You are now leaving to visit an external site.

This site may be governed by it's own
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy

  • On Blu-ray™
    & Digital HD



Official Site
Tour Dates


“I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on the frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond words…

When I was young we were taught to be discreet and respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly disrespectful and impatient of restraint.”
- Hesiod, 8th Century BC

Early 1960s London: the postwar generation who grew up playing in air raid shelters and bomb sites is detonating a youth rebellion that brings Hesiod’s words back to life. At London’s Shepperton Studios, two young 2nd assistant directors compare notes on film, music, and frustrated ambitions, forging an unlikely friendship and collaboration that leaves an indelible mark on pop music and culture of the ‘60s and beyond.

KIT LAMBERT and CHRIS STAMP, aspiring filmmakers, set out to make a cinema vérité documentary about the mod world of rock and roll, but sidetracked instead into managing and developing the sonic powerhouse that came to be called THE WHO. Their gorgeously propulsive footage—the rock documentary that was never completed—lays a foundation for director JAMES D. COOPER’s kaleidoscopic study of an era and a rare friendship’s creative bond. Present-day interviews with the surviving principals, now grown older, reflect thoughtfully on their relationships and life trajectories.

Lambert and Stamp were “chalk and cheese:” Chris Stamp, the son of a tugboat captain, was a Cockney East Ender and “rough tough fighting spiv,” as described by his elder brother, actor TERENCE STAMP. Lambert, the son of a celebrated symphony orchestra conductor, was Oxford-educated, multilingual, impeccably dressed, and possessed of an unmistakably highbrow accent and manner.

Chris Stamp came to his interest in performing arts and cinema via the roundabout route of a backstage job at the ballet (an occupation suggested by his brother Terence because Chris’s only real interest till then seemed to be girls, and the ballet theater was a good place to find them). Kit was as open a homosexual as one could be in an era when homosexuality was still illegal and the closet was the norm.

As young would-be cineastes, however, the two Shepperton assistants shared a love of jazz, literature, and the French New Wave films that reflected their own restless impatience with the dreary grey of postwar society. Kit had seen the world as an Army officer and as cameraman on a perilous and grueling expedition into the Amazon. Recognizing Kit’s fundamental courage, Chris credits him with “widening my angle of awareness on possibilities.”

“They complemented each other, like two and two make six,” says Terence Stamp. Realizing that they’d never break out as directors at Shepperton, they hatched the plan to find their rock and rollers and film the very process of creating a hit group, thus providing their own directorial calling card.

Chris Stamp—still handsome as an elder gentleman as he was in his rakish youth—recalls that “Kit and I looked everywhere at these bands to put in our so-called movie…we didn’t know what we wanted, but we absolutely knew what we didn’t want: if we found the people doing the music to be smart and neat and jumping up and down, they weren’t what we wanted. What we wanted—it was really about us. It was going to be some mad fucking concoction of stuff that looked like Lambert and Stamp.”

They finally struck gold in 1964 when Lambert spotted a long line of mods and scooters outside the “sordid and grotty” Railway Hotel, where the jam-packed dance crowd was mesmerized by a distinctly un-smart and un-neat foursome, the High Numbers: streetfighter ROGER DALTREY on lead vocals, art-school nihilist PETE TOWNSHEND on lead guitar, surly genius JOHN ENTWISTLE on bass, and mad yob KEITH MOON on drums.

“I fell in love literally with both of them immediately and they completely and utterly and totally changed my life,” says Pete Townshend, whose songwriting, composition, and musicianship flourished under Lambert’s erudite tutelage. “Kit was the only posh guy I’d ever spoken to who was actually interested in me and wasn’t talking down to me,” says Roger Daltrey. “Chris was always off working on a film set to make the money to pay for the guitars we were smashing.”

“We didn’t come to the group as professional managers,” says Stamp. “We came as these two guys who had some ideas as filmmakers and we wanted to manage. We never said we knew how to do it.”

The duo’s outside perspective brought canny ideas; for example, where conventional management might have formed a fan club of adoring cleancut teenagers, Stamp and Lambert wanted sharp faces with visual impact in their documentary footage. Members of the “100 Faces" club such as IRISH JACK, seen as a scrappy young mod and as a snaggletoothed elder, had mugs to match those on stage.

Somehow, the alchemy of personalities, talent, energy, time and place yielded spectacular success for a time, as The Who became world-famous and Stamp and Lambert created a thriving record label, Track Records, producing JIMI HENDRIX, among others. Bank accounts grew fatter and ambitions loftier. Townshend and Lambert set their sights on making history by creating the first “rock opera”—which eventually became TOMMY.

