Set in 1963, when rival image-cults among young Britishers led to a wave of crowd-fights in normally staid seaside resorts, the picture [based on the record album Quadrophenia by Pete Townshend] plots the plight of one pill-popping, fashion-mad 'Mod' who abandons himself completely to the gang-identity.

Set in 1963, when rival image-cults among young Britishers led to a wave of crowd-fights in normally staid seaside resorts, the picture [based on the record album Quadrophenia by Pete Townshend] plots the plight of one pill-popping, fashion-mad ‘Mod’ who abandons himself completely to the gang-identity.

After fighting the enemy ‘Rockers’ (denoted by black leather, motorbikes and beer) in a disorderly clash on Brighton beach, and being arrested for the cause, he swiftly discovers the hollowness of the whole image thing.

It’s a tribute to helmer Franc Roddam’s simple, restrained direction that the downbeat ending, when the jobless, exhausted kid is left in the advanced state of schizophrenia implied by the title, succeeds in being climactic.

Sting, as the weekend super-Mod whose image collapses when he’s revealed to work as a bellhop, cuts a slick dash in the dancehall sequences.

Quadrophenia

UK

Production

The Who. Director Franc Roddam; Producer Roy Baird, Bill Curbishley; Screenplay Dave Humphries, Martin Stellman, Franc Roddam; Camera Brian Tufano; Editor Mike Taylor; Music Pete Townshend; Art Director Simon Holland

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1979. Running time: 120 MIN.

With

Phil Daniels Mark Wingett Toyah Wilcox Sting Leslie Ash
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