8.0/11
120,025
348 user 79 critic

This Is Spinal Tap (1984)

R | | Comedy, Music | 2 March 1984 (USA)
Trailer
1:36 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $14.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
Spinal Tap, one of England's loudest bands, is chronicled by film director Marty DiBergi on what proves to be a fateful tour.

Director:

Rob Reiner
Reviews
Popularity
1,403 ( 214)
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rob Reiner ... Marty DiBergi
Kimberly Stringer Kimberly Stringer ... Heavy Metal Fan
Chazz Dominguez Chazz Dominguez ... Heavy Metal Fan
Shari Hall Shari Hall ... Heavy Metal Fan
R.J. Parnell R.J. Parnell ... Mick Shrimpton
David Kaff David Kaff ... Viv Savage
Tony Hendra ... Ian Faith
Michael McKean ... David St. Hubbins
Christopher Guest ... Nigel Tufnel
Harry Shearer ... Derek Smalls
Bruno Kirby ... Tommy Pischedda
Jean Cromie Jean Cromie ... Ethereal Fan
Patrick Maher Patrick Maher ... New York M.C.
Ed Begley Jr. ... John 'Stumpy' Pepys
Danny Kortchmar ... Ronnie Pudding
Edit

Storyline

In 1982, the legendary English 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 {J-26}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The original rockumentary created by Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, Rob Reiner, Harry Shearer See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Music

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 March 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

This is Spinal Tap®: A Rockumentary by Martin Di Bergi See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$2,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$30,835, 4 March 1984, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$244,557, 31 December 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Spinal Tap Prod. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.70 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The band's name was originally going to be spelled "Spynal Tap". See more »

Goofs

Just after a shot showing the band as landing in Seattle, they perform at "Lindberg Air Force Base" due to a gig at the civic arena falling through. There is no such Air Force base. The only Air Force base in the Seattle area would be McChord, now part of Joint Base Lewis-McChord. 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 ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Alternate Versions

Several versions of this film exist. A 4 hour bootleg is rumored to exist. The DVD and laserdiscs include some of this in a hour of deleted scenes, subplots, and alternate takes. Included: More with Bruno Kirby; A subplot with Spinal Taps opening act; Derek's legal troubles with his wife and much, much more. See more »

Connections

Edited into Spinal Tap Goes to 20 (2004) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
On the fine line between stupid and clever... kind of like lukewarm water
7 March 2007 | by edanthemanSee all my reviews

Not too long ago, my classmates and I were allowed to bring in a DVD of our choice as it was nearing the end of the school term. Knowing that these pop culturists wouldn't be too happy to watch one of my 'arty cult films', I didn't give a shite and brought in 'This is Spinal Tap'. They quite happily agreed to put it on after I told them it was funny and had swearing in it. But soon, boredom started to sink in with the class. "Crap", they labelled it. "Boring", they yelled. After less than ten minutes, my teacher was changing the disk to, wait for it… 'The Others'. One of my chums, being a fan of the film, dismissed them as idiots. However, I told him it was all a matter of taste and that they would be much happier settling down to watch their 40-year-old virgins and American pies than this more subtly-coloured tin of paint. So as I walked over to the front of the classroom, tail between my legs, to pick up my DVD my teacher leaned over and said, "Don't worry, I liked it. You have to be cultured to enjoy this sort of thing." And you know what, she's right.

To be quite frank, 'Spinal Tap' is just like marmite. You'll either love everything about it or hate every frame of it. Some people say it's like watching wet paint dry, others say it was so funny it gave them a hernia. I definitely fall into that latter category. After the umpteenth viewing, I still find it painfully hilarious!

But that's not the only reason for seeing it. It's also a totally accurate, observational and witty deconstruction of rock's strutting pretensions. If you're someone who thinks rock bands take themselves far too seriously, you need this movie. If, on the other hand, you feel like rock stars should forever be treated like gods and worshipped on a regular basis, you might just want to avoid this. After all, when Aerosmith's Steven Tyler had finished watching it he said he just felt like he wanted to throw himself off a cliff! It reveals the utter shallowness of rock 'n' roll without even flinching!

If you're also a lover of in-your-face laugh-out-loud got-it-straight-away humour, just stay away. Far, far away. This is intellectual stuff. You have to possess intelligence to enjoy it. I've never met any stupid people who did enjoy this film.

Director Rob Reiner really shows how broad his range is with this (his best in my opinion!), bringing every authentic detail, no matter how seemingly minor, to the screen effortlessly with a wonderfully sharp cast. Its still a challenge to get my head around the fact that this is from the same tubby Santa Claus look-alike who made 'The Princess Bride' and 'Stand By Me'! Reiner has always been a man with extraordinarily wide horizons and always will be, constantly entertaining cinema-goers with so many different stories!

The film's fly-on-the-wall mockumentary style works wonders, getting some beautiful performances from its actors (namely Michael McKean and Christopher Guest) and adding to its 'natural' feel. Many films, mainly British ones, have imitated this style ever since. Even one of the film's actors and co-writers has stuck to the hip of this film for the most part of his career, coming up with new and even more outlandish 'mockumentaries' to entertain and sate his legion of followers.

On each viewing, you'll erupt into laughter at the discovery of a new joke. Then for weeks on end, you'll be quoting it to your friends and everyone you know. It's like a treasure trove without a bottom!

To finish this not-so-critical analysis, I can never find any fault or flaw even after the innumerable viewings I've had. I never get bored of it either. I think the reason I like this so much is, honestly, because it was made for people like me!


51 of 71 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 348 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed