In 1951 England, young Tommy Walker watches as his mother and stepfather murder his biological father, long thought lost in the war. The trauma renders the youngster deaf, blind, and mute, and he becomes a problem child that nobody wants. But when Tommy develops mad skills at pinball, and even beats the grand master Pinball Wizard, he becomes a proselytiser to the masses in search of enlightenment … In his adaptation of The Who’s rock opera, eccentric British director Ken Russell interprets Pete Townshend’s family line-up as a glamorous satire of the pop music industry. Hits and hysteria, pomp and pop art coalesce into a symphonic synthesis of the arts. Recorded for playback on a Quintaphonic Sound system, this extravagant coming-of-age drama is told entirely in song. Among the greats of rock-and-roll and Hollywood who sang those parts were Elton John, Eric Clapton, Tina Turner, Jack Nicholson, and Ann-Margret, who was nominated for an Oscar for her portrayal of the mother of all mothers.
by Ken Russell
with Ann-Margret, Oliver Reed, Roger Daltrey, Elton John, Eric Clapton, John Entwistle, Keith Moon, Jack Nicholson, Pete Townshend, Tina Turner
United Kingdom 1975 English 111’ Colour, 2K DCP World premiere 2021 digitally restored version Rating R16


  • Ann-Margret
  • Oliver Reed
  • Roger Daltrey
  • Elton John
  • Eric Clapton
  • John Entwistle
  • Keith Moon
  • Jack Nicholson
  • Pete Townshend
  • Tina Turner


DirectorKen Russell
Written byKen Russell, The Who
StoryPete Townshend
CinematographyDick Bush, Ronnie Taylor
EditingStuart Baird
MusicThe Who
SoundIain Bruce
Art DirectorJohn Clark
CostumesShirley Russell
Make-UpGeorge Blackler, Peter Robb-King
ProducerRobert Stigwood, Ken Russell

Produced by

Robert Stigwood Organisation

World Sales

Park Circus Limited, Glasgow

Additional information

DCP: Park Circus Limited, Glasgow