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American Hardcore - The History of Punk Rock 1980 - 1986 (2006)

Greg Ginn , Ian MacKaye , Paul Rachman  |  R |  DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Greg Ginn, Ian MacKaye, Lucky Lehrer, Vic Bondi, Joe Keithley
  • Directors: Paul Rachman
  • Writers: Steven Blush
  • Producers: Paul Rachman, Karin Hayes, Steven Blush
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: February 20, 2007
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000LPR6FQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,410 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "American Hardcore - The History of Punk Rock 1980 - 1986" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Commentary with Director Paul Rachman and Writer Steven Blush
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Bonus Performances
  • Photo Gallery - The Photos of Edward Colver

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Fueled by a ferocious soundtrack, director Paul Rachman's AMERICAN HARDCORE gives fans an all-access pass to the rise and fall of the U.S. punk scene, an explosive musical and cultural phenomenon that shaped everything from the grunge movement to the emo and pop/punk music currently riding the charts. Set against the conservative early '80s political landscape, AMERICAN HARDCORE chronicles the homegrown hardcore scene that was a swift kick in the head to corporate rock and mainstream complacency, as disaffected teens adopted the same collective credo - harder, faster, louder. From downtown warehouses to suburban bedrooms, the scene spread from city to city like wildfire, uniting bored, angry outcasts into an authentic underground revolution. A raw blast of politics, passion, and rage, AMERICAN HARDCORE features never-before-seen live footage from Black Flag, Minor Threat, Bad Brains, MDC, SSD, DOA, DRI, The Adolescents, 7 Seconds and many more, plus exclusive interviews with punk ic

The history of hardcore punk--the tougher, faster, and more politically minded stepchild of the '70s punk movement that arose in the '80s--is examined in exuberant detail in Paul Rachman's documentary American Hardcore. Rachman's cameras careen across the landscape of the U.S. to trace the movement's beginnings in cities like Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and New York, and cherrypicks interviews with the musicians that helped shape its sound and impact, including Henry Rollins and Greg Ginn of Black Flag, H.R. (frontman for the highly influential, all-African American outfit Bad Brains), Ian MacKaye of Minor Threat (and now Fugazi), and many others. Hardcore's violent reaction against the Reagan administration and the complacent mindset of middle-class America is also detailed in countless performance footage clips and poster-art reproductions, which do much to dismiss the popular opinion of hardcore as nothing more than mindless hooliganism. Some fans may find the omission of certain bands a considerable oversight (San Francisco's lethally satirical Dead Kennedys are not mentioned only in passing), but for most punk devotees, American Hardcore will be vital and essential viewing. The DVD includes several deleted scenes and bonus performances, commentary by Rachman and writer Steven Blush (whose book of the same name provided the inspiration for the film), and a gallery of photos from photographer Edward Colver, who covered the hardcore scene in detail during its heyday. -- Paul Gaita

Stills from American Hardcore (click for larger image)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
American Hardcore is not a definitive history of hardcore music or punk rock. It's a documentary about a connected group of hardcore music scenes in cities across the USA. The documentary isn't only about the music but more about the culture of hardcore and the world inside and outside of the scene.

While there are some shortcomings to American Hardcore, all of them fade away once you start making your way through the special features. I will list both positives and negatives as I see them. But overall I still feel this movie is an important historical work.

To me, I think the filmmakers chose select musicians based largely upon a subjective definition of "hardcore" as a smaller part of the punk scene. As such, it is true that some groups were excluded. Yet it should be noted that there are other movies on the much larger punk scene. Legal issues surrounding certain groups also played a part in some of them being excluded. I think the criticism about the missing or lightly covered bands, while valid, has been over-emphasized.

When you watch this movie from start to finish as a sociological documentary on the hard-core culture, you will come away with a very good feel for the many different and diverse sub-cultures within the scene. That in and of itself is a great accomplishment.

