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The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle

The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle is the Citizen Kane of rock 'n' roll pictures. An incredibly sophisticated, stupefyingly multi-layered portrait of the 1970s phenomenon known as The Sex Pistols, unstintingly cynical pic casts a jaundiced eye at the entire pop culture scene and, if nothing else, represents the most imaginative use of a rock group in films since The Beatles debuted in A Hard Day's Night.

With:
Malcolm McLaren Johnny Rotten Sid Vicious Steve Jones Paul Cook Jess Conrad

The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle is the Citizen Kane of rock ‘n’ roll pictures. An incredibly sophisticated, stupefyingly multi-layered portrait of the 1970s phenomenon known as The Sex Pistols, unstintingly cynical pic casts a jaundiced eye at the entire pop culture scene and, if nothing else, represents the most imaginative use of a rock group in films since The Beatles debuted in A Hard Day’s Night.

Pic, which stars and is narrated after a fashion by Pistols’ manager Malcolm McLaren, begins with the basic premise that the campaign of shock tactics was premeditated.

A bubbling brew of devices and styles somehow mesh under firsttime helmer Julien Temple’s wizardly direction to amplify McLaren’s thesis on how to create a rock sensation in 10 easy lessons. Among his dicta are: Demonstrate To Record Companies The Enormous Potential Of A Band That Can’t Play; Make It As Hard As Possible For The Press To See It; Insult Your Audiences As Much As Possible, and Cultivate Hatred.

The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle

UK

Production: Kendon/Matrix Best/Virgin. Director Julien Temple; Producer Jeremy Thomas, Don Boyd; Screenplay Julien Temple; Camera A. Barker-Mills; Editor R. Bedford, M.D. Maslin, G. Swire; Music The Sex Pistols

Crew: (Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1980. Running time: 103 MIN.

With: Malcolm McLaren Johnny Rotten Sid Vicious Steve Jones Paul Cook Jess Conrad

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