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There are some films which once seen, stay with you forever. In my experience the films that touch me the most tend to be those I watched when I was younger and which also spoke to me about my youth. One such film was "Quadrophenia" which was released in 1979 when I was 15.
The film had an "X" certificate on release so going to see it involved putting on lots of make-up and hoping the cinema staff wouldn't ask for proof of age. It was one of those films you had to see when it came out as you knew it would be something everyone would be talking about at school the next day - so it was imperative you got past the box office staff at the cinema. If you didn't, a serious ribbing awaited you at school.
Either I did a fine job with my make-up or the box office staff had serious myopia that day because I got my ticket and saw a film which spoke to me a way few, if any, films had done before.
"Quadrophenia" is based on the 1973 album from the Who of the same name which was a rock opera. Rather than make the film a rock opera, the director Franc Roddam made it a scripted film with a clear narrative, relegating the music to a secondary role.
The film follows the story of lead protagonist Jimmy, who lives in London in 1964 with his parents and sister and is a proud mod. He has a steady, if boring, job in an advertising agency and has a huge crush on Steph, who is the girlfriend of one of his fellow mod friends, Pete.
Jimmy loves being a mod over almost everything else but following a weekend in Brighton in which he encounters a mod who is so cool he calls him Ace Face and then finds himself caught up in riots with the Mods arch enemies the Rockers he finds things are perhaps not so clear cut after all.
When I first saw "Quadrophenia" at the age of 15 I just loved it because it spoke the language of the teenager. What I didn't realise, and only picked up on when I watched the film again on DVD recently, was just how realistic the film is; from the terrible language to the fights and the general teen angst most of us endure at some point in adolescence.
Roddam's background before he made "Quadrophenia" was in TV documentaries and this is evident from the shooting style used in the film. The actors don't follow the camera as it captures them - instead Roddam has the camera follow them and this helps the audience connect with what they are doing or thinking. Some of the scenes are borne from improvisation too, which also adds to the sense of naturalism in the film.
Jimmy is played wonderfully by Phil Daniels and I must admit when I was 15 I had quite a crush on him. In some scenes he is actually reminiscent of a young Keith Moon (Moon died just a few weeks before filming began in 1978) in physical appearance. Daniels captures the confusion building up in Jimmy as he goes from a fairly happy go lucky person who views the word in the simplistic way of a child to someone growing and realising everything isn't black or white and seeing there are shades of grey.
Daniels was only 19 when the film was made and it's a tall order to ask someone so young to effectively carry a film but Daniels carries it off with aplomb. The film is Jimmy's story so Daniels appears in every scene. Daniels has almost become a stereotypical "gor blimey" style actor over the years and it's refreshing to see him at the start of his career just being an angst ridden teen.
Daniels of course has appeared in "EastEnders" and the film has a cast which features many actors who have also starred in the soap. John Altman, Michael Elphick, Kate Williams and Mark Wingett all feature. Elphick and Williams play Jimmy's parents and are histrionic in their disgust at their son's lifestyle - in particular his drug taking. Elphick is a little more subdued than Williams and as such is a little less convincing.
Wingett and Altman play fellow mod friends of Jimmy's and Wingett, who was only 16 when the film was made, is excellent as Dave, Jimmy's friend.
Of the other British actors who pepper the film, the always reliable Philip Davis convinces in the role of Jimmy's other pal Chalky. Davis veers from self deprecating and slapstick humour in some scenes to outright hostility and downright brutality in others. Ray Winstone appears in too few scenes as Jimmy's old school mate Kevin, who is a rocker but his character works very well as an analogy for being yourself and not following the crowd.
This is mostly a film featuring male youth but there are two main female characters. Steph is the object of Jimmy's affections and is played by Leslie Ash. Ash is decent enough and seems to relish playing a part where instead of being the female chasing the man, is able to sit back and have several men chase her. Less convincing is Toyah Wilcox as Monkey - she just comes across as too elfin like and not hard enough to be taking part in riots and fights.
