The Who’s classic rock opera Quadrophenia was the basis for this invigorating coming-of-age movie and depiction of the defiant, drug-fueled London of the early 1960s. Our antihero, Jimmy (Phil Daniels), is a teenager dissatisfied with family, work, and love, who identifies with the fashionable, pill-popping, scooter-driving mods, a group whose opposition to the motorcycle-riding rockers leads to a climactic riot in Brighton. Director Franc Roddam’s rough-edged film is a quintessential chronicle of youthful rebellion and turmoil, with Pete Townshend’s brilliant songs (including “I’ve Had Enough,” “5:15,” and “Love, Reign O’er Me”) providing emotional support, and featuring Sting and Ray Winstone in early roles. –The Criterion Collection
Francis George “Franc” Roddam (born 29 April 1946) is an English film director, businessman, screenwriter, television producer and publisher. He is married to photographer Leila Ansari and has six children from previous marriages. He currently lives in London.
Roddam’s films include “Quadrophenia”, “K2”, “Aria”, “Lords of Discipline” and “War Party”. He created the worldwide TV phenomenon, “Masterchef”, which is shown in 150 countries worldwide, and there are 20 locally-produced versions. He also produced formats for “Auf Wiedersehen, Pet”, “Making Out”, and “Harry”, all of which were highly successful TV dramas. He directed the award-winning TV drama “Dummy”, which won the prestigious Prix Italia Drama Prize. He directed the Grammy-nominated/Golden Globe nominated US mini-series Moby Dick and Cleopatra. He won awards for his BBC documentaries, “Mini” and “The Family”. He is the founder and Chairman of Ziji Publishing, whose many titles include The Last Templar which sold over… read more
Serendipity must have been in the air when Roddam adapted The Who's concept album; a Mod revival was in full swing in Britain at the time so the film's release achieved success in this slipstream. Pumped high with adrenalin, there is real pleasure in the details of the rituals of being a Mod: the scooters, the clothes, the pills etc. The music is wonderful too. In fact, I can safely say I was over the Moon with it..
"No, Kev, that's it. Look, I don't wanna be the same as everybody else. That's why I'm a Mod, see? I mean, you gotta be somebody, ain't ya, or you might as well jump in the sea and drown." -Jimmy
Perhaps someday someone will direct an adaption that is true to The Who's album, instead of a bastardization, but Roddam's Quadrophenia found a special place in my heart a long time ago, and that shows no signs of changing anytime soon. Having said that, I do wonder how well the actual story of the album could translate to the cinema. The soundtrack is ace, though.