The A.V. Club has agreed to sponsor 10 days of programming in Crackle.com’s Summer Drive-In Series. We’re providing a preview of each day’s movie (or movies) here.
Up today: Tommy
What do you get when you pair the world’s most famous rock opera with Ken Russell at his most Ken Russellly and a once-in-a-lifetime cast that includes such pop icons as Tina Turner, Jack Nicholson, Elton John, Ann-Margret and The Who? The answer is 1975’s Tommy, a hallucinatory, gloriously, maddeningly over-the-top rock and roll musical about a deaf, dumb and blind kid who sure plays a mean pinball. To call Tommy excessive would be an understatement. Russell’s cult classic is filled with electrifying moments and unforgettable performances, most notably Tina Turner as The Acid Queen, Jack Nicholson as The Specialist, Elton John as a pinball wizard and Ann-Margret as the title character’s Oedipalriffic mom. Margret picked up an Oscar nomination for Best Actress; Pete Townsend did likewise for Best Original Score. Tommy is one of those balls-to-the-wall mindfucks that make herbal or chemical enhancement seem redundant.