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The Kids Are Alright (1979)

From the early black and white days to their colourful hedonistic era, you will Rock! See them at their most creative, and destructive, and experience The Who: Here!

Director:

Jeff Stein

Writer:

Jeff Stein
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Roger Daltrey ... Himself (The Who)
John Entwistle ... Himself (The Who)
Keith Moon ... Himself (The Who)
Pete Townshend ... Himself (The Who)
Tom Smothers ... Himself (as Tommy Smothers)
Jimmy O'Neill ... Himself
Russell Harty Russell Harty ... Himself
Melvyn Bragg ... Himself (as Melvin Bragg)
Ringo Starr ... Himself
Mary Ann Zabresky Mary Ann Zabresky ... Herself
Michael Leckebusch Michael Leckebusch ... Himself
Barry Fantoni Barry Fantoni ... Himself
Jeremy Paxman ... Himself
Bob Pridden Bob Pridden ... Himself
Keith Richards ... Himself (as Keith Richard)
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Storyline

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).

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Seeing is believing!

Genres:

Documentary | Music

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 November 1979 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

The Who: The Kids Are Alright See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

The Who Films See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

As with Rick Danko, Australian comic character Norman Gunston, played by Garry McDonald, is both misspelled in the credits (as 'Gunsten') and was cut from the film. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Pete Townshend: If you steer clear of quality, you're alright.
Interviewer: But wouldn't you say a group like The Beatles have a certain musical quality?
Pete Townshend: Oooh, that's a tough question. Alright, actually, this afternoon, John and I were listening to a stereo LP of The Beatles, in which the voices come out of the one side and the backing track came out of the other. And when you actually hear the backing tracks of The Beatles without their voices, they're flippin' lousy.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the opening "Smothers Brothers" clip where The Who demolish their equipment, Keith Moon's bass drum with the Who logo on it explodes, and the very same logo spirals forward to the middle of the screen. Then the words of the title of the film pop up from the bottom of the screen while Pete Townshend smashes Tommy Smothers' acoustic guitar. See more »

Alternate Versions

The original official release of the Kids Are alright at movie theatres was 106 minutes. But later theatre copies and the official BMG video release is 99 minutes, cutting out two video segments. See more »

Connections

References The Man from Hell's River (1922) See more »

Soundtracks

Pinball Wizard
Written by Pete Townshend
Performed by The Who
Fabulous Music Ltd.
See more »

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User Reviews

Maximum R&B . . .YEEAAAHHHHHH!!!!!
9 July 2004 | by eht5ySee all my reviews

This 2-disc DVD is an absolute essential for any Who fan and perhaps the only documentary film ever made that captures the essence of rock'n'roll's importance to youth culture. Its brilliance largely belongs to the irresistibly appealing personalities and unparalleled live performances of the Who, but can also be partially attributed to director Jeff Stein, who was a nineteen year-old fledgling photographer and Who freak in 1978 when he persuaded the group to front him the cash to make a movie. What results is a warts 'n' all portrait of the most honest, inspired, and inspiring of rock's superheroes.

The film begins with the now-infamous performance of 'My Generation' on the Smothers Brothers show and never slows down. Included are hilarious outtakes of staged antics originally intended for a Monkees-style TV show that never aired, a wonderfully irreverent segment featuring John Entwistle using gold records for target practice on the lawn of his estate, priceless video and still photography of Keith Moon at his hotel room-smashing best, and vintage interview material with Townshend, charting his development from insolent young mod (at one point, when asked to comment on the relative quality of the Beatles' music by a smug British TV host, he refers to the Fab Four as "flippin' lousy") to a soul-searching artist trying to find meaningful space for himself in a form he fears he has outgrown. There are liberal doses from 'Tommy' and 'Who's Next,' but equal attention is paid to the group's early mod years and their more radio-friendly late-seventies era releases. Included in its entirety is the group's performance of 'A Quick One' from "The Rolling Stones' Rock 'n' Roll Circus," a TV show produced by the Stones which was never aired due to the Stones' opinion that they had been badly upstaged by the Who (only a fragment of the same clip was featured in the theatrical release of the film due to copyright restrictions). Surprisingly absent is any material from 'Quadrophenia,' an unexplained omission but one that doesn't really glare given that the footage is not arranged chronologically.

None of the Who's studio releases ever equaled their brilliance onstage, and Stein loads the film with impossibly hot concert footage, including mind-blowing performances (some borrowed from the Woodstock film) of live staples 'Young Man Blues,' 'Pinball Wizard,' 'See Me Feel Me/Listening to You,' and 'Sparks.'

Indirectly, 'The Kids are Alright' is also a cautionary tale: we see Moon transformed in a mere ten years from a lean young prankster into a bloated caricature of himself (Moon died shortly before the film was released; his last performance with the group was the concert at Shepperton Studios staged for the film at Jeff Stein's request). We see Townshend joking about his hearing loss and struggling with his fear of growing old and irrelevant. Entwistle dryly remarks, 'I'm too old to enjoy my money;' Roger Daltrey dismisses the cultural importance of rock music, stating flatly that 'it doesn't stand up.' Townshend confesses his frustration at the pressure he feels to satisfy the expectations of the group's army of frenzied fans. By the end, the group seems weary of itself and its overblown reputation.

Nevertheless, the film ends on a note of triumph, with a manic encore at Shepperton of "Won't Get Fooled Again," climaxing with a slo-mo shot of Townshend leaping and then sliding across the stage on his knees, followed by an end-credit coda of "Rock is Dead (Long Live Rock)". The DVD set includes director commentary, a recent interview with Daltrey, Who trivia quizzes, and isolated tracks of John Entwistle's extraordinary bass work on several classic tunes.

Definitive evidence of the Who's stature as one of the most influential and inimitable of the titans of rock. Anyone who loves the power and energy of a live rock performance will come away from this film slack-jawed and looking around for a guitar to smash.


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