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Ken Russell’s feverish feast of unrestrained imagination features The Who, Tina Turner, Elton John and many more!

Image from Tommy

UK 1975
Dir Ken Russell
With Ann-Margret, Oliver Reed, Roger Daltrey, Elton John, Jack Nicholson
A BFI release

After witnessing the murder of his father, traumatised Tommy is left unable to see, speak or hear. From pinball champion to messiah, the adult Tommy (Daltrey) is accompanied on his journey by some of the most memorable visuals and performances in British cinema: Tina Turner as the hypodermic-happy Acid Queen; a towering Elton John in skyscraper boots; and Ann-Margret writhing in a deluge of chocolate and baked beans. Ken Russell’s virtuosity and iconoclasm are intoxicating, while the film’s targets of consumerism, religion and deluded leaders remain unnervingly prescient. This is rock opera as it should be: played at full volume in every sense.

Robin Baker, Head Curator

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