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This Is Spinal Tap (1984)

R  |   |  Comedy, Music  |  2 March 1984 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.0/11 from 101,005 users   Metascore: 85/100
Reviews: 322 user | 122 critic | 13 from Metacritic.com

Spinal Tap, one of England's loudest bands, is chronicled by film director Marty DeBergi on what proves to be a fateful tour.


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3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Kimberly Stringer ...
Heavy Metal Fan
Chazz Dominguez ...
Heavy Metal Fan
Shari Hall ...
Heavy Metal Fan
R.J. Parnell ...
David Kaff ...
Jean Cromie ...
Ethereal Fan
Patrick Maher ...
New York M.C.


In 1982 legendary British heavy metal band Spinal Tap attempt an American comeback tour accompanied by a fan who is also a film-maker. The resulting documentary, interspersed with powerful performances of Tap's pivotal music and profound lyrics, candidly follows a rock group heading towards crisis, culminating in the infamous affair of the eighteen-inch-high Stonehenge stage prop. Written by Jeremy Perkins <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Does for rock and roll what "The Sound of Music" did for hills


Comedy | Music


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

2 March 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Rock 'n' Roll Nightmare  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$2,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$55,854 (USA) (8 September 2000)


$4,671,831 (USA) (6 October 2000)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.70 : 1
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Did You Know?


The Stonehenge scene was likely inspired by the setup for Led Zeppelin's final two U.S. concerts, at the Oakland Coliseum, July 23 and 24, 1977. The stage was framed by a large, Stonehenge-like monolith. Additional Stonehenge models appeared on the stage, and large banners to either side of the stage featured images of Stonehenge. The concerts are infamous because several members of Led Zeppelin's entourage beat up a local crew member backstage after the first day's performance. See more »


During the 'Recording Studio Meltdown', David begins playing with a white Stratocaster, switches to a Sunburst Stratocaster, then back to a white Stratocaster in seconds (Special Edition only). See more »


[first lines]
Marty DiBergi: Hello; my name is Marty DiBergi. I'm a filmmaker. I make a lot of commercials. That little dog that chases the covered wagon underneath the sink? That was mine. In 1966, I went down to Greenwich Village, New York City to a rock club called Electric Banana. Don't look for it; it's not there anymore. But that night, I heard a band that for me redefined the word "rock and roll". I remember being knocked out by their... their exuberance, their raw power - and their punctuality. That ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits state that the band Spinal Tap is fictional, and add "And there's no Easter Bunny, either!" See more »


Referenced in St Trinian's 2: The Legend of Fritton's Gold (2009) See more »


A Grateful Nation
Written by Michael McKean, Christopher Guest and Harry Shearer
Performed by Michael McKean, Christopher Guest and Harry Shearer
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Still the funniest rock'n'roll movie ever, and one of the best DVDs on the market.
9 October 2002 | by (Perth, Australia) – See all my reviews

'This Is Spinal Tap' has been part of my life for so many years that it's hard to remember a time when I hadn't seen it. Having recently bought it on DVD and rewatched it for the nth time I was once again struck and just how clever and amusing this movie is. Christopher Guest and friends are not only very talented comedians with an amazing ability to improvise, but they know their music, and this is the real strength of the movie. Even though I have almost memorized every scene and joke it's STILL funny to me no matter how many times I watch it. Not only is the movie itself a classic, but the DVD is one of the best buys around with plenty of extras, deleted scenes, many as good as those chosen, and best of all a hilarious commentary by Tufnel, St Hubbins and Smalls which is even funnier than the movie itself. In fact it's the most entertaining DVD commentary track I've heard to date. This movie is a comedy classic, and easily the sharpest rock'n'roll parody ever made. If you haven't seen it before you're in for a treat! Absolutely essential viewing for all rock'n'roll fans, metal or otherwise!

103 of 112 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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