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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
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 ... 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:

See it in a theater.... where you can't get hurt. 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
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to director Penelope Spheeris this film was financed by two businessmen who originally wanted to finance a porn film. 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

Johnny Hit and Run Paulene
Performed by X
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User Reviews

 
Brilliant, funny, scary...but selective.
6 June 2004 | by InjunNoseSee all my reviews

Everyone who's seen "Decline" knows how great it is. My favorite segments are those featuring Black Flag and Fear, because they're the funniest and the most visceral. Still, all the bands that actually STARTED the Los Angeles punk scene, apart from the Germs, are missing from this film. Where are the Weirdos, the Screamers, the Dils, and the Zeros? The Alice Bag Band is here, but they were better when they were simply the Bags. The Germs' segment is depressing. The very brief glimpses of Catholic Discipline were fascinating and made me wish that this band had at least recorded some demos. As a documentary, "Decline" is flawed...but it's indispensable, too. To find out about the bands this film didn't cover, read "We Got the Neutron Bomb" by Marc Spitz and Brendan Mullen. And to see what was going on in San Francisco right around the same time, get the much shorter (but equally brilliant) documentary "Louder Faster Shorter", directed by Mindaugis Bagdon. This twenty-minute burst of pure punk actually *does* feature the Dils--along with UXA, the Avengers, the Sleepers, and the Mutants.


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