200 Motels (1971) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • "Touring makes you crazy," Frank Zappa says, explaining that the idea for this film came to him while the Mothers of Invention were touring. 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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  • The Mothers of Invention arrive in Centerville, another stopover in an endlessly long tour where every stage is the same as the next: hotel, concert, search for groupies and arguments within the band (whose dictatorial leader is played by Ringo Starr). Absurd and witty, 200 Motels is a mixture of musical, opera-rock and sitcom truthfully conveying the catatonic state of any rock band on the road. Includes The Dental Hygiene Dilemma segment, animated by Chuck Swenson.

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