Released in 1980, this stylized mocumentary about the rise and fall of the Sex Pistols is intended to be pure camp and winds up being a damning monument to the ego of Malcolm McLaren.
Penned by Roger Ebert and with Russ Meyer set to direct,
The Great Rock and Roll Swindle
sought to bring the punk experience to the cinema much like
A Hard Day's Night
did with The Beatles. However, when John Lydon refused to participate and Russ Meyer backed out, Julian Temple was brought in to pull together a pastiche of old concert clips and strange cinematic scenes that make for a disjointed and unusual film. Nevertheless, the scenes that remain - the absolutely electric performances in San Francisco and Dallas, the legendary boat performances on the Thames, and Sid's showstopping theatre rendition of "My Way" - stand tribute to the fact that the even the gargantuan ego of McLaren couldn't cast a complete shadow on this iconic punk band.