7.0/10
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139 user 88 critic

Sid and Nancy (1986)

Trailer
1:16 | Trailer
The relationship between Sid Vicious, bassist for British punk group Sex Pistols, and his girlfriend Nancy Spungen is portrayed.

Director:

Alex Cox

Writers:

Alex Cox (screenplay), Abbe Wool (screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
4,937 ( 30)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gary Oldman ... Sid Vicious
Chloe Webb ... Nancy Spungen
David Hayman ... Malcolm
Debby Bishop Debby Bishop ... Phoebe
Andrew Schofield ... John
Xander Berkeley ... Bowery Snax
Perry Benson Perry Benson ... Paul
Tony London Tony London ... Steve
Sandy Baron ... Hotelier - U.S.A.
Sy Richardson ... Methadone Caseworker
Edward Tudor-Pole ... Hotelier - U.K.
Biff Yeager ... Detective
Courtney Love ... Gretchen
Rusty Blitz Rusty Blitz ... Reporter
John Spacely John Spacely ... Chelsea Resident
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Storyline

Morbid biographical story of Sid Vicious, bassist with British punk group the Sex Pistols, and his girlfriend Nancy Spungen. When the Sex Pistols break up after their fateful US tour, Vicious attempts a solo career while in the grip of heroin addiction. One morning, Nancy is found stabbed to death and Sid is arrested for her murder. Written by Alexander Lum <aj_lum@postoffice. utas.edu. au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Love kills


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Alex Cox

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 November 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sid and Nancy: Love Kills See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$50,829, 19 October 1986

Gross USA:

$2,826,523

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,850,707
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In 1980, Alex Cox wrote a screenplay about an American detective hired to find a rich girl who ran off with an English bassist. It was a fictional story inspired by Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen, adorned with references to current political events in England that, in Cox's view, "guaranteed it would never be made into a film." He put it away and did other things-like Repo Man (1984). See more »

Goofs

Set in the late 1970's, shows a 1985 Honda Civic in the background in the opening scenes with Sid and John. See more »

Quotes

Rock Head: [on an exercise bike] So, it appears we are related.
John: [drinking from a bottle of vodka - he burps] Eh?
Rock Head: The press. They're callin' me the "Big Daddy of Punk"
[he looks at Sid and Nancy kissing and groping on the bed]
Rock Head: Lovely couple.
John: Fuck you, Rock Head. What the fuck are you doin' here anyway? I think I'm gonna fuckin' puke!
[burps again]
See more »

Crazy Credits

"And introducing the young Cat Vicious in the role of Smoky, Sid and Nancy's child." See more »

Connections

Features Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor (1936) See more »

Soundtracks

Ambient Drone
Written by Dan Wool (as Dan Wül)
Performed by Dan Wool
© Zenith Music 1986
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Masterful performances by Oldman and Webb
23 June 2003 | by saska-3See all my reviews

When I was 15, I loved this movie because I loved the Sex Pistols and everything punk. Now that I am twice that age, I love this film for its unflinching portrayal of two people's lives, despite how uncomfortable it makes us, how little we sympathize with them as people, or how hard it is for us to comprehend the choices they made. I personally believe at least part of the discomfort comes from the fact that at some level, we DO understand Sid and Nancy, their love for each other, and the choices they make beneath the haze of addiction.

I realize, seeing it with adult eyes, why my parents were so shocked I was watching this film in 1987. But ironically, it was the best anti-drug message I could have seen in my teenage years. In performances so masterful they make me wince, fight off nausea, and weep for their misfortune, Gary Oldman and Chloe Webb constructed characters no one would ever want to be. The supporting cast deserves accolades as well - in particular, Andrew Schofield turns in a seamless portrayal of Johnny Rotten, who, unlike Sid, knows full well Malcolm MacLaren created him.

Having read "And I Don't Want To Live This Life" by Debora Spungen, and having seen more than a handful of documentaries with live footage of the band throughout the years, what impressed me most was the consistency of tone that Oldman and Webb bring to their performances. They are spot-on, not just in stupor and excess, but in tenderness and rare moments of clarity. The movie's ending was unique among biopics where the truth is in dispute, in that it did not profess to know the answer to that burning question (did Sid kill Nancy?) any more than Sid knew himself.

Why watch a film about a couple of junkies who came from unremarkable backgrounds and disappeared into the bleakness of drug addiction? We seem to want our films to be about something loftier than ourselves. I view "Sid and Nancy" more as a play than a movie - we allow our plays to be about uncomfortable subjects and unhappy people, but seem to think that celluloid must be as bright as the projector light behind it. This film is a study in love and dysfunction; its characters are painfully imperfect but perfectly portrayed and we cannot help but respond, even if our response is the deep, squirming discomfort that leads us to say we disliked the whole experience.

I rated this film a very rare 9.


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