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If this is not one the greatest rock ‘n roll documentaries of all time, then it is certainly the best punk rock documentary of all time. And who better to deliver this raucous piece of in your face musical history than Julien Temple, the director of rock classics ABSOLUTE BEGINNERS with David Bowie and THE GREAT ROCK ‘N ROLL SWINDLE with The Sex Pistols?

CROCK OF GOLD is the story of Shane MacGowan, composer and lead singer of The Pogues, an Irish punk rock/folk band that took British music by storm. Using archival footage, newsreel items and original animation, the film clearly lays out the backdrop for Shane’s musical inspirations: a deep love of Irish music fully grounded in the political ‘troubles’ of the times. When MacGowan moved to London, he quickly felt drawn to the angry nihilistic punk scene that was going on at the time, but as The Pogues became more successful, MacGowan felt himself drifting away from his first love: Irish music.

The film features Johnny Depp, who serves as one of the producers of the film, interacting with the somewhat frail and still perpetually sodden MacGowan. Depp’s affection for creative outsiders remains unquestioned. You don’t have to be a fan of punk to thoroughly enjoy this roller coaster ride of a movie.

“A riotous piece of storytelling (…) executed in a full-tilt, hell-for-leather manner recalling the frenzy of the Pogues’ performances.” Jonathan Romney, Screen Daily

San Sebastian Film Festival (Winner: Special Jury Prize)
  • Year
  • Runtime
    124 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
    United Kingdom
  • Premiere
    Canadian Premiere
  • Rating
    Contains strong language, excessive drinking
  • Director
    Julien Temple
  • Screenwriter
    Julien Temple
  • Producer
    Johnny Depp, Stephen Deuters, Stephen Malit
  • Cast
    Shane MacGowan, Johnny Depp, Nick Cave