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53 Reviews
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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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3.0 out of 5 stars strange, 11 Jan 2011
Very strange film!! the gist of it is there is a deaf dumb and blind child but he is a great pinball wizard. its got Elton John, Tina Turner and a few more stars in it but its very weird, lots of things in it that don't make sense but again if your a fan of Roger Doultry and the WHO its OK.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Come On The Amazing Journey, 30 Mar 2010
Can I assume no one reading this is coming to Tommy for the first time?

Good, then I'll begin.

This is one of those things that you have probably grown up with, one way or another. As such, it stands up pretty well. It has lost none of it's wackiness, the music is still brilliant and the concept much copied. The movie - for me the introduction to Tommy and The Who back in my early teenage years - marries song and visuals better than I remembered. It's hard to imagine, for instance, Baz Lurmann making a better job of it today.

The songs are catchy and endlessly hummable which is a great part of the appeal, but it is the visuals which linger longest. The slight squalor of post-war Britian is neatly evoked, as are 70's home décor nightmares, albeit made just a bit larger than life. The contradiction of a Victorian theatre as pre-arena rock concert venue (as played by a pinball tournament) brought back memories of my younger years and going to see what I thought was cutting edge, young person's music in what my parents knew to be decrepit it flea pits. How new and original we all thought we were being.

