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Tommy (1975)

 -  Musical  -  26 March 1975 (UK)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 13,116 users  
Reviews: 180 user | 42 critic

A psychosomatically deaf, dumb and blind boy becomes a master pinball player and the object of a religious cult because of that.

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(screenplay), (rock opera), 2 more credits »
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Title: Tommy (1975)

Tommy (1975) on IMDb 6.6/10

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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The Preacher
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John Entwistle
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Pete Townshend
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Arthur Brown ...
The Priest
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Sally Simpson
Ben Aris ...
Reverend Simpson
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Storyline

Nora Walker is told that her British fighter pilot husband is missing in action and presumed killed in World War II. On V.E. Day, Nora gives birth to their son, who she names Tommy. While Tommy is an adolescent, Nora marries Frank, a shifty camp counselor. Shortly thereafter, Tommy suffers an emotionally traumatic experience associated with his father and step-father, which, based on things told to him at that time, results in him becoming deaf, dumb and blind, a situation which several people exploit for their own pleasure. As Nora tries several things to bring Tommy out of his psychosomatic disabilities, Tommy, now a young man, happens upon pinball as a stimulus. Playing by intuition, Tommy becomes a pinball master, which in turn makes him, and by association Nora and Frank, rich and famous. Nora literally shatters Tommy to his awakening, which ultimately leads to both the family's rise and downfall as people initially try to emulate Tommy's path then rebel against it. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Your senses will never be the same

Genres:

Musical

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 March 1975 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Tommy by 'The Who'  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

SEK 1,152,866 (Sweden)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(5 channel Stereo)|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

All of the movie was filmed to a pre-recorded soundtrack except for the "Pinball Wizard" sequence in which The Who really did play in front of the theatre audience (Elton John's band, however, is featured on the soundtrack). When the fans rush the stage at the end of the sequence, that wasn't scripted but caused by the excitement The Who's live performance generated, particularly when Pete Townshend started to smash his guitar. See more »

Goofs

In the "Pinball Wizard" scene the "Pinball Wizard" (Elton John) pulls the handle to launch the pinball on his machine. The ball is then lost when it goes below the paddles. During the rest of the scene there is a ball in the machine even though Elton John doesn't pull the handle to launch a ball again. See more »

Quotes

Nora Walker Hobbs: And Tommy doesn't know what day it is. He doesn't know who Jesus was or what praying is.
All: How can he be saved, from the eternal grave?
See more »

Connections

Featured in Ken Russell: A Bit of a Devil (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

 
It's all in the music!
2 August 2004 | by (Chicago) – See all my reviews

It's been interesting reading all the reviews here for this movie. It seems you either love or hate "Tommy". I find it odd that you could completely hate a movie with the music of "Tommy". If you love the songs there has to be something about it then right?

I happen to be an admirer of the film. It's not a masterpiece but it succeeds more then it fails. Director Ken Russell has brought his weird sensibilities and ideas to the film and made it more a series of scenes then a coherent story. Yes it is bizarre. Yes it is odd. But the music keeps the film alive and flowing.

It seems apparent that Russell the director may have let some scenes run on a bit too long (the Marilyn Monroe worship scene for one), perhaps because he was bereft of ideas. But he always had the music.

The performances range from terrific to downright awful. Ann Margret is the best thing about this movie. Her Oscar nomination was more then deserving. Her fabulous voice went well with the songs she is asked to perform. Oliver Reed was always a dependable performer but he can't sing worth a lick. Either he should have been dubbed or the part re-cast. Roger Daltrey is just fine in the title role. Basically all he does is sing and smile. For the female fans out there he does go shirtless a lot as well.

There are many cameos in the film worth noting. All the members of The Who are seen though only Keith Moon has a role to speak of. Pete Townshend and John Entwistle are relegated to performing on stage in the worship scene. Tina Turner is the Acid Queen in a bizarre scene that doesn't quite work. Jack Nicholson (and this may be the only time this can be said about him) may be the worst thing in the whole movie. His role as a doctor is short but not so sweet. He sings but is a terrible singer. It's an embarrassing scene and no surprise that he never mentions this role. Paul Nicholas, as cousin Kevin, who babysits Tommy and subsequently tortures him is terrific.

On the whole most of the sequences work. For me the two best sequences are the pinball wizard tournament (with Elton John) and the making of a groupie sequence. And just remember, it's all in the music.


19 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE MUSIC!!! reiswig789
There should be a new 'Tommy' film. techalex-418-622302
Tommy: Best album made into worst movie. brinsonmh
How many saw this on the big screen? lenono68
marilyn monroe nickbatt93
Roger Daltrey made this movie incredibly difficult to watch. carlyj94
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