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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars That deaf dumb and blind kid....sure plays mean pinball!
I first became aquainted with Tommy through such films as Yellow Submarine-films that use music to create a story and keep audiences hooked from beginning to end. Although Yellow Submarine is more of a film based on the music, Tommy is a film OF music. The Who had created an amazingly original and beautiful story when they released the album Tommy; about a boy struck...
Published on 2 April 2005 by sherbertlemon

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Back In Time
Tommy:- You either loved it or hated it. However, it has stood the test of time. Is it a Rock remake of the story of Christ or just a rambling set of images designed to make the best use of the music? You have to make up your own mind. I love the film and filming my wife hates it! The Who have just made a come back and it is about time you dug out the Tommy movie...
Published on 13 Jan 2008 by N. D. Jervis


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars That deaf dumb and blind kid....sure plays mean pinball!, 2 April 2005
I first became aquainted with Tommy through such films as Yellow Submarine-films that use music to create a story and keep audiences hooked from beginning to end. Although Yellow Submarine is more of a film based on the music, Tommy is a film OF music. The Who had created an amazingly original and beautiful story when they released the album Tommy; about a boy struck deaf, dumb and blind following a childhood trauma who went on to become a pinball wizard and a cult figure. The film not only takes the music one step further by adding colour and drama but it captures the spirit and imagination of the 1970s.
What astounded me was the emotion and power of the music, clearly striking a chord within my music lovin' soul and keeping me entertained. The cast are irriplacable; Tina Turner is fabulous as the acid queen, Paul Nicholas leaves a lasting mark as the sadistic cousin Kevin and there is no other person on earth who could have played the main man himself- Roger Daltrey IS Tommy.
So finally, I would recommend this film to those who enjoy the finer things in life- music, champagne, colour...and pinball!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars interesting bit of fun, 20 Aug 2004
This film is fun! Ken Russell or no, it would be hard for any director to make a coherent one and a half hours (or whatever) out of it. But does it matter? Hardly, in my opinion. Its a great film, with some interesting performances and cameos, ace soundtrack, the famous baked bean bath scene of course and lots more - in fact, probably too much. Lets not be too hasty in slating the technical performance of Jack Nicholson and Oliver Reed: surely its more entertaining the fact that they are in a musical at all - ?? It all adds to the wierdness of the whole thing. Its one of those films, for one of those days. Essential.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ken Russell's surreal and hypnotic version of the rock opera, 26 April 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Tommy [VHS] [1975] (VHS Tape)
Back when directors and film projects were allowed to be amibitious, Ken Russell tackled the rock opera by the Who. Aided by a cast of actors and rock stars, Russell took the original album, updated the story to WWII rather than I, and added surreal touches to otherwise "normal" scenes. The film has been accused of being loud and garish, but would anyone actually want to see a rock opera film that was quiet and conventional? The best scenes occur in the first half, but there's something of interest in nearly every scene. The cast is superb, with anxious-eyed Ann-Margret earning a Best Actress Oscar nomination as Tommy's guilt-ridden mother. Oliver Reed is a wonderfully Dickensian villain, and Roger Daltrey makes a huge visual impact as Tommy. The "Acid Queen" sequence is probably hands-down the best rock scene in movies thanks to Tina Turner and Russell's staging--check out the touching and disturbing shot of Daltrey decked out as St. Sebastian of the Arrows during the LSD sequence as the camera pans down his body and then discovers Ann-Margret writhing in horror on the floor. Only Ken Russell could dream up this kind of shot and get away with it. Though Ken Russell's career has indeed been an erratic one, he merits more attention than he receives. "Tommy," along with Russell's "The Devils," "Women in Love," "Savage Messiah," and "Mahler" are unique in the pantheon of 70's cinema.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A period piece movie but still powerful, 29 May 2009
By 
Greg Farefield-Rose (Hertfordshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Tommy [1975] [DVD] (DVD)
With its typically over -the-top production by Ken Russell and big musical arrangements of the originally sparse songs, Tommy is something of a decadent 70s interpretation of Pete Townsend's' rock opera. Despite this, it is still excellent and thought provoking, mainly due to Townsend's superb songs and mind-blowing story as well as a fine, often unheralded lead performance by Roger Daltrey.

