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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 101,002 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 cover art for "Smell the Glove" was inspired by the artwork on Whitesnake's 1979 album "Lovehunter". See more »


Marty Di Bergi wears two different US Navy caps, one in the film and one in 'Catching up with Marty Di Bergi' in the Special Features on the DVD release. In the film, the cap appears to say "USS Coral Sea OV-48". It should say "USS Coral Sea CV-43". The USS Coral Sea was an aircraft carrier in the US Navy from 1946-90, the second ship to bear that name. In the special features, the cap is from the USS Wadsworth FG-9, a guided missile frigate in the US Navy from 1978-2002. The Wadsworth was transferred to Poland in 2002 and renamed the General Tadeusz Kosciuszko. 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 »


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

Frequently Asked Questions

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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.

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

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