Quadrophenia is a 1979 British film, loosely based on the 1973 rock opera of the same name by The Who. The film stars Phil Daniels as Jimmy, a Mod. It was directed by Franc Roddam in his feature directing début. Unlike the film adaptation of Tommy, Quadrophenia is not a musical film.
It is 1965, and London Mod Jimmy Cooper (Phil Daniels), disillusioned by his parents and a job as a post-room boy at an advertising firm, finds an outlet for his teenage angst with his Mod friends Dave (Mark Wingett), Chalky (Philip Davis) and Spider (Gary Shail). One of the Mods' rivals, the Rockers, is in fact Jimmy's childhood friend, Kevin (Ray Winstone). An assault by aggressive Rockers on Spider leads to a serious unprovoked attack on Kevin during which Jimmy does not help his friend and joins in on the assault.
A bank holiday weekend provides an excuse for the rivalry between the Mods and Rockers to come to a head, as they both descend upon the seaside town of Brighton. A series of running battles ensues. As the police close in on the rioters, Jimmy escapes down an alleyway with Steph (Leslie Ash) — a girl on whom he has a crush — to have sex. When the pair emerge, they find themselves in the middle of the melee just as police are detaining rioters. Jimmy is arrested, detained with a violent, leading Mod he calls 'Ace Face' (played by Sting), and later fined the then-large sum of £50. When fined £75, Ace Face mocks the magistrate to the amusement of fellow Mods.
Back in London, Jimmy becomes increasingly depressed. He is thrown out of his house by his mother, who finds his stash of amphetamine pills. He then quits his job, spends his severance package on more pills, and finds out that Steph has become the girlfriend of his friend Dave. After a brief fight with Dave, the following morning his rejection is confirmed by Steph and with his beloved Lambretta scooter accidentally destroyed, Jimmy takes a train back to Brighton. In an attempt to relive the recent excitement, he revisits the scenes of the riots and of his encounter with Steph, but then, to his horror, discovers that his idol, Ace Face, is in reality a lowly bellboy at a Brighton hotel. Jimmy steals Ace's scooter and heads out to Beachy Head, crashing the scooter over a cliff, which is where the film begins with Jimmy walking back from the cliff top in the sunset back drop.
- Phil Daniels as Jimmy Cooper
- Leslie Ash as Steph
- Philip Davis as Chalky
- Mark Wingett as Dave
- Sting as Ace Face
- Ray Winstone as Kevin Herriot
- Gary Shail as Spider
- Garry Cooper as Peter Fenton, Steph's boyfriend
- Toyah Willcox as Monkey
- Joe Thurley as Scooter Boy
- Trevor Laird as Ferdy
- Andy Sayce as Kenny
- Kate Williams as Mrs Cooper, Jimmy's mother
- Michael Elphick as Mr George Cooper, Jimmy's father
- Kim Neve as Yvonne Cooper, Jimmy's sister
- Benjamin Whitrow as Mr. Fulford, Jimmy's employer
- Daniel Peacock as Danny
- Jeremy Child as Agency Man
- John Phillips as Magistrate
- Timothy Spall as Harry the Projectionist
- Patrick Murray as Des the projectionist assistant
- George Innes as Cafe Owner
- John Bindon as Harry North, gangster
- P. H. Moriarty as Barman at Villain Club
- Hugh Lloyd as Mr. Cale
- Gary Holton as aggressive Rocker 1
- John Altman as Johnny 'John the Mod' Fagin
- Jesse Birdsall as aggressive Rocker 2
- Oliver Pierre as Jimmy and Danny's tailor
- Julian Firth as drugged-up Mod
- Simon Gipps-Kent as party host
- Mickey Royce as Ken 'Jonesy' Jones
- James Lombard as Nicky
Ray Winstone, Phil Daniels, P. H. Moriarty and Julian Firth all appeared in the film Scum immediately after filming Quadrophenia.
Michael Elphick played an ageing Rocker in 1980s TV series Boon.
Most of the cast were reunited after 28 years at Earls Court on 1 and 2 September 2007 as part of The Quadrophenia Reunion at the London Film & Comic Con run by Quadcon.co.uk. Subsequently the cast agreed to be part of a Quadrophenia Convention at Brighton in 2009.