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

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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
...
Himself
...
...
...
...
...
Himself
...
Arthur Brown ...
The Priest
Victoria Russell ...
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:

Drama | 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'  »

Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(5 channel Stereo) (as Quintophonic Sound®)| (as Dolby System Noise Reduction - High Fidelity Optical Sound Track)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There were several new songs written especially for the movie that weren't on the original album. Among those were "Champagne," "Mother and Son," and "TV Studio." Also, a couple of songs were rewritten with either new lyrics ("Pinball Wizard," "We're Not Gonna Take It," and "Do You Think it's All Right?"), or new titles ("1951" was originally called "1921" on the original release of "Tommy"). See more »

Goofs

During "Eyesight to the Blind", Clapton's hand movements do not at all match his guitar playing on the song. See more »

Quotes

Nora Walker Hobbs: Do you think it's alright To leave the boy with Cousin Kevin? Do you think it's alright? There's something 'bout him I Don't really like. Do you think it's alright?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Quand je ne dors pas (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Do You Think It's Alright? (I)
(uncredited)
Written by Pete Townshend
Performed by Graham Deakin, Phil Chen, Nicky Hopkins, Alan Ross,
Ann-Margret, Oliver Reed
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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.


21 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Tommy: Best album made into worst movie. brinsonmh
ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE MUSIC!!! reiswig789
Resolution/Ending Question jmiller1918
There should be a new 'Tommy' film. techalex-418-622302
How many saw this on the big screen? lenono68
I wonder whatever happened to barry Winch... alisotom
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