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The Decline of Western Civilization (1981)

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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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:

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

The voice of the female audience member hurling insults at Lee Ving was added in post-production. 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

Featured in Prey for Rock & Roll (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Gluttony
Performed by Alice Bag Band
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User Reviews

A good documentary
12 September 2003 | by one4now4See all my reviews

Here is a great movie. Now, first of all, I would like to say that I was born in the early 1980s. I really never knew, up-close and personal, what true punk rock was. Watching this film was like a history lesson of sorts. The music was great, good vintage rock n' roll from bands like Black Flag, Circle Jerks, X, etc. It seemed to me that with this film, Penelope Spheeris was trying to show people that these weren't all just stupid kids who were out to do drugs and kill people. Some of these punks really had some philosophies that they were working at behind their music. This seems most evident in the interview with Black Flag. I understand myself how a lot of people might view these bands' philosophies as under-developed and simple, but one must take into account that these were some pretty young people. Nowadays, as young as I still am, I find it refreshing to run into someone my age who understands in any way philosophical thinking. In this movie, the young people may seem a little half-baked in their philosophies, but you might keep in mind that most kids don't even get that far. I've met many full-grown adults who have not progressed as far with deep thought contexts as some of the punk musicians in "Decline". Another thing I loved about this movie was how funny it got at times. Some of these kids were total idiots, while the story about the dead painter was devilishly humorous. Fear's performance at the end topped it all. Even if punk is dead, it was once very alive. All flaws aside, "The Decline of Western Civilization" was made for people who can tell the difference between some suburban wimp with a mohawk and the truly intelligent individuals who were genuinely upset and picked up music instruments as weapons against the forces of the corporate.


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