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This Is Spinal Tap (1984)

R | | Comedy, Music | 2 March 1984 (USA)
Spinal Tap, one of England's loudest bands, is chronicled by film director Marty DiBergi on what proves to be a fateful tour.

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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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.
...
...
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Comedy | Music

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 March 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Rock 'n' Roll Nightmare  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$4,671,831 (USA) (6 October 2000)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.70 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Spinal Tap are infamous for problems with their Stonehenge props. The most famous incident comes from the film, in which the prop is undersized and nearly trampled by a dwarf. On their live tour in support of Break Like The Wind, a package delivery man brings a package with an even smaller model. In The Return of Spinal Tap, the prop is far too large, and the stage crew makes every effort to cram it through the small doorway, and fails. When they performed at Live Aid (1985), the prop, signed by all the other performers, was the right size, but the "columns" were lowered without the top crossing piece, and subsequently removed from the stage. The top piece eventually lowered with nothing to land on. See more »

Goofs

When the band goes to the recording industry convention, the subtitles say they're in Atlanta. However, the building in the background is the famous Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles, and an old RTD (now MTA) bus drives by. See more »

Quotes

[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 ...
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Crazy Credits

The Real Ian Faith .... Derek Sutton See more »

Connections

Referenced in The 50 Greatest Comedy Films (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Heartbreak Hotel
Written by Mae Boren Axton (as Mae Axton), Tommy Durden and Elvis Presley
Performed by Michael McKean, Christopher Guest and Harry Shearer
Copyright 1956 by Tree Publishing Co. Inc. Used by permission.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Cult classic
14 October 2004 | by (The Hague, Netherlands) – See all my reviews

By many seen as the favorite cult classic (together with 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show') 'This is Spinal Tap' is truly a comedy masterpiece. The rockumentary about fake band Spinal Tap seems so honest and serious that the slightest joke gets a huge laugh. We follow the band together with a documentary filmmaker, played by director Rob Reiner, on a tour that must make sure they will have a comeback. We see some of their shows where things go wrong, we see how they argue about the cover of their album, and we see how a girlfriend almost destroys the band.

The movie handles all these events as serious as possible, presenting itself as a real documentary about a real band. The fact that the band members are not too bright makes it funny. Especially the scene where the lead singer talks about an amplifier that goes to eleven instead of ten and therefore produces louder sounds is hilarious. The scene where the band plays on a Stonehenge stage is a classic, very memorable.

Writer Christopher Guest recently wrote and starred in 'Best in Show' (2000) and 'A Mighty Wind' (2003), two hilarious and terrific fake documentaries, the so-called mockumentaries, but 'This is Spinal Tap' stays the classic example. He and his co-writers, including director Reiner, have created the ultimate cult classic.


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