I have to say at this point I was surprised to find myself feeling this way as I remember when I first saw "Quadrophenia" I thought Leslie Ash was a bit too girly for the part but watching it again you can see her happily sticking the boot in during the riots in Brighton and Ash captures quite vividly the sexual stimulation Steph feels from this violence. Her role is far more complex than how I originally remembered it, with Steph showing several traits usually attributed to men in films of the period.
There are appearances from other well known faces in the film, including a very young Timothy Spall, a blink and you'll miss it appearance from his "Auf Wiedersehn Pet" colleague Gary Holton, John Bindon predictably playing a gangster and of course Sting as "Ace Face". Sting does undoubtedly look good in the film but says very little. He is amusing in one scene where he speaks but watching the film back again over 30 years since I first watched it he almost looks like an SS officer with his leather coat and platinum blonde hair.
The soundtrack deserves a mention with the film not just featuring songs from the original album but also songs from the period including classics such as "Green Onions" by Booker T and the MGs and "Be My Baby" by the Ronettes. This adds greatly the authenticity of the film and capturing the era faithfully.
There are some anachronisms in the film which I didn't spot when I first watched the film in 1979. Back then I was unfamiliar with the locations but watching it again I realised much of the filming had taken place in Shepherds Bush and North Kensington, areas I know well from my time in London - never mind the fact my husband was from there.
There is a scene where Jimmy is riding his scooter with Steph on pillion down the Goldhawk Road in Shepherds Bush and you can clearly see the tower blocks which look out on to Shepherds Bush Green. These weren't actually there in 1964 - a fact I know because my husband used to live in one and didn't move into it until around 1970. Similarly Jimmy is seen boarding a train to go to Brighton at a station that I immediately recognised as Paddington - not Victoria where the real trains to Brighton depart from.
I must admit that spotting locations in west London was an additional bonus for me watching the film again after such a long time, right down to the scene where Jimmy's bike is hit by a Royal Mail van, shot in the Wormholt estate in East Acton and within spitting distance of where my husband's aunt lived for a while.
The scenes in Brighton are equally interesting but what struck me the most when watching them was how little has changed as the camera pans down the Lanes, with only long gone businesses really showing the passing of time.
The scenes towards the end of the film at Beachy Head are quite stunning and there's something quite jarring about the beautiful scenery and the strong sunshine juxtaposing with Jimmy's personal pain.
I have the 2 disc special edition DVD of "Quadrophenia" and the second disc contains a documentary entitled "A Way of Life - The Making of Quadrophenia" which lasts an hour and features interviews with Phil Daniels, Mark Wingett, Toyah Willcox, Philip Davis and Franc Roddam. The credits mention Leslie Ash but she doesn't actually appear.
The documentary lasts an hour and is narrated by Robert Elms and is fairly interesting. I have to say I found Roddam's recollections the most interesting and the documentary touches, in varying degrees of depth, everything from the clothes, the music, the locations and the swearing.
There is also a short featurette called "On Location with Franc" in which Roddam recalls some of the locations used when making the film and also recalls the difficulties he had in finding them before shooting began.
The featurette shows some of the locations as they are today, including the famous alleyway in Brighton where Jimmy and Steph have a knee trembler, and Shepherds Bush Market, which is the scene where Jimmy's friend Kevin gets beaten up by the Mods. Roddam is able to point out and laugh over the fact Kevin is a Rocker riding an incredibly powerful motorbike and in reality would easily see off the Mods on their scooters - or "hairdryers" as Roddam calls them.
The main film disc also has a feature commentary.
Perhaps because it was already set in the past when it was released in 1979, "Quadrophenia" has stood up very well. The realism is perhaps another reason why the film is still capable of speaking to you - and I actually think it would still bear relevance to people of most ages. However the film still has the modern day equivalent of an "X" rate, being littered with every possible swear word, along with full frontal male nudity (yes, you read that right ladies) and wanton violence. There's also some terms which refer to race which some may find offensive watching in 2011.
