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The Punk Rock Movie [DVD]

Don Letts    Exempt   DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
Price: £12.81 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

The Punk Rock Movie [DVD] + The Filth And The Fury - A Sex Pistols Film [DVD] + Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten [DVD]
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Product details

  • Directors: Don Letts
  • Format: PAL
  • Subtitles: None
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Fremantle Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 30 Jun 2008
  • Run Time: 118 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0017T1NTU
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 60,427 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Classic documentary about the British punk rock explosion, centred around the famous Roxy Club. Directed by Don Letts, the documentary captures some of the seminal punk bands and musicians in performance and on tour, including the Sex Pistols, the Clash, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Alternative TV, and Generation X.

Product Description

United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 0 DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Dolby Digital 5.1 ), English ( Dolby Digital Stereo ), WIDESCREEN (1.78:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Cast/Crew Interview(s), Commentary, Interactive Menu, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: Musician and filmmaker Don Letts made this Super 8 documentary of the London punk rock scene in 1977. Shot mostly at the Roxy, a short-lived punk club that hosted every important rock band in the neighborhood, The Punk Rock Movie captures an exciting moment in the development of some artists that are still imitated and adulated today. While the Sex Pistols and the Clash are likely to be the most familiar names in attendance, The Punk Rock Movie spends plenty of time on some legendary acts that never licked the same brass ring. Fans of the under-documented Johnny Thunders will want to see the footage of the Heartbreakers live on tour in England. Siouxsie & the Banshees, X-Ray Spex, and Eater are other notable rockers who are seen in rare early performances. Backstage revelry and tour bus boredom is preserved as well, with the dark side represented by unflinching scenes of drugs and self-abuse. Most of the film is live, loud, breakneck rock, featuring some energetic footage of the Sex Pistols at the height of their hype and the Clash set for stun and gathering its army. ...The Punk Rock Movie (1978) ( The Punk Rock Movie from England )

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Why Don't You Shoot Me? 15 Jan 2012
By Rooksby
The Punk Rock Movie is, inarguably, pivotal film, & features some TERRIFIC performance footage (The Slits, Subway Sect & Siouxsie are my person favourites). However, as a couple of people have already pointed out, the picture & sound quality of this latest DVD edition is absolutely shocking. Admittedly, Don Letts only had access to the cheapest equipment available at the time - & allegedly spliced the final cut together using Sellotape! - but this reissue is beyond primitive. Various excerpts from the film have been uploaded to Youtube, & are of a far superior quality to anything on this retail disc, can somebody explain why? Talk about a missed opportunity... AVOID.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don Lett's Punk Rock Movie - 30 years on 15 Nov 2008
By Martin Percival VINE VOICE
Until about a year ago I hadn't watched this film since about 1983. It seemed an artifact then. Now, nearly 25 years later and 30 years on since much of it was shot by Don Letts on Super 8, it really is from another era. However the film holds up surprisingly well and it's worth seeking out a copy if you're interested in not only the music but also the whole impact on life for many people of the 1977 punk explosion.

Don "The Screaming Target" Letts and Peter Clifton, the film's Australian producer, shot the bulk of the footage in 1977. Subsequently Letts was a founder member of the trail blazing but little heard Basement 5 in 1978 and the way more commercially successful Big Audio Dynamite with Mick Jones, formerly of the Clash, in 1984. He's since made a great many promo videos and a number of films, including the excellent 2005 documentary "Punk:Attitude" which does use some material originally featured in "Punk Rock Movie".

The story behind the film is that in 1976 Letts was managing the clothing shop "Acme Attractions", a King's Road rival to McClaren and Westwood's "Sex". The shop's accountant, Andy Czechowski, decided to open a punk music venue as much of the usual regular touring circuit was banning punk bands at the time after the fury stirred up by the Sex Pistols appearance on the Bill Grundy tv show in December 1976. Czechowski asked Don to djay at the club, the Roxy. Hardly any punk music was yet available on vinyl so Letts played some older releases by the likes of the New York Dolls, Stooges and MC5 plus his favourite reggae records. The result was that many punks were turned onto reggae (the mix CD released in 2001 "Dread Meets Punk Rockers Uptown" replicates a typical Letts set at the Roxy circa 1977).
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars For historical interest and still fascinating 18 Aug 2008
Don Letts' films are among only a handful that were shot at the beginning of the punk movement in London, Wolgang Buld being the only other known cameraman taking a real interest in the scene. The footage is historically acurate, that is to say someone who went to the clubs and shot it as it happened with nothing 'staged' nor interviews vetted, and as such provides a valuable and insightful view of the period. You wouldnt rate any of the young people here as potential 'celebs' or worthies and yet there is genuine feel that something is happening and an urgency to the proceedings that you can see is being eroded even as the footage is shot. The camera is a handheld 8mm thing, cheap and available, the equivalent today would be perhaps something shot on a mobile phone and posted on youtube. Despite the obvious technical flaws and the rough and ready editing this remains an essential film for anyone interested in the period, today's punk rock 'stars' (Punkers if you like) have nothing on the genuine article.
Now the real problem with this DVD is in the mastering, I saw the film at the cinema in the mid 80's and it looked about 100 times better than this. I picked up my DVD recently in Spain but I guess its the same transfer. The owner of the footage (doesnt seem to be Don Letts anymore) explains the transfer process that he adopted in the technical notes. He says he projected the film (which is 16 frames per second) onto a screen and digitally captured it in PAL using a video camera, (PAL being 25 frames per second), and this he says is the 'solution to the problem'. Unfortunately as anyone can see when viewing the DVD this results in a flickery, fuzzy, washed-out picture with muffled sound.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars old VHS copies were better quality! 25 Jun 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
what a let down. Peter Clifton has ruined this historically important film with his incompetent attempts at "remastering"
the sound on the old VHS copies was perfectly acceptable but he's smothered it in digital noise reduction and now the whole film has that horrible hollow metallic ringing sound throughout.
bootleg copies of the old VHS are superior to this garbage!

The DVD commentary is utterly worthless, Peter Clifton can't accurately remember anything from the Punk Era, in fact it sounds like he can't even remember how to string a sentence together.
theres so many mistakes i gave up on the commentary

he can't even be bothered to correctly title/credit the songs in the movie on the end credits

pass this by until someone does a proper job.
in the meantime i recommend DOA which has been issued on DVD in japan. copies seem to be available in the UK via Ebay and Amazon
that film features excellent colour footage and the dvd producers wisely opted to leave the original audio untouched
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