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200 Motels (1971)

"Touring makes you crazy," Frank Zappa says, explaining that the idea for this film came to him while the Mothers of Invention were touring. The story, interspersed with performances by the... See full summary »

Directors:

Tony Palmer, Frank Zappa

Writers:

Frank Zappa (story and screenplay), Tony Palmer (shooting script) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mark Volman Mark Volman ... Member of Mothers of Invention
Howard Kaylan Howard Kaylan ... Member of Mothers of Invention
Ian Underwood Ian Underwood ... Member of Mothers of Invention
Aynsley Dunbar Aynsley Dunbar ... Member of Mothers of Invention
George Duke ... Member of Mothers of Invention
Theodore Bikel ... Rance Muhammitz / Dave
Keith Moon ... The Hot Nun
Jimmy Carl Black ... Lonesome Cowboy Burt
Janet Neville-Ferguson ... Groupie #1 (as Janet Ferguson)
Martin Lickert Martin Lickert ... Jeff
Lucy Offerall Lucy Offerall ... Groupie #2
Dick Barber Dick Barber ... Bif Debris - The Vacuum Cleaner
Don Preston Don Preston ... Don
Pamela Des Barres ... Interviewer (as Pamela Miller)
Ruth Underwood Ruth Underwood ... Fake Drummer
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Storyline

"Touring makes you crazy," Frank Zappa says, explaining that the idea for this film came to him while the Mothers of Invention were touring. The story, interspersed with performances by the Mothers and the Royal Symphony Orchestra, is a tale of life on the road. The band members' main concerns are the search for groupies and the desire to get paid. Written by George S. Davis

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Fantasy | Music

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 November 1971 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Frank Zappa's 200 Motels See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$679,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Frank Zappa originally wanted Christopher Lee to play Rance Muhammitz. See more »

Quotes

Rance Muhammitz: [as a TV show host, holding a microphone] Hi Larry, its good to have you back on our panel!
Larry The Dwarf: [holding a magic lamp] Hi Dave, its really great to be back on your panel!
Rance Muhammitz: I'm sure the people at home would be interested to know why such a large force as you is all dressed up like Frank Zappa. Tell us Larry, whats the deal?
Larry The Dwarf: He made me do it, Dave. He's such a creep. He's making me hold this aladdin.
Rance Muhammitz: And why is he making you do that, Larry?
Larry The Dwarf: He wants me to fuck the girl with the harp.
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

The closing credits are super-imposed over a number of production-related documents, including sheet music, scripts, shooting directions, memos and expense reports. See more »

Alternate Versions

A laserdisc issue deletes the "Dental Hygiene Dilemma/quasi-Donald Duck on acid" animation sequence. See more »

Connections

Featured in Laserdisc Memories: The Criterion Collection (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

An unusual movie - just don't expect it to make sense
27 July 2003 | by darwin-tSee all my reviews

As a long term Frank Zappa fan, I was really excited when this movie came out. I admit it's kind of hard to watch - it isn't the movie Frank planned. He had big problems with the director, he ended up in a protracted lawsuit with Royal Albert Hall (This conflict raised his costs for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra) and much of what was supposed to be shot wasn't, requiring an entirely "different movie" to be made in editing.

It was a joy to see Ringo Starr playing Frank's part, Keith Moon as a nun and of course the music was great. The music was written while Frank was on tour, hence the title.

It was shot entirely on video tape and transferred to film after the special effects were added. I think this was the first feature film done on video tape. The video effects were psychedelic which was a bit odd since Frank was vehemently against drug use.


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