Tommy tells the story of a traumatised "death, dumb and blind kid" who is horrifically abused by various family members and supposed cure healers. He is then amazingly cured as an adult and is elevated to something of a Messiah figure, a role he ultimately, spectacularly rejects.

Russell's film looks at the themes of religion, the exploitation of Tommy as a product and so much more with one-song cameos by many of the stars of the day such as Tina Turner, Eric Clapton, Jack Nicholson and Paul Nicholas. All of this adds to the sense of decadence to the movie which, although a period piece, is still powerful today due to Townsend's amazing vision and Daltrey's believable performance.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hear me, See me........., 25 Sep 2004
By A Customer
Tommy (the film) had several audiences to potentially annoy. Die hard fans of The Who album may have cringed at some of the vocal performances (Oliver Reed, springs to mind for so many reasons). Fan's of Ken Russell's earlier, 'not so odd' movies blame Tommy for his so-called downward spiral into films like Whore and Lair of the White Worm. It's true that the film has dated and that it's themes are laddled in with a very heavy hand. But ... !
ZOUNDS! It just goes to show how daft people are.
This film has it all brilliant music, perfectly performed, (it's far more electrifying than the original album, I don't care what anyone says). The imagery has that uneasy hotness that one gets from flicking through the wrong type of tabloid paper, (after an evening of accessive absinth abuse). Ken Russell is a unique artist 'who' though uniquely British, ironically would be venerated if he had emerged on the continent. This film cuts through one's brain like a white hot wire through lard and so what if it's dated? The Mona Lisa isn't?
It's got Oliver Reed in it ! Reed, another victim of the British habit for ignoring genius in their midst, is perfect in his role. So what if he can't sing, he's in character as a common teddy boy he isn't meant to sing properly. The Who are on top form, Tina Turner is brilliant beyond belief. And Miss Magrite is a sensation -- even Paul Nicholas is perfect!
I defy anyone who watches this film not to wish you could cartwheel like Roger Daltry, (he can't be a member of the same species as I...can he?)
Watch this film over and over again. I emplore you!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Back In Time, 13 Jan 2008
By 
N. D. Jervis (Germany) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Tommy:- You either loved it or hated it. However, it has stood the test of time. Is it a Rock remake of the story of Christ or just a rambling set of images designed to make the best use of the music? You have to make up your own mind. I love the film and filming my wife hates it! The Who have just made a come back and it is about time you dug out the Tommy movie again
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent value, 18 Aug 2004
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Really great to see the film again, the Ken Russell and Pete Townsend interviews on the bonus disc are terrific, Townsend's depth as an artist and thinker alway takes me by surprise. Excellent value in my opinion.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Plenty weird yet compelling - and the music's great, 5 Aug 2005
By 
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
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Having heard about Tommy for years, I felt it was time to actually watch the movie. I had never acquired much of a sense for what the movie is about, probably because I don't think it is really possible to actually explain the film to anyone else. This is some pretty weird stuff. As the thing progressed, I had a hard time figuring out if I liked what I was seeing, whether it made any sense, etc. In the end, I must say I did enjoy the film, thanks largely to Daltrey, the music, and Ann-Margaret. What does it all mean? That's a toughie, as I'm sure the story means different things to different people. I had the sense that Tommy is supposed to be some kind of spiritual experience, and in some ways it is - maybe.
Here's my ridiculously oversimplified summary of the basic story. As a kid, Tommy is messed up pretty good, having witnessed something pretty dramatic; as a result, he becomes deaf, blind, and mute - for psychological rather than physical reasons. His mother (Ann-Margaret) and step-father try all kinds of weird cures as Tommy enters what should be his adulthood, including a visit to the holy rollers at a church that worships Marilyn Monroe and a special session with "The Acid Queen" (Tina Turner). Nothing seems to get through to him - until, of course, he happens to come across a pinball machine. Truly, that deaf, dumb, and blind kid sure plays a mean pinball, knocking the current pinball wizard (Elton John) off his pedestal. Suddenly, Tommy's family is rolling in the money, yet Tommy remains uncommunicative. When he does eventually find "awareness," he is transformed into a messiah figure, and crowds flock to him to hear his wisdom.
