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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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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars an exercise in excess, 23 April 2008
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The film version of "Tommy" is sheer audiovisual overload. It's probably impossible to sit all the way though this extravaganza without popping out the room to make a cuppa or putting the player on hold overnight It's probably unfashionable to admit to liking it, though calling it a Cult Classic goes someway to sparing one's blushes. But thanks to DVD, we can now treat Ken Russell's rendering of Pete Townsend's rock opera like a box of rich chocolates: dip into your favourite scenes, or digest the whole lot at one sitting. Everyone knows by now the rather slender storyline of how young Tommy becomes deaf, dumb and blind after witnessing his war-hero father (Robert Powell), supposedly long-lost, return, only to be killed by his wife's thuggish lover (the joys of having Oliver Reed to cast in those days). The mother (Ann-Margaret) and lover take Tommy around a bunch of "specialists" in the course of the film, looking for a cure, including visits to Tina Turner's Acid Queen, and Jack Nicholson's psychiatrist, but all to no avail. Tommy, played as an adult by the Who's singer Roger Daltrey, complete with famous bubble perm, goes onto become the Pinball Champion and a cult hero... and then on to become something much, much bigger.

The Devil is in the details, and what riches this film has for a fan of the 1970s! The music of the original late 60s rock opera is here revisted as a highly synthesized score; very prog in places. Its actually at ite most dazzling in the Overture, where we see Captain Walker and his young bride rock-climbing in the Lake District. For a film in which a mirror plays a significant and symbolic role, "Tommy" stands as an especially rich mirror of 70s infamous rock excess. Who can forget Ann-Margaret getting half-drowned in a torrent of baked beans, champagne and chocolate spewed out by the TV set? (Famously, she insisted on wearing her own jewellery on the shoot and lost a diamond earring in the melee: stagehands had to sort through all the choccy-beans mess on set to find it). Who can forget a seriously high Eric Clapton almost literally sleepwalking though his role as a cult leader in a white church filled with Marilyn Monroes? He looked so soporiphic on film that they had to get Arthur Brown in as his priest-cum-court jester to prance about and liven up the screen. There's Ollie Reed's Teddy Boy lover, all sideburns and brothel creepers: no singing voice whatsoever, but always a joy to see that famous mug on film. There's the creepy seediness of the late, great Keith Moon's Uncle Ernie, a paedophile on Ollie's side of the family ("down with the bedsheets/up with the nightshirt/fiddle about"), cracking a raw egg into his beer and gulping it down. And it would be a sin not to mention Elton John as the Pinball Wizard in probably Tommy's most famous song, towering over everyone on his enormous sequinned bovver boots. By the end of the film, the attention wanders a bit, and it all gets a bit anti-climatic: the best set-pieces are over and done with. But "Tommy" stands as a pretty entertaining mix of 70s Glam style and features some of the decade's biggest stars, from both sides of the Atlantic. "Tommy" actually looks a bit tame compared to some of the things Ken Russell went on to do (I'm thinking of the impaled nuns in "Lair of the White Worm" now). Ken's glory days may be behind him, but he is great fun to listen to, as his appearance on Celebrity Big Brother proved, and his audio commentary on the DVD is well worth checking out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Tommy 1975, 26 Sep 2013
By 
Kevin Dawson "Green Weasel" (Horsham UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Tommy (Special Edition) [DVD] [1975] (DVD)
Ken Russel's adaptation of the Who's ,not so classic and not so rocky, rock opera.
In short its a about a lad(Tommy played by Roger Daltry) who is traumatised into what might be described as a silent and dark world of innocence after witnessing the violent death of his father (Robert Powell) at the hands of his step-father ( the quirkily but effectively cast Oliver Reed). To be fair, everybody including the audience had been led to believe his dad was already dead and walking-in on his wife(Ann Margret) and her new spouse while they were in the throws of passion was not a well-planned move .
From there the film revolves around the family's attempts to live a jolly,normal 1950s life while seeking to cure Tommy of his deaf,dumb and blindness and his eventual rise to Messianic status as leader of a Utopian cult.Unsurprisingly human greed and failings don't allow this happy state of affairs to last long .
On one level its a pretty standard parady of the corruption of religion . Its also a quirky film. Darkly comic set-pieces are interplayed with light-hearted jollyness and some scenes that are quite frankly worrying . Tina Turner's Acid Queen scene is a ghastly highlight .Who drummer Kieth Moon's portrayal of pervy Uncle Ernie came across like a scene from a rather dark Carry-On film in its day but modern audiences might find it quite uncomfortable to watch .
Musical highlights include Elton John's Pinball Wizard,Tina Turner's turn as the Acid Queen and a couple of classic Who songs toward the end of the film. Apart from that the music pretty bland . Apart from a neat little performance by frothy pop-star of the time Paul Nicholas that is . Throwing-off his Mr Clean image in favour of a role as sadistic Cousin Kevin he gives a brief burst of energy to the film.
Those into motorcyles will have fun spotting the makes of machine used by the gangs of hired biker extras in their big fight scene . In fact in my view the most poignant image of the whole film is the look on the face of a young ,wounded Hell's Angel who thinks he has crawled to safety only to find ...... Well let's not spoil it .
Very much of its time ,Tommy may seem disturbing , possibly irrelevent , maybe boring and almost certainly over-hyped by a modern audience . On the other hand it could be viewed as a weird and wonderful bit of art that ,albeit grotesquely touches on human failings, and unspoken social issues .
Ann Margret in her role as Tommy's mum works very hard by the way and there are some who will find the film just as exhausting to watch . I saw it when it came out and I will watch it again but my finger will be hovering over the fast forward button in places . I kinda want to give it another star but.....
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tommy, glad to see you again!, 29 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Tommy [DVD] (DVD)
I have been looking for this DVD for ages. I saw the movie when it was first launched, and -as almost any Ken Russell film- I was overwhelmed by the exuberance of colours, sounds, etc. Even after all these years, the rather simple story (young boy turns deaf, dumb and blind, but becomes a Messiah to all) impressed me and even though things might seem a bit old-fashioned after more than 35 years, I loved it. Great performances of classic actors like Ann Margaret and Oliver Reed, and good cameos (or even more) of many famous pop artists as Elton John, Tina Turner and -of course- all of the members of The Who.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Film Ever Made, 25 Oct 2011
This review is from: Tommy [1975] [DVD] (DVD)
This really is the BEST film ever made in the whole history of cinema. First of all it was directed by Ken Russell during his golden age. Who else could really have directed something like this anyway? It is a magical experience from start to finish. I have seen it many many times over the years and I still love it.