But Lambert and Stamp never fulfilled their original goal of vérité-filmmaking, and Lambert felt excluded and rejected when the film version of TOMMY bypassed him. Ironically, The Who—post-Lambert—ended up owning Shepperton Studios.

That the story ends sadly—with business conflict, estrangement, addiction, and an early death for Kit Lambert—does not detract from its resonance. As Chris Stamp remembers of the early, seat-of-the-pants days: “I’m gasping for breath, I’m doing the usual mirrors work, balls in the air, but underneath all that I had—purpose. Meaning. Kit and I. Relationship. All those things. There was an undercurrent in our personalities that was real.”

KIT LAMBERT, born May 11, 1935, died April 7, 1981, age 45, at Middlesex Hospital in Acton. He had struggled with alcohol and heroin addiction, and died of a cerebral hemmorhage caused by a fall.

CHRIS STAMP, born July 7, 1942, died of cancer on November 24, 2012, age 70. In the latter part of his life, after going through his own recovery from substance abuse, Stamp developed a new career as a practitioner of psychodrama therapy, helping others work through addiction and psychic distress. He lived in New York City with his wife of 33 years, Calixte. He had two daughters and several grandchildren.

"James D. Cooper's impeccably directed debut is a definitive screen bio of The Who and its rock-operatic rise."
– Rob Nelson, Variety



Terence Stamp burst onto the acting scene with his Oscar nominated performance in 1962's BILLY BUDD. Chris' older brother, Terence went on to work with some of the decades most revered directors including, Wyler, Schlesinger, Loach, Fellini and Pasolini. His involvement with model and actress Jean Shrimpton made them the couple that epitomized "Mod London" in the mid-60's. Concerned with his brother's dabbling in the London underworld, Terence lent Chris his union card so that he could get a job working backstage at the ballet at the Sadler Wells Theatre.


Richard met Pete Townshend in late 1962 as they both attended Ealing Technical College & School of Art. Richard became Pete's flatmate and closest friend, later to become The Who's first biographer with "Maximum R&B". The flat, and it's vast collection of American Blues and Rock & Roll LP's, became the center of their small circle of art school friends. It was at their flat on Sunnyside Road that Richard came up with the name "The Who" during a stoned brainstorming session.


Heather Taylor was a top model and a dancer who first met Chris Stamp as part of the London "scene" in the mid-60's. Chris introduced her to Roger Daltrey and they went on to marry.


John first met Kit Lambert when they both traveled to the Amazon in 1961 with mutual friend Richard Mason to map the longest undescended river in the world, the Iriri. Dr. Hemming would go on to become one of the world's experts on Brazilian Indians, the Amazon environment, the Incas and Peruvian archaeology. He was the Director and Secretary of the Royal Geographic Society for 21 years and continues to write and publish books.


Jack Lyons, an original mod from the Goldhawk Social Club, first met The Who (then known as the Detours) in 1962. Christened "Irish Jack" by Kit Lambert and one of the Hundred Faces, Kit cajoled him into the pouring rain the first night of The Who's Tuesday residency at the Marquee Club to hand out concession cards to any mod or pretty girl he could find to try to fill the empty club prior to the band's performance.


Robert first met Kit Lambert in Kowloon in 1955, as officers fulfilling their National Service. A tall, relaxed, elegant Old Etonian they went on to Trinity College together and later shared a flat in London. Robert and his wife Jane (celebrated garden designer and mother of celebrity chef Hugh), who had worked in The Who's publicity department, remained close to Kit throughout his life.

"As probing and candid as one could hope for -- stuffed with memorable anecdotes and tasty trivia nuggets."


J.K. Simmons


Throughout time Youth has always struggled to find a place in a pre-existing world in which they feel they have little place. By risking new relations and creating a sense of identity which better reflects them, they can have the power to impact a changing world by what they bring into it, -through fearless self discovery.

"Lambert & Stamp" tells this story. It's universal theme of self discovery through connection with others, along with an extraordinary (and highly entertaining) set of circumstances, is what I wanted to portray in the film.

In postwar London, two men seeking to transcend the constraints of their respective circumstances: one, the bleak reality of the East End working class, the other, a daunting aristocratic legacy, - embrace the dynamics of an unlikely relationship to pursue a shared artistic dream. The objective, as articulated by Chris Stamp in my film, was "to make life a little more REAL FEELING"! Those feelings were to take form in the creation of the iconic rock band The Who: A phenomenon they transformed into an extension of themselves and their own manic view of life. Making a film that would put the audience at the center of this catharsis was a formal challenge that I embraced, and I feel honored to have had the support of an outstanding production team along with Chris Stamp and remaining members of The Who - Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey.