What did strike me was how stark the generation gap seems to have been in the early 1960s, but also how the tribalism of youth cultures linked to music seems to have diminished in more recent years. Being a Mod is a complete way of life to these youngsters but Jimmy discovers to his cost that there are very strict rules involved in being a Mod and failing to conform isn't an option.
"Conforming" is perhaps the one word which sums up "Quadrophenia" the best and how sometimes when you cannot conform to one person's expectations of you it needn't actually be a bad thing. In the end "Quadrophenia" tackles the thorny issues of teenagers experimenting with sex, drugs and rock n roll and seems to ask the thorny question for a teenager of whether or not you can stay young forever.
London, the 60s. Mods and Rockers are the ultimate enemies and spend most nights driving round on loud hairdryers (Mods) and big-ass metal monsters (Rockers). By this I mean the juxtaposition of two different forms of motorbike, namely the scooter and the Harley Davidson.
The films protagonist is Jimmy Cooper (Phil Daniels - one of those Brit actors who could have easily of cracked the American market but chose not to), who's disillusioned by his family and his rubbish job as a post-room boy for an advertising firm - a job he quite pretty quickly in the first half hour or so. His only solace comes in the form of his Mod friends, who like nothing more than drinking and taking 'blues'.
The conflicts arise in the form of one of his childhood friends being a Rocker and the love of his life Steph (Leslie Ash), who isn't very interested in them. Also, the big clash comes on a bank-holiday down Brighton Beach. The Mods and Rockers meet there for a massive ruckus in the sand, and Brighton also introduces the king of the Mods Ace Face (played by Sting, who's initials are written on his scooter, G S for Gordon Sumner).
The films is loosely based on the Rock Opera of the same name by The Who. The film is a homage to the life of the Mods and Rockers and shows the extremes a disenfranchised youth go to to get their kicks.
This film is okay and an icon of British Cinema, but not something to write home about. It's quite funny and the soundtrack has that old-school Who quality, but it does feel like a hashed film trying to play on their other successful Rock Opera, Tommy.
It's London in the 1960s, and Jimmy, with his miserable mailboy job and restrictive parents, is desperate to find a point to his life. He loves his scooter and his music - loving the whole Mod culture to which he is becoming addicted. He spends his nights out on the town, drinking and doing drugs, then struggles to get to work the next day. Then August Bank Holiday is on the horizon and there is a Mod and Rocker event due in Brighton. Jimmy and his friends decide to go to Brighton, where he finally gets together with the lovely Steph and becomes involved in a riot between the Mods and the Rockers. Will he manage to get home unscathed? And how will his experience affect the rest of his life?
Quadrophenia, the film, made in 1979, is based on The Who's rock opera album of the same name from 1973, and is partially written by Pete Townshend, the guitarist of The Who. Like the album, the film is based on the story of the real 'Second Battle of Hastings' riot in 1964, when the Mods and Rockers clashed, causing a 'moral panic' in which the media and much of middle-class Britain were horrified at the behaviour of their young people. [Anyone interested in finding out more should read the superb 'Folk Devils and Moral Panics' by Stanley Cohen - a truly fascinating, and suprisingly easy, read] Against this background, is set the story of Jimmy, growing up at a time when the days of rationing were far behind, but the promises of the future were not yet available to him.
The cast of this British film is made up of a long list of actors and actresses well-known in the UK today; so much so that I spent the first part of the film recognising faces and trying to place them. Phil Daniels (more recently of Eastenders fame) plays Jimmy, in what is a superb portrayal of youthful angst. Jimmy is a very angry young man; things aren't going the way he planned and he can't even get the girl he wants. Amazingly, because I've never really thought much of Daniels as an actor, he manages to carry the film virtually single-handedly, and most definitely gives a performance that I will remember for a long time. He starts off well, but ends even more strongly - there is no need for words to express the confusion he is feeling, it is written all over his face.
