The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle Review

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A rather incoherent post-breakup Sex Pistols "documentary", told from the point of view of Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren


After the Sex Pistols had self-destructed, Malcolm McLaren made this film to rewrite their history according to his own theories, treating the whole phenomenon merely as a scam, “cash from chaos” being the slogan as McLaren goes cynically through the various steps necessary to make a band a success.

The result is akin to a depraved management-instruction video featuring bits and pieces salvaged from the abandoned Who Killed Bambi? film project, archive footage of the band, stuff and nonsense acted out by Paul Cook and Steve Jones (the only two remaining Pistols), and specially-staged scenes such as Sid Vicious’ classic performance of My Way.

A revisionist take on the Pistols' legend, but an essential glide through a wicked ride.