The Frida Cinema

Orange County's Year-Round Film Festival

Quadrophenia (40th Anniversary)

Celebrate the 40th anniversary of the 1979 film inspired by The Who’s landmark rock opera of the same name and featuring some of composer Pete Townshend’s most acclaimed music.

QUADROPHENIA is set against the backdrop of Brighton, England, in the mid ’60s, where two competing gangs, the scooter-driving Mods and leather-clad Rockers, clash for control of the beaches and juke joints.  Jimmy Cooper (Phil Daniels) is a rude boy struggling against Britain’s ultra rigid class-and-education system, with support from his friends and fellow Mods, Dave (Mark Wingett), Chalky (Philip Davis), and Spider (Gary Shail). Together, they spend their days riding on motor scooters, listening to music, and getting into fights with rival a Rocker gang. One day, Jimmy gets arrested and discovers his Mod idol, Ace Face (Sting), is actually a bellboy at a hotel. 

Franc Roddam’s coming-of-age drama, Quadropophenia, helped the launch the acting careers of Sting, Ray Winstone, and Timothy Spall. The 1979 hit provides a nuanced understanding of the 1960’s counterculture movement in London and features some of The Who’s most famous music to boot!


“But remove Quadrophenia the album, and Quadrophenia the movie would still offer a remarkable depiction of the tribal codes of the era and one kid’s potentially fatal case of teen angst.” – Keith Phillips, AV Club

“This is a dramatic film, one that’s gritty and ragged and sometimes quite beautiful.” – Janet Maslin, New York Times

“An iconic ode to fallen youth of the Mod variety that has picked up a cult following mainly due to its hip imagery, its so-called grasp of the teen identity, and the fact it was based on an album by The Who.” – Ian Nathan, Empire