We gave it a B-
If you want to see the definitive story of the Sex Pistols. . .look elsewhere. The Filth and the Fury (also directed by Julien Temple) is a far more comprehensive (and coherent) documentation. The Great Rock ‘N’ Roll Swindle spends way too much time glorifying manager Malcolm McLaren, and gets bogged down in silly sideshows (such as guitarist Steve Jones for some reason playing a private eye, and train robber Ronnie Biggs getting recruited to replace singer Johnny Rotten). Still, there are enough engrossing live clips and memorable moments (Sid Vicious’prophetic version of ”My Way” chief among them) to elevate the film above the level of mere historical curiosity. Barely. EXTRAS The movie’s whole conceit, that McLaren completely manufactured the group, began as a joke, says director Temple on the commentary track: ”It was meant to really annoy and upset the fans.” Mission accomplished.