TV Cream

Films: T is for...

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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