Franc Roddam's 1979 film of the Who's rock opera aligns sociological observation and romantic fantasy to create an extravagant, involving teenpic with a responsible intellectual grounding. The dark, grimy visual style meets the Who's naive plotting straight on to create a kind of mythic realism stirring, archetypal situations clothed in pseudodocumentary grit. The hero, a jumpy young mod played with commanding intensity by Phil Daniels, achieves one moment of perfect bliss and then self-destructs, a motif straight out of 19th-century romantic fiction.
Director: Franc Roddam
Writer: Dave Humphries, Franc Roddam, Martin Stellman and Pete Townshend
Producer: Roy Baird, Bill Curbishley, Roger Daltrey, John Entwistle, Keith Moon, John Peverall, David Thomson and Pete Townshend
Cast: Phil Daniels, Mark Wingett, Philip Davis, Leslie Ash, Garry Cooper and Sting