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The Clash - Westway to the World (1981)

Terry Chimes , Terence Dackombe , Don Letts  |  NR |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Terry Chimes, Terence Dackombe, Topper Headon, Mick Jones, Jordan
  • Directors: Don Letts
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Director's Cut, Full Screen, NTSC, Original recording remastered, Subtitled
  • Language: English (PCM Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Sony
  • DVD Release Date: April 9, 2002
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000063UQN
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #161,789 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Clash - Westway to the World" on IMDb

Special Features

  • "Westway To The World" - Director's CUt
  • "Clash On Broadway" - Previously unseen footage fimed in 1982
  • Exclusive unseen interview footage
  • Photo Gallery
  • Discography

Editorial Reviews

"Westway to the World" is the only full, unexpurgated story of one of Rock music's legendary acts. The Clash were the band who made Punk real, they were the last great British Rock'n Roll band, they were the coolest, the most political, the most eclectic and most thrilling of the Punk bands. Blasting away from the parochial concerns of the London Punk scene of the late 1970's, the Clash explored and expanded musical boundaries like no act before, or since. For seven years they set the agenda for future generations of Rock bands. In 1981 the Clash played in front of a screaming, adoring full house at Shea Stadium as their fifth album stood in the Top 5 of the U.S. charts.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
128 of 132 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Closing door. . . . December 26, 2002
Format:DVD
This DVD is probably the most bittersweet Christmas present that I've ever gotten. Ever since the resurgence of Clashmania a couple of years ago, I'd been trying restlessly to get my hands on a good copy of "Westway to the World" -- first by asking an old friend to tape the abbreviated premiere off VH1 for me while I was out of the country, then later by paying a good amount for a decent bootleg VHS copy once I realized that Sony wouldn't be putting out the full version anytime soon. Well, now here it is -- uncut, official and with all the whistles and bells that DVD technology allows. But suddenly, getting my hands on it finally doesn't seem like so much of a triumph anymore. . . .
As if it even needed to be said at all, we've just lost an amazing musician and, by all indications, a fine human being in Joe Strummer, which makes it more than a shame that "Westway to the World" will likely come to be regarded as his final word on The Clash. But it's even more unfortunate for his death to overshadow the documentary because this is a work that stands very well enough on its own. Joe, Mick, Paul and (to a lesser extent) Topper all have worthwhile stories to tell here, even if those stories tend to center more around emotional truth rather than hard facts.
The first three treat the origins of The Clash as a sort of happy accident, but there's still a certain sense, threaded through their accounts of their childhood and art school years and the grayness of '70s London, that The Clash is something that WILL happen, if only because there's probably no other way out. Topper is fairly skeptical and noncommittal when he arrives, and his role is somewhat understated by his drug use and its obvious toll on his health. But his role's borne out quite well by the live concert clips.
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61 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rest In Peace Sweet Prince... January 8, 2003
Format:DVD
It's with a heavy heart that I sit here and try to put into words what The Clash's music has meant to me ever since I bought an import 7" of "White Riot" b/w "1977" back in, uh, 1977, so at the risk of being accused of playing I-was-a-punk-before-you-were-a-punk, let's concentrate on this amazing documentary put together by ex-DJ Don Letts, punk rock insider and the man who purportedly introduced the London punk scene to dub. This past Christmas, I was dragged kicking and screaming into the DVD age with the purchase of a DVD player and this, my first DVD. Letts unveils a plethora of crystal-clear live footage, none of which I even knew existed, and most of which looks like it was shot yesterday. Thankfully, the majority of said footage concentrates on the band pre-"Combat Rock," before they began to lose the plot and while they really were The Only Band That Mattered. Weaving the live material with band interviews that are actually interesting and compelling (what a concept!), Letts tells the story of a bunch of regular Joes (no pun intended) that on any given night, might well have been the best damn band on the planet and a group of guys many of the naive among us (myself included) felt were going to change the world. The interviews reveal Joe Strummer to be, not surprisingly, the master storyteller in the group, Paul Simonon to be not as quiet as many of us thought, Mick Jones to have dental work rivalling that of Mike Meyers as Austin Powers, and, sadly, Topper Headon as a mere shadow of his former self, barely intelligible most of the time. Bonus features include a Letts-shot featurette, "The Clash On Broadway," additional interview footage, photos, a discography and many other things I'm still too technically inept to describe with any degree of accuracy. Read more ›