The film gets off to a pretty slow start, as we follow Tommy's childhood. Then Tina Turner enters the picture as The Acid Queen, and she forevermore gets the joint jumping with her electric performance. Other memorable performers include Eric Clapton, Elton John, and Jack Nicholson (who does in fact sing here). Ann-Margaret tops all of them with her performance, though, earning an Academy Award nomination for her work. It's a demanding role; alongside the acting and singing, she also has to roll around in a chocolatey, gooey mess. She may have been a little older in 1975, but Ann-Margaret definitely still had it.
The boys from the band pop in from time to time, but the story is increasingly focused on Tommy, his awakening, and his cult following. Some really obvious representations of Christianity are incorporated into the film, while, at the same time, greed and materialism are also spotlighted as false gods. Ultimately, though - thanks to a problematic ending -it is hard for me to discern the message that the filmmakers were actually trying to communicate here. I've heard that The Who's original album makes some of the more esoteric aspects of the Tommy story a little clearer.
Obviously, some individuals will not like this film at all; it's sort of an acid trip on film, vague and unsettling with its symbolism and discernible criticisms of organized religion. Others may find enlightenment of one sort or another. Most people, including me, will probably just look at this as a weird but oddly entertaining musical that leaves you scratching your head a little bit after you watch it. Of course, even if the story loses you completely, you still have plenty of great music from The Who to sit back and enjoy.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The greatest and most influential film of ours or anytime, 25 Jun 2004
By 
Simon Edwards (Liverpool, England) - See all my reviews
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Tommy might baffle many film audiences but that is one of the greatest things about it: its psychedelic genius that happens to overthrow all previous films. It is a musical that is based on an album by classic rock band The Who. The album was fantastic but the film creates the greatness even better.
On first time of watching this film, it does take a while to get in as you try to get your head around the sets, the story and the total non-lack of Who music. But once you have got into it, it is a total fun ride from beginning to end that you want to watch over and over. This is a film that you can never get bored with as you watch the great special guests from the likes of Eric Clapton, Tina Turner, Oliver Reed, Ann Margaret, Jack Nicholson and the Who themselves with Keith Moon playing Uncle Ernie and Roger Daltry in the performance of his career, Tommy.
One of the main reasons you want to watch this film is because Roger Daltry is so good. You can actually believe he is a deaf, dumb and blind kid who has been totally traumatised by the events of his childhood - watching the murder of his father, being abused by his Cousin Kevin in a very disturbing scene and the abuse of his Uncle Ernie by a very horrible looking Keith Moon.
This DVD preovides a greatness to the movie itself. It is the ultimate edition that you want. When watching Tommy on this DVD, you will feel even more joyful by the songs that appear all the way throughout the film and the interviews that the present members give. As soon as Tommy has finished, you will feel sad and joyful at the same time but more joyful because you realise you can just go back to the beginning and watch Tommy again and again and be encaptured by one of the greatest and most influential films of ours or anyone elses time.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have - for the middle aged if no-one else!!, 17 Oct 2007
By 
Ms. V. Wilkinson (Sussex (England)) - See all my reviews
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The music is brilliant, even if some of it makes no sense. Much of it is very cliched, and was when it came out. My teenage daughters described the film as "a bit trippy", which is an understatement. Ken Russell's direction is ideosyncratic as ever. But hey, what the heck? Pour yourself a glass or two of wine and have fun watching it. Just don't take it too seriously! Men - AnnMargret, and those beans... And for the women, obviously- Roger Daltrey, bare chested and absolutely gorgeous, running, swimming, turning cartwheels on the beach - that excerpt alone is worth the price and first class postage!
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Tommy [VHS] [1975]
Tommy [VHS] [1975] by Ken Russell (VHS Tape - 1998)
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