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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 ... 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 filth and the fury of punk rock. See more »

Genres:

Music

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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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: With the line-up complete, we immediately set about to putting our plan into effect: to swindle ours way to the top of the rock and roll industry. It was a plan that within 2 years was bring us close on a million pounds, and a household name as the most notorious, filthy, disgusting, dirtiest rock and roll band in your bloody world.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

My Way
(Comme d'Habitude)
Music by Claude François and Jacques Revaux
French lyrics by Gilles Thibaut
English lyrics by Paul Anka
See more »

User Reviews

 
This is the fiction, yo
18 May 2015 | by lvanderlingenSee 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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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

1981 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Het grote Rock 'n Roll schandaal See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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