September 26, 2020

1980-02-23 – The Indianapolis News

1980 02 23 The_Indianapolis_News_Sat__Feb_23__1980_

lP'hil Daniels in ’Quodroohenia'
Townshend Aims
For World Acclaim

rophenia" came first. In fact. “Fever"

By BART MILLS
Special Comundeu

LONDON — Don't call Pete Town-
slwndoftheWho‘saquitter.

His “Quadrophenia” double album
did poorly in 1973. Now, against all
expectations. ”Quadrophenia" has been
made into a movie, the first all-English
picture in years with the potential for
wide international appeal.

But its very E ishnees makes it
' risky. Why did the '3 record compa-
ny. Polydor of Germany,. put up $3
million to film a property that North
American audiences hissed off the stage
five years ago?

“Qua nia" is about the Mods
in Englan , circa 1963. They wore
smooth suits and rode motorscooters.
They fought the Rockers, who wore
leather and rode motorcycles.

“I've always seen it as the most
easily transferred of all Who work into
film " says Tomhend. “A piece of
cake."

The most ambitious bf rock songwri-
ters. Townshend conceived “Quad-
rophenia" as “the d'utillation of all the
problems of adolescence." Townshend
adds with his customary self-moeking
smile, “I’ve always regarded it u my
definitive statement."

”The film isn‘t a muted. It doesn‘t
star Roger Daltrey. lt doesn't bear the
slightest resemblance to "Tommy: "
says the director, Franc Roddam. The
music in the film. both from the Who
and other bands of the era “only

supports the narrative " he says

Ken Russell, who directed the Who' 5
“'Ibmmy" and wanted to direct “Quad-

rophenia." was re] 'ected as “totally
wrong" by coprodtice'r

“Tommy" grossed $40_ million
worldwide. but no one is that
kind of success outside Britain for
”Quadrophenia." However, stneeq'to
opening in london in August, the film

has turned into one of the year' 3 major
do “mgsn
nh" is a violem. realist-
ie dep ictton of a specific youth culture.
. It's itain' s anawer to “May
th Fever. " Actually. “Quad-

was based on material its English au-

'thorNikCohnhastracedbacktothe

Mods.

The difference is that “Quad-
rophenia” focuses on an everyday lad,
and the flashy dancer in the film 1‘s a
minorcharacterwlnturnsouttobea
fraud. The ending of “Quadrophenia” is
by no means the happy-ever-after con-
clusion of “Saturday Night Fever."

The hero of “Qtiadroghenia,f' Jinh
my, feels that “me follm had let me
down; rock had let me down; women
had let me down; work wasn't worth
the effort; school isn’t even worth men-
tioning."

Jimmy pops some pills and goes off
to Brighton. the Alantic City of Eng-
land. He fights the Rockers and in the
end feels let down even by the Mods.
“Schizophrenic! What a laugh. It must
be all right to be plain ordinary mad

.l’m bleeding quadrophenic. "

The Who is aiming high with this
picture. Just as the Monty Py thon
crowd are reviving the old Ealing
Studios comedy cran‘ness. the Who is
trying to recreate the social realism of
early '603 British films like “Billy
Liar." -

In fact, it's “Billy Liar" himself.
weedy little Tom Courtenay, that audi-
ences will be reminded of when they see
“Quadrophenia.” here Phil Daniels.
Daniels. who sports an authentic North

london accent, has been a professional ,

eight years.

As director Roddam says. “I cast
Phil Daniels for identity. He and the
other kids in the film are playing
themselves " By casting very young.

mary-looking actors asop posed to
older Travolta-like actors opRoddam
aimed at a semi-documentary realism.

The Who at first thought small.
aiming for a one-hour TV special. “But
the networks were tetchy," says
Tomhend. “andtheenergy fizzled out
[n 1973 the Who didn‘t have the credibil-
invehavenow. Butinthelasttwo
years the film moguls have realized
that music-based pictures can sell as

wellasreeords“
‘91”,BartMllls

out '3 Mme: Mommas 'SMIN snoevnuam nu