D.O.A.: A Rite of Passage (1981)

Forty years ago, the film D.O.A.: A Rite of Passage premiered. It chronicles the origins of Punk Rock. It has a lot of live performances. You need to watch this.

Title: D.O.A.: A Rite of Passage
Directed by: Lech Kowalski
Produced by: Tom Forcade, Lech Kowalski, Mike…
Written by: Lech Kowalski, Chris Salewicz
Starring: Sex Pistols, Generation X, The Rich Kids, Joe Strummer, Nancy Spungen
Music by: Sex Pistols
Edited by: Val Kuklowsky
Release date: April 10, 1981
Running time: 95 min.
Country: United States
Language: English

The film centers around the Sex Pistols 1978 tour of the United States which ended with the group breaking up. The tour was the only one the group played in the U.S. Film director Lech Kowalski followed them with handheld cameras through the clubs and bars of their seven-city Southern tour. Mixing this with footage of other contemporary bands, trends in the fashion capitals, and punks of all shapes and colors, Kowalski created a grainy, stained snapshot of a movement at its peak, showing how certain authority figures saw the movement as a threat.

It features interview footage (including the famous interview of Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen in bed), and behind the scenes shots from the tour as well as interviews with audience members who had strong and widely varied reactions to the group.

The majority of the material surrounds the Pistols tour as well but it also included other performances by first wave Punk acts such as The Dead Boys and Generation X with Billy Idol.

This indie film was shot mostly in bars and clubs on 16mm film, and documented early years of punk from both in front of and behind the stage.

The film’s poster is featured prominently in one scene of the 1981 film Neighbors. D.O.A. also featured in The Filth and the Fury, a 2000 rockumentary film about the Sex Pistols directed by Julien Temple, and in the 2002 television series Hollywood Rocks the Movies: The 1970s.

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