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Tommy (1975)

PG | | Drama, Musical | 26 March 1975 (UK)
A psychosomatically deaf, dumb and blind boy becomes a master pinball player and, subsequently, the object of a religious cult.

Director:

Writers:

(by) (as 'The Who'), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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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:
...
...
...
...
...
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

Show detailed on  »

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

According to Pete Townshend, Oliver Reed had incredible problems recording his part of the soundtrack owing to his inability to sing, and he was able to complete it only because his singing parts were recorded in small bits. Because of this frustrating experience, Townshend was extremely suspicious towards Jack Nicholson when he was chosen to the role of the doctor. Townshend, however, finally agreed when he heard Nicholson singing effortlessly. See more »

Goofs

During Ann-Margaret's "Rain Champagne" scene, the bottle of champagne she is 'drinking' from is clearly empty. Several times in the scene, it is lying on its side on the floor, yet nothing flows from it and during the close-ups where she is supposed to be drinking from the bottle, you can see that there is nothing inside it. See more »

Quotes

Uncle Ernie: [Uncle Ernie sings while sexually abusing Tommy] I'm your wicked Uncle Ernie; I'm glad you won't see or hear me, as I fiddle about, fiddle about, fiddle about!
[pause]
Uncle Ernie: Your mother left me here to mind you... so I can do exactly what I bloody well want to!
[Uncle Ernie continues to torture Tommy]
Uncle Ernie: Fiddling about, fiddling about, fiddling about, fiddle about!
[Uncle Ernie molests Tommy in his bed]
Uncle Ernie: Down with the bedclothes, up with the nightshirt! Fiddle about, fiddle about, FIDDLE ABOUT!
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Laat maar zitten: Een dagje uit (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Tommy Can You Hear Me
(uncredited)
Written by Pete Townshend
Performed by Alan Ross, Chris Stainton, Ann-Margret
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User Reviews

 
A Film Way Ahead of its Time
15 December 2000 | by (Los Angeles, CA) – See all my reviews

My older brother bought an LP The Who's "Tommy" in the 60's. I was very young but I liked it. It was a project ahead of its time. In the 70's I had a fantastic music teacher who played music soundtracks of several rock artists for my class, included was The Who's Tommy which I remembered immediately. Three years later, this movie came out directed by Ken Russell. I didn't get it at all. I loved the new soundtrack, still do. I loved the performances in the movie by Elton John and Tina Turner. But as a young teen, the movie I didn't get. Well, 20 years went by and on cable I saw Tommy again. This time, I got it. I understood what Ken Russell's vision was and for 1975 it was WAY ahead of its time. It is, in fact, a brilliant masterpiece of 20th Century pop culture: a brave, warped and cartoon mixture of sex, violence, war, religion and celebrity worship with the backdrop of one heck of a rock opera and story by The Who but focusing on the burning questions...what IS the central focus in our lives? Do we choose to look up to the right thing in our lives? And what do they look up to? Do they understand the power they have? Do we? Tommy is an experience in film, not for everyone. Its "out there" but a vision in its tale.


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