[Updated: May 15,1999]


Quadrophenia (1979) is the first of two films in which Sting works with director Franc Roddam (The Bride also). Based on The Who’s 1973 album of the same name, and exuding the same youthful defiance as the band’s My Generation days, Quadrophenia is set in mid-60s England and chronicles the violent rivalry between the "Mods" and the "Rockers" (a pair of antagonistic gangs of young working-class Brits) as seen through the eyes of a disaffected Mod named Jimmy (Phil Daniels). Set against a backdrop of Who anthems, the film follows Jimmy’s struggle to find the status, identity, and glamour for which he yearns, and which he seems to find for a few fleeting moments at an adrenalizing Mod/Rocker weekend clash in the English resort town of Brighton.

Jimmy is especially seduced by a charismatic Mod leader known as Ace, played by Sting in his early-Police days. A largely non-speaking part, Ace is all attitude and posturing, his alluring presence drawn from the sneering faux-punk arrogance of the day. Although his screen time is limited, he nevertheless plays a pivotal role in Jimmy’s growing self-knowledge. In a climactic scene in which Jimmy learns that Ace’s sneer is merely veneer, he comes to the film’s helpless conclusion: that it is his working-class status, and not his working-class rivals, that truly impedes his empowerment.


World Northal (UK)



120 minutes

Directed by: Franc Roddam

Produced by: Roy Baird

Bill Curbishley

Written by: Dave Humphries

Franc Roddam

Martin Stellman

Based on the album Quadrophenia by Peter Townshend (The Who)



Jimmy Phil Daniels
Steph Leslie Ash
Chalky Philip Davis
Dave Mark Wingett
Ace Sting
Kevin Raymond Winstone
Pete Garry Cooper
Spider Gary Shail
Monkey Toyah Willcox
Ferdy Trevor Laird
Jimmy's mother Kate Williams
Jimmy's father Michael Elphick
Yvonne Kim Neve
Magistrate John Phillips


Cinematography Brian Tufano
Editing Sean Barton
Editing Mike Taylor
Music John Entwistle
Music Peter Townshend
Production Design Simon Holland

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