A very young Mark Wingett (The Bill and Eastenders) plays Jimmy's best friend Dave. He really looks the part of a Mod and, although the role is very secondary to that of Phil Daniels, his performance is also memorable - particularly for his violent outburst towards the end. There are a couple of other familiar faces from Eastenders - Kate Williams (who has recently played Libby's grandmother) is Jimmy's mother in this film, and does a marvellous job of being a vicious, screaming battle-axe. Then there is John Altman (Nick Cotton in Eastenders) who has a fairly minor role, but gets the chance of being remarkably gobby nevertheless!
Leslie Ash deserves a mention for her role as Steph - a very beautiful girl who proves to be not quite so beautiful on the inside. Ray Winstone plays an old schoolfriend of Jimmy's who happens to be a Rocker - he memorably manages to get beaten up twice, poor guy. Sting plays the head of the Mods, someone for whom Jimmy has a serious attack of hero worship. Other familiar faces include Michael Elphick, Toyah Willcox, Timothy Spall, Gary Holton and Phil Davis - with the exception of Elphick, who plays Jimmy's father, all look incredibly young, and all of them, without exception are spot on with their performances, however small the roles.
I found the backdrop to the story fascinating. Anyone who has studied criminology or sociology will have heard about this 'moral panic' that followed the riots between the Mods and the Rockers, and this was a fantastic opportunity to get a visual taste of what happened. Phil Daniels has apparently said that the acting during the riots was as realistic as it could get - he remembers punching and kicking the 'policemen' for all he was worth - and it really is completely convincing. I really appreciated the fact that the story is based on reality - it made it all the more entertaining and I enjoyed the reminder that rebellion wasn't invented by today's youth, even if they think it is!
Much of the setting is made up of various grubby bars and cafes where the Mods congregated. However, director Franc Roddam still took advantage of the beauty of the Brighton coast and surrounding areas. The opening shots of Jimmy wondering up towards the headland with the sunset in the background are really beautiful, and the ending, along the tops of some cliffs is equally eye-catching. I also loved shots of Jimmy down a Brighton alley, which comes to represent a happy memory for him. All very well done without being in the least bit pretentious. After all the anger and violence of the rest of the film, it is a real relief to have something restful to watch.
The music is truly superb. I am a big fan of The Who anyway, so it was a real treat to hear so much of their music. It doesn't overly dominate the film though; it really only comes to the fore when Jimmy is suffering. However, when it does, it matches Jimmy's actions and feelings perfectly - I had to keep reminding myself that it was the music that came first and the film was written for the music, rather than the other way around. There is a great selection of other music throughout the film, including James Brown, The Supremes, Manfred Mann and The Ronettes - it is rare that I notice soundtracks, but in this film it is very much part of the whole package.
This version of the DVD has just one special feature; a featurette, which consists of a series of stills and clips from the movie - set to The Who music. I was really disappointed by this - I thought that there would at least be a documentary about the riots. And the quality of the film is not brilliant, making it look older than it really is - there has obviously been little attempt to digitally remaster it. There is another version, which comes with a whole host of special features and has the digitally remastered version of the film. I think it is certainly worth looking out for the that - I still enjoyed the film, but would have preferred an enhanced copy.
I really don't have much to criticise with this film. It has a whole host of excellent British actors and actresses, and Phil Daniels gives a remarkable performance as an angst-ridden teen. It may not appeal to everyone though - it is quite depressing and certainly shows a side to life that some would prefer to avoid when it comes to entertainment. There is also a huge amount of swearing, drug-taking, violence and sex, so it thoroughly deserves the classification of 18. However, if you like The Who and don't mind the gritty topic, it is well worth a watch. Just make sure you get hold of the latest, and digitially enhanced, version of the DVD. Highly recommended.
This version of the DVD is available from play.com for £3.99. The special edition, complete with digitally enhanced film and extras, is available for £4.99.
Running time: 117 minutes
I'd heard about the film and watched bits of it over the years, but never actually sat down to watch the thing, other than to catch the bits of (what were probably in 1979) extreme violence that punctuate the film, particularly the beach-front riot between the Mods and the Rockers.
