6.5/10
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The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle (1980)

| Music | 1981 (Italy)
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 »

Director:

Julien Temple

Writer:

Julien Temple
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Cast

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Music

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

1981 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Het grote Rock 'n Roll schandaal See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

To receive an 'X' certificate the BBFC required cuts to the final print. Full-frontal shots of Judy Croll (playing Soo Catwoman) in Malcolm McLaren's bathroom were optically enhanced to remove images of her lower regions (banned under the Protection of Children Act) and a long shot of her was cut by adding black panties to cover up the offending area. The scene was also cut by removing shots of Steve Jones' genitals during the sex scene with the Brazilian girl and Mary Millington's visible pubic area in her sex scene with Jones. A shot of Sid Vicious waving a flick-knife was moved back into the sequence to avoid equating sex with violence. The BBFC also demanded the inclusion of newspaper headline footage referring to the deaths of Vicious and Nancy Spungen. All later releases feature this same print. 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 Gimmick: We're better than anyone, ain't we? Except for The Eagles; The Eagles are better than us.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sid and Nancy (1986) See more »

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User Reviews

Debunking of punk
8 February 2003 | by cwarne_ukSee all my reviews

This is basically just an attempt by Talcy Malc to claim all of the credit for the Sex Pistols. As a movie it barely hangs together. It does give a chance to see some otherwise unavailable concert footage. The bits of "Who Killed Bambi?" that are kept in look far more interesting. I believe that in addition to being scripted by Roger Ebert the direction is by sleaze-king Russ Meyer (I may be wrong there).


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