As a fictional film, Rude Boy fails miserably; as a document of Britain's punk era and of the Clash live, it's an unqualified success. In their story about a Clash roadie, filmmakers Jack Hazan and David Mingay try to create a white counterpoint to the Jamaican rude-boy phenomenon, but the real stars are the Clash's blistering performances, caught during their '78 "Clash on Patrol" and "Sort It Out" U.K. tours.
The DVD's extras are top-notch, including extended interviews with pseudo-roadie/ amateur actor Ray Gange (who turns out to be quite erudite), band manager Johnny Greene, and the filmmakers, who offer insight into behind-the-scenes infighting during the making of Rude Boy. Music extras include previously unavailable versions of "Clash City Rockers" and "Tommy Gun," from the BBC show Something Else, and performances of "English Civil War" and "White Riot" omitted from the film's final cut. But the highlights remain the same: the 100,000-strong pogo-pit during "London's Burning" at the "Rock Against Racism" outdoor benefit and the Clash's cover of Bobby Fuller's "I Fought the Law" at London's Lyceum, truly one of rock's transcendent moments. As Gange poignantly ends his interview, "Your blood would just pump 'round your body faster when the Clash were playing."