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This Is Spinal Tap (1984)

R  |   |  Comedy, Music  |  2 March 1984 (USA)
8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/11 from 97,177 users   Metascore: 85/100
Reviews: 320 user | 121 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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Title: This Is Spinal Tap (1984)

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3 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:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.70 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In Norway "This is Spinal Tap" opened directly to video over two years later. The title was changed to "Help! We are in the Pop Business!" (="Hjelp! Vi er i popbransjen!") This is a spin on the Norwegian title for "Airplane!" (1980), which was "Help! We are Flying!" (="Hjelp! Vi flyr!"). The poster didn't show any images of the band. Instead it displaying a guitar with a knot on it, similar just like the airplane on the "Airplane!" poster. Throughout the film there is a disclaimer on screen informing us that this was not a real band, this was all fake. See more »

Goofs

Before the Jazz Odyssey scene, David and Viv are discussing the amended (and much shortened) set list. David, when running down the list says "Heavy, Hole..." rather than saying "Heavy Hole" as has been stated here before. This can be seen as a mix up between two other Tap songs, "Heavy Duty" and "Hell Hole", but in reality David is referring to the two songs separately, in a sort of shorthand (using only a portion of each title) as he runs down the list of songs they might be able to play. 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

There are no opening credits after the title is shown. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sam and Max: What's New Beelzebub (2008) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Deserves its fame
31 July 2000 | by (Saint Paul, MN) – See all my reviews

Spinal Tap has been called one of the funniest movies ever made by many people over the years. I had always been familiar with it. I was very familiar with almost 70% of the scenes: the amplifier that goes to 11, the Stonehenge dance, the inability to find the way onstage in Cleveland. Plus, when it was first released on VHS, I had rented and loved Fear of a Black Hat, a mockumentary about a rap group which more or less rips off every scene of This Is Spinal Tap. After finally sitting down with This Is Spinal Tap, I am still a fan of Fear of a Black Hat (and I recommend it to anyone who hasn't heard of it), but it can not come close to touching the genius of the collective vision of Rob Reiner, Christopher Guest, Micheal McKean and Harry Shearer. I laughed pretty much constantly, and belly laughs, all through the film. It does kind of slow down nearer the end with the bands falling apart (i.e., the plot gets in the way of the documentary), but there was never a scene in the film that didn't have something hilarious. I have to give this film 10/10. This Is Spinal Tarp, er, um, I mean Tap is one of the funniest comedies ever made.


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