My film reviews have never focussed on the plot, so I'm not going to start here, other than to say that the story is told through the eyes of Jimmy (the main character) a hedonistic and style conscious teenager who has all the stereotypical teenage boy issues: a rubbish job, unsympathetic (in his eyes) parents and a yearning for (intimate) female company. Off he goes to the pleasureland of Brighton to drink, fight, wear strange clothes and find a girlfriend.
As for the cast, (a very youthful) Phil Daniels puts in an excellent performance as the lead character. Fine support is provided by Mark Wingett (Dave), Philip Davis (Chalkey) and Gary Shail (Spider) as Jimmy's mod mates. Add Michael Elphick and Kate Williams as Jimmy's downtrodden, uncomprehending (but loving and caring) parents and female interest in the form of and chat up birds like Steph Leslie Ash (Steph) and Toyah Wilcox and you have an excellent basis for I guess what we now describe as a 'Brit-flick.' The film also features Sting (Ace-Face), a character with which Jimmy becomes obsessed as the basis for making an escape from the (perceived) meaninglessness of his life: the fact that Ace-Face treats Jimmy so appallingly reflects the central messages of the film: youth, confusion, drugs and violence.
The rest of the film shows Jimmy's life falling apart: everyone can find someone to sleep with except him. He finds himslef in the firing line of Toyah Wilcox's character: a real man eater and manipulator. Such a vulnerable and impressionable young chap becomes so enveloped by the whole Mod way of life that it leads him down the path of self-destruction. your left not knowing if he's killed himself or gone off to live a life of indulgence in his oasis by the sea. Add a top soundtrack from Townsend and his friends and you get a top film.
As for directing and camera work, Franc Roddam does an excellent job. Of particular note is the beach-front Mods vs. Rockers fight scene: extremely well co-ordinated whilst maintaining a focus on the principal characters. Roddam also draws out excellent performances from the youthful members of the cast.
'We are the mods, we are the mods. We are, we are, we are the mods.'
Quadrophenia uses the music of the Who and their double album of the same name as its inspiration and as a testament to the times and the music of the 60's and the whole 'Mod' culture, it's unmissable. If you don't know much about the way 'Mods' and 'Rockers' used to interact with one another, then Quadrophenia is a good place to start. In fact, there hasn't been another movie about this particular group of people to my knowledge, so it's worth checking out for this fact alone.
Jimmy is a delivery boy, who uses his scooter to deliver parcels for an advertising firm, but at weekends he likes to race around with his 'mod' mates, start fights with enemy 'rockers' and get high on pills. His parents don't understands him, but he likes to feel he 'belongs' to this group of outsiders.
The movie ha s no real 'plot' to speak of, rather it shows the culture and the music of the times, but in an episodic fashion by showing parties, fights and young people getting high and sleep with each other.
As Jimmy, Phil Daniels is perfectly cast playing the downtrodden central 'Mod' character. Like all teenagers, he's misunderstood by his parents and wants to feel like he belongs to a certain group, rather like the punks and the chavs of recent times. The Mods wear parka jackets, Fred Perry polo shirts and drive Lambretta scooters. They hate the greasy 'Rockers'. This all culminates in a stand off and mass fight on the beach at Brighton, where plenty of deckchairs are smashed and people kicked repeatedly in the balls.
The 60's are well recreated, with some obvious anachronisms from the late 70's (when the film was made). The supporting cast are also very good. Leslie Ash, pre trout-pout, looks very innocent and young. Sting puts in a moody non-speaking cameo and the 'daddy' himself Ray Winstone is good as the returning army rocker who gets decked by Phil Daniels and co.
