real life just doesn't work that way, even with clever bastard word-smiths like him. It's like expecting Shakespeare to curse and moan in rhyming couplets if he was having an argument - my point is we know that Ian Dury had a way with words but not every minute of the day.

All that said, the film rattled along and certainly did the man's musical legacy proud. I thought a bit more could have been done to play up the importance of Chaz Jankel and his nifty tune-spinning - certainly Dury was a lot less successful when writing to someone else's melodies. Andy Serkus is great in the Dury role, he looks and talks the part very well, acts his disability imperceptibly and keeps up the characterisation right into the songs, of which many are aired.

For some reason the film misses out about the last 15 years of his life and we don't even get to know how he died, although the director may claim that the film was a celebration of his life and won't be the last bio-pic to fast forward past the more mundane parts of an artist's life. For that reason, the first half of the film as he struggles for success is better than the inevitable rock-star excess second half, where Dury's persona becomes a bit blurred.

All told though, I quite enjoyed it but regret somewhat that the director felt the need to jazz up his subject's life in a way that I'm not sure a no-bullshit guy like Dury would altogether appreciate.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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VERY disappointed endecottp
Factual Goof randybullcow
Another music biopic from Britain...but which one is the best? simonreed77
USA release ? sploosh-2
Who was the bouncer/druggy mate of Ian Dury astley_62
Trailer pazuzu-12
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