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

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(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

Roger Daltrey was taught sign language for this film by Hampshire vicar Canon Raymond Young, but unfortunately, the gesture-song scene in this movie is a parody of signs. See more »

Goofs

(Possibly deliberate error by filmmakers) Camera crew visible in auditorium box, during a sweeping shot at the beginning of the Pinball Wizard sequence. This could be lighting, however. See more »

Quotes

Tommy: Right behind you I see the millions. On you I see the glory. From you I get opinions. From you I get the story. Listening to you I get the music. Gazing at you I get the heat. Following you I climb the mountain. I get excitement at your feet!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Til Debt Do U$ Part: He Says, She Says (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm Free
(uncredited)
Written by Pete Townshend
Performed by Kenney Jones, John Entwistle, Nicky Hopkins, Roger Daltrey
See more »

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User Reviews

 
It helps to have an appreciation for Ken Russell, not Pete Townsend
29 June 2001 | by (las vegas, nv) – See all my reviews

This is a Ken Russell movie, make no mistake. It is relentlessly twisted, ugly, savage (for a sometimes humorous effect) and trippy. Russell may be the oldest flower child of all time. Surreal plot concerns a deaf-dumb-and-blind boy becoming the new Messiah to a pinball-crazed population, and the film has been accused of being too literal to The Who's rock opera source material. In this age of lavish music videos, it has also been tagged as archaic. Though nobody seems to care anymore how a film was perceived in its time, I would say the picture still succeeds in doing what was originally intended: shake an audience up with freaky visuals and propulsive music (nicely arranged). It also does something else: creates actual characters from the music, a plus due in part to the fine acting of Ann-Margret as Tommy's glamorous mother, Roger Daltrey as Tommy, Oliver Reed as Tommy's stepfather (Reed is hammy but quite game, while the role is designed as both a villain and a hero), and Tina Turner, an extremely scary presence as the Acid Queen. "Tommy" has some bummer scenes, and Russell's love for degradation occasionally made me wince, but it is a real cinematic experience. Whether it involves or alienates the viewer depends on their appreciation for the English director's constant penchant for the bizarre. **1/2 from ****


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Tommy: Best album made into worst movie. brinsonmh
ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE MUSIC!!! reiswig789
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There should be a new 'Tommy' film. techalex-418-622302
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