All in all its an entertaining ride which uses the music of The Who to great effect. I would have liked more music from Quadrophenia the album used in the film more though. The Real Me, Love Reign Over Me and 5:15 are so operatic and cinematic in themselves, I feel it was a wasted opportunity for them not to be used more. But then, the film was produced by The Who themselves - maybe they should have pushed it a bit more. There is quite a funny scene where Jimmy is watching the TV and his Dad comes in and berates The Who's performance on 'Ready. Steady, Go.'
I would recommend Quadrophenia for everybody who enjoys good music, a healthy interest in nostalgia and the '60's.
Quadrophenia' Special Edition is available from Play.com for £5.99 including postage.
All in all, this is a great film! Phil Daniels is made for the part of Jimmy and loads more good acting.It is quite realistic but the fighting between the Mods and Rockers is a bit over the top! Nice scooters are featured but it's not too suitible for young kids as it has a bit of sex, voilence and a lot of bad language. I recon the soundtrack is great so if you don't like the sound of the film, buy the soundtrack!
Franc Roddam's tale of teenage disaffection in the 1960s has recently enjoyed something of a renaissance, earning the critical acclaim it was unfairly denied upon release in 1979. It was re-released on DVD with a new subtitle, ‘A Way of Life’ in 1997, handily timed to coincide with an upsurge in interest in British cinema – I had heard of the film a few years ago, but never really knew what it was about. However, a quick look at the cast list reveals many stalwarts of British film and music from the past couple of decades: Ray Winstone, Phil Daniels, Toyah, Leslie Ash, Sting, Michael Elphick, and Mark Wingett (DC Carver from ‘The Bill’, you’ll recognise him as soon as you see him!). That alone was enough to recommend it, and I have to say that ‘Quadrophenia’ does not disappoint. It is the story of Jimmy (Phil Daniels), a youngster living in suburban hell somewhere in northwest London. He has a boring job, working as the postboy in some faceless corporation, and his home life seems scarcely more interesting – Mum and Dad are normally pictured slumped in front of the TV; while his sister sits in front of her tanning lamp until the early hours of the morning. To relieve the tedium, Jimmy meets up with his mates, and they compare anoraks and ride around on their scooters, all the while seeming to have a competition to see who can get the most mirrors attached to the windshield without making the whole vehicle completely unstable – yes, they are Mods! They pogo around the dance floor, listening to The Who (see how many subliminal adverts there are for The Who in the film, in the form of posters and LP covers – unsurprising, really, seeing as the film was based on their work) and popping a selection of pills, and the main focus of existence is getting down to Brighton for the weekend, when all the Mods will meet up and take over the town. However, Jimmy is not just focussed on
getting to Brighton, he is also intent on getting intimate with Steph, the object of his lusting affections – and so all the time and money that he does not spend on pills or on his scooter goes on trying to win her favour and get her away from her current boyfriend. Once in Brighton, every single Mod on the seafront wants to be regarded as a ‘face’, or to be seen with the Ace Face (Sting), and indeed the empty nature of this attempt at escapism is conveyed very well in the film. Jimmy maintains that all he wants is to be different, to somehow break out of his suited day job, but in the end, he just ends up dressing in the same clothes and riding the same scooter as everyone else. His rebellion has become just as conformist as the life he is trying to leave behind. Mods were sworn enemies of the Rockers, or ‘greasers’ as they are less than affectionately referred to, another group of similarly disaffected youths who listened to different music, wore all leather gear, and rode altogether bigger, noisier and dirtier bikes. Ray Winstone plays the role of Kev, a former schoolmate of Jimmy who returns from Army service in Aden, only to be revealed as a rocker, which presents an interesting problem – they are mates, but society dictates that there is no way they can be seen together. The dismal nature of Jimmy’s everyday life is conveyed very well, as is the helplessness of his parents to understand or deal with how he thinks – they are at a loss, driven to distraction by his constant late nights and poor timekeeping at work, and by what they perceive to be a lack of moral fibre. The sad thing is, they cannot understand why he needs to break out and get away to Brighton, no more than Jimmy can explain to his father just why he is so eager to get away. The scenes on Brighton beach capture the essence of the weekend perfectly – groups of disaffected youths milling about, looking for trouble a
nd shattering the seaside calm as they go on the rampage. They went to the south coast with some vague purpose, almost as rebels without any particular cause except to cause as much trouble as possible, and the film offers no platitudes, no trite explanations as to why things are like they are. It is left up to the viewers to interpret Jimmy’s increasingly erratic behaviour for themselves, and essentially you are a witness to one man’s departure from accepted social circles, and to his descent into confusion as everything that he holds dear is revealed to be false and without foundation.
