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The Filth and the Fury - A Sex Pistols Film

104 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

"Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?" sneers Johnny Rotten at the Sex Pistols' farewell performance. After seeing this picture you'll understand his disgust, but Julian Temple's sharp portrait of the ragged, raw band of working-class Brits won't leave you disappointed. The Sex Pistols left their legacy in a whirlwind 26-month reign, spitting out a caustic, confrontational brand of rock & roll that became the rallying cry for angry, disaffected youths in late 1970s England and defined the punk movement. Their story was first told two decades ago in the cynical The Great Rock and Roll Swindle, also directed by Temple but produced by the Sex Pistols' smarmy manager, Malcolm McLaren, who stage-managed the film into a self-promoting vanity project. For The Filth and the Fury, Temple turns to the four surviving band members to tell their own stories. His vibrant, vigorous direction captures the period of social unrest and alienated youth without turning into a history lesson, and shows the Pistols in all their insolent glory: spewing obscenities and gesturing lewdly to audiences and press alike, screaming out lyrics, overcoming musical limitations with pure passion and attitude. Rare, raw concert footage (including their final performance, which is appropriately enough the song "No Fun") and previously unseen interviews with the deceased Sid Vicious further energize the portrait. There's even footage of the smiling band cutting cake for kids at a fundraiser with nary a nasty gesture or sneering comment. Now there's a side of the Pistols you don't see everyday.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Paul Cook, Malcolm McLaren, Sid Vicious, John (Johnny Rotten) Lydon, Glen Matlock
  • Directors: Julien Temple
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: New Line Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: October 11, 2005
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00003CXHM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,210 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Filth and the Fury - A Sex Pistols Film" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Kitten With a Whip on October 10, 2000
Format: VHS Tape pull out all my old Pistols LPs and remember how fun they are to listen to.
This movie almost seemed to zip by too fast, but then, so did the Sex Pistols. Come to think of it, the last 20 years (when I first started listening to them in junior high and chopped my hair off into a spike) also zipped by pretty fast...they put all the best songs, the best performances in here, along with some rare footage.
Sex Pistols fans may have already seen the interview with a nodded-out Sid Vicious and sleazy girlfriend Nancy Spungen (who makes Courtney Love on one of her bad days look like Grace Kelly in comparison) trying to wake him up for the camera as he snores ("Sid, wake up...they're tryin' ta interview ya..."). But what no fans may not have seen is a short, heartbreaking clip of an interview with Vicious after he is out on bail after being arrested for her murder. When the interviewer thoughtlessly asks him if he's 'having fun right now' (what was that reporter thinking? the kid looks completely miserable), Vicious just chuckles bitterly and asks him, "Are you kidding? No, I'm not having any fun, at all." When the interviewer asks him where he wishes he was right now, Vicious' quiet, calm answer to the question is so chilling and heartfelt that it made every hair on my body stand on end. In a scene shortly after, John Lydon talks about Sid getting his aforementioned wish, and for a minute you think that in the voice over he is laughing, because as a rule you don't see John Lydon displaying any other emotion other than general crankiness. Then you suddenly, shockingly realize he's actually in genuine tears over his dead boyhood friend.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Edward McGowan on December 6, 2000
Format: DVD
In a day and age awash with formulaic drivel from boy bands, Britney, Madonna, Kid Rock, etc., this film is a breath of pure fresh rock n roll air. A must for any devotee of the band. The movie contains incredible live performance footage and fascinating interviews with the surviving members of the band. John Lydon emerges as an erudite, sensitive, creative, and deep thinking punk rock pioneer, but above all a sincerely motivated social critic. Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen in the flesh here have the effect of rendering the Alex Cox's "Sid and Nancy" obsolete. What this documentary primarliy impressed upon me me was the strong political streak that runs through the Sex Pistol's work. And on top of it all, it ROCKS.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Madeline Bocaro on October 23, 2004
Format: DVD
The Filth and The Fury is an exemplary film about an significant period in British history - the late 1970's. It should be shown in every high school history class. Director Julien Temple gets another crack at the Sex Pistols as his subject after 1980's "The Great Rock n' Roll Swindle", but with a new twist - humanity.

This is a humourous and touching film - especially when Rotten comes to tears while speaking of Sid's demise. Who would have thought that the closest bond in the band would be between Rotten and Vicious. The narration was by each band member in silhouette - clearly illustrating their feeling that they had all been rape victims. The "rapist" himself, manager Malcolm McLaren is represented by a respiring black rubber mask - the bondage that restricted the band. Juxtaposed throughout are scenes from British comedy shows from which Rotten amassed his wide range of spectacular facial expressions, and scenes from Richard The III, in which Laurence Olivier spouts lines perfectly coinciding with the Pistols' own story. After all, they had an exceptional sense of theatrics.

Though they were hygienically and linguistically foul, the racket the Pistols made was pristine and clear in its intent. Though the lyrics were snide and bleak, they were a mad celebration of youth and rebellion. The music was actually quite melodic and uplifting, probably due to bassist Glen Matlock's love of the Beatles. The chorus of "No Future" was a glorious anti-national anthem, sung with exuberance and joy despite the fact that the message was a pessimistic one.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mo Lindsey on October 14, 2001
Format: DVD
This documentary of the Sex Pistols give you a good idea of who these guys are , where they came from , and what they were all about. Many clips from British television , animation and pictures and film footage of the Sex Pistols are used here to tell the story of the birth , rise , and crucifixion of the most notorious rock band in music history. Along with great commentaries by the surviving band members. All of them always , seperately , in silhouette during their commentaries.

You come away with a deeper understanding of the Sex Pistols after watching this DVD. There are insights given here that some fans may not have known about. People saw the band fall apart but this film shows HOW they fell apart and why. They were a band who came out of the dulldrams of British life during the 70's and rose to fame during the birth of punk but in the end of their career may have been exploited as controversial freaks and not a serious band. The band sensed it and broke up. Appropriately , the last song played at their final concert was called "No Fun".

You see the punk rock scene in 1970's England , you see the Bill Grundy interview that gave birth to the bands notorious reputation. And you get Jones' and Rotten's take on the Grundy interview as the clip played. You see the band singing "No Fun" at their last concert in San Francisco and expressing their feelings and insight toward their demise and their regrets through voice overs during the concert clip. You see the demise of Sid Vicious , the sad picture painted of him and Nancy Spurgen , and you see the chilling interview of Sid that showed the unstable state of mind he was in during his pending trial of Nancy's murder.
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