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Quadrophenia (1979)

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Jimmy loathes his job and parents. He seeks solace with his mod clique, scooter riding and drugs, only to be disappointed.

Director:

Franc Roddam

Writers:

Dave Humphries (screenplay), Martin Stellman (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Phil Daniels ... Jimmy
Leslie Ash ... Steph
Phil Davis ... Chalky (as Philip Davis)
Mark Wingett ... Dave
Sting ... Ace Face
Ray Winstone ... Kevin (as Raymond Winstone)
Garry Cooper ... Peter
Gary Shail Gary Shail ... Spider
Toyah Willcox ... Monkey
Trevor Laird Trevor Laird ... Ferdy
Kate Williams Kate Williams ... Mother
Michael Elphick ... Father
Kim Neve Kim Neve ... Yvonne
Benjamin Whitrow ... Mr. Fulford
Daniel Peacock ... Danny
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Storyline

London, 1965: Like many other youths, Jimmy hates the philistine life, especially his parents and his job in a company's mailing division. Only when he's together with his friends, a 'Mod' clique, cruising London on his motor-scooter and hearing music such as that of 'The Who' and 'The High Numbers', does he feel free and accepted. However, it's a flight into an illusionary world. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

We are the mods, we are the mods. We are, we are, we are the mods. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Music

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 November 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Er du gal, mand? See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

The Who Films, Polytel See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby (Dolby Stereo)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Phil Davis auditioned for Jimmy, but was cast as Chalky instead. See more »

Goofs

In the last scene where Jimmy is riding along the cliff top, the reflection of the camera and lighting car can be seen in the left hand 'bubble' of the scooter. See more »

Quotes

Peter: You'll be getting like them bloody beatniks before you know it. Ban the bomb and do fuck all for a living pouncing about all day.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Jeans By Levis See more »

Alternate Versions

About half a dozen scenes had been cut from the original German releases in a more or less random selection, shortening the movie by some 20 minutes. Newer versions seen on cable TV include these missing parts non-dubbed with German subtitles. See more »

Connections

References Nosutoradamusu no daiyogen (1974) See more »

Soundtracks

Hi-Heel Sneakers
Written by Tommy Tucker (aka Robert Higginbotham)
Performed by Cross Section
Published by The Who Group Limited
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Mad Mod
11 January 2013 | by LejinkSee all my reviews

I'm almost finished reading Pete Townshend's autobiography "Who I Am" and have been listening a lot to the Who's original double album of the same name so the time was right to finally watch the big-screen dramatisation of the record. I'm just a bit too young to remember anything about the vicious Mods v Rockers pitched battles at Brighton or the Mod lifestyle (I'm not sure just how far north it made it up to Scotland, it always seemed to me principally a London-based movement).

Nevertheless, the broader themes in the film of the generation gap between teenagers and their parents, the pain of rejection, youthful revolt against authority plus the less intellectual need for young kids to get drunk, drugged, violent and sexed up are universal and seemingly constant, which with the background of great 60's music, made for an engrossing and enjoyable if occasionally challenging watch.

This is Phil Daniels' Jimmy Fenton's worm's eye-view of life in the mid-60's, working in a dead-end job, out of touch with his parents and although on the face of it, there doesn't appear to be much to rebel against, sure enough, he loses his way and his mind as he suffers rejection from his employer, said parents, would-be girlfriend Leslie Ash and after seeing his Mod Hero '"ace-face" played by Sting, meekly conform to society mores carrying bags at a hotel, he gets pushed over the edge (literally). His only way out of the tormenting feelings he's experiencing for the first time sadly involves just a one-way ticket.

The film adopts a realistic, warts and all approach, with no let-up in the levels of bad language used, scenes of drug use (although it is "only" pill-popping "uppers" or "blues" as they're called in the film) and of course the centre-piece of the film, the recreation of the infamous Mods and Rockers "Battle Of Brighton" of 1965. There's some earthy humour though to leaven things, particularly when two Mods encounter in the dark a bunch of sleeping rockers, although one or two stray elements of sentimentality (Jimmy's heart-to- heart with his long-suffering dad, his friendship with an old pal turned rocker) slightly jar. Fan as I am, I could have also done without the too obvious genuflecting to the film's producers The Who (Jimmy putting on the "My Generation" single at a party, then gazing in awe at the band on "Ready Steady Go"), I guess he who pays the piper and all that.

Central to the movie is a superb performance by Daniels as Jimmy, his mood-swings oscillating violently as he takes or comes off his pills, wired to the moon as we say today. His energy and vividness set the tone for the whole film. Interestingly director Franc Roddam (later the creator of "Auf Weidersehn Pet" and, ...er "Masterchef" on TV), changes the ending and placement of songs from the album, but there's no denying the memorable climax to the piece.

In the end I was transported not only back into the era depicted, but more importantly into the head of "helpless dancer" Jimmy and would state that the movie well complements the great album The Who originally released, a rarity in "rock" movies.


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