7.1/10
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133 user 84 critic

Sid and Nancy (1986)

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1:16 | Trailer

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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)
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Popularity
2,893 ( 2,020)

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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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)

Gross USA:

$2,826,523
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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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

Alex Cox's attitude toward his subjects was indeed unapologetically negative, writing that "Sid had sold out, contributed nothing of value, died an idiot." Cox went on to say that one of the reasons he was attracted to the project was that he was afraid that if someone else made it, it would portray its subjects as "real exemplars of Punk like I am; rather than sold-out traitors to it." He acknowledged that John Lydon's hatred of the movie was "understandable, given that it was based on incidents from his life and centered around one of his friends." See more »

Goofs

During the taxi ride to the airport, the taxi cab is driving east bound on the San Mateo (California) Bridge. The airport is west. Specifically, the airport is 17 miles south of San Francisco, the San Mateo Bridge is about 5 miles south of SFO airport. See more »

Quotes

Nancy: I hate my fuckin' life.
Sid: This is just a rough patch. Things'll be much better when we get to America, I promise.
Nancy: We're in America. We've been here a week. New York is in America, you fuck.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

References The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

Love Kills
Title Track
Written and Performed by Joe Strummer
© Joe Strummer 1986
Joe Strummer appears courtesy of CBS Records
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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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