Wonderfully cast and the musical arrangements are spot on, i never really liked the original Tommy album by the Who as it sounded dull, it is a real music joy.

Without doubt my personal favbourite film of all time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rock Opera, 3 Oct 2009
By 
A. E. Davies "mad davy" (Johannesburg SA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Tommy [1975] [DVD] (DVD)
Excellent Cast, excellent music, brilliant production, would certainly recomend it to any rock fan especially fans of the WHO, ELTON JOHN and ERIC CLAPTON. For anyone wishing to see Jack Nicholson and Oliver Reed singing together a must. Fantastic performance from Ann Margret who really shows her class. A typical Ken Russel production.
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An exellant rock-opera that puts a new meaning to musicals, 29 Mar 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Tommy [DVD] [1975] (DVD)
This rock-opera was directed buy the wierd and wonderful Ken Russel in 1975. This marvellous rock orientated musical was well known due to the band "the who" whom write all the songs for the "tommy" sound-track, "the who" band members (Roger Daltrey, Pete Townsend, Keith Moon & John Entlwistle)also had star roles in the movie. This brilliant musical's story line is about a boy who witnessed his mother and her lover murder his father who was lost and persumed dead at war. when his mother and her lover tells him "you didnt see it", "you didnt hear it" & "you will say nothing to know one" mixes with the young boy's traumer at that moment and causes him to become death, dumb & blind. As the boy (Roger Daltrey) grows into his adult-hood his mother and her lover attempts on numerous occassions to cure his illness. Some of the people the mother and lover go to in seek of a cure for there boy are the preacher (Eric Clapton), the acid queen (Tina Turner) & the local doctor (Jack Nicolson), all of these attempts to cure fail up until the moment the boy discovers pinball and defeats the pinball wizard (Elton John). Now he is cured he becoms a god, a teenage heart throbe, and a holiday camp owner.
This musical is one of the best ever made & its also one of those films that is even liked buy those who do not like "the who". "Tommy" hosts somthing for everyone!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tommy DVD, 21 July 2012
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This review is from: Tommy [DVD] (DVD)
Great film. If you are a fan of The Who then you'll really enjoy this rock opera. Its the story of Tommy, a young child who witnesses his father killed by his mother's lover and becomes blind, deaf and dumb. He goes through life trapped within himself but ends up becoming famous by playing pinball. In the end he manages to come back to his senses and preach about pinball to the people and help them. I know it sounds strange but give it a go, its ace. Roger Daltrey delivers a sterling performance as Tommy, and gives a great rendition of 'I'm Free' It also stars Eric Clapton, Tina Turner, Elton John, Oliver Reed, Jack Nicholson, Ann Margret and Keith Moon as Uncle Ernie (you'll have to see that one for yourself). All in all 5/5.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cult classic, but disappointing for fans of the album, 5 July 2004
By 
Touring Mars (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Tommy (Special Edition) [DVD] [1975] (DVD)
As a fan of The Who, I decided that owning this movie was necessary, but after watching it again for the first time in years, I'm not so sure anymore.
As you might expect from Ken Russell, the movie itself is totally barmy, although it does stick well to the range of (disturbing) themes touched upon in the album. But despite looking and sounding better than ever on this new edition DVD, nothing can stop this film from looking (and sounding) terribly dated.
As a huge fan of the album, I can't help but to feel disappointed by the soundtrack of the film. Despite some great performances by Elton John ('Pinball Wizard') and Tina Turner ('Acid Queen'), and appearances by The Who and Eric Clapton, most of the songs are sung by Oliver Reed and Ann-Margret in character, and all the songs are 1975 updates of the originals, loaded with synthesizers, and bereft of the dynamic energy that characterised the original album. Considering that the music is the main reason that most people would consider buying this film at all, it seems a shame to have so little actual Who music in the film.
As for the DVD, you certainly do get your money's worth, nicely packaged and presented, and plenty of extras on the second disc. But despite some classic moments, and genuinely good performances from Reed, Ann-Margret and Roger Daltrey (as Tommy), it just doesn't represent the brilliance of the album for me at all, and is a bit of an anachronism. Fans of the album will be disappointed, and I can't see myself watching it very often.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 11 July 2014
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This review is from: Tommy (Special Edition) [DVD] [1975] (DVD)
good disc and very good value
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 14 Jun 2014
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Amazing film with fantastic music.
Casting and acting were great.
It's a film we will be watching again and again
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Tommy (Special Edition) [DVD] [1975]
Tommy (Special Edition) [DVD] [1975] by Ken Russell (DVD - 2004)
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