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The Decline of Western Civilization (1981)

Not Rated | | Documentary, History, Music | 1983 (Italy)
The Los Angeles punk music scene circa 1980 is the focus of this film. With Alice Bag Band, Black Flag, Catholic Discipline, Circle Jerks, Fear, Germs, and X.

Director:

Penelope Spheeris

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From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Alice Bag Band Alice Bag Band ... Themselves
Black Flag ... Themselves
Catholic Discipline Catholic Discipline ... Themselves
Circle Jerks Circle Jerks ... Themselves
Fear Fear ... Themselves
The Germs The Germs ... Themselves (as Germs)
X X ... Themselves
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Alice Bag Alice Bag ... Herself - Alice Bag Band (Vocals)
Claude Bessy Claude Bessy ... Himself - Catholic Discipline (Vocals)
Bob Biggs Bob Biggs ... Himself - Publisher - Slash Magazine (as Robert Biggs)
Don Bolles ... Himself - Germs (Drums)
D.J. Bonebrake D.J. Bonebrake ... Himself - X (Drums)
Rick Brodey Rick Brodey ... Himself - Catholic Discipline (Bass) (as Rick Jaffe)
Dinah Cancer ... Herself - Light Bulb Kid (as Mary)
Exene Cervenka ... Herself - X (Vocals) (as Exene)
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Storyline

The Los Angeles punk music scene circa 1980 is the focus of this film. With Alice Bag Band, Black Flag, Catholic Discipline, Circle Jerks, Fear, Germs, and X. Written by Rich Swenson <swenson@haas.berkeley.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Spirit of American Punk Rock. See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1983 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Падение западной цивилизации See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$100,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Spheeris Films See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Both this film and its followups, The Decline Of Western Civilization Pt. II and Pt. III, were for numerous years unavailable on DVD/Bluray, due to a combination of licensing issues, and the director's own reluctance to revisit them. Spheeris had said that she didn't need the money, but-- since she felt that would most likely be remembered for these films over her more commercial/family-friendly efforts like Wayne's World, The Beverly Hillbillies, and The Little Rascals-- that she wanted to take her time and made sure that any digital release did them justice. Prior to their much-anticipated DVD/Bluray release in June of 2015, they had only been available by paying for pricey VHS copies on eBay or as bootlegs. See more »

Quotes

The Circle Jerks member: And at the bottom it says "Thank you." And you can tell 'em to fuck off.
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Connections

Referenced in Totally F***ed Up (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Gluttony
Performed by Alice Bag Band
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User Reviews

As Good As It Gets
25 June 2004 | by DBPVISee all my reviews

When it comes to films on the L.A. hardcore scene of the late 70s/early 80s this is as good as it gets! It's very rare that cameras are around during the genesis of a music movement, and I will be forever grateful that Ms Sheeris was there to capture the beginnings of the LA hardcore scene that was growing out of the ideals and influences of the dying New York & London punk scenes. I was living on the East Coast at the time this film came out, and back then the only way to see some of these bands, without going to L.A., was to see this film. It was a rare event when one of these bands would pile into a van and head east on a tour, so to fulfill our love for the L.A. hardcore scene my friends and I would go see this film every few weeks. This is a great document of that time in music history. For people who liked this era of punk/hardcore music, here's a few other very similar documentary films you might want to check out...

THE BLANK GENERATION - (70s New York punk - Johnny Thunders, Richard Hell, Ramones, Television, Patti Smith, etc...)

THE PUNK ROCK MOVIE - (70s British punk - Sex Pistols, The Clash, X-Ray Spex, Eater, etc...)

PUNK IN LONDON - (70s British punk - The Clash, The Adverts, The Lurkers, Subway Sect, etc...)

D.O.A. - (70s American & British punk - Dead Boys, Generation X, Sham 69, Iggy Pop, etc... *contains a priceless interview with Sid & Nancy*)

UK/DK - (80s British hardcore - The Addicts, The Exploited, The Business, UK Subs, etc...)


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