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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 »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Leslie Ash ...
Chalky (as Philip Davis)
Kevin (as Raymond Winstone)
Gary Shail ...
Trevor Laird ...
Kate Williams ...
Kim Neve ...
Mr. Fulford
Daniel Peacock ...


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' clique, cruising London on his motor-scooter and hearing music such as that of 'The Who' and 'The High Numbers', does he feel free and accepted. However, it's a flight into an illusionary world. Written by Tom Zoerner <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

mod | rocker | the who | scooter | beach | See All (87) »


A Way Of Life [rerelease] See more »


Drama | Music


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

2 November 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Er du gal, mand?  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Dolby Stereo)


(Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


While regarded as multiple 'goofs' the various cars filmed that aren't in the proper time period were explained by the movie makers,with them stating that as they hadn't legally had the roads closed for filming the scenes with the Mods and Rockers on their Scooters and Bikes,the onus was seen as more important to keep an eye out for the Police,as the helmet laws had changed by the time of filming. Arranging road closures and ensuring proper period cars were included would have considerably raised the budget of the movie. See more »


When Jimmy boards the train to Brighton, the locomotive shown is a Class 50, number 50 008. This number was applied in 1974, and the class was used exclusively on Paddington services, at the time of filming. See more »


Mr. Fulford: Mr Cale tells me that you spent the weekend in Brighton, I imagine you were involved some extent in the disturbances there?
Jimmy: Yeah I was there
Mr. Fulford: Weren't arrested or taken or anything like that were you?
Jimmy: No.
Mr. Fulford: I must say I find your attitude incomprehensible. I feel I must warn you Cooper that we can't tolerate this kind of absentism amongst our junior staff. You got a good steady job here Cooper, plenty of young men would give their eye-teeth to be in your shoes.
Jimmy: Oh yeah! Well find one then
Mr. Fulford: I beg ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Jeans By Levis See more »


Features Ready, Steady, Go! (1963) See more »


Performed by The Orlons
Published by Abkco Records Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Mad Mod
11 January 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I'm almost finished reading Pete Townshend's autobiography "Who I Am" and have been listening a lot to the Who's original double album of the same name so the time was right to finally watch the big-screen dramatisation of the record. I'm just a bit too young to remember anything about the vicious Mods v Rockers pitched battles at Brighton or the Mod lifestyle (I'm not sure just how far north it made it up to Scotland, it always seemed to me principally a London-based movement).

Nevertheless, the broader themes in the film of the generation gap between teenagers and their parents, the pain of rejection, youthful revolt against authority plus the less intellectual need for young kids to get drunk, drugged, violent and sexed up are universal and seemingly constant, which with the background of great 60's music, made for an engrossing and enjoyable if occasionally challenging watch.

This is Phil Daniel's Jimmy Fenton's worm's eye-view of life in the mid-60's, working in a dead-end job, out of touch with his parents and although on the face of it, there doesn't appear to be much to rebel against, sure enough, he loses his way and his mind as he suffers rejection from his employer, said parents, would-be girlfriend Leslie Ash and after seeing his Mod Hero '"ace-face" played by Sting, meekly conform to society mores carrying bags at a hotel, he gets pushed over the edge (literally). His only way out of the tormenting feelings he's experiencing for the first time sadly involve just a one-way ticket.

The film adopts a realistic, warts and all approach, with no let-up in the levels of bad language used, scenes of drug use (although it is "only" pill-popping "uppers" or "blues" as they're called in the film) and of course the centre-piece of the film, the recreation of the infamous Mods and Rockers "Battle Of Brighton" of 1965. There's some earthy humour though to leaven things, particularly two Mods encounter in the dark with a bunch of sleeping rockers, although one or two stray elements of sentimentality (Jimmy's heart-to- heart with his long-suffering dad, his friendship with an old pal turned rocker) slightly jar. Fan as I am, I could have done too without the too obvious genuflecting to the film's producers The Who (Jimmy putting on the "My Generation" single at a party, then gazing in awe at the band on "Ready Steady Go"), I guess he who pays the piper and all that.

Central to the movie is a superb performance by Daniels as Jimmy, his mood-swings oscillating violently as he takes or comes off his pills, wired to the moon as we say today. His energy and vividness set the tone for the whole film. Interestingly director Franc Roddam (later the creator of "Auf Weidersehn Pet" and, "Masterchef" on TV), changes the ending and placement of songs from the album, but there's no denying the memorable climax to the piece.

In the end I was transported not only back into the era depicted, but more importantly into the head of "helpless dancer" Jimmy and would state that the movie well complements the great album The Who originally released, a rarity in "rock" movies.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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