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Tommy (1975)

PG | | Drama, Musical | 26 March 1975 (UK)
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2:09 | Trailer

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

Director:

Ken Russell

Writers:

The Who (by) (as 'The Who'), Ken Russell (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Stars: Rudolf Nureyev, Leslie Caron, Michelle Phillips
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Oliver Reed ... Frank
Ann-Margret ... Nora
Roger Daltrey ... Tommy
Elton John ... The Pinball Wizard
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 Arthur Brown ... The Priest
Victoria Russell Victoria Russell ... Sally Simpson
Ben Aris 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 March 1975 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Tommy: The Movie See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$34,251,525
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

George Lucas was offered the chance to direct this movie in the early 1970s, but turned it down, because he was developing American Graffiti (1973). 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

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 »

Alternate Versions

The close-up shot of "Holy Marylin Monroe"'s crotch was deleted from the "Eyesight To The Blind" song scene in the syndicated television version of the film. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Like a Hurricane: The Alex Higgins Story (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Extra, Extra, Extra
(uncredited)
Written by Pete Townshend
Performed by Alan Ross, Pete Townshend, Tony Stevens, Kenney Jones,
Simon Townshend
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A true taste of the '70s
14 January 2005 | by s-dewittSee all my reviews

Tommy is one of those films I can watch again and again. I guess I first saw it when I was about 15, and what made most immediate impact was the music. Strident and tightly coupled to the plot. The Who are brilliant, and Elton John as the Pinball Wizard is just mind blowing (if slightly camp).

I have since watched it countless times and it wasn't til I watched it in, how shall I put this, an illegal state of mind, that I actually realised how well the film hangs together and it's real meaning. Up until then I mainly watched it for the music, but after that it became a whole different ballgame, and I watched it to extract more of what Ken Russell was really trying to get at.

Anyone younger than about 30 probably will not understand this film at all, but if you are of the right generation, see it a couple of times because you may not get the meaning the first viewing.

Several memorable performances - Elton John as the Pinball Wizard, Keith Moon as Uncle Ernie, Ann Margaret as Tommy's mother and - of course - Ollie Reed who has never done a bad film.


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