Julien Temple: ‘Punk fans should thank Grace Kelly for Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle’

Filmmaker Julien Temple has late movie icon-turned-royal Grace Kelly to thank for the success of his Sex Pistols movie The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle, because the film came together after she urged Twentieth Century Fox executives to hand back the footage to the director and let him release it elsewhere. Temple tells Vice.com he picked up the film after Ken Loach, Stephen Frears and Russ Meyer had been attached to a Pistols project, but it only became a proper movie when bosses at Fox abandoned the idea of releasing it.
The director explains, “Russ Meyer did it (film) while I was his assistant, and then that all fell apart. Princess Grace of Monaco refused to let Twentieth Century Fox, of which she was on the board, make that film, so we were left with the film I’d shot over time and bits of stuff from television and so on.
“We made this kind of Godardian, 10-lessons-in-how-to-swindle-your-way-to-the-top-of-the-music-industry-type film. Me and (late Sex Pistols manager) Malcolm (McLaren) wrote and made it together.”
The cult classic was finally released by Virgin Films in 1980.