Tommy began life as a rock concept album, and in that very narrow milieu, the premise is perfectly reasonable: The life of the titular “deaf, dumb, and blind” kid (with such a supple wrist!), as inspired by Pete Townshend’s experiences with yoga guru Meher Baba. It was, after all, the 60s, and that’s just the kind of thing you did. Once built out into a proper story and translated to the screen, though, it’s impossible not to contend with the essential weirdness of the story of an unlikely pinball wizard who becomes a spiritual leader. Whatever its successes or failures as a film, it’s a pop art triumph, with an impressive cast including appearances from not just The Who, but from Ann-Margaret, Oliver Reed, Elton John, Tina Turner, and Jack Nicholson.
Where to stream: Digital rental