Ann Margeret's baked beans/chocolate dance from rock opera Tommy is arguably the film's most memorable sequence and was intended by director Ken Russell as a parody of TV adverts. It feels like live-action movie musicals are finally having a comeback, thanks to the success of The Greatest Showman, La La Land, and a few others. This trend looks set to continue for a little while too, thanks to the upcoming adaptation of Cats and Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.
Musical biopics have also been given a boost, thanks to Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman. The latter movie starred Taron Egerton as Elton John, with the actor bravely opting to sing the songs himself. While Elton John himself has appeared sporadically in various movies and TV shows - including alongside Egerton in Kingsmen: The Golden Circle - he almost always plays himself. One of the few exceptions was his part in 1975's Tommy, where he played The Pinball Wizard and sings the movie's most famous song.
Tommy was adapted from The Who's classic album of the same name, which recounts the dramatic journey of a deaf, dumb and blind kid who's revealed to be a pinball virtuoso and later a religious messiah of sorts. Ken Russell, director of The Devils and Altered States, signed on to direct the movie version, despite his dislike of rock music. The Who's Roger Daltrey plays the title character in Tommy, while the supporting cast including Jack Nicholson (Batman), Oliver Reed, Tina Turner, and Ann Margeret.
Ann Margeret - who recently appeared in SYFY's Happy! - plays Tommy's mother Nora and her powerful performance scored her an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. Tommy is a movie loaded with psychedelic images and sequences, which includes the famous moment where Nora hallucinates a TV throwing up soap suds on her, followed by baked beans and chocolate. Margeret's commitment to Nora's nervous breakdown in this scene and dancing while covered in gallons of beans and chocolate make it a hard scene to forget, and the actress had to be taken to hospital during filming after cutting herself on broken glass.
This scene from Tommy is an homage to The Who Sell Out, the band's album which features a bunch of fake adverts, and a cover where Daltry is bathing in baked beans. The scene was also revenge on the part of Ken Russell, who directed numerous commercials early in his career - including for beans and detergent - with the sequence playing like a deranged ad itself.