Related Exhibition The Steins Collect

Thursday, August 25, 2011, 7:00 p.m.

Phyllis Wattis Theater

Its conceit is familiar by now: a deaf, dumb, and blind kid plays a mean pinball. Yet Russell's phantasmagoric realization of The Who's rock opera album is wholly unexpected. Ann-Margaret rolls around in baked beans (garnering an Academy Award nomination); Elton John, as the reigning Pinball Wizard, plays a piano built into a 10-foot tall pinball machine; and Tina Turner gives an electrifying performance as the Acid Queen who tries to heal Tommy with a double dose of sex and LSD.

Additional Info

Ken Russell, 1975, 100 min., 35mm

Image: Ken Russell, Tommy (still), 1975; photo: courtesy Columbia/Photofest. Print courtesy of Sony Pictures Repertory.