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United Kingdom 1980
Directed by
Julien Temple
103 minutes
Rated R

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
2 stars

The Great Rock N Roll Swindle

Mixing glorification and piss-taking iconoclasm, archival footage, fictionalised re-creations, animation and anything else that takes their fancy Julian Temple and punk impresario Malcolm McLaren  have cobbled together a loose narrative of The Sex Pistols' rise and fall under the latter's tutelage. It is, appropriately enough, raucous, often gross, and given the low IQ subject matter, long-winded stuff that will appeal principally to devotees of punk although it does features archival performances of all the Pistols' best known hits and tops it off with Sid's unforgettable version of "My Way".

Anyone with a taste for more straightforward music documentaries will no doubt prefer Temple's more even-handed documentary The Filth And The Fury (2000). 

: Whether apocryphall or not, I have heard that the film was originally entitled "Who Killed Bambi?" with a script by US movie critic Roger Ebert and to be directed by Russ Meyer, a false start that resulted in only one sequence showing the real killing of a baby deer in a Welsh forest, a still from which is on the soundtrack album's back cover.




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