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 »
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).
In addition to compiling rare clips, Jeff Stein arranged for The Who to film a concert for invited fans. The show, performed at Shepperton Film Studios in London on 25 May 1978, turned out to be Keith Moon's last concert with The Who before his death on 7 September at the age of 32. 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 »
[Speaking in the early Sixties]
You have to resign yourself to the fact that a large part of the audience is sort of thick, you know, and don't appreciate quality however much you put it over. The fact that our group hasn't - hasn't got any quality. It's just musical sensationalism. You do something big on the stage and a thousand geezers sort of go, "Ah!". It's just basic Shepherds Bush enjoyment.
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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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