An absolute abomination of a movie, “Tommy” (1975) was directed by the ever-controversial Ken Russell. That was the director Pete Townshend actually wanted owing to his artistic background. Pete also thought having Ken along for the ride would free him for having to explain the story ever and ever again, but he was wrong – Russell needed him no less than any other director that the band and (specially) their managers had approached for years on end to get this thing together.
In any case, Ken was to rewrite the whole story, and a major shift took place, as Tommy’s drama was situated outside his family (the lover kills the father here, rather than the other way around) and the film mainly revolves around the attempt to market and sell the deaf, dumb and blind boy’s vision to the world. In other words: Ken Russell’s Tommy is the original work without any innocence or magic. I could barely enjoy the original album, and the little appreciation I had for it stemmed from those two attributes. I don’t need to tell you how much I suffered through the entire running time of this travesty of a movie. Continue reading