So, be it for the music, the visuals, the period references or just Anne Margaret rolling around in beans and chocolate, then Tommy is to be highly recommended.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Tommy, 12 Feb 2010
By 
K. holt (middlesex ,England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Tommy [1975] [DVD] (DVD)
Hadnt watched all of this film properly years ago , so i brought it.It didnt let me down ,its just as wacky and entertaining as i remembered it.Goes on abit in places but i persevered.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I Was In It!, 7 Dec 2009
By 
Martin Nichols (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was actually in 'Tommy'. You can see me (feel me...) for a nanosecond in the Pinball Wizard scene, filmed at the King's Theatre Southsea in the summer of 1974. We spent two days filming it for 2 minutes of airtime. In payment we got to see The Who for free at a full special concert just for us. Elton John did not walk in those boots, by the way. Every step required him to be moved by hand. Several friends had bigger parts, including Cheryl Thake, who played the messenger who comes to Ann-Margret to say her husband's dead (and you thought it was a man? Well she had her moments too). Russell also burnt down the South Parade Pier during the filming - you can se it actually happening during Listening to You. A great nostalgia trip all round. I don't know what half of it means either.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Feel Me..., 2 Aug 2004
This review is from: Tommy (Special Edition) [DVD] [1975] (DVD)
What can you say but quite simply one of the best musicals ever. Ken Russell turns Pete Townsend upto 11 and this is all the better for it.
Being a big fan of the CD version there are a few story and song alterations but these generally enhance the experience.
Sure Jack nicholson is not the best singer in the world but Oliver Reed gives a wonderfully understated performance as a man trapped in a relationship where IMHO he cares more about Tommy's well being than that of Ann Margret, check out the scene with Uncle Ernie.
You'll be humming I'm Free for a week afterwards.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars STRANGE AUDIO IN 5.1, 16 May 2013
This review is from: Tommy [DVD] (DVD)
I'M NOT A FAN OF DOLBY DIGITAL I FIND IT TO HAVE IMPERFECTIONS LIKE MINOR CLICKS. HOWEVER AFTER BUYING THIS DVD I FIRST WATCHED IT WITH 5.1 SURROUND SOUND. I FOUND THE SOUND FROM THE REAR SPEAKERS ON MY ONKYO TANNOY COMBIE TO BE REVERSED. THE MUSIC SEEMED TO BE LOUDER THAN THE VOCALS. THIS FILM WAS ORIGINALS RECORDED IN SANSUI ANALOG QUINTRONIC SURROUND SOUND 1974 EQUIVALENT TO WHAT WOULD BE / SEEMS TO BE DOLBY'S DIGITAL 5.1 .
THE NEXT TIME I WATCH THIS FILM I WILL WATCH IT IN 2 CHANNEL STEREO AND CONVERT IT TO 2 CHANNEL STEREO VIA MY ONKYO SURROUND SYSTEM.
VERY GOOD MOVIE .
AND THE LEADING LADY ANN MARGARET LOOKS YOUNGER TODAY THAN SHE DID IN 1974 WHEN THIS FILM WAS SHOT!
ENJOY
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6 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars You'll split your sides laughing., 18 July 2004
By A Customer
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Tommy (Special Edition) [DVD] [1975] (DVD)
When Tommy was given its theatrical release in UK cinemas the hype borrowed a line from The Acid Queen. The publicist's copy told members of the public that Tommy would 'tear their soul apart.' The more likely outcome was that they would either split their sides laughing or wet themselves laughing.
However, one of the worst things about being a collector is the desire to keep your collection up to date. Finally the time had come to replace my virtualy unused VHS copy of the movie with this new DVD version.
Under Ken Russell's rather bonkers direction the film went over the top within the first reel and never came back down again. Watching it again for the first time in many years, it would be fair to say that the imagery and style of the film have not aged very well. The fundamental flaw from the outset was the casting of actors who couldn't carry a tune in a bucket and then expecting them provide much of the narrative as set out in Townshend's lyrics.
The casting of Oliver Reed, whose singing voice sounded more like an elephant breaking wind, was always a puzzle. The bonus disc in this new DVD release explains how this aural torture came to be. Reed had been contracted to act in another Ken Russell film that had failed to go into production. Reed was suing Russell over his contract. So Russell gave Reed a lead role in Tommy. They settled their legal squabble and the world got to hear the vocal talent that was Oliver Reed. (If only this had been known at the time Who fans could have had a whip round and paid Reed off!)
It would be unfair to lay too much of the blame for the dreadful movie soundtrack at Reed's door. For example Jack Nicholson's 'doctor' isn't much better and Paul Nicholas's inclusion seems to owe more to the fact that his Dad was then The Who's lawyer, rather than to Nicholas's acting and singing talents. Mind you with their vocal talents combined they serve to make Ann Margaret sound fantastic by comparison. There are some excellent musical performances from Elton John and Tina Turner and a few good reasonable ones including one from a rather shaky looking Eric Clapton. Daltrey sings as well as one would expect but lip syncing was never one of his best talents.
In many respects the director's commentary and the bonus DVD, with its interviews filled with production trivia and anecdotes, are reason enough for a fan to add this DVD to his or her collection. For example repeated questions asked of Russell re the various locations used in the film invariably result in the same answer 'Portsmouth'. Daltrey and Townshend's memories of Oliver Reed's vocal sessions are priceless.There are also some interesting comments re the animation sequences and the similarity of some of Gerald Scarfe's work which he produced years later for Pink Floyd's The Wall feature.
Of course, the DVD release has much improved sound and picture quality, but who really wants to watch or listen to the film in greater clarity? Most would probably prefer to peek at it through the gaps between their fingers with their hands over their eyes. Enjoy it for the documentary dimension and as a quirky example of a style of cinema that almost began and ended with Ken Russell. Oh, and of course the DVD gives you scene selection to skip straight to Ann Margaret thrashing around in baked beans and chocolate!
One's thing for certain, The Beatles were very lucky to have made their first cinematic outings with Dick Lester. That said their drug induced Magical Mystery Tour TV feature probably inspired Ken Russell.
Ultimately one does have to feel a bit sorry for Russell. He did direct some marvellous movies in his day, sadly Tommy isn't one of them. He's now seen as a rather sad and eccentric fellow, who nobody will trust with much more than a camcorder. However, the bonus disc shows him to be quite a jolly individual and reasonably content in his own parallel universe. He's not even particularly aggrieved that he didn't receive his expected payment from the producers of the movie. One somehow suspects that the fact that they took his straigtjacket off and gave him a film crew to play with for a few months was reward enough.
In summary, Tommy is (and always was) a crap film. Had it been made in Hollywood rather than the UK then I am sure that the Medved brothers would have selected it as one of the all time cinematic howlers. That said, it is actually quite fun to hear something of how it all came together from the bonus material. Don't pay too much for the package as you really aren't going to watch this more than a couple of times.
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4 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great Stars with Hangovers acting Silly, 23 Jan 2003
By 
fields21 "fields21" (Hoogerheide, Netherlands) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Tommy [VHS] [1975] (VHS Tape)
This video doesn't do much credit to the Album, despite the Great Names cast. It's looks like the whole cast decided to have a great party - and start acting with a hangover.
Worse, the vision of the actual VHS is slightly blurred and the sound is awkard (as coming through an aquarium) as well & this is really what makes it lousy to watch (yes we're spoilt with dvd).
So the whole thing appears as a drugs infused All Star Party, following a extremely weak plot. It might have worked as a musical, definitely not as this movie. Some few scenes are allright and a sometimes a handful of actors (desperately) make an effort, but this is an exception and do not save the movie from becoming a long boring video clip, with the sound coming from next door's.
A lost chance, perhaps, which could well do with some stiff sound editing. For the die-hard fans, star gazers & lovers of odd-seventies stuff only.
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars disappointing, 6 May 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Tommy [VHS] [1975] (VHS Tape)
I bought this film expecting it to be a good who film. I loved the album and thought that the video would be as good. I was disappointed though by it. It was boring and stupid. The film would have been taken more seriously if it was a cartoon. However, saying this the music was good - It is the Who though isn't it
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the fantastic tommy, 13 April 2006
This review is from: Tommy (Special Edition) [DVD] [1975] (DVD)
my dad and mum went to see this when it first came out. as a hardcore who fan they keep say you got to see tommy. so i did. fantastic, great the best rock opera i have seen. wired yes but amazing anna margret is great. fantsticly directed. if you whant to see the mind of pete townshand watch tommy. oh yah rogger and moon where fantastic.
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Tommy (Special Edition) [DVD] [1975]
Tommy (Special Edition) [DVD] [1975] by Ken Russell (DVD - 2004)
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