One of the things we learn is the role of gay and minority musicians within the scene. This helps to eliminate the misconceptions about who made this music and who it was against. Another thing is also clear from the groups profiled in this movie: musicianship ranged from really poor to exceptional, and at the very top of that hierarchy was Bad Brains.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rejoice February 16, 2007
rejoice, oh, hardcore enthusiasts, here is as close as you will get to a definitive hardcore history as you are likely to find. i watched as paul and steve compiled this pup, and while i don't always agree with the focus (personally, being form the west coast i thought it was a bit boston centered) i recognize that the people that worked on this film- particulary paul and steve- have a true love for the music they documented, and a true respect- unbiased- for the subjects in the film. i was partuicularly impressed with vic bondi and ian mackay's points of view, as well as keith morris, paul mahern, and joey keithly's- and harley's descriptor of the 'big takeover' was so right on that i will never hear that song again without seeing his face in my mind's point of reference. the footage of hr chatting away while a quincinera takes place in the background- totally priceless- and the footage of bands like the zero boys and negative approach..... not to be missed. definitely worth your while; you will not find a more comprehensive overview of the american punk (hardcore) scene out there...... and, yes, i was there the whole time, and yes, it hits the nail on the head.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hardcore: Being part of the club March 25, 2008
I am not a fan of Hardcore music, but this documentary sure makes me wish I was part of the club.
The general message is: the peak of Hardcore was a moment in time where suburban kids created a musical movement that can never be duplicated.
What's great to see is the camaraderie that existed between the bands and the underground nature of their followings.
The great juxtaposition is the violence of the music, up against the endearing feelings it created between the people involved.
The then and now look at the hardcore scene as presented through various interviews with different musicians is masterfully done.
Even if you don't like the music, give this one a watch.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Revisionist but worthwhile June 28, 2009
This documentary does a laudable job surveying the impressive landscape of 'harcore' punk rock from the late '70s to the mid '80s. It contains some rare and exciting live clips and interviews--some contemporary, most present-day, that in themselves make the documentary worth watching. The narration takes viewers from scene to scene, coast to coast, showing how different bands influenced one another and the how the overall scene exploded against the backdrop of the ultraconservative Reagan era. While many important acts (the Dead Kennedys, JFA, Reagan Youth) are omitted, the filmmakers nevertheless do an excellent job of 'coverage;' that is, they acknowledge the breath of the scene and demonstrate its varied articulations on a regional basis, which is undoubtedly the movie's overall strength. The early footage of Poison Idea, Gang Green, and Bad Brains, for me (and I suspect many people from the era) made the film invaluably entertaining.
While the film does an excellent job discussing the origins and florescence of the hardcore scene, the interpretation of hardcore's demise suffers from a revisionist subtext that simply misrepresents the issue. Specifically, the authors downplay the role of moronic, violent, Nazi skinheads, whose fascist agenda--which largely attempted to define how punks ought to think and act--killed the 'anything goes' punk rock culture. They instead attribute punk rock's demise to the short attention span of fans and, when pressed to address the issue of violence, reference Circle One and other LA 'gangs.' Bringing attention to these largely Hispanic crews, in my opinion, is an awfully smug attempt to justify the neo-fascist skinhead violence of the era, which is barely mentioned.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars This documentary does a good job. There are many upsides to this...
To 'truly' chronicle the hardcore punk scene would take an immense amount of time and space. This documentary does a good job. Read more
Published 3 months ago by arturo
3.0 out of 5 stars A good movie, but
American Hardcore is a pretty good look at 80s hardcore punk though still flawed. First of all there's too much focus on Black Flag, yah I know they were great, but there plenty of... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Alef The Thunder Fox
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Movie.....
A very good add-on for the book. I would love to see a "directors cut" with longer interviews and show footage.
Published 16 months ago by Jared T.
3.0 out of 5 stars Good thing it focuses on the Circle Jerks...
...because it's a shameless circle jerk throughout. The mystique surrounding early 80s American punk quickly becomes tiresome nostalgia as Keith Morris and other influential... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Generic Man
4.0 out of 5 stars Great History of American Hardcore Punk
"American Hardcore" is an excellent film for fans of American hardcore punk rock from the early to mid-1980's. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Chad Radford
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
Needs to be seen. A great study on the hardcore punk rock wave of the early 80's. I still watch this.
Published 21 months ago by Thomas S. Maddux
4.0 out of 5 stars Good to watch a couple times...
This isn't necessarily something I could watch more than a couple times, but it was enjoyable. Like others have said, they did leave a lot out, however I think if they were to put... Read more
Published 21 months ago by All 6's & 7's
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Doc. on Hardcore Punk
I had read the very informative book some years ago and just today watched this great companion piece. Read more
Published on February 28, 2012 by myownme777
4.0 out of 5 stars Good documentary, but what about Florida?
I like this documentary, but it left out quite a bit. I know you can't touch on every single scene, but Florida had a great one! It is a shame many don't know about it. Read more
Published on February 26, 2012 by ComplaintKing
1.0 out of 5 stars turns out middle aged punkers are no different than middle aged...
Just watched "American Hardcore", about the American punk scene from 1980 to 1986. It is either depressing or reassuring (haven't decided which) to realize the middle aged punks... Read more
Published on July 6, 2010 by kerouac's ghost
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