200 Motels ()

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"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 more »


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Complete, Cast awaiting verification

Mark Volman ...
Member of Mothers of Invention
Howard Kaylan ...
Member of Mothers of Invention
Ian Underwood ...
Member of Mothers of Invention
Aynsley Dunbar ...
Member of Mothers of Invention
Member of Mothers of Invention
Rance Muhammitz / Dave
The Hot Nun
Lonesome Cowboy Burt
Groupie #1 (as Janet Ferguson)
Martin Lickert ...
Lucy Offerall ...
Groupie #2
Dick Barber ...
Bif Debris - The Vacuum Cleaner
Don Preston ...
Interviewer (as Pamela Miller)
Ruth Underwood ...
Fake Drummer
Judy Gridley ...
Chorus Leader
Larry The Dwarf / Frank Zappa
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jim Pons ...
Member of Mothers of Invention (uncredited)
Euclid James 'Motorhead' Sherwood ...
Motorhead Sherwood (uncredited)
Member of Mothers of Invention (uncredited)

Directed by

Tony Palmer ... (visuals)
Frank Zappa ... (characterizations)

Written by

Frank Zappa ... (story and screenplay)
Tony Palmer ... (shooting script)
Mark Volman ... (special material) &
Howard Kaylan ... (special material)
Jeff Simmons ... (special material) (uncredited)

Produced by

Herb Cohen ... producer
Jerry D. Good ... producer (as Jerry Good)
Brian Harris ... associate producer
Raoul Pagel ... associate producer

Music by

Frank Zappa ... (music composed by)

Cinematography by

Tony Palmer

Film Editing by

Rich Harrison

Editorial Department

Roland Brown ... vision supervisor
Ray Nunney ... editor: video tape
Annie Rowe ... vision mixer (as Anne Rowe)
Barry Stevens ... editor: video tape (as Barry Stephens)

Production Design by

Cal Schenkel

Art Direction by

Leo Austin

Costume Design by

Sue Yelland

Makeup Department

Mervyn Medalie ... hairdresser
Paul Rabiger ... makeup artist

Production Management

David C. Anderson ... unit production manager (as David Anderson)
Roy Garner ... production manager: Lion Television Services

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director

David Alexander ... assistant director
John Downes ... third assistant director
Jim McCutcheon ... second assistant director

Art Department

Paddy Bennett ... props
Harry Phipps ... construction supervisor

Sound Department

Robert Auger ... recordist: 16 track
Rowland Fowles ... boom operator
Pieter Hubbard ... sound supervisor (as Peter Hubbard)

Special Effects by

Colin Chilvers ... special effects
Inky Ingram ... wire specialist
Bert Luxford ... special effects

Camera and Electrical Department

Barrie Dodd ... camera operator
Peter Dyson ... lighting director
Mike Fitch ... camera operator
Neville Hoksfield ... vision engineer
John Howard ... camera operator
John May ... gaffer
Selwyn Mindel ... vision engineer
Barry Peake ... still photographer
Dave Swan ... camera operator
Richard Thompson ... vision engineer

Animation Department

Wilma Guenot ... graphic production
Ann Oliphant ... graphic production
Cal Schenkel ... graphic production
Fumiko R. Sommer ... graphic production (as Fumiko Roche)
Charles Swenson ... animation director
Kunimi Terada ... graphic production
Elizabeth Wright ... graphic production

Music Department

Ray Cook ... music associate: dancers
George Duke ... music performer: Mothers of Invention
Aynsley Dunbar ... music performer: Mothers of Invention
Elgar Howarth ... conductor: orchestra
Howard Kaylan ... music performer: Mothers of Invention
John Lowdell ... orchestra chairman
Tom Petzal ... acting orchestra general manager
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra ... music performers (as The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra)
Colin Staveley ... orchestra leader
Ian Underwood ... music performer: Mothers of Invention
David Van Asch ... choral director
Mark Volman ... music performer: Mothers of Invention
Frank Zappa ... music arranger

Other crew

Lyn Gomez ... continuity clerk
Tom Keylock ... controller: Lion Television Services
Gillian Lynne ... choreographer
Alan Mashford ... technical director
Ian Stock ... unit publicist
Jaqi Williamson ... production secretary

Production Companies




Special Effects


Other Companies



Plot Summary

"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 Keywords
Parents Guide View content advisory »

Additional Details

Also Known As
  • Frank Zappa's 200 Motels (United States)
  • Deux cents motels (France)
  • 200 motellia (Finland)
  • 200 мотелей (Soviet Union, Russian title)
  • Two Hundred Motels
  • See more »
  • 98 min
Official Sites
Aspect Ratio
Sound Mix
Filming Locations

Box Office

Budget $679,000 (estimated)

Did You Know?

Trivia The role of Jeff was originally intended for Mothers bassist Jeff Simmons who quit the group just prior to filming. Needing a replacement, Frank Zappa hired Wilfrid Brambell. Within a few days, Brambell walked off the set in a rage and Zappa had to replace him. During a crew meeting, Zappa announced that he would give the part to the next person who walked into the room. Martin Lickert, who was Ringo Starr's chauffeur, was thus cast in the role upon returning from the limousine with a pack of cigarettes for Starr. See more »
Movie Connections Featured in Frank Zappa: New York and Elsewhere (1980). 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 »
Quotes Lonesome Cowboy Burt: So long as I get some beer and I get paid, you can make me do anything, I'm professional!
See more »

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