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Roger Ebert's Sex Pistols Saga

"One by one, each alone, we see the FOUR SEX PISTOLS walking along these mean London streets," Roger Ebert wrote in his just-released never-made 1977 screenplay for the Sex Pistols.

In CLOSEUPS, each one turns while still walking and addresses THE CAMERA.

STEVE JONES
We don't make music - we make noise.

PAUL COOK
We're so pretty vacant and we don't care.

SID VICIOUS
We like noise - it's our choice.

JOHNNY ROTTEN
We want to destroy the passer-by.

STEVE JONES
Passion ends in fashion.

PAUL COOK
We're the blank generation.

SID VICIOUS
We don't make rock and roll - we make chaos.

JOHNNY ROTTEN
Got a problem, and the problem is you. What you gonna do?

During these closeups, the beat of the TITLE SONG has been insistently ESTABLISHING itself beneath the dialogue. Now the VOCAL begins as we:

CUT TO:

TITLES

MUSIC:
The SEX PISTOLS singing "ANARCHY IN THE U.K."

Before the madness began, Ebert had never heard of the Sex Pistols.

From Ebert's account:

"I need you out here," Russ Meyer told me on the phone in 1977. It was 6 a.m. He could not conceive that I might still be asleep. "Have you ever heard of the Sex Pistols?"

"No," I said.

"They're a rock band from England. They got a lot of publicity for saying 'fuck' on TV. Now they have some money and want me to direct their movie."

"The Sex Pistols?" I said.

"Their manager is a guy named Malcolm McLaren. He called me from London. He said their singers were big fans of 'Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.' They go to see it every weekend they're in London. It's playing at the Electric Cinema on Portobello Road."

"Titled Who Killed Bambi? and planned as an incendiary punk answer to A Hard Day's Night, shooting on the 1978 movie was halted less than a week after it started when financing fell through, leaving film buffs and rock historians alike wondering what might have been," Scott Harris writes for Moviefone.

Frankly, it sounds like it would have been a disaster.

"I can't discuss what I wrote, why I wrote it, or what I should or shouldn't have written," Ebert writes. "Frankly, I have no idea."

-

Comments welcome.



Permalink

Posted on April 27, 2010


MUSIC - This Summer's Soundtrack Started Here.
TV - M*A*S*H Theme Song's Weird History.
POLITICS - SCOTUS Blesses Church + State.
SPORTS - Tip Your Cap To The Negro Leagues.

BOOKS - The Legacy Of Racism For Children.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - The Chagall Windows.


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