MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 255 this week

Tommy (1975)

 -  Musical  -  26 March 1975 (UK)
6.6
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.6/10 from 13,351 users  
Reviews: 180 user | 43 critic

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

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (rock opera), 2 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $9.99 on Amazon Instant Video

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: October

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they are excited to see in October.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 40 titles
created 16 Jan 2011
 
a list of 44 titles
created 20 Feb 2011
 
a list of 45 titles
created 10 Nov 2012
 
a list of 28 titles
created 9 months ago
 
a list of 40 titles
created 3 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Tommy" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Tommy (1975)

Tommy (1975) on IMDb 6.6/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Tommy.

User Polls

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

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Lisztomania (1975)
Biography | Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A send-up of the bawdy life of Romantic composer/piano virtuoso Franz Liszt, with ubiquitous phallic imagery and a good portion of the film devoted to Liszt's "friendship" with fellow ... See full summary »

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Roger Daltrey, Sara Kestelman, Paul Nicholas
A Safe Place (1971)
Certificate: GP Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

A strange young woman lives in a fantasy world where she can never grow up.

Director: Henry Jaglom
Stars: Tuesday Weld, Orson Welles, Jack Nicholson
Mahler (1974)
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Both trifles and structure are tossed out the door by director Ken Russell in this film. Here, historical content matters not so much as metaphors, feelings, emotions, and interpretations, ... See full summary »

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Robert Powell, Georgina Hale, Lee Montague
The Fortune (1975)
Comedy | Crime | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Two bumbling hustlers in the 1920s attempt to gain the fortune of an heiress. Nothing will stop them . not even murder.

Director: Mike Nichols
Stars: Stockard Channing, Jack Nicholson, Warren Beatty
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The concurrent sexual lives of best friends Jonathan and Sandy are presented, those lives which are affected by the sexual mores of the time and their own temperament, especially in ... See full summary »

Director: Mike Nichols
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Candice Bergen, Ann-Margret
The Devils (1971)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

In 17th-century France, Father Urbain Grandier seeks to protect the city of Loudun from the corrupt establishment of Cardinal Richelieu. Hysteria occurs within the city when he is accused of witchcraft by a sexually repressed nun.

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Vanessa Redgrave, Oliver Reed, Dudley Sutton
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.6/10 X  

In a small, US costal town with many Spanish speakers, a motorcycle gang arrives on holiday. Also in town to try to reconnect with his pregnant girlfriend, Karen, is businessman Paul ... See full summary »

Director: Martin B. Cohen
Stars: Cameron Mitchell, Bruce Dern, Diane Ladd
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

'It's Monopoly out there'. Jason Staebler, The King of Marvin Gardens, has gone directly to jail, lives on the Boardwalk and fronts for the local mob in Atlantic City. He is also a dreamer ... See full summary »

Director: Bob Rafelson
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Bruce Dern, Ellen Burstyn
Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A Harvard scientist conducts experiments on himself with a hallucinatory drug and an isolation chamber that may be causing him to regress genetically.

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: William Hurt, Blair Brown, Bob Balaban
Goin' South (1978)
Comedy | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Henry Moon is captured for a capital offense by a posse when his horse quits while trying to escape to Mexico. He finds that there is a post-Civil War law in the small town that any single ... See full summary »

Director: Jack Nicholson
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Mary Steenburgen, Christopher Lloyd
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Scottish archaeologist Angus Flint discovers an odd skull amid the ruins of a convent that he is excavating. Shortly thereafter, Lady Sylvia Marsh returns to Temple House, a nearby mansion,... See full summary »

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Amanda Donohoe, Hugh Grant, Catherine Oxenberg
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Daisy Gamble, an unusual woman who hears phones before they ring, and does wonders with her flowers, wants to quit smoking to please her fiancé, Warren. She goes to a doctor of hypnosis to ... See full summary »

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Barbra Streisand, Yves Montand, Bob Newhart
Edit

Cast

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

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:

 »
Edit

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
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Elton John's version of "Pinball Wizard" was a hit single, and (to date) is the only cover of a Who song to break the top 10. See more »

Goofs

Despite piano being heard during the 'Pinball Wizard' scene, the local lad (Elton John) is either playing random notes, or not at all. See more »

