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Tommy

At the time, there was probably no-one better to film Pete Townsend’s convoluted concept fable of a sensorially-deprived serial victim who becomes the new messiah by hanging around amusement arcades than Ken Russell. The grandpère terrible of British arthouse had classical music lovers fishing monocles out of their gin after seeing his jazzed-up composer biopics for the best part of a decade, so his was always going to be a reliably unsteady hand on the tiller as the film ploughed through a sea of psychedelic effects, dodgy child abuse gags and baked beans to do handsome business. The only losers were Southsea’s South Parade Pier, which burned down during filming, and David Bowie, who discovered Tina Turner to be his ‘if wet’ replacement.

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  1. Lee James Turnock

    May 24, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Sod Noel “the film is appalling, it’s dreadful” Gallagher, this film is fantastic. I first saw it at stupid o’clock in the morning on Anglia back in 1988 and thought it was brilliant, a description it still deserves decades later. The ‘Amazing Journey’ sequence in particular could be snipped out of this film and stuck into virtually any other film, and it would instantly become the highlight…unless, of course, it was shoehorned into ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’, which is just beyond criticism really.

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