The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) Poster


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Most of the actors weren't told of the prop corpse of Eddie under the dining room tablecloth. When it was revealed during filming, their looks of horror are genuine. The only three who obviously knew about the scene were Tim Curry, Richard O'Brien (the author), and Meat Loaf, who had to model the corpse.
When the film first opened, it had a traditional release, playing afternoon and early evening screenings. It bombed. Meat Loaf said he attended an opening week performance with director Jim Sharman in the Midwest where the theater was empty except for them. In the mid-1970s, midnight screenings became popular and word of mouth began to spread that the midnight audience might enjoy this film. It began showing at midnight in a few cities and it became popular, to the point that it has been shown continually in movie theaters since 1975, making it the longest theatrical run in history. The Museum Lichtspiele cinema in Muenchen, Germany has screened the movie every week since 24 June 1977, offering special "RHPS-Kits" to enable celebrations during the show. The kits contain a biscuit (for the toast), rice, a whistle, a candle (for "There's a Light"), and a sheet of paper with instructions for the Time Warp.
One night, during a typical midnight screening at a New York theater, a patron was asked to leave before the film ended. This patron was accused of being an impostor. The patron was Tim Curry.
The set builders forgot to put an extra door in the lab set, thus Dr. Scott had to crash through the wall for his entrance.
In an interview with Terry Gross on her radio program "Fresh Air", Tim Curry said that he got to meet Prince Charles and Princess Diana because she loved Curry in The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) and she requested the meeting while he was in a production of "Love for Love" that they attended. Curry recalled that he was placed at the end of the receiving line, and while Prince Charles only vaguely recognized Curry from seeing him "on television," Princess Diana told Curry, with a "wicked smile," that Rocky Horror had "quite completed my education."
Tim Curry's feature film debut.
The green surgical gown that Dr. Frank 'n' Furter wears has a pink triangle over his heart. The triangle was used by the Nazis in concentration camps to denote that the wearer was a gay man, but it is pointing downward. The pink triangle pointing upward is often used as a symbol of gay pride.
Tim Curry told "Fresh Air" interviewer Terry Gross that in the original play, he started out playing Dr. Frank-N-Furter with a German accent, but he changed that when he heard a woman on a bus speaking in a highly exaggerated High-English accent that reminded Curry of Queen Elizabeth II. He later combined that with elements of his mother's "telephone voice" to create Frank-N-Furter's speaking voice. He also said that his mother, "a pretty hip lady," enjoyed the show, although not as much as she had liked it when he appeared in "The Pirates of Penzance" (because Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother had come to that).
According to interviews, Patricia Quinn (Magenta) only took the role in the play because she loved the opening song "Science Fiction - Double Feature." She was upset when she didn't get to sing the song in the film, but agreed to lip-sync the words as the pair of red lips in the beginning with vocals by Richard O'Brien (Riff Raff)
The ads for the original release in 1975 parodied the film Jaws (1975)" They showed the red "lips" logo against a black backdrop and said, "The Rocky Horror Picture Show - a different set of jaws."
At the end of "The Floor Show" scene when Riff Raff appears again, Susan Sarandon is backing up with Barry Bostwick and spikes his foot with her heel. His grimace and slight stumble can be seen in the film.
When Barry Bostwick pounds his fist on the table during the dinner scene he accidentally pounded on the hand of Susan Sarandon. The reaction from Sarandon is prominent and real. She got her revenge by (accidentally) stepping on Bostwick's foot with her spike heel during the Floor Show scene. His reaction is also visible.
At the midnight showings, not only do patrons dress up, they bring props. There are no hard-and-fast rules on props, but the following is a list of some of the most common:
  • Rice (to be thrown at Ralph and Betty's wedding)

  • Water pistols (back row squirts them during rain scene)

  • Newspapers (for front and middle rows to shield themselves from rain)

  • Flashlights or cigarette lighters ("There's a Light" verse of "Over at Frankenstein Place")

  • Rubber gloves (during and after the creation speech, Frank snaps his gloves three times)

  • Noisemakers (the Transylvanians applaud Frank's creation - so should you)

  • Toilet paper [preferably "Scott's" brand] (when Brad yells "Great Scott!", throw a roll)

  • Confetti (at the end of the "Charles Atlas" reprise, the Transylvanians throw confetti)

  • Toast (when Frank proposes a toast at dinner)

  • Party hat (when Frank puts on his hat to wish Rocky happy birthday, so does the audience)

  • Bell ("When we made it/did you hear a bell ring?")