Quotes

Nora Walker Hobbs: Got a feeling '51 is gonna be a good year, especially if we see it out together.
Frank Hobbs: So you think '51 is gonna be a good year? We'll marry now and see it out together.
Nora Walker Hobbs: I have no reason to be over optimistic, but somehow when you smile I can brave bad weat
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Alan Meets Roger Daltrey (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Pinball Wizard
Written by Pete Townshend
Performed by Nigel Olsson, Dee Murray, Ray Thomas, Davey Johnstone,
Elton John, and Vocal Chorus
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A fun if overblown rock opera with a cult following, shambolic plot with obvious attacks on religion and an eclectic cast
27 June 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

When her husband is lost in WWII, Nora Walker is left with an unborn baby to raise by herself. Years later she has a fantastic son, Tommy, and is being courted by 'Uncle' Franks Hobbs. However when Tommy sees Frank and his mother killing his real father, he becomes psychosomatically deaf, dumb and blind. This way he stays all the way through to adulthood regardless of what his mother tries to get him cured. Running away from home one night, Tommy finds himself in a junkyard where he finds an old pinball machine and begins to play it. When he turns out to be a natural born wizard on the pinball table it not only leads him to a cure but also causes a religious following to spring up around him.

Being born in the 1970's and not really being a retro type of person, I have never gotten into The Who but I am always willing to give a film a try no matter what period it is from or what genre it is. I approached Tommy with hesitancy aware that I may not like the music and that it had a reputation for being all over the place. Well, suffice to say that the latter is certainly true and if you're coming here looking for structure or decent plotting then you'll be not only disappointed but also a touch bewildered! The basic plot is an obvious swipe at religion and, as such, I'm rather surprised this film doesn't have a legacy of Catholic protests (it may do – but usually things like that stick with a film forever, like Life of Brian) following it given the amount of religious imagery in it. It doesn't totally work as it isn't clever enough to be really interesting or sharp enough to serve as a clever attack at religion. However it still manages to be great overblown fun from pretty much start to finish.

Credit where credit is due, Ken Russell doesn't run the risk of being remembered as someone who suffered in moderation – no, if he can have Ann Margaret rolling round on the floor then why not cover her in tinned food product? To that end his direction is relentlessly over the top and it actually helps the material because the plot and music are both over the top and revelling in 1970's excesses. It is never funny in a comedy sense but it is fun in the same way as going to a big show like Rock Horror can be, it's hard not to get caught up in the music, performances and sights of the film as everyone is really overdoing it and it's fun! Not being a fan of The Who, I was still won over by the music here – like a west end show mixed with rock and served on top of sliced ham, it is catchy, overblown and enjoyable to listen to. The cast also help and all manage to deliver their lines well even if some of them are not singers as their day jobs.

In fact the cast is a big part of this film working quite as well as it did – their performances mostly match the overblown feel of the film. Daltry isn't a great actor but he does well here apart from the odd slip up. Ann Margaret chews the scenery with every chance and her performance is memorable (and I think was Oscar nominated – but I may be wrong). Reed hams it up like a good'un and appears to be enjoying himself immensely – although given the people involved in this film and the legendary habits he had I would not be surprised if it was something other than the film itself that gave him that lecherous leer! The real gold in the film though is a collection of cameos that may not all work but all add to the film: Tina Turner IS The Acid Queen, Elton John gets the best song of the film, Clapton doesn't make as much of an impression as I would have liked and the presence of Jack Nicholson is as good as it is surprising!

Overall this is a silly, shambolic film that makes very little sense and is not clever enough to make the points about religion that it tries to. However it is overblown, musical and fun to watch with a great collection of people from the period in small roles all through the film. It may frustrate many, which is why it is a 'cult' film as opposed to a classic hit but, for all it's flaws, I found it enjoyable and fun in a big silly OTT way!


49 of 72 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Tommy: Best album made into worst movie. brinsonmh
ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE MUSIC!!! reiswig789
There should be a new 'Tommy' film. techalex-418-622302
How many saw this on the big screen? lenono68
marilyn monroe nickbatt93
Roger Daltrey made this movie incredibly difficult to watch. carlyj94
Discuss Tommy (1975) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?