Published On: June 29, 2010

The Who's Tommy on Blu-ray Disc with Original Quintaphonic Sound on Sept. 7, 2010

Published On: June 29, 2010
Last Updated on: October 31, 2020
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The Who's Tommy on Blu-ray Disc with Original Quintaphonic Sound on Sept. 7, 2010

The Who's album Tommy is considered the granddaddy of rock opera, and in 1975, Ken Russell made a film adaptation, starring Who member Roger Daltrey as the blind, deaf and speechless messiah that had the heft, scope and trippiness befitting the subject matter.

The Who's Tommy on Blu-ray Disc with Original Quintaphonic Sound on Sept. 7, 2010

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Blu-Ray-Logo.svg.jpgSony Pictures Home Entertainment invites you to re-live 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, 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.

Special features of this rock and roll Blu-ray include movieIQ+sync featuring 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. In 1998, the album 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, 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 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 new soundtrack technology.

Based on the existing record industry development of Quadraphonic sound, Tommy would feature the first and only example of the Quintaphonic soundtrack, a 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 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. 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 to life by a cast including members of the rock music industry. Told through the 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
• BD-Live

movieIQ is a 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 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. Once connected, movieIQ+sync will display all of the 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. Artwork and digital clips are available for download at Visit Sony Pictures Home Entertainment on the Web at

The Blu-ray Disc version of Tommy is BD-Live enabled, allowing users to get connected and go beyond the discs via an Internet-connected Blu-ray player. The Sony Pictures Blu-ray Club rewards consumers in the U.S. for purchasing and registering BD-Live enabled Sony Blu-ray movies. Members can redeem accumulated points for Sony products, plus enter to win cash and prizes in daily sweepstakes and more. For details visit

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