  • Cards ("Cards for sorrow/cards for pain")

  • The props tend to vary somewhat from city to city, especially as some localities (and theaters) impose restrictions. For example, the "There's a light" prop was almost always lighters during the original 1970s shows, but open flames are now banned in most movie theaters (either by theater policy or by law - and considering that another common prop is newspapers, this is generally a good idea). Another example is that some fans insist that the toast should be buttered. However, many theaters frown on this, due to the mess (and the possibility of someone slipping).

In the opening wedding scene, the minister is Tim Curry (Dr. Frank N. Furter), the "old man" to his left is Richard O'Brien (Riff Raff) and the "wife" to his right is Patricia Quinn (Magenta). The spinster who joins them inside the church is Nell Campbell, a.k.a. Little Nell (Columbia). They are parodying the famous American Gothic painting, which appears later on in the castle.
As Brad and Janet drive in the rain before reaching the castle, the radio is playing Richard Nixon's resignation speech delivered August 8, 1974.
The movie was banned in South Africa several weeks after release by the Board of Censors, but not before it had been seen by some 250,000 viewers and had a strong cult following.
Oakley Court, Dr. Frank N. Furter's "castle", was used in numerous Hammer horror films made at adjacent Bray Studios (where the lab and ballroom scenes were shot), including The House in Nightmare Park (1973), The Reptile (1966), The Brides of Dracula (1960) and Man in Black (1949). Built in 1859, it was refurbished in 1981 and made into a hotel, where rooms cost from 150 to 195 British pounds per night.
The creators asked Susan Sarandon to appear nude during "Touch-A Touch-A Touch Me," but she refused.
Shortly after Rocky Horror is born, Magenta says to Dr. Frank 'n Furter that Rocky is a "triumph of your will." This is a subtle joke playing on the Nazi propaganda film Triumph of the Will (1935). Presumably, Magenta says this because Rocky comes out with light blonde hair and is quite muscular, in many ways fulfilling the Nazis' Aryan "super man" stereotype.
The film is based on "The Rocky Horror Show" stage play written by Richard O'Brien who created it from his love of classic science fiction and horror films. It originally premiered at the Royal Court Theatre Upstairs in London on June 19th, 1973 starring Tim Curry, Julie Covington, Christopher Biggins, Richard O'Brien, Patricia Quinn, Nell Campbell, Paddy O'Hagan and Rayner Bourton.
Vincent Price was offered the role of the Criminologist, but turned it down due to scheduling conflicts. He was interested in the role as he had seen the West End musical and loved it.
Steve Martin auditioned for the role of Brad.
A stunt double was used in the motorcycle scenes except for the close-ups; Meat Loaf was pushed in a wheelchair for those scenes.
The set had no heat and no bathrooms during the filming. When Susan Sarandon told the studio heads, they told her she was complaining too much. She soon caught pneumonia after filming the pool scene.
The studio originally offered a much larger budget to Jim Sharman for the film, on the condition that he cast popular musicians of the day. Sharman insisted upon using the original cast, so as a compromise, he accepted a much smaller budget and agreed to cast American actors in the roles of Brad and Janet. Tim Curry, Richard O'Brien, Patricia Quinn and Nell Campbell created their roles in the original stage production. Jonathan Adams appeared in the original cast as well, playing the role of the Criminologist. Meat Loaf had played the role of Eddie in the original Los Angeles stage production.
The song "I Can Make You A Man" was inspired by Charles Atlas muscle ads from the 1940's and 1950's often with the slogan: "In just seven days, I can make you a man". Similarly, writer Richard O'Brien took the line: "Don't dream it, be it" from the back of a magazine.
Pierre La Roche, a former personal stylist for David Bowie, created the film's make-up styles. He also helped create the signature look for Frank-N-Furter.
Filming took place from October through December in Bray, near Windsor, England. Barry Bostwick claims he was always wet during filming because the castle used during filming was leaking. There was one "warm room" filled with space heaters that cast members took turns warming up in until the room caught on fire.
Tim Curry, Patricia Quinn and Nell Campbell reprise the same roles here that they'd played in the original stage production.
The film was originally intended to be shown in black and white until Frank's entrance and then only his lips would be in color, the rest would still be in black and white. At the end of Sweet Transvestite it would go immediately to color and it was supposed to stay in color up until the Superheroes song. 20th Century Fox included a similar cut as an Easter Egg on the 25th Anniversary DVD of the film, but it was slightly different from what was specified in the original screenplay. It was black and white up until Riff Raff opens the door revealing the Transylvanians, at which point it cut immediately to the color film. Many fans considered this to be lazy, pointing out that the original intended effect could have easily been achieved via colorization techniques.
