TV Cream

Films: T is for...


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.



  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.

  2. Richardpd

    August 27, 2023 at 5:51 pm

    It’s interesting that this has an entry but Quadrophenia doesn’t in spite of it being high on the list of films that seem to have been on TV more times than I remember.

  3. Palimpsest

    August 28, 2023 at 3:42 am

    Still easier than trying to get through 200 Motels at 2 o’Clock in the morning. Full of curious striking imagery, that sarcophagus with the hyperdermics, flying crucifixes, and Ann Margret rolling around in baked beans… But “ANN MARGRET CHANGING TV CHANNELS WITH HER ARSE”? Did she really do this, I can’t recall that bit.

  4. Sidney Balmoral James

    August 28, 2023 at 8:45 pm

    Ann Margaret may well change the channel with her arse, although I don’t remember her specifically doing it; but Vera Miles does it in Midnight Cowboy (or maybe it’s Jon Voight – anyway, someone’s arse comes into contact with the remote control).

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