Quadrophenia

  • Who Films / World Northal, 1979, Color, 114 minutes
  • USA release November, 1979

The English seaside resort of Brighton in the early 1960s is the setting for a showdown between rival teen factions–the sharp-suited, scooter-riding Mods and the leather-clad Rockers–in this cult fave drama filled with vintage rock oldies and Who songs from the concept album that inspired it. Starring Phil Daniels, Mark Wingett, Leslie Ash and Sting as Ace Face.

Quadrophenia isn’t really a musical at all. It is included on Class Act because of the amount of music on the soundtrack (lots!) and because the film is based on the concept album of the same name released by The Who in 1973. Excerpts from the concept album are used on the film soundtrack as well as other big hits of the mid-1960s. The album and the film triggered a major following with Who concert tours, fan clubs and memorabilia.

The film is a sort of coming-of-age drama revolving around Jimmy Cooper, a young man in London during the mid-1960s. He is caught up in the “counter culture” generation – a drug user, party-hound, a member of the “Mods” motorscooter-borne club whose arch-enemies are the Rockers — black leather jackets and Harleys. There is parent trouble, girl trouble, boss trouble, fights with the Rockers, a rumble at Brighton… Life is just too much trouble!

The only music performed on-screen is a glimpse of Cross Section singing “Hi-Heel Sneakers” (an old funk standard) and some footage of a Who concert on the classic TV show, “Ready, Steady, Go!” It is an interesting film and entertaining, if somewhat tragic. But it does give a far more realistic view of the era than most movies made two or three decades later, and employs some real rock classics on the soundtrack.

Details

  • Producers: Roy Baird and Bill Curbishley
  • Executive Producers: The Who (David Gideon Thomson, Peter Townshend, Roger Daltrey, John Entwistle and Keith Moon)
  • Associate Producer: John Peverall
  • Director: Franc Roddam
  • Screenplay: Pete Townshend, Dave Humphries, Franc Roddam and Martin Stellman
  • Music Directors: John Entwistle and Pete Townshend
  • Musical Score: The Who
  • Song Score: The Who
  • Choreography: Gillian Gregory
  • Production Design: Simon Holland
  • Set Decoration: Ken Wheatley
  • Special Effects: Steve Hamilton
  • Cinematography: Brian Tufano
  • Film Editing: Sean Barton, Mike Taylor

Cast

  • Phil Daniels [Jimmy Michael Cooper]
  • Mark Wingett [Dave]
  • Philip Davis [Chalky]
  • Leslie Ash [Steph]
  • Garry Cooper [Pete]
  • Toyah Wilcox [Monkey]
  • Sting [The Ace Face]
  • Trevor Laird [Ferdy]
  • Gary Shail [Spider]
  • Kate Williams [Mrs. Cooper]
  • Michael Elphick [Mr. Cooper]
  • Ray Winstone [Kevin]
  • Kim Neve [Yvonne]
  • Benjamin Whitrow [Mr. Fulford]
  • Daniel Peacock [Danny]
  • Jeremy Child [Aganey Man]
  • John Phillips [Magistrate]
  • Timothy Spall [Projectionist]
  • Olivier Pierre [Tailor]
  • George Innes [Cafe Owner]
  • John Bindon [Harry]
  • P. H. Moriarty [Barman at Villain Club]
  • Hugh Lloyd [Mr. Cale]

Musical Program

  • [0:00] Vocal overture medley of songs from the soundtrack (sung by The Who behind titles)
  • [0:02] The Real Me (background number performed by The Who)
  • [0:04] Hi-Heel Sneakers (played and sung on-screen by Cross Section, danced by kids)
  • [0:08] Zoot Suit (background number performed by High Numbers)
  • [0:14] Be My Baby (sung by The Ronettes on record player, danced by kids at party)
  • [0:16] Rhythm of the Rain (sung by The Cascades on record player, danced by kids at party)
  • [0:17] My Generation (performed by The Who on record player, danced by kids at party)
  • [0:21] I’m One (At Least) (background number performed by The Who)
  • [0:33] Da Doo Ron Ron (sung by The Crystals on record player, danced by kids at party)
  • [0:53] Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere (performed by The Who on the TV show “Ready, Steady, Go!”)
  • [0:57] Get Out and Stay Out (background number performed by The Who)
  • [1:00] Green Onions (played by Booker T. & the MG’s on record player, danced by kids at disco)
  • [1:02] Louie Louie (sung by The Kingsmen on record player, danced by kids at disco)
  • [1:05] Wah Watusi (sung by The Orlons on record player, danced by kids at disco)
  • [1:23] Is It in My Head (background number performed by The Who)
  • [1:31] He’s So Fine (short excerpt in background, The Chiffons)
  • [1:39] 5:15 (background music performed by The Who)
  • [1:43] Love Reign O’er Me (Pete’s Theme) (background music performed by The Who)
  • [1:46] Bell Boy (Keith’s Theme) (background music performed by The Who)
  • [1:48] I’ve Had Enough (background music performed by The Who)
  • [1:52] Dr. Jimmy (background music performed by The Who behind end credits)

NOTE: The Who changed their name to “High Numbers” in 1964, but changed it back again by 1965.