Culver City, Calif. (June 29, 2010) – Sony Pictures Home Entertainment invites you to re-live the most sense-sational rock event ever created on film, Ken Russell´s “Tommy,” the 1975 film based on The Who´s album of the same name.
In 1975, the theatrical trailer promised that after seeing the film “your senses will never be the same.” Now, 35 years after its original release, get ready to have your senses altered once again as “Tommy” comes to Blu-ray Disc for the first time, newly restored and remastered in high definition. “Tommy” arrives on Blu-ray Disc on Sept. 7, 2010 for the SLP of $24.95. Digitally restored, and with a newly re-mastered 5.1 soundtrack in addition to the original 5.0 Quintaphonic track, this Blu-Ray release will bring fans closer than ever to the incredible theatrical experience of Tommy. Get ready for an “Amazing Journey.”
Special features of this must-have ultimate rock and roll Blu-ray include movieIQ+sync, featuring the “Tommy” playlist, which allows users to access real-time information on the cast, music, trivia and more while watching the movie via BD-Live, as well as a restored soundtrack utilizing the original theatrical five channel Quinataphonic presentation, plus the original theatrical trailer.
The Who´s “Tommy”
The Who´s rock-opera, “Tommy,” a personal project of Pete Townshend, was first performed in 1969, and was both critically acclaimed and controversial. The album was eventually to become a major success and a cultural icon. In 1998, the album´s importance was recognized by the Grammy Hall of Fame. Exploring themes of pop culture, the cult of personality, religious deification, sexual abuse and spiritual enlightenment, Tommy was a new form of rock and roll, influenced in part by the political and cultural changes of the late 60´s. Songs like “Pinball Wizard,” “Tommy, Can You Hear Me,” “Sensation,” “Amazing Journey” and “Christmas,” were the backbone of the story of Tommy, a “deaf, dumb and blind kid,” who’s psychosomatic symptoms arise from witnessing the murder of his father by his mother´s lover, and the exhortation by his mother and her lover that Tommy “didn´t see it, didn´t hear it,” and he won´t say anything to anyone.
Tommy: A Film by Ken Russell
With its focus on the sensual, and its huge fan following, a film adaptation of “Tommy” was a natural development. Director Ken Russell (“Women in Love,” “The Devils,” “The Music Lovers”), whose films had explored similar themes in his own unique style, would bring to “Tommy” the visual richness, the fleshing out of the characters with actors Oliver Reed (“Women in Love,” “Oliver”) and Ann-Margaret (Oscar Nominee for Best Actress in a Leading Role for the film, “1976”), and the expansion of the backstory with songs all new to the film. Many of the original album´s songs would remain, but the resulting film would explore the cinematic experience in a whole new way including a powerful new soundtrack technology to maximize the audience´s experience of the music.
Based on the existing record industry development of QUADRAPHONIC sound, “Tommy” would feature the first and only example of the QUINTAPHONIC soundtrack, a revolutionary format that used five discrete channels of sound to deliver the music of the film in a “Sound in the Round” manner. In other words, audio that enveloped the audience from all directions. The combination of The Who´s music, Ken Russell´s sumptuous visuals and the innovation of the Quintaphonic format result in one of the most intense experiences in cinematic history.
The lead character in “Tommy” is played by The Who´s Roger Daltrey, and features Ann-Margaret in her Oscar-nominated performance as Tommy´s mother, and Oliver Reed as her lover, with performances by The Who members Keith Moon (as the predatory Uncle Ernie), and Pete Townshend and John Entiwhistle. Legendary, not-to-be-missed performances by Tina Turner, Eric Clapton, Elton John and three-time Oscar-winning actor Jack Nicholson bring Townshend´s musical creations to life.
The classic rock opera is brought energetically to life by an outstanding cast including many major stars of the rock music industry. Told through the remarkable music of The Who, this is the story of Tommy (Roger Daltrey), who, when just a boy of six, witnessed the murder of his father by his mother´s lover (Oliver Reed). Choosing to protect her lover rather than her son, Tommy´s mother (Ann-Margret) tells the boy to forget what he´s seen and heard, and tell no one. As a result, the traumatized boy retreats into the shadows of his mind, and, in a semi-catatonic state, he can neither see, hear nor speak. As he becomes a man, Tommy’s condition makes him susceptible to all varieties of abuse. He is also subjected to several bizarre cures for his ailment, including attempts by The Acid Queen (Tina Turner), the Preacher (Eric Clapton) and the Specialist (Jack Nicholson). In spite of his handicap, Tommy defeats the Pinball Wizard (Elton John) and becomes the champ, attaining a devoted following. When he is finally cured, he is hailed by his fans as a “Messiah.”
Blu-ray Special Features
–movieIQ+sync featuring Tommy playlist
movieIQ is an immersive BD-Live movie watching experience that uses a connected, real-time movie database. With a movieIQ enabled Blu-ray Disc and an internet connected Blu-ray player, movie fans can dive into continuously updated filmographies of their favorite directors and stars, and explore relevant trivia such as production facts, location details, music and soundtrack information, all tied to scenes within the movie.
movieIQ+sync gives you the full movieIQ experience on your computer or iPhone by linking to your Blu-ray Disc. Onceconnected, movieIQ+sync will display all of the great information movieIQ offers on your computer screen or iPhone instead of onscreen, all while staying synchronized to the movie.
“Tommy” has a run time of 111 minutes and is rated PG.