Originally filmed in December 1968, "The Rock and Roll Circus" was originally intended to be released as a television special. The special was filmed over two nights and featured not only ... See full summary »
London, 1965: Like many other youths, Jimmy hates the philistine life, especially his parents and his job in a company's mailing division. Only when he's together with his friends, a 'Mod' ... See full summary »
Through concert performances and interviews, this film offers us an "inside look" at this famous rock group, "The Who". It captures their zany craziness and outrageous antics from the initial formation of the group to its major hit "Who Are You", and features the last performance of drummer keith Moon just prior to his death. Written by
Concorde - New Horizons (with permission).
The band's performance on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour (1967) ends with "My Generation" and their trademark wrecking of their equipment - the climax being the explosion of the drum kit. During rehearsal, Keith Moon ("Patent British Exploding Drummer") had persuaded stage hands to load more flash powder into the kit than usual (possibly by bribery) so that when the explosion occurred at the very end of the performance, it was so big that it temporarily blinded the TV cameras and injured the rest of the band. Singer Roger Daltrey was deaf for a long period after the show, Moon was cut on the arm by a cymbal, and guitarist Pete Townshend's hair was singed - he can be seen in the film with smoke coming from his head. Townshend later attributed his partial hearing loss to the incident, though years of extreme on-stage sound levels are probably more to blame. Backstage, other guests of the show were also affected: Bette Davis fainted into Mickey Rooney's arms. See more »
Rick Danko of The Band is listed in the end credits as appearing in the film, even though his segment was deleted from the final print. See more »
When I'm on the stage - let me try to explain - when I'm on the stage, I'm not in control of myself at all. I even don't know who I am. I'm not this rational person that can sit here and talk to you. If you walked on the stage in the middle of a concert for an interview, I'd probably come close to killing you - I HAVE come close to killing people that walked on the stage. Abbie Hofmann walked on the stage at Woodstock and I nearly killed him with me guitar. A cameraman walked... a, a, a ...
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Various clips of stage goodbyes from live appearances of The Who through the years are shown during the closing credits. See more »
In some ways this is best the movie ever. Errrm... make that one way. Let me put it this way. If you're as big a fan of The Who as I am, The Kids Are Alright is as alright as movies get. Director Jeff Stein was probably an even bigger Who-fan than yours truly, and you get that vibe from every aspect of the movie: the chosen footage, the editing and the chosen narrative (or lack thereof) chosen. TKAA is a documentary, but unlike documentary-makers fashionable today Stein didn't set out to make his points in a Michael Moore-ish style, with himself as the narrating voice-over and on-screen interviewer. Stein lets the footage speak for itself, only slightly suggesting conclusions that can be made through editing, and only once serving as an off-screen interviewer.
If there is one point Stein tries to make, it is that the Who were the most interesting/wild/intelligent/contradictory/refined/loony/crude Rock 'n' Roll band in the world. And therefore the most fascinating. He didn't have to turn to the viewer and say that in person: the Who themselves are their own best spokespeople. The Kids Are Alright isn't ABOUT the Who, it IS the Who. The a-chronological editing, live as well as mimed performances and contradictory quotes spanning two decades make a rich collage of fifteen years of Rock 'n' Roll mayhem.
Editing was Stein's weapon of choice to make TKAA a double-edged sword. People can try to find a deeper meaning in the director's decisions and/or draw their own conclusions. Or you can just kick back and relax and let it be the ultimate party-DVD. Watching this movie, you really get the sensation of hanging with the Who, addiction, hearing problems, impromptu strip sessions and all. And with Roger Daltrey, John Entwistle, Keith Moon and Pete Townshend around, there's never a dull moment.
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