The opening number, "Science Fiction Double Feature", contains references to many classic science fiction films. In the script, the credits were to be shown between clips of the films. Production designer Brian Thomson disliked the idea, and suggested using a pair of disembodied lips to mouth the words, inspired by the Man Ray painting "A l'heure de l'observatoire, les Amoureux" (Observatory Time, the Lovers).
"The Time Warp" was originally written to fill space as the original stage production was only 40-minutes long.
The films referenced in the opening number, "Science Fiction, Double Feature," are: The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), Flash Gordon (multi-film franchise), The Invisible Man (1933), King Kong (1933), It Came from Outer Space (1953), Doctor X (1932), Forbidden Planet (1956), Tarantula (1955), The Day of the Triffids (1963), Curse of the Demon (1957), and When Worlds Collide (1951).
Mick Jagger wanted to play Dr. Frank N. Furter in the film version.
Meat Loaf has no spoken words - all of his dialogue is sung.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show holds the record for the longest running stage production in history. It also holds a record for the longest theatrical release in film history. Midnight showings of the film at New York City's Waverly Theater turned it into a cult classic and increased the film's popularity over time. Stage productions of the film are still performed and random showings of the film are still screened.
The first midnight showing was on April Fools' Day, 1976, at the Waverly Theater in New York City's Greenwich Village.
EASTER EGGS: Literally. Genuine Easter eggs can be seen throughout the movie. In a light fixture, in an elevator scene, and even under Frank's throne. The film crew had had an Easter egg hunt and not all were found. Thus they ended up in a few scenes.
Aside from the chemical symbols scrawled on the lab wall next to the control panel, there is a grocery list calling for flour, eggs, bread, sugar and two hypodermics.
Susan Sarandon and Barry Bostwick were the only Americans in lead roles in the movie.
Many of the guests at Ralph and Betty's wedding also appear as Transylvanians.
The Criminologist states the events took place on a late November evening, but Brad and Janet were listening to President Richard Nixon's resignation speech on the radio. Nixon's resignation took place on August 8, 1974. Richard O'Brien cleared up the continuity error claiming Brad had recorded it and listened to it regularly.
Dr. Frank N Furter's tattoo on his upper right arm reads "BOSS", and the one on the upper part of his right thigh is "4711" (like the eau de cologne).
Just before Rocky's birthday feast, the Criminologist speaks for a while. His book is opened to display Leonardo da Vinci's "The Last Supper".
The mouth on the poster belongs to former model Lorelei Shark, whose lips (and later, the rest of her face) were later famously used on billboards and ads for Chicago rock radio station, WLUP ("The Loop"). She was paid $120 for two-hours of modeling, ($60 per hour) which has since become one of the most recognizable icons in film history.
Many films and television shows have payed tribute to Rocky Horror since the film's debut. Examples include The Drew Carey Show (1995), Glee (2009), The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012), the "Fame" franchise, 3rd Rock from the Sun (1996), Charles in Charge (1984), That '70s Show (1998), Daria (1997), CSI: NY (2004), Men in Black (1997), Halloween II (2009), Loser (2000), and the "Vice Squad" franchise.
When we see the castle at the start, the camera zooms in onto a crystal dome on top of the castle. This would appear to be the same dome used in Richard O'Brien's series The Crystal Maze (1990).
The movie is full of symbols of classic movie companies: The shield the griffin holds represents Warner Brothers; the eagle in the hall represents Republic; the lightning bolt on the flag represents the old RKO symbol, (the radio tower at the end is also RKO); the character 'Columbia' represents not only the movie company of the same name, but the symbol herself, complete with short hair; the large 'Atlas' illuminated painting in the grand bed-chamber is the symbol of Anglo-Amalgamated Productions; the large snarling cat in the hall is an MGM lion reference; the lighted globe at the end is the symbol of Universal Pictures; and the gong represents the Rank Film Corporation, whose films opened with a huge gong being struck; Columbia wears Mickey Mouse ears in the scenes in the bedroom with her & Magenta: a Disney reference.
Filming took place at The Oakley Court in Windsor, England. The same location was used for the horror films The Brides of Dracula (1960), And Now the Screaming Starts! (1973), The Old Dark House (1963), and Murder by Death (1976). The castle now serves as a luxury hotel.
