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Morbid biographical story of Sid Vicious, bassist with British punk group the Sex Pistols, and his girlfriend Nancy Spungen. When the Sex Pistols break up after their fateful US tour, Vicious attempts a solo career while in the grip of heroin addiction. One morning, Nancy is found stabbed to death and Sid is arrested for her murder. Written by
Alexander Lum <aj_lum@postoffice. utas.edu. au>
John Lydon commented on the film in his 1994 autobiography, Rotten: No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs:
I cannot understand why anyone would want to put out a movie like Sid and Nancy and not bother to speak to me; Alex Cox, the director, didn't. He used as his point of reference - of all the people on this earth - Joe Strummer! That guttural singer from The Clash? What the fuck did he know about Sid and Nancy? That's probably all he could find, which was really scraping the bottom of the barrel. The only time Alex Cox made any approach toward me was when he sent the chap who was playing me over to New York where I was. This actor told me he wanted to talk about the script. During the two days he was there, he told me that the film had already been completed. The whole thing was a sham. It was a ploy to get my name used in connection with the film, in order to support it.
To me this movie is the lowest form of life. I honestly believe that it celebrates heroin addiction. It definitely glorifies it at the end when that stupid taxi drives off into the sky. That's such nonsense. The squalid New York hotel scenes were fine, except they needed to be even more squalid. All of the scenes in London with the Pistols were nonsense. None bore any sense of reality. The chap who played Sid, Gary Oldman, I thought was quite good. But even he only played the stage persona as opposed to the real person. I don't consider that Gary Oldman's fault because he's a bloody good actor. If only he had the opportunity to speak to someone who knew the man. I don't think they ever had the intent to research properly in order to make a seriously accurate movie. It was all just for money, wasn't it? To humiliate somebody's life like that - and very successfully - was very annoying to me. The final irony is that I still get asked questions about it. I have to explain that it's all wrong. It was all someone else's fucking fantasy, some Oxford graduate who missed the punk rock era. The bastard.
When I got back to London, they invited me to a screening. So I went to see it and was utterly appalled. I told Alex Cox, which was the first time I met him, that he should be shot, and he was quite lucky I didn't shoot him. I still hold him in the lowest light. Will the real Sid please stand up?
As for how I was portrayed, well, there's no offense in that. It was so off and ridiculous. It was absurd. Champagne and baked beans for breakfast? Sorry. I don't drink champagne. He didn't even speak like me. He had a Scouse accent. Worse, there's a slur implied in the movie that I was jealous of Nancy, which I find particularly loathsome. There is that implication that I feel was definitely put there. I guess that's Alex Cox showing his middle class twittery. It's all too glib, it's all too easy. See more »
Nancy's neck is bare when she is hanging out of the window at the fancy hotel, but is wearing a dog collar in the subsequent scene on the roof. See more »
[in a taxi on the way to the airport]
I wish we wasn't breaking up.
Well it's a bit late for that isn't it? Paul and Steve are flying to Rio, Malcom's in London, John's in New York.
Yeah, great. What am I gonna do?
Anything you like; you're a free agent now.
I'll go home; see Nancy.
Yeah, well do that.
Master Kung Fu.
Look try and get off the heroin OK? Come on promise.
And cut back on the drinking all right?
[...] See more »
"And introducing the young Cat Vicious in the role of Smoky, Sid and Nancy's child." See more »
This movie is not historically accurate. Let's get that out of the way right off the bat. This is not about the history of the Sex Pistols. Details don't matter, this movie is about feeling. Two misguided, deluded outcasts who are so completely, desperately in love, that they won't leave each other, even though they are probably the worst people in the world for each other. They spiral into heroin addiction, (which is NOT glamorized. Some of the scenes with them bunkered down in the Chelsea Hotel are downright disgusting) and one of them is killed, although no one knows how exactly how. Punks are usually the unsentimental type, so they tend to give this film the two-finger salute. Well, screw them. It is a beautiful film, which speaks more honestly about love and addiction than any Oscar-grabbing shite that I can find in the New Release section. Gary Oldman and and Chole Webb are excellent, inhabiting their characters right down to marrow. The era is evoked wonderfully, and the film is littered with gorgeous, iconic images, the best of which being Sid and Nancy kissing in an alleyway while garbage rains down on them from above like rice at a wedding. Also, most people ignore how FUNNY this movie is, despite it's heartbreaking subject matter. This is an enjoyable movie, not a punishment, or a slog through the mud. After seeing this movie, a friend of mine was so moved, she packed up everything she had and moved to London, where she lived on the streets for a year, trying to form a punk band. I'd recommend this movie to anyone, not just punks or Sex Pistols fans. It's appeal is much more universal than that. To me, this movie exemplifies my idea of true love. It isn't always pretty. It can drag you over glass, lead you to your grave, debase, humiliate, and destroy you. But it's a connection so strong that you can't deny it. And it's so beautiful that you really don't care if it kills you.
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