Tommy

Date: 1975
Director: Ken Russell
Production Company: Robert Stigwood Organization (RSO), Hemdale Film

Stars: Roger Daltrey, Ann-Margret, Eric Clapton, Elton John, Oliver Reed, John Entwistle, Keith Moon, Paul Nicholas, Jack Nicholson, Robert Powell, Pete Townshend, Tina Turner
Location(s): Cumbria, East Sussex, Hampshire

Region(s): ,

Storyline:

A deaf, dumb and blind kid becomes a master pinball player and the centre of a religious cult.

Additional Information:

Screen captures uploaded by Phil Wilkinson.

 

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Nora Walker (Ann-Margret) and her husband Group Captain Walker (Robert Powell) enjoy time together in Cumbria. Borrowdale Valley south of Keswick identified on the website movie-locations.com.

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Jim Mills kindly took this shot for us on a recent visit to the UK. Hiking here to the top of Walla Crag, a popular spot. Derwent Water in the background and the telltale islands in the lake and the shape of the mountains behind it. Jim tells us that the location was also used later in the film, during the "Amazing Journey" sequence, where Capt. Walker (Tommy's father) is seen holding a glowing white sphere. (RL)

After war breaks out, the Captain and his wife run through town as bombs rain down. The website movie-locations.com locates this as Cumberland Road, Fratton in Hampshire. The area has been redeveloped.

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This is actually Agincourt Road, Portsmouth. The northern end of the road was demolished and is now Buckland Park. The same location can also be seen in tomm006. SD

Nora accompanies her husband to the station after he is called away to fight in the war. The engine runs on the Bluebell Railway in Sussex.

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Horstead Keynes station. SD

Captain Walker waves back to his wife as the train departs.

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Ken Russell also filmed 'Savage Messiah', 'Mahler' and 'Lisztomania' at the Bluebell Railway. SD

On the first day of peace, Nora gives birth to Tommy. The website movie-locations.com suggests that this was filmed in Harefield, Hertfordshire.

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They must be thinking of Harefield Grove where some of the interior scenes were filmed. This is in fact Fort Purbrook, Portsmouth, also used for Tommy's Holiday camp. SD

Nora attends a memorial service for Group Captain Walker who was reported missing, presumed dead. The church of St Thomas à Becket, Warblington, Hampshire.

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Now. SD

Six years later, Nora takes her son to Bernie's Holiday Camp.

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Elm Road, Portsmouth, facing south east, with Stirling Street to the left, (the Regal Palace on Kingston Road seen above the roof tops), and to the right Agincourt Road. The same location, now redeveloped, facing south east from the corner of Malins Road and Nessus Street. SD

Tommy Walker (Barry Winch) enjoys his holiday, hoping one day to own a camp like Bernie's. Hilsea Lido, Hilsea, Hampshire.

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Hilsea Lido has been kept open by a group of very enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers. SD

Greencoats dance and entertain the guests. Hilsea Lido on London Road, Hilsea in Portsmouth.

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The lido has had extensive restoration work done since reopening. SD

Frank Hobbs (Oliver Reed) takes a shine to Nora, and she wins the lovely legs contest.

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There are plans for a full restoration but the Hilsea Lido Pool for the People trust needs more funding. There are no plans for a Lovely Legs contest though. SD

Frank comes to live with Nora and takes on Tommy as his own son.

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2 South Parade, Southsea. SD

After Tommy withdraws, becoming a deaf, dumb and blind pinball sensation, Nora looks from the balcony of the house bought with their new found wealth. Bacon Lane, opposite Winston Close, South Hayling in Hampshire.

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Now. SD

Reverend Simpson (Ben Aris) forbids his daughter, Sally Simpson (Victoria Russell) from attending one of Tommy's sermons. The church of St Thomas à Becket, Church Road in Warblington.

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Now. SD

The distraught young fan runs back to her bedroom in tears.

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Flint House, Mill Lane, Langstone, Havant. SD

Sally dresses up and runs from the house to attend the sermon in defiance of her parents.

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Mill Lane, Langstone, Havant. The garden Sally runs through now has houses built on it. SD

Sally buys merchandise from Uncle Ernie (Keith Moon) before the sermon. Southsea's South Parade Pier stands in the background.

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The pier, which was rebuilt after filming, captured during a period of closure. SD

Tommy (Roger Daltrey) and his hang glider are carried by his blind followers. The main drive of Idsworth House, Horndean, Hampshire.

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Idsworth House now. SD

Hell's Angels and Teddy Boys gather together and look up to the new sensation. Warblington Castle, Church Lane, Havant in Hampshire.

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Now. SD

  • 'Now' required

Tommy looks down on the converted. Warblington Castle near Havant.

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The congregation grows as Tommy prepares to fly away. Warblington Castle, Havant, Hampshire.

Tommy welcomes new followers to his house. Bacon Lane, South Hayling.

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Now. SD

Nora and Frank hand out leaflets. Bacon Lane, South Hayling in Hampshire.

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Now. SD

Crowds make their way to Tommy's Holiday Camp. Fort Purbrook on Peter Ashley Road off Portsdown Hill Road, north of Portsmouth, Hampshire.

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The fort is now an activity centre. SD

Uncle Ernie drives his cash register / organ through the followers.

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Fort Purbrook west gate. SD

"Good morning campers". The entrance to Fort Purbrook, Portsmouth.

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The main entrance is round the other side at the east gate. Not sure if strange cults are allowed though. SD

Coaches arrive, bringing more people to see Tommy. Peter Ashley Road, Portsmouth.

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Standing at the gate looking towards Portsmouth Harbour. SD

As Tommy preaches, the congregation revolts killing his mother and Frank. This is the long gone Pound’s Scrapyard, which stood on Twyford Avenue, by Alexandra Park. Information from movie-locations.com

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Now, without the scrap, or the silver painted marker buoys. SD

Tommy's Holiday Camp is destroyed. South Parade Pier in Southsea, Portsmouth. Jan Allen tells us that Southsea's South Parade Pier re-opened in 2017.

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They didn't intend this to happen, but unfortunately spotlights set fire to curtains during filming of the ballroom scene. 11th June 1974. SD

  • 'Now' required

After escaping from the rebellion, Tommy climbs hills and mountains to the spot where he was conceived. Borrowdale Valley in the Cumbrian Lake District is stated by Ken Russell. Jim Mills advises that the water is Buttermere and the spot where Tommy is climbing was about a mile south of the southern edge of it. Jim found an uploaded picture on Google Maps that matches well to this capture but I have been unable to make any contact with the copyright owner. Whilst in the area recently Jim was talking to locals around and learned that the location of this Capture was most certainly Haystacks, another popular hike in the area. It's also confirmed on a couple of hiking websites. Maybe you could do that hike for us next time Jim. (RL)

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