This Is Spinal Tap

MGM Released 1984


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Movie Summary

Rob Reiner

This is Spinal Tap is a 1984 mockumentary starring Rob Reiner, Christopher Guest, Harry Shearer, and Michael McKean about fictional heavy metal band Spinal Tap. The film spoofs the over-the-top actions of your typical heavy metal band, but Spinal Tap is a band stuck in obscurity. Made up of members David St. Hubbins (McKean), Nigel Tufnel (Guest), Derek Smalls (Shearer), and a rotating cast of drummers. The band along with manager Ian Faith (Tony Hendra) is being followed by longtime fan and documentarian Marty DiBergi (Reiner). DiBergi is chronicling the release and promotion of Spinal Tap's newest album titled Smell the Glove. The tour, however, is less than glamorous. Following under-attended, poorly promoted, and cancelled concerts along with petty infighting among the band members, This is Spinal Tap eventually tells the tale of a heavy metal band falling apart at the seems. David St. Hubbins and Nigel Tufnel are longtime friends, but are constantly at each other's throats with one of the main reasons being St. Hubbins' new girlfriend Jeanine (June Chadwick). So turn your television up to eleven because tonight, Spinal Tap is going to rock you, tonight.



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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (10)

    • David St. Hubbins: (on their Stonehenge stage prop) I do not, for one, think that the problem was that the band was down. I think that the problem may have
      been... that there was a Stonehenge monument on the stage that was in danger of being crushed by a dwarf. Alright? That tended to understate the hugeness of the object.

    • Marty DiBergi: The last time Tap toured America, they where, uh, booked into 10,000 seat arenas, and 15,000 seat venues, and it seems that now, on the current tour they're being booked into 1,200 seat arenas, 1,500 seat arenas, and uh I was just wondering, does this mean uh...the popularity of the group is waning?
      Ian Faith: Oh, no, no, no, no, no,, no, not at all. I, I, I just think that the.. uh.. their appeal is becoming more selective.

    • David St. Hubbins: (on the origins of the band) So we became The Originals.
      Nigel Tufnel: Right.
      David St. Hubbins: And we had to change our name, actually.
      Nigel Tufnel: Well there was, there was another group in the East End called The Originals and we had to rename ourselves.
      David St. Hubbins: The New Originals.
      Nigel Tufnel: The New Originals and then, uh, they became...
      David St. Hubbins: The Regulars, they changed their name back to The Regulars and we thought well, we could go back to The Originals but what's the point?
      Nigel Tufnel: We became The Thamesmen at that point.

    • Marty DiBergi: (on Spinal Tap) They've earned a distinguished place in rock history as one of England's loudest bands.

    • David St. Hubbins: (on what he'd like written on his tombstone) "Here lies David St. Hubbins. And why not?"

    • Nigel Tufnel: (about the special setting on his amp) Well, it's one louder, isn't it? It's not ten. You see, most blokes, you know, will be playing at ten. You're on ten here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you're on ten on your guitar. Where can you go from there? Where?
      Marty DiBergi: I don't know.
      Nigel Tufnel: Nowhere. Exactly. What we do is, if we need that extra push over the cliff, you know what we do?
      Marty DiBergi: Put it up to eleven.
      Nigel Tufnel: Eleven. Exactly. One louder.
      Marty DiBergi: Why don't you make ten a little louder, make that the top number and make that a little louder?
      Nigel Tufnel: These go to eleven.

    • Derek Smalls: We're very lucky in the band in that we have two visionaries, David and Nigel, they're like poets, like Shelley and Byron. They're two distinct types of visionaries, it's like fire and ice, basically. I feel my role in the band is to be somewhere in the middle of that, kind of like lukewarm water.

    • Nigel Tufnel: You can't really dust for vomit.

    • Nigel Tufnel: There's something about this that's so black, it's like how much more black could this be? And the answer is none. None more black.

    • David St. Hubbins: Dozens of people spontaneously combust each year. It's just not really widely reported.

  • NOTES (1)


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