The Great Rock'n'Roll Swindle (1980) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Great Rock'n'Roll Swindle (1980)

TOMATOMETER

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Let Malcolm McLaren show you how to achieve fame and fortune by making your pop group the most despised band in the world! This film about the brief but eventful career of The Sex Pistols primarily focuses on McLaren, their manager, as he presents his ten-point program on how to achieve success through chaos, ineptitude, and abusing the music industry. Despite some remarkable footage of The Sex Pistols' infamous Jubilee Day performance and clips from their final concert in San Francisco, there's surprisingly little screen time devoted to the group actually performing. Instead, The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle offers McLaren's agit-prop philosophies on music, culture, politics, and the entertainment industry, as well as an amusing (if often inaccurate) account of the band's rise and fall. Along the way, we're also offered some curious animated sequences, "film noir" episodes starring guitarist Steve Jones, footage of the band recording with exiled British train robber Ronnie Biggs, and Sid Vicious singing "My Way" (he had been dead for over a year by the time the movie was released). The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle began life as "Who Killed Bambi?", a project written by Roger Ebert and directed by Russ Meyer, which closed down after two days of shooting when funding fell through. By the time McLaren and Julien Temple got it off the ground (with a radically different script), Johnny Rotten had left the group, which explains why the band's front man is hardly in the movie. The rest of the group broke up a few months later. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Cast

Malcolm McLaren
as 'The Embezzler'
John
as 'The Collaborator'
Sid Vicious
as 'The Gimmick'
Paul Cook
as 'The Tea-Maker'
Mary Millington
as Crook's Partner
Irene Handl
as Usherette
Steve Jones
as 'The Crook'
Peter Dean
as Bouncer (uncredited)
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for The Great Rock'n'Roll Swindle

All Critics (6)

[The Great Rock N Roll Swindle is] a document of a particular time and place, a rarified work of scrap art that creates as many myths as it debunks.

Full Review… | August 15, 2005
DVDTalk.com

a delirious hodge-podge that makes The Filth and the Fury, Temple's later "documentary" about the band, look perfectly staid

Full Review… | May 18, 2005
Filmcritic.com

A document that proves all the cynics right

June 10, 2003
rec.arts.movies.reviews

Audience Reviews for The Great Rock'n'Roll Swindle

½

The Great Rock N Roll Swindle is] a document of a particular time and place, a rarified work of scrap art that creates as many myths as it debunks.

Lee Mayo
Lee Mayo

A very weird movie... it tries to be so punk and so different from other music films that it just alienates its audience and confuses you. There are a few amusing scenes, and it's full of famous punk rockers like Sid Vicious, so if you're really into punk music you may want to check this out. If not, stay away from it. For the most part it's pretty dull, but it's not a complete waste if, like I said, you enjoy punk styles and unconventional movies.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

½

[b]The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D[/b] [img]http://www.blackfilm.com/i3/movies/s/sharkboy/002_l.jpg[/img] Good enough kiddy fare. I'm sure I would love this film if I was about 10 years younger. The 3-D was pretty cool though, although it took away from the look of the film. [b]The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle[/b] [img]http://www.noblepr.co.uk/Press_Releases/bmg/images/great_rnr_swindle/pack.jpg[/img] This is a pretty fucking weird movie, but it was an awesome peek into what it must have been like in England during the Punk Revolution. Much, much better than "Sid and Nancy." Any die-hard fans of old school punk should make it a priority to see this film. Plus, I mean, you get to see Malcolm McLaren's dick. [b]Ed[/b] [img]http://www.thespiannet.com/actors/L/leblanc_matt/e.jpg[/img] Me and a friend thought it would be funny to revisit a childhood favorite, and no, we are not retarded. Turns out, this movie fucking blows beyond all comprehension.

Cam Casper
Cam Casper

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