5.9/10
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47 user 19 critic

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:

,

Writers:

(story and screenplay), (shooting script) | 2 more credits »
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Using takes and rehearsals discarded from the original edit plus interviews made during the shooting, Zappa reconstructs the bizarre story of 200 Motels, one of the most problematic ... See full synopsis »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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
...
...
...
...
Groupie #1 (as Janet Ferguson)
Martin Lickert ...
Lucy Offerall ...
Groupie #2
Dick Barber ...
Bif Debris - The Vacuum Cleaner
Don Preston ...
Don
...
Interviewer (as Pamela Miller)
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 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 November 1971 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Frank Zappa's 200 Motels  »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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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 »

Quotes

Jeff: I'm stealing the room!
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 »

Connections

Referenced in Dirty Duck (1974) See more »

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User Reviews

weird!
1 May 2004 | by See all my reviews

It is a long time since I saw this film, so am really going off memory - however I am certain that if I say this is one of the most off-the-wall movies ever made, few who have seen it would disagree! Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention were an excellent bunch of musicians who had evolved into a bit of send-up on the side by the time '200 Motels' was released. This means it falls rather heavily between being a rock musical or a comedy tour film a la Spinal Tap. Ringo Starr appears as Larry the Dwarf. Keith Moon appears as a nun (now, that's scary!); while, for reasons unknown, Theodore Bikel is there throughout as the spaced out Dave (Bikel was in 'My Fair Lady' as the star pupil amongst other mainstream features). In good company amongst features such as 'Head' (The Monkees) and 'Born to Boogie' (T-Rex) I suppose '200 Motels' is very much of its time but looks silly and dated all these years on.


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