Tommy: the Album vs. the Movie

Topics: The Who, Pete Townshend, Pinball Wizard Pages: 4 (1566 words) Published: April 15, 2007
Tommy the album was a groundbreaking record put out by The Who in 1969. It was groundbreaking because it was a concept album that was dubbed the first "rock opera" which followed the story of a deaf dumb and blind man from childhood to adulthood. His life is met with many strange occurrences from being shocked as a small child into a psychosomatic state, becoming a master of all things pinball and finally becoming a Christ-esque figure of a new age cult. The album was met with two completely different camps. The first of which said that the album was a masterpiece, and haled it as an ushering in of a completely new genre of music. Others felt that it was sick and exploitive, and many people were outraged at the Who for bringing out such a dark and twisted album. The album was evened banned from the air by the BBC. But despite the controversy, the album was a hug success and in 1975, some six years later, someone thought it to be a good idea to turn the rock opus into a feature film. It is interesting to note that George Lucas was originally approached to direct the film, but he turned it down because he was in the middle of pre-production for American Graffiti. Instead, the project was handed over to the flamboyant British filmmaker Ken Russell. The film version managed to keep the same overall story as the album, but was different in almost all other aspects, for better or for worse, in which I'll be discussing and outlining in this comparison.

The first major difference when they adapted the album to the movie is that they changed the time the story takes place from 1921 (which was the setting for the album) to 1951 for the film version. From what I read, Russell did not want to make a "period"piece, and by changing it to 1951, Russell was then able to film more modern images for when Tommy is an adult. The next major difference from album to movie is the fact that in the album, Tommy's father comes back to kill the mother's new lover. In the film version,...
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