Since Tommy was Ken Russell's first real commercial hit, it's not surprising that Lisztomania should be a blatant attempt to repeat the formula. But without Pete Townshend behind him, Russell has to fall back on his own notion of a 'rock opera'... which means casting the hapless Daltrey as yet another Messiah and Ringo (ho ho) as the Pope, and hiring Rick Wakeman to play garbled rearrangements of Liszt and Wagner. The result is not only catastrophically wide of the mark as a 'sense experience', but misogynistic, addled and grandiosely witless. The most pitiable aspect is that Russell is here patronising his collaborators as much as he's always patronised his audience.
Cast and crew