New York Times - 03/20/1975
"...TOMMY virtually explodes with excitement on the screen....The performers are extravagantly fine..."
USA Today - 09/17/1999
"...The Who's rock opera TOMMY was an apt screen subject for director Ken Russell's visual bombast..."
Uncut - 07/01/2004
"[R]edeemed by the performances of Ann-Margret and Oliver Reed, interesting cameos from Elton John and Tina Turner, and a stylish sense of design."
Mojo - 12/01/2004
"[I]t's better enjoyed as a sequence of lurid performances of Who songs..."
A.V. Club - 09/01/2010
"[I]t's still a powerful experience, musically and visually....The music has the ferocity of a Who live performance..." -- Grade: B+
Director Ken Russell's vibrant, hyperactive version of the Who's classic rock opera tells the story of a boy (Roger Daltrey) rendered deaf, dumb, and blind by the sight of his father's murder. His psychedelic journey through a maze of abusive relatives and strange "cures" eventually leads to enlightenment and sainthood. The film is based on guitarist Pete Townshend's stage opera, and features a star-studded cast that includes Ann-Margret, Oliver Reed, Elton John, Jack Nicholson, and Tina Turner.
This classic rock opera is brought energetically to life by an outstanding cast including many stars of the rock music industry. Told through the remarkable music of The Who, this is the story of Tommy, who, when just a boy of six, wit¬nessed the murder of his father by his mother (Ann-Margret) and her lover (Oliver Reed). They command him, “You didn't hear it, you didn't see it, and you won't say anything to any¬one…” As a result, the traumatized boy retreats into the shadows of his mind and becomes deaf, dumb and blind. Growing into manhood, Tommy (Roger Daltrey) is subjected to several bizarre cure attempts by The Acid Queen (Tina Turner), the Preacher (Eric Clapton), and the Specialist (Jack Nicholson). In spite of his handicap, Tommy defeats the Pinball Wizard (Elton John) and becomes the champ, attaining a devoted following. When he is finally cured, he is hailed by his fans as a “Messiah.”
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