IMDb > Tommy (1975)
Tommy
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Tommy (1975) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
6.5/10   12,861 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Contact:
View company contact information for Tommy on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
26 March 1975 (UK) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Your senses will never be the same
Plot:
A psychosomatically deaf, dumb and blind boy becomes a master pinball player and the object of a religious cult because of that. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(236 articles)
User Reviews:
A fun if overblown rock opera with a cult following, shambolic plot with obvious attacks on religion and an eclectic cast See more (179 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Oliver Reed ... Frank Hobbs

Ann-Margret ... Nora Walker

Roger Daltrey ... Tommy Walker

Elton John ... Local Lad

Eric Clapton ... The Preacher

John Entwistle ... Himself

Keith Moon ... Uncle Ernie

Paul Nicholas ... Cousin Kevin

Jack Nicholson ... The Specialist

Robert Powell ... Captain Walker

Pete Townshend ... Himself

Tina Turner ... The Acid Queen
Arthur Brown ... The Priest

Victoria Russell ... Sally Simpson
Ben Aris ... Reverend Simpson
Mary Holland ... Mrs. Simpson
Gary Rich ... Rock Musician
Dick Allan ... President Black Angels
Barry Winch ... Young Tommy

Eddie Stacey ... Bovver Boy
Liza Strike ... Vocal Chorus (voice)
Gillian McIntosh ... Vocal Chorus (voice)
Simon Townshend ... Vocal Chorus / Newsboy (voice)
Vicki Brown ... Vocal Chorus / Nurse #2 (voice)
Mylon LeFevre ... Vocal Chorus (voice)
Kit Trevor ... Vocal Chorus (voice)
Billy Nicholls ... Vocal Chorus (voice)
Helen Shappel ... Vocal Chorus (voice)
Jeff Roden ... Vocal Chorus (voice)
Paul Gurvitz ... Vocal Chorus (voice)
Margo Newman ... Vocal Chorus / Nurse #1 (voice)
Alison Dowling ... Vocal Chorus / Young Tommy (voice)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jennifer Baker ... Nurse #1 (uncredited)
Susan Baker ... Nurse #2 (uncredited)
Imogen Claire ... Nurse at the Specialist's Practice (uncredited)
Christine Hewett ... Lady in Black Beauty Chocolate Commercial (uncredited)
Gillian King ... Handmaiden to the Acid Queen (uncredited)
Juliet King ... Handmaiden to the Acid Queen (uncredited)
Steven Longhurst ... Tommy accolyte (uncredited)
James Payne ... Man in Strip Club Collecting a Program (uncredited)
Alex 'Alien' Russell ... (uncredited)

Ken Russell ... Cripple (uncredited)
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Directed by
Ken Russell 
 
Writing credits
Pete Townshend (album)

Pete Townshend (story)

Ken Russell (screenplay)

Produced by
Harry Benn .... associate producer
Ken Russell .... producer
Christopher Stamp .... executive producer
Robert Stigwood .... producer
Beryl Vertue .... executive producer
 
Cinematography by
Dick Bush 
Robin Lehman (special material)
Ronnie Taylor 
 
Film Editing by
Stuart Baird 
 
Art Direction by
John Clark 
 
Costume Design by
Shirley Russell 
 
Makeup Department
George Blackler .... makeup artist
Joyce James .... hair stylist
Peter Robb-King .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
John Comfort .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jonathan Benson .... assistant director
Gareth Tandy .... third assistant director
 
Art Department
Terry Ackland-Snow .... assistant art director
Jack Carter .... construction manager
Paul Dufficey .... set designer
Christopher Hobbs .... sculptor
Tim Hutchinson .... set designer
Harry Newman .... property master
Bryn Siddall .... buyer
Ian Whittaker .... set dresser
 
Sound Department
Iain Bruce .... sound recordist
Dushko Indjic .... playback operator
Charlie McFadden .... boom operator
John Mosely .... quintophonic sound developer
Bill Rowe .... dubbing mixer
 