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great documentary, but... November 8, 2002
Format:DVD
As a HUGE clash fan since the late '70s that simply can't get enough of them, I must admit that the material that made it onto this DVD is fantastic and totally compelling. That said, I can't help but be quite disappointed that there isn't significantly more of the (obviously available) live concert footage. The tidbits we get are great, but why not more?
To me, the ride these guys were on from '76 thru '82 was really special. They were way ahead of everyone else and churning out high-quality material as rapidly as the Beatles in their prime. So why is it that their stage performances (unlike there studio sessions) remain on shelves somewhere. I don't care about the quality of it - it's [...] historic!!
The documentary aspect is fine, but how likely am I to watch it again... it's questionable. If they had added (maybe on a second disc) a show or partial shows, I'd be replaying it regularly. FYI there is no full song played live on this DVD, just short pieces. I spliced together all of the concert footage from "Rude Boy" 20 years ago so I would have something when I needed a fix - and this DVD is just marginally better, from the live music aspect.
If such a DVD is coming, I apologize and take this all back - I'll buy it the day it's released!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film about a great band November 19, 2003
Format:DVD
Like the great rock documentaries The Kids Are Alright and The Filth and the Fury, Westway to the World is th story of a band (the Clash) told by those who were in the band (Joe Strummer, Mick Jones, Topper Headon, and Paul Siminon). The Clash probably stayed together two years too many (they hung up their spurs in 1985), but their peak years from 1977-1981 were well worth it. Westway captures the exuberance of the punk period into which the Clash thrust themselves in 1977, and documents their own journey up til the departure of Jones (the McCartney to Strummer's Lennon) in the early Eighties.
I picked this up in the days after Joe Strummer's passing in December 2002, and I can safely say this is a fine tribute (albeit released before his untimely death). Strummer was easily the most lucid of the original punks (only John Lydon rivals him for candor and interesting insights into the era), and his interview segments are worth the price of admission alone.
The other band members aren't forgotten, though, and each details his own musical background and evolution in the band. Once the film is over, you find it sad to know that 1.) the band can never truly reunite and 2.) there will never be a band that can match them for expanding the range of punk.
So let the kiddies have their Avrils and their Blink-182. The Clash were the real deal, and this film captures just how damn special they really were. RIP Joseph Mellors
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Too Good to be True!
This is The Clashe's complete documentary and overview of the entire span of the band's career. The documentary touches on important and detailed episodes of the rise and fall of... Read more
Published 25 days ago by Andy H.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story of The Clash
This is a great film, now I can watch it whenever I want. Fast shipping, excellent condition. Thank you so much!
Published 2 months ago by Jessika
5.0 out of 5 stars The only band that matters!
The Clash are the quintessential punk rock band that out grew punk rock to become a timeless piece of music, social conscience and advocacy of human rights in my personal time. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Sergio A. Sandoval
4.0 out of 5 stars Love the Clash
Great stories of the Clash. Not as much music as I would have thought, but what little at has is what I love the old 80s stuff!
Published 17 months ago by D. Cunha
5.0 out of 5 stars The Story of The Clash in Their Own Words
This is a five-star film about the life and times of the last gang in town. It's the story of The Clash in the member's own words. Read more
Published on March 23, 2012 by Mark
5.0 out of 5 stars Long live the Clash
By far - the best documentary on the Clash I have seen and I've seen them all for I am a librarian and can find what all is out there. Read more
Published on December 27, 2010 by sd
4.0 out of 5 stars The Clash: Westway to the World
For the dedicated fans of the "only band that matters", cue up the DVD player. This isn't simply a look into the genesis and generation of a single band, it was the very essence of... Read more
Published on February 5, 2009 by Punk Rock Girl
4.0 out of 5 stars Good.
Excellent overview not only of The Clash music itself, but also good when it comes to explore the spirit of why and how the band got formed, their highs and downs. Read more
Published on January 4, 2009 by Camilo Rueda Lopez
3.0 out of 5 stars Just OK
I am a big fan of The Clash. I can't wait for the new Joe Strummer documentary to come out. That said I watched The Ramones:The End Of the Century documentary and then this one... Read more
Published on May 26, 2008 by Uncle Chino
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent overview of a great rock band
4.5 stars

The Clash became great once they transcended their punk beginnings and started writing songs with memorable melodies. Read more
Published on December 29, 2007 by K. Swanson
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