The evolution of Tommy from The Who's 1969 concept album to feature length film went far beyond mere interpretation. The script by director Ken Russell sought to expand the original story of the deaf, dumb and blind protagonist into a much further reaching vision - along the way he goes far beyond Townshend's original message of the hypocrisy of religion and commits fully to his penchant for cinematic excess, but one with a legendary soundtrack.
The confluence of religion and consumer culture are handled in typically anarchic Russell fashion (the worship of a Marilyn Monroe statue for instance) and throughout the film portrays postwar Britain as fractured, beginning with the family unit (the murder of Tommy's father, the family home a bombed out shell) and continuing to the desperate search for a messiah of sorts - the pop culture ascendancy of a broken young man famed for his mastery of a children's arcade game.
Production began in 1974 and the cast included Roger Daltrey in the lead role, Elton John, Tina Turner's Acid Queen and Ann-Margret as Tommy's mother (for which she was nominated for an Oscar). Townshend was nominated by the Academy for the soundtrack.
The present script has numerous edits over twenty plus pages, almost exclusively to do with song sequencing within the film production. Of particular note is the attention paid by Russell and Townshend to the exact timing of the film's most important scene - Pinball Wizard. (Film critic Roger Ebert called this pinball tournament sequence "the movie's best single scene: a pulsating, orgiastic turn-on edited with the precision of a machine gun burst.")
"Pinball Wizard" is about life's games, playing the machine – the boy and his machine, the disciples with theirs, the scores, results, colours, vibrations and action." (Townshend)
Please call 1-800-555-5555 to order a print catalog for this sale.
Online Registration to Bid is Closed for this Sale. Would you like to watch the live sale?Watch Live Sale