Classic of the Week: Sid and Nancy (1986)

Sid and Nancy is a 1986 British biopic directed by Alex Cox. The film portrays the life of Sid Vicious (Gary Oldman), bassist of the British punk rock band The Sex Pistols and his relationship with his girlfriend Nancy Spungen (Chloe Webb). 

The film starts off on October 12, 1978 with police officers dragging Sid Vicious away from the Hotel Chelsea following the death of his girlfriend Nancy Spungen. Sid is driven to a police station and is asked to describe what happened. The police get angry when Sid is unable to talk. 

A year earlier Sid and band members Johnny Rotten (Andrew Schofield) meet Nancy, a heroin addicted groupie that had traveled to London to try to sleep with the band. Sid rejects her at first, but begins dating her, after rejections from other punk musicians and after she sells him heroin. The two fall in love, but their drug ridden and violent relationship ruins Sid’s relationship with the band, which end up breaking up in January 1978 in the middle of an American tour. 

Sid moves to New York and attempts a solo career with Nancy as his manager. Both are now extremely addicted to heroin and Nancy has become deeply depressed. Sid becomes uninterested sexually in Nancy and wants out of a suicide pact he mad with her. Their relationship ends when Sid tells Nancy during an argument that he’s going to stop using heroin and move back to England to restart his life. Nancy begs him to kill her.  She attacks him, leading him to stab her. They fall asleep and Nancy awakes, stumbles into the bathroom and falls and dies. 

This film, like most biopics, may not be the most accurate telling of this story, but it is still an extremely well done film. The acting is superb, the costuming is fantastic and the music fits perfectly. This one of the most famous tragedies in music history and this film tells it, maybe not exactly true, but very closely. The characters are realistic. Sid and Nancy look like almost identical to the real people.

Gary Oldman does an outstanding job as Sid Vicious and Chloe Webb is great as Nancy Spungen. They have the voices, looks and mannerisms down nearly perfectly. This is definitely one of the best biographical films ever. Not one moment in this film is boring, because you learn so much about this infamouse story. This film says it all: two drug addicted people, one a punk rocker, the other a schizophrenic groupie, whose horribly tragic lives are cut far too short. One of the most disturbing and depressing movies I’ve ever seen, but that it how it is supposed to be. This is an outstanding pic that is sure to shock and disturb anyone watching it from beginning to end. Adults only. 4/5 

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