IMDb > 200 Motels (1971)
200 Motels
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200 Motels (1971) More at IMDbPro »

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200 Motels -- The story, interspersed with performances by the Mothers and the Royal Symphony Orchestra, is a tale of life on the road. The band members' main concerns are the search for groupies and the desire to get paid.


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Up 25% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Frank Zappa (story)
Tony Palmer (shooting script)
View company contact information for 200 Motels on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
20 November 1971 (Sweden) See more »
"Touring makes you crazy," Frank Zappa says, explaining that the idea for this film came to him while the Mothers of Invention were touring... See more » | Full synopsis »
User Reviews:
An unusual movie - just don't expect it to make sense See more (46 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)
Mark Volman ... Member of Mothers of Invention
Howard Kaylan ... Member of Mothers of Invention
Ian Underwood ... Member of Mothers of Invention
Aynsley Dunbar ... Member of Mothers of Invention

George Duke ... Member of Mothers of Invention

Theodore Bikel ... Rance Muhammitz / Dave

Keith Moon ... The Hot Nun

Jimmy Carl Black ... Lonesome Cowboy Burt
Janet Neville-Ferguson ... Groupie #1 (as Janet Ferguson)
Martin Lickert ... Jeff
Lucy Offerall ... Groupie #2
Dick Barber ... Bif Debris - The Vacuum Cleaner
Don Preston ... Don

Pamela Des Barres ... Interviewer (as Pamela Miller)
Ruth Underwood ... Fake Drummer
Judy Gridley ... Chorus Leader

Ringo Starr ... Larry The Dwarf / Frank Zappa
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jim Pons ... Member of Mothers of Invention (uncredited)
Euclid James 'Motorhead' Sherwood ... Motorhead Sherwood (uncredited)

Frank Zappa ... Member of Mothers of Invention (uncredited)

Directed by
Tony Palmer (visuals)
Frank Zappa (characterizations)
Writing credits
Frank Zappa (story and screenplay)

Tony Palmer (shooting script)

Mark Volman (special material) &
Howard Kaylan (special material)

Jeff Simmons  special material (uncredited)

Produced by
Herb Cohen .... producer
Jerry D. Good .... producer (as Jerry Good)
Brian Harris .... associate producer
Raoul Pagel .... associate producer
Original Music by
Frank Zappa (music composed by)
Cinematography by
Tony Palmer 
Film Editing by
Rich Harrison 
Production Design by
Cal Schenkel 
Art Direction by
Leo Austin 
Costume Design by
Sue Yelland 
Makeup Department
Merwyn Medalie .... hairdresser (as Mervyn Medalie)
Paul Rabiger .... makeup artist
Production Management
David C. Anderson .... unit production manager (as David Anderson)
Roy Garner .... production manager: Lion Television Services
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
David Alexander .... assistant director
John Downes .... third assistant director
Jim McCutcheon .... second assistant director
Art Department
Paddy Bennett .... props
Harry Phipps .... construction supervisor
Sound Department
Robert Auger .... recordist: 16 track
Rowland Fowles .... boom operator
Pieter Hubbard .... sound supervisor (as Peter Hubbard)
Special Effects by
Colin Chilvers .... special effects
Inky Ingram .... wire specialist
Bert Luxford .... special effects
Camera and Electrical Department
Barrie Dodd .... camera operator
Peter Dyson .... lighting director
Mike Fitch .... camera operator
Neville Hoksfield .... vision engineer
John Howard .... camera operator
John May .... gaffer
Selwyn Mindel .... vision engineer
Barry Peake .... still photographer
Dave Swan .... camera operator
Richard Thompson .... vision engineer
Animation Department
Wilma Guenot .... graphic production
Ann Oliphant .... graphic production
Cal Schenkel .... graphic production
Fumiko R. Sommer .... graphic production (as Fumiko Roche)
Charles Swenson .... animation director
Kunimi Terada .... graphic production
Elizabeth Wright .... graphic production
Editorial Department
Roland Brown .... vision supervisor
Ray Nunney .... editor: video tape
Annie Rowe .... vision mixer (as Anne Rowe)
Barry Stevens .... editor: video tape (as Barry Stephens)
Music Department
Ray Cook .... music associate: dancers
George Duke .... music performer: Mothers of Invention
Aynsley Dunbar .... music performer: Mothers of Invention
Elgar Howarth .... conductor: orchestra
Howard Kaylan .... music performer: Mothers of Invention
John Lowdell .... orchestra chairman
Tom Petzal .... acting orchestra general manager
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra .... music performers (as The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra)
Colin Staveley .... orchestra leader
Ian Underwood .... music performer: Mothers of Invention
David Van Asch .... choral director
Mark Volman .... music performer: Mothers of Invention
Frank Zappa .... music arranger
Other crew
Lyn Gomez .... continuity clerk
Tom Keylock .... controller: Lion Television Services
Gillian Lynne .... choreographer
Alan Mashford .... technical director
Ian Stock .... unit publicist
Jaqi Williamson .... production secretary

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Frank Zappa's 200 Motels" - USA (complete title)
See more »
98 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:16 | Australia:R18+ (re-rating) (1981) | Australia:RC (1972) | New Zealand:R18 | New Zealand:(Banned) (original rating) | Singapore:(Banned) | Sweden:11 | UK:18 | USA:TV-MA | USA:R (certificate #23033) | West Germany:18

Did You Know?

The role of Jeff was originally intended for Mothers bassist Jeff Simmons who quit the group just prior to filming. Needing a replacement, Frank Zappa hired Wilfrid Brambell. Within a few days, Brambell walked off the set in a rage and Zappa had to replace him. During a crew meeting, Zappa announced that he would give the part to the next person who walked into the room. Martin Lickert, who was Ringo Starr's chauffeur, was thus cast in the role upon returning from the limousine with a pack of cigarettes for Starr.See more »
Jeff:I'm stealing the room!See more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
16 out of 19 people found the following review useful.
An unusual movie - just don't expect it to make sense, 27 July 2003
Author: Darwin Teague from Indiana

As a long term Frank Zappa fan, I was really excited when this movie came out. I admit it's kind of hard to watch - it isn't the movie Frank planned. He had big problems with the director, he ended up in a protracted lawsuit with Royal Albert Hall (This conflict raised his costs for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra) and much of what was supposed to be shot wasn't, requiring an entirely "different movie" to be made in editing.

It was a joy to see Ringo Starr playing Frank's part, Keith Moon as a nun and of course the music was great. The music was written while Frank was on tour, hence the title.

It was shot entirely on video tape and transferred to film after the special effects were added. I think this was the first feature film done on video tape. The video effects were psychedelic which was a bit odd since Frank was vehemently against drug use.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (46 total) »

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Unwatchable parillamilt
Unique filming style- Videotape cryptical17
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DVD release in April? jlsutt
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