GREAT ROCK 'N' ROLL SWINDLE - ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
'The Complete Draft'
- 9th August 1978
are many differences between this script and the final released version of the
film. Several scenes that ended up in 'The Filth and the Fury' were originally
intended for the Swindle, eg: the clips of Stephen Fisher and Nick Kent. Some
scenes have turned up elsewhere and others have yet to be seen.
title sequence is fairly similar to the final version, Helen spelling out the
title, intercut with the Gordon Riots. If you look closely at the Bonfire scene
you will notice five dummies hanging over the fire. Glen is cut from the final
version and Malcolm's comment on him is left out. The script goes as follows;
is hauled up.
Malcolm: Then there was Glen, who worked in the shop
on Saturdays. A Bohemian interested in the Arts and with a desire for adventure.
And so, anxious to bestow a certain quality on the outfit, I brought him in on
bass - making sure he remained unaware of the audacity of our plan.
remarks about John are slightly longer, John had apparently described himself
as a failed poet. Next is Steve and Paul in Rio followed by Sid in Paris, dated
January 1978, which includes an extra scene where Sid meets Eddie Barclay in his
flat in Paris.
'My Way' comes everything Russ Meyer shot for 'Who Killed Bambi'. Meyer filmed
for a couple of days but only completed the Bambi killing scene and from the early
Swindle script it appears that everything he did was to be included, even his
shouts; 'Cut', 'Action' and the clapperboard etc. This would have shown the deer
being shot in the Queens Game Reserve, and then dumped outside a 'Humble Cottage'.
Bambi is killed by a "rock star" who looks very like the man Catwoman
strangles on the train in the finished film. The cottage is seen in 'The Filth
and the Fury' where the little girl stands in the door and shouts, 'Mummy, Mummy
come quick, someone's killed Bambi!' (TV host Jonathan Ross claimed that this
scene was screened for the first time in a programme he did about Russ Meyer -'The
Incredibly Strange Picture Show' - but it was in fact included in the cinema trailer
for 'The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle').
Deer scene is followed by a shot of John being questioned by a reporter at Heathrow
Airport after returning from Jamaica. Next Steve breaks into the Glitterbest offices
- slightly different again - with Steve having flashbacks; Sid walking along Kings
Rd, the band walking through Soho, etc. We
move onto Malcolm in the Herbarium Bathroom (the Catwoman girl is described as
13 Years old)! This scene is exactly the same as the final version in the Swindle.
Next is a scene
cut from the finished film and set in the 'Bambi Mobilia Car Showroom' (the inner
sleeve of the double soundtrack album contains stills from this scene). Steve
shows up and the girl strips off and poses on the car as the press take pictures.
There's some interesting dialogue from this scene;
I used to fancy Johnny Rotten once. I went to this party longing to talk to him.
I really fancied Johnny but he didn't want to have anything to do with me so I
ended up with (pause) the road manager in some bedroom. And then John burst in
with his mates yelling, 'This is a raid.' They held me down, I was wriggling and
screaming as he pulled my knickers down and ran off with them. I thought he was
really stupid after that, just like a little child.
So you know them pretty well, don't you?
Maybe. But what's it to you? Sid used to go out with Catwoman see, didn't he?
I know because he had a love bite on his neck. She was always phoning him up,
sitting in bars with him. She used to feed him. They even went for a walk around
the Gas Works once but Sid said sex wasn't worth taking his trousers down for.
It was too sticky. Just two minutes fifty seconds of squelching noises. But really
he was just too shy of her and even tried to insult her. He called her 'Fat Bat.'
into the Cambridge Rapist Hotel and phones Malcolm. We then follow the finished
version of the film through the two signing's and sacking's.
85 - Title: 28th February 1977:
Malcolm (whispers to Glen): Remove any members
of the group who show signs of developing musical ability. Replace them with Gimmick
designed purely to upset people.
script then describes three scenes that have yet to surface: A German TV crew
interviews the band in Denmark St. Bob Harris describes the Speakeasy incident.
A cartoon where A&M hand over the cheque.
Thames Boat Trip is followed by John and Paul being attacked, then a clip of Paul's
mother. Malcolm then lists how much money he got by selling the group to different
companies in each territory around the world. Steve meets Berg in the record company
office; this was filmed as two totally separate scenes in the finished film.
does his bit at Marylebone Station and Steve, Paul & Sid arrive at Paddington
before realising their mistake. Cowley and Jackson (music promoters at the Cowbell
Agency) describe the SPOTS Tour. The train journey and dialogue are exactly the
same as the finished movie.
141 takes up over two pages of the script and is a very strange scene indeed.
Malcolm watches as Steve and Paul attend a cremation! Burnt into the side of the
coffin are the words; 'Lesson 9: Taking Civilisation to the Barbarians' (in the
finished version this is on Catwoman's T-Shirt). One of the wreaths reads; 'Never
Mind the Bollocks Tracey - From Steve and Paul' (in honour of Tracey O'Keefe).
Over this Malcolm talks about Warner Brothers and touring the swamps and badlands
of the USA.
And that night, January 6th in Atlanta, Georgia, the Sex Pistols played to the
whole world at the Great South Eastern Music Hall. It wasn't a rock 'n' roll party
but it could have been the Nuremberg Trials.
arrives at the aerodrome but Steve, Paul and Sid are closing in. The script jumps
between the four main characters. Malcolm answers the reporters questions. Sid,
on a motorbike, takes a corner too fast and crashes. Paul hitches a lift with
the Blowaves who beat him up in the back of the car which eventually crashes.
Steve goes to a flying club, knocks out the pilot and steals the plane. The pilot
recovers and throws Steve from the plane. He parachutes to the aerodrome singing;
'Here We Go Again' (described as a song of his own composition).
Scene 162 - Control Tower
Japanese Reporter: Mr McLaren, I think it's time
you told us exactly.... Who killed Bambi?
Malcolm: Who killed Bambi? Well...
At this instant,
Steve, still trailing his parachute, bursts in. He clamps his hand over Malcolm's
mouth to stop him speaking. A symphonic version of 'GSTQ' can be heard as the
camera moves back and upwards to see the entire aerodrome with its surrounding
countryside. Sid's crashed motorbike and Paul's hitched car lie broken at the
edge of the field... End credits roll up.
article doesn't detail all the differences, just the major ones. Some parts of
the script are described in great detail (in one scene Sid is described as wearing
a Bambi tie-pin) but weren't filmed (Sid isn't there when Steve and Paul see Malcolm
on London Bridge). Others are mentioned almost casually but we still haven't seen
by Gary Luney
Swindle cinema foyer display courtesy of Karl Backman
Save The Sex Pistols ©2006Phil Singleton / www.sex-pistols.net 2000
- 2007. All rights reserved.