The Who's 1973 rock opera was destined to be a film from the moment the album hit shelves. Unlike Tommy, the story is largely coherent from beginning to end, and it tapped into teenage angst in a real, universal way. Even people who had never heard of the war between Mods and Rockers could understand Jimmy's pain.
By the late 1970s, there was a Mod revival in England and a film adaptation of the album made perfect sense. Wisely, the filmmakers decided not to make it a musical, though many of the original songs are heard in the movie. Roger Daltrey was too old to play Jimmy by this point, so 20-year-old Phil Daniels landed the part. Sting was cast as the Ace Face and Leslie Ash portrayed Jimmy's girlfriend, Steph. The movie became an instant cult classic, but it was difficult to find until a recent rerelease on DVD.