"One thing is sure: there has never been a movie musical quite like Tommy, a weird, crazy, wonderfully excessive version of The Who's rock opera."
Thus began TIME's original review of the groundbreaking film, which was released on March 19, 1975. "[Filmmaker Ken] Russell is also among the boldest of contemporary film makers. He fears nothing, including being bad, and he has often been," the review continued. "He is bad occasionally here, but it does not matter, finally. His unceasing visual imagination gives the movie an exhilarating boldness, a rush of real excitement. Tommy stirs a memory of a lyric from an old Jerry Lee Lewis song: it shakes your nerves and it rattles your brain."
The controversial life of the man who would be the seventh President of the United States would reverberate for centuries. "Ever since Andrew Jackson led a revolt against big banks and the East Coast oligarchy, populism has been a powerful strand in American politics," TIME commented in 1988. "The clash between those who represent entrenched power and those who resent it has rivaled the tension between liberalism and conservatism in defining American campaign showdowns."Read More
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