5.9/10
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200 Motels (1971)

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

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

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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

Unlike most movie musicals, the soundtrack was recorded live as the movie was shot, instead of recording the soundtrack beforehand and then lipsynching during filming. 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 »

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

Referenced in The Dead Don't Die (2019) See more »

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User Reviews

very much of its time
15 August 2007 | by ajstewart_2000See all my reviews

I've been a fan since 1974 and had the fortune of obtaining the original Mothers albums CHEAP -as MGM/Verve was deleting them from its catalog. Then I caught up on the Warner Brothers albums and was never enamoured with the 'Flo & Eddie' period. Still I caught 200 Motels at one of those 99 cent midnight movies that were popular back then. Everyone in the audience looked a lot like the people up on the screen and when it was over it made me think that "Flower Power" may have been a myth after all; in a way I think the experience made me appreciate and/or pity those Mothers working under such grueling conditions. The 'story'appears to make the members of the Mothers look like sexist pigs in the pre-feminist era of 1971. Mostly they behave pathetic and predatory. As Frank stated in "The True Story of 200 Motels" its easier to get guys to essentially play themselves, which makes it remarkable that they all go along with it. Some of you may recall Jeff Simmons quit the group when he saw the lines he was supposed to deliver, which turned out to be self-fulfilling prophesy!


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