During World War II, Captain Walker and his wife Nora spend an idyllic day in the country before he returns to duty, but soon after he is reported missing. Nora gives birth to a healthy boy, Tommy, and even though still grieving for Walker she later marries another man. But Walker still walks…
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Precisely because it is mass-consumption popular culture, TOMMY demands to be appreciated as a malevolent aberration and completely messed-up. Therein lies the crux of its considerable charm. I say this as a person who has always believed the original album to be monumentally off-putting maximalist proto-stadium-rock trash. And it is. The music is nevertheless incorporated with a demented proficiency. Hellacious.
Perfect example of style over substance but, in this case, I don't mind at all. I particularly liked Ann-Margret and Roger Daltrey's performances, the Marilyn Monroe church's scene and two or three songs that have become classics since then. Highly recommended.
This was my favorite movie when I was 16. While I now have a more measured view of this film, I still respect both Ken Russell and Ann Margret for the blustering gusto in which they attacked this project. Its messy and beautiful with only Townshends wonderful rock opera keeping it from going too wild. It may no longer be my favorite, but I still love it.
A brilliant visual and aural assault with Russell firing in all directions - and hitting the target - in a noisy synthesis of music, colours, motifs and pop art sensibilities. The cod organised religion critiques of the story are overcome in some gloriously realised sequences that simply crackle and fizz with inventive energy that really does reach out to the senses, albeit sledge hammered with kitsch glee.
In the way that Fellini got me to love the circus, Ken Russell got me to like musicals. This rock opera is a grand spectacle to behold and the brilliant ensemble cast of great singers and actors is a true wonder to behold and Russell crafts it so beautifully that you can't help but love this film with all its craziness.
Not a great film, but worth seeing for two scenes in particular: Ann-Margret's orgasmic ecstasy amid bucketfuls of beans, chocolate, and soap, and Tina Turner's scorching hot, quiveringly insane rendition of "The Acid Queen". These are two of the greatest scenes of all-time. I'm less enthusiastic about the rest of Tommy, but at least it's never boring!
This is a hard film to give a score to because it is almost rapturous in how stupid it is. It's a film that I couldn't stop watching because of it's sheer absurdity. Unfortunately it is not funny enough to fall into Neil Breen levels of quality, so instead it ends up more like a horrific car crash that you just can't look away from. Child molestation is played as a tasteless joke among other uncomfortable moments.