The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle
|The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle|
|Directed by||Julien Temple|
|Produced by||Don Boyd
|Written by||Julien Temple|
|Music by||Sex Pistols|
|Release date(s)||15 May 1980|
|Running time||103 minutes|
Guitarist Steve Jones plays a detective who - through a series of set piece acts - uncovers the truth about the band. Drummer Paul Cook and bass guitarist Sid Vicious play smaller roles, and the band's manager, Malcolm McLaren, is featured as "The Embezzler", the man who manipulates the Sex Pistols. Fugitive train robber Ronnie Biggs, performer Edward Tudor-Pole and actress Irene Handl also make appearances.
The movie tells a stylised fictional account of the formation, rise and subsequent breakup of the band, from the point of view of their then-manager Malcolm McLaren. In the film, McLaren claims to create the Sex Pistols and manipulate them to the top of the music business, using them as puppets to both further his own agenda (in his own words - "chaos"), and to claim the financial rewards from the various record labels the band were signed to during their brief history - EMI, A&M, Virgin, and Warner Bros. Records.
The footage was filmed in early - mid 1978, between singer John Lydon's departure from the band and their subsequent split. The movie was finally released nearly two years later. Lydon (who was listed in the credits as "The Collaborator") and early bass guitarist Glen Matlock only appear in archive footage — Lydon having refused to have anything to do with the production.
The 2000 documentary The Filth and the Fury, also directed by Julien Temple, retells the story of the Sex Pistols from the perspective of the band, thus serving as a response to and rebuttal of McLaren's insistence that he was the driving creative force of the band.
VHS and DVD release 
- 'The Swindle Continues in Your Own Home' was the tagline on the original 18 certificate VHS release from Virgin Video in 1982 (VVB 010). in 2005 the film was released on DVD by Sony/Shout Factory (catalogue number:2028859) with a Bonus 20min interview with Julien Temple. The VHS release gives an inaccurate running time of 104 mins, in fact both VHS and DVD versions run 100 minutes and 4 seconds; the only difference between the two is that the song 'I Thought I Saw A Puddy Tat' has been removed from the DVD soundtrack and replaced by a few sound effects, and the DVD has an additional end credit - 1980 Sex Pistols Residuals, which makes it run 10 seconds longer than the VHS.
See also 
- "Belsen Was A Gas"
- Great Reality TV Swindle
- The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle (album)
- Who Killed Bambi?
- DVD review
- The Great Rock and Roll Swindle remembered by McLaren employee Sue Steward
- The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle at the Internet Movie Database