In the "Over at the Frankenstein Place" sequence where Janet covers her head from the rain with the newspaper, the prop is actually coated with plastic so it would withstand many takes of being drenched with water. The coating, however doesn't cover the full page and leaves an area at one corner uncoated where Susan Sarandon is holding it so it doesn't look artificial. Water is clearly dripping from all parts of the prop, but you can clearly see that only the corner that she is holding is actually getting wet.
On the criminologist's desk, there are two framed pictures. One is of Franklin D. Roosevelt, a late US President and the other is of Ronald Reagan who had not yet become US President.
Peter Hinwood couldn't sing, and during the soundtrack sessions a session singer was used for Rocky Horror's part. Hinwood mimed the vocals during filming. In post-production, Jim Sharman wanted to change Rocky Horror's voice, and hired Australian actor/singer Trevor White to dub the final vocals for the film. White was interviewed for the 2002 book "Rocky Horror: From Concept to Cult."
The Broadway production of "The Rocky Horror Show" opened at the Belasco Theater in New York on March 10, 1975, starring Tim Curry. It ran for 45 performances (closing April 5, 1975) and was revived in 2001.
Tim Curry modeled Frank-N-Furter's voice after Queen Elizabeth II and his mother.
The film was originally recorded in mono. When 20th Century-Fox finally decided to release it to home video in 1990, the songs in the film were re-dubbed using the stereo versions from the soundtrack release (a session singer was used in the studio version for Rocky's vocals; Trevor White re-dubbed them for the film). Rocky's vocals are different on "Rose Tint My World," and other subtle differences are noticeable to fans who have seen the theatrical release repeatedly, especially because the words didn't match to the mouths of the actors. The original English mono sound was used as an option for the 2000 DVD release (with Trevor White as the voice of Rocky Horror on all songs), along with an English 5.1 Surround mix (using the mono sound and White's vocals) and a commentary track by Richard O'Brien and Patricia Quinn.
In the original stage production in London, Dr. Scott and Eddie were played by the same actor, which has become the custom in many subsequent productions. Meat Loaf was disappointed to learn he wouldn't be playing Dr. Scott.
A cinema located in Munich, Germany has screened the film once a week since its release in 1975. They offer special RHPS kits containing props to be used during the film including a biscuit, a candle, rice, a whistle, and a sheet of paper with directions on how to do the Time Warp. The same routine was played in a cinema of Milan, Italy.
The map that shows the path of Brad & Janet's trip to the castle (as shown by the criminologist) is of south eastern Ohio, south of Chillicothe. A very distinct bend in the Scioto River is visible on the left (a check of DeLorme's Ohio Gazetteer will confirm it). Near the bottom of the page you can make out "Wayne National Forest". And the town of Jackson is also visible. Though it is very blurry, it would appear that Frank N. Furter's castle would be near the town of McArthur, OH.
The newspaper that Janet is reading while driving with Brad can be seen as "The Plain Dealer." This is a newspaper of Cleveland, OH.
An extended final number appears in some American prints and the British tape release.
With the death of Anne Francis on January 2, 2011, Janette Scott is the last surviving actor mentioned in "Science Fiction/Double Feature".
While Brad and Janet are driving, President Richard Nixon's 1974 resignation speech is being played on Brad's car radio. Richard O'Brien was not in favor of this decision because it locked the film into a specific time frame.
After 40 years of theatrical screenings and television airings, the film made it's premium movie network debut on HBO and Cinemax's catalogues in 2015.
Christopher Malcolm and Julie Covington played leads Brad and Janet in the original stage musical when it opened at London's Royal Court Theatre (19 June 1973). Neither went on to participate in this movie adaptation.
Cliff De Young was offered the role of Brad Majors, but turned it down due to scheduling conflicts. He finally got his chance in Shock Treatment (1981).
B.J. Wilson & Mick Grabham were part of the 'band' who recorded the music for the Rocky Horror Picture Show. They were also members of the group Procol Harum famous for their 1967 hit 'Whiter Shade of Pale' (although neither Wilson nor Grabham played on that song as they had not yet joined the band at the time it was recorded.)
Picked by Entertainment Weekly magazine as one of the "50 Greatest Independent Films" in a special supplement devoted to independent films that was only distributed to subscribers in October 1997.
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The newspaper Janet is reading in Brad's car is The Plain Dealer, a local paper in Cleveland, OH.
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Also referenced in the original movie Fame
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Petra Leah:  bridesmaid
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Gina Barrie:  bridesmaid
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