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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 100,948 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
See  »

Did You Know?


Nigel Tufnel's name is a joke on Eric Clapton, derived from "dull name" and "location in London". Eric became Nigel, and "Clapton Pond" became "Tufnell Park". See more »


During "Stonehenge," Nigel's microphone, a Shure SM-57, alternately gains and loses a windscreen. 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

Rob Reiner interviews all the members of the band. See more »


Referenced in Real Time with Bill Maher: Episode #11.32 (2013) See more »


The Mule Died
Written by Christopher Guest
Performed by Christopher Guest
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Laughs at '11'; one of the greatest comedies ever filmed!
23 April 2003 | by (fairview, nj) – See all my reviews

THIS IS SPINAL TAP (1984) **** Rob Reiner, Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, Harry Shearer (Cameos: Billy Crystal, Dana Carvey, Fran Drescher, Paul Shaffer, Howard Hesseman, Ed Begley, Jr., Fred Willard, Angelica Huston {note spelling!} ).

Hysterically funny and dead-on "rockumentary" spoof of absurd documentaries and lame so-called rock groups with wicked satirical approach and clever camera shots as well. Directed by Reiner (his debut) with accurate depiction of super-inflated egos, pompous hangers-on and hilarious intimate moments with great dialogue thanks to the improvisations of the trio who reportedly worked from no screenplay. Best moment: Spinal Tap trying to find the stage. And I personally agree with the keyboardist's philosophy of "Have a good time, all the time".

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