Firstly, Elton John in the film is actually not The Pinball Wizard… Tommy aka Roger Daltry aka Ron Howard is…Elton sings about Tommy. If you watch the video you’ll notice that Elton at a couple parts in the song points at Tommy, at the minute and a half mark, “always has a replay”, it’s a deep and meaningful accusatory pointing as if Tommy has done something wrong. This works on a really deep level especially if you’ve seen “The Twilight Zone” with Billy Mumy who does the same pointing at someone he doesn’t like. See the photo above.
Ok, so I had another point… through most of this I left out the mainstay of the video…The Who!! They appear throughout the video; all accomplished musicians. I went through the comments under the video of Pinball Wizard which reflected most of what I’ve said including references to the video being the greatest video and or piece of music with the spectacular showmanship in it and adding Elton John to an already great song. Someone also shouts out that even in this video The Who have to destroy their instruments, which they do!! All part of a great band and a great video.
Hopefully this will be the end of it: Tremendous energy in the theater it was shot in with the place crammed with fans singing and swaying to the music but what I wanted to point out again was the tremendous attention to detail this film has. At about 2:20 Elton John is seen leaning against his pinball in the background while The members of The Who are seen together in the foreground. Elton is singing and not moving much except for one giant shoe which is slowly waving from left to right. It’s a minor detail in the shot but it lends to the whole, “Captain Fantastic” image of Elton and the tremendous visuals in this video. It adds to the upstaging of The Who by Elton but that’s simply the scene and the visual and it works. Just another brilliant fine detail in this film which could be endlessly studied from a hundred different directions. I think if you understood this film not just from top to bottom but from side to side and beyond you’d have a tremendous grounding in music and film making. Hopefully this it cause it’s time to move on!!!
Felix Unger: “Love has made me strong!”
Oscar Madison: “Strength has made him stronger!!”
from an episode of the TV series the Odd Couple that was written by Ron Howard