CHANNEL 4 4SEVEN E4 MORE4 FILM4 4MUSIC 4oD

Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • AA
  • Drama, Fantasy
  • 1975
  • 111 mins

Tommy

Tommy

Synopsis

A pompous, overwrought slurry of unintelligible psychedelia, gigantic egos and ridiculous costumes. Worth watching, just in case you ever took The Who seriously. Ken Russell directs

About

The Who's pomp-rock opera about fickle hero-worship tracks Daltrey's ascension from deaf, dumb and blind kid to penny arcade saviour. Russell's adaptation is as overblown as its plot-line.

After his father dies, young Daltrey falls into a funk. The only stimulation to which he'll respond is a pinball machine. He perfects his technique, playing from Soho to Brighton, beating John to become the game's undisputed wizard. His victory attracts a following who mistake his staring silence as spiritual depth and his status mushrooms from celebrity to deity before he's outshone by the next star emerging over the horizon.

Russell's hypertrophied direction actually manages to exaggerate the pretentious obesity of Townsend's vision. Momentary relief comes from turns by Keith Moon as the fiddling Uncle Ernie and Tina Turner as the sexy Acid Queen, while Daltrey showed enough talent to ensure another career when The Who's own bubble burst.

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Elton John, Ann-Margret, Roger Daltrey, Eric Clapton, Oliver Reed, Jack Nicholson
  • Director: Ken Russell
  • Writer: Ken Russell
  • Producer: Ken Russell, Robert Stigwood
  • Photographer: Robin Lehman, Dick Bush, Ronnie Taylor
  • Composer: Keith Moon, Pete Townshend, John Entwistle

In a nutshell

Overlong, over-indulgent, overdone. Ken Russell's take on The Who's shambolic rock opera could stand as the definition of his lack of restraint as a filmmaker.

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4 The Babadook

    The Babadook

    Widowed mum Amelia (Essie Davis) finds caring for her wayward child Samuel (Noah Wiseman) a tall order. But shes more or less coping until a scary picture book about the mysterious Babadook starts to haunt this single parent family

  • Film4 This Is Where I Leave You

    This Is Where I Leave You

    Shortly after discovering his wifes infidelity, Judd (Jason Bateman) learns of the death of his father. Forced to return to his childhood home to spend a week with his mother, four siblings and his extended family, Judd tries to take stock of his life.

  • Film4 Beasts of the Southern Wild

    Beasts Of The Southern Wild on Film4

    Quvenzhané Wallis stars in an Oscar-nominated role as the six year-old Hushpuppy in Benh Zeitlin's magical realist drama on Film4

  • Film4 Killer Joe

    Killer Joe on Film4

    Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch and Juno Temple star in William Friedkin's noir thriller on Film4

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Joe Cunningham's 11 recommendations for LFF 14

    Unfortunately I haven¿t been jet setting around the world this year to the various exciting international film festivals, but that¿s what makes the London Film Festival¿s compilation approach to progr

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Michael Leader's 11 recommendations for LFF 2014

    One of the best things about the London Film Festival¿s smorgasbord approach to programming is that, amongst the world premieres and gala screenings, there¿s an eclectic collection of exciting films o

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register

Share