Special Effects by
Colin Chilvers .... special effects supervisor
Nobby Clark .... special effects
Chris Corbould .... special effects assistant (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
Malcolm Bubb .... special optical effects
Sheldon Elbourne .... special optical effects
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Bob Bremner .... gaffer
Eddie Collins .... camera operator
Dickie Lee .... key grip
Robin Lehman .... camera operator: special material
Brian Smith .... best boy
Malcolm Vinson .... focus puller
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Richard Pointing .... wardrobe supervisor
Leonard Pollack .... assistant costume designer
 
Editorial Department
David Bernstein .... colorist (digitally restored version)
Sati Tooray .... colorist
 
Music Department
Richard Bailey .... musician: drums
Howie Casey .... musician
Phil Chen .... musician: bass
Eric Clapton .... musician: guitar
Dave Clinton .... musician
Ray Cooper .... musician
Geoff Daley .... musician
Graham Deakin .... musician: drums
Bob Efford .... musician
John Entwistle .... musician: bass, brass
Martyn Ford .... music arranger
Nicky Hopkins .... music arranger
Nicky Hopkins .... musician: piano
Elton John .... musician: piano
Davey Johnstone .... musician: guitar
Kenney Jones .... musician: drums
Mike Kelly .... musician: drums
Keith Moon .... musician: drums
Dee Murray .... musician: bass
Ron Nevison .... music recordist
Tony Newman .... musician: drums
Nigel Olsson .... musician: drums
Caleb Quaye .... musician: guitar, lead guitar
Mick Ralphs .... musician: guitar
Terry Rawlings .... music editor
Alan Ross .... musician: acoustic guitar
Ronnie Ross .... musician
Fuzzy Samuels .... musician: bass
Gerald Shaw .... musician: theatre organ
Chris Stainton .... musician: organ and acoustic guitar
Tony Stevens .... musician: bass
Ray Thomas .... musician: drums
Pete Townshend .... musical director
Pete Townshend .... musician: arp synthesizer, guitar, keyboards, piano
Dave Wintour .... musician: bass
Ron Wood .... musician: guitar
 
Other crew
Lee Bolon .... location manager
Ricky Green .... location manager
Gillian Gregory .... choreographer
Kit Lambert .... original album producer
Kay Mander .... continuity
Ken Messenger .... flyer
James Payne .... utility stand-in
Dave Raymond .... flyer
Pete Townshend .... synthesizer programmer
Michael Anderson .... runner (uncredited)
Robin Demetriou .... cast and crew chef (uncredited)
 
Thanks
Bill Curbishley .... special thanks
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Tommy by 'The Who'" - USA (complete title)
"Tommy: The Movie" - USA (promotional title)
See more »
Runtime:
111 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Quintaphonic (5 channel Stereo) | Dolby
Certification:
Argentina:16 | Australia:M | Canada:PG (Ontario) | Canada:G (Quebec) | Denmark:15 (DVD rating) | Finland:K-15 (uncut) (2001) | Finland:K-16 (cut) (1977) | France:-12 | Iceland:L | Ireland:15 | Italy:T | Japan:PG-12 | New Zealand:R16 | Singapore:PG | Sweden:15 | UK:15 | UK:AA (original rating) | USA:PG (Approved No. 24081)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The building that is seen to be on fire, part of Tommy's holiday camp, is in fact really burning down. It is South Parade Pier in Southsea. A fire was accidentally started during the filming and the crew decided to include the footage in the film. The fire-crews and the fire are genuine. The pier was rebuilt and is still in use today.See more »
Goofs:
Crew or equipment visible: Shadow of camera crew visible when Tommy is stumbling around in the junkyard.See more »
Quotes:
Nora Walker Hobbs:I often wonder what it is he's feeling. Has he ever heard a word I've said? Look at him, now in the mirror dreaming. What is happening in his head? What is happening in his head? Oh, I wish I knew, I wish I knew.See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Prologue-1945See more »

FAQ

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49 out of 72 people found the following review useful.
A fun if overblown rock opera with a cult following, shambolic plot with obvious attacks on religion and an eclectic cast, 27 June 2004
Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom

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!

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Message Boards

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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Tommy: Best album made into worst movie. brinsonmh
How many saw this on the big screen? lenono68
Roger Daltrey made this movie incredibly difficult to watch. carlyj94
ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE MUSIC!!! reiswig789
marilyn monroe nickbatt93
giant pinball question miriamwebster
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