328 user 121 critic

This Is Spinal Tap (1984)

R | | Comedy, Music | 2 March 1984 (USA)
1:36 | Trailer

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


1,576 ( 371)
2 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
See  »

Did You Know?


Premiere voted this movie as one of "The 50 Greatest Comedies Of All Time" in 2006. See more »


After making fun of Jeanine's drawings based on signs of the zodiac, she snatches the artwork from Nigel's hands. A few seconds later, he's holding it again. 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

Anjelica Huston's name is incorrectly listed as 'Angelica Huston' at the beginning of the end titles, but correctly spelled 'Anjelica Huston' in the full cast that appears further down the list. See more »


Referenced in Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams (2002) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A hilarious little spoof - wit rather than clumsy stuff
1 January 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

In 1982 the world's loudest band is about to undertake it's comeback tour of America to coincide with the release of the new album. The group, Spinal Tap, is accompanied by documentary filmmaker Marti DeBergi on what turns out to be a fateful chapter in the band's colourful history.

Despite what anyone else tells you, this is easily one of the most quotable movies made and is just as funny today as it was when it was made, unless you are so out of touch with the world that it affectionately spoofs. The film is almost a tragedy so well does it chronicle the absurd collapse of the band. However, regardless of the hows and whats, the comedy is in the characters and the sharp dialogue. While most of the specific action is really funny, it is best during the backstage arguments and the candid interviews.

The dialogue is fantastic from start to finish and is made better by a superb cast delivering absurd lines with a straight face! McKean, Guest and Shearer are the strongest of the cast have most of the best lines. The support cast is also crammed with cameos from such people as Bruno Kirby, Billy Crystal, Begley Jnr, Macnee, Paul Shaffer, Anjelica Huston and others. Reiner excels as director, writer and documentarian, the film has his hands all over it.

Overall this is a great film, so much has been said about it that I won't go on any longer. While it is not an out and out spoof like Naked Gun, this film is wittier as the comedy comes from the dialogue and the sheer imagination of the writing!

38 of 48 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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