Why should I care? A film full of hits from beginning to end. The average 'Jimmy' of every street is made centre stage in this film. It is a rollercoaster ride of emmotions from zero to hero back to zero. When Jimmy is in London he's a no-one, but when he meets up with his mates at Brighton he's a Mod. We are the mods, we are the mods, we are the we are the we are the mods. Brighton is a Mecca to Jimmy and his mates, when he returns home he realises he is alone. He gets kicked out of his home by his mum, he tells his boss to stick his office clerk job, he finds out his girlfriend is not his girlfriend, but rather his bestmates girlfriend now. Jimmy feels rather depressed so he does what any would do in the 60's gets drugged up and pissed off his head. He takes the 5:15 to Brighton and from then on we don't really know whether in the end Jimmy ends it all by taking his life or choosing to end his lifestyle.
?We are the mods, we are the mods, we are, we are, we are the mods!? What a brilliant film and what a brilliant portrayal of sixties youth culture. The film charts the adventures of Jimmy, a mod, and his pill popping, scooter riding mates. With appearances from Phil Daniels, Leslie Ash and Sting, no less, this has to be one of the coolest youth films ever made. The soundtrack is written by the Who and is absolutely superb. Tracks like ?the real me? and ?doctor jimmy? being highlights. The best part of the film has to be the trip down to Brighton where the mods take on the rockers in a big beach fight. The film can be a bit slow in parts but is definitely worth watching if you want to learn about what it was like being a teenager in the sixties.
This movie made in 1979 stars Phil Daniels, Mark Wignett,Leslie Ash, Sting and the legendery Toyah Wilcox. London 1964 is the set year and the war between Mods and Rockers is raging. Jimmy (Phil Daniels) is the main charecter from London with not much of a caring attitude or family, Takes drugs on a nightly basis.Two rival youth cults emerge, the Mods and the rockers, with explosive consequences. For Jimmy and his sharp suited pill - popping scooter riding mates, being a Mod is a way of life. Together they head off to Brighton for an orgy of drugs, thrills and violent confrontation against the rockers. Will Jimmy emerge a hero or will he be dissoluioned by his way of life?. "I don't wanna be like everybody else - thats why I'm a mod - see?" Directed and made by the Who, they put together a fantastic Rock-Opera. This film is an 18 and only really contains strong language and some strong violence. Approx running time is around 1hr and 15mins. FANTASTIC FILM.
Franc Roddam's terrifically energetic movie, set to music from the Who's Quadrophenia, is--at the very least, the best film ever based on a rock album (and, yes, that includes Tommy, Pink Floyd: The Wall, and Jesus Christ Superstar). Actually, this tale of the battle between two early 1960s youth subcultures--Mods and Rockers--in the seaside teenage wasteland of Brighton, isn't so much a cinematic "version" of the Who's 1979 double-record rock opera as it is a story based on the sequence of songs on the album. Quadrophenia is about that crucial time in teenhood when the lion's share of your sense of identity is tied up in the music you listen to, the clothes you wear, and the groups you hang out with. Jimmy (Phil Daniels) identifies himself with the sharp-dressing, scooter-riding Mods, who listen to American soul and British pop-rock. The Rockers, on the other hand, are leather-jacketed, black-booted, motorcycle-riding tough guys who listen primarily to classic American rock & roll. The film captures this minor pop-culture revolution perfectly. Look for Sting as a club-hopping slickster, who's shameful secret is that he's a hotel bellboy by day. --Jim Emerson