Essentially a love story, "Lambert & Stamp" examines the complexity of a creative relationship. I made every attempt to pour into it all the noise, love, rebellion, sex, art and chaos that take form in the sensitive and frightening places we go when we risk relationships to create something much larger and more powerful than ourselves.
– James D. Cooper



James D. Cooper makes his directorial debut with LAMBERT & STAMP which he also photographed and produced. Long known as a cinematographer, his eclectic career has spanned cinéma vérité, fashion, and feature films along with countless commercials and music videos. As a Director of Photography he has worked with a diverse number of stars and celebrities including Sidney Poitier, Robert Mitchum, Allison Janney, Celine Dion, Steven Segal, Luciano Pavarotti, and Barbara Streisand. In the transition from Cinematographer to Director he formed his independent company MOTOCINEMA with partner/producer Loretta Harms for the production of LAMBERT & STAMP now being distributed by Sony Pictures Classics. MOTOCINEMA is currently in development on a select number feature films. When not working on film James devotes himself to photography and music as well as martial arts, surfing, and racing motorcycles to feed his artistic lifestyle.



Loretta is Executive Producer and Producer of LAMBERT & STAMP through her independent film company Motocinema, Inc., formed with James D. Cooper. In addition to her role as producer, her supervisory role on music track for this film is one of the largest music deals of its kind, with 44 Who songs and a total of 58 classics tracks. With a background in fine arts, Loretta continues to work across disciplines. Her past films have appeared on broadcast channels The Sundance Channel, IFC and PBS and have been nominated for the International Documentary Award and Silver Reel awards (GIBTOWN). Her art films and installations have appeared in international venues including The Institute of Contemporary Photography, The Boston Museum of Fine Arts, BMoCA, and The Kunstalle, Germany. Loretta is currently developing a book of photography and soundtrack based on the film, and a special edition of artist's prints.



Douglas has worked in documentary film for the last thirty years. He's recently produced, with Susan Froemke, a trio of classical music films for the Metropolitan Opera including WAGNER'S DREAM, JAMES LEVINE: AMERICA'S MAESTRO and THE AUDITION. He began his career at Maysles Films where he first met James D. Cooper and stayed for twenty years, eventually co-producing such films as the Oscar-nominated LALEE'S KIN: THE LEGACY OF COTTON and Grammy Award winner RECORDING THE PRODUCERS: A MUSICAL ROMP WITH MEL BROOKS.



Chris was nominated for an Academy Award for his work on MONEYBALL in 2012. He began his career in the New York independent film scene in the eighties, gaining recognition with Whit Stillman's Oscar-nominated METROPOLITAN. He also edited Stillman’s BARCELONA, Wayne Wang's BLUE IN THE FACE, and Larry Clark's controversial first film, KIDS. His next work, on the David O. Russell comedy FLIRTING WITH DISASTER, influenced and inspired a new generation of comedies. Chris crossed over to his first studio picture with Milos Forman’s THE PEOPLE VS. LARRY FLYNT. Balancing both independent and studio films, he edited Harmony Korine's cult classic GUMMO, Wayne Wang's CHINESE BOX and Harold Ramis's ANALYZE THIS, for which he was nominated for an Eddy 27Award. In London, in the late nineties, he edited BIRTHDAY GIRL and CHANGING LANES. For MAN ON THE MOON, he received an additional Eddy Award nomination. His other film credits include Robert Benton's THE HUMAN STAIN, M. Night Shyamalan's THE VILLAGE, the Oscar Award winning CAPOTE, A GUIDE TO RECOGNIZING YOUR SAINTS, THE YELLOW HANDKERCHIEF and FAIR GAME. Chris' most recent work includes THE DROP, starring James Gandolfini and TRUE STORY, a drama starring Jonah Hill and James Franco.

"The film feels like a night hanging out with the legendary Managers."
– Katie Van Syckle, Rolling Stone


  • Rob Nelson Variety

    "James D. Cooper's impeccably directed debut is a definitive screen bio of The Who and its rock-operatic ride...even the digitally simulated jiggle of celluloid here has a wicked beat."

  • Katie Van Syckle Rolling Stone

    "The film feels like a night hanging out with the legendary Managers."

  • David Rooney The Hollywood Reporter

    "As probing and candid as one could hope for -- stuffed with memorable anecdotes and tasty trivia nuggets."

  • Jake Coyle Associated Press

    "Riotously entertaining. Lambert and Stamp would mold The Who into one of the great rock 'n' roll bands."

  • Alan Scherstuhl Village Voice

    "Thorough and revealing. A rare truthful and beautiful film about the rock 'n' roll life."

  • Joshua Rothkopf Time Out New York

    "4 stars! Poundingly fun. An unusually satisfying nuts-and-bolts perspective on the '60s fame machine."

"Thorough and revealing. A rare truthful and beautiful film about the rock 'n' roll life."
– Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice