200 Motels  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

200 Motels is a 1971 American-British musical surrealist film cowritten and directed by Frank Zappa and Tony Palmer and starring The Mothers of Invention, Theodore Bikel and Ringo Starr. A soundtrack album was released in the same year, with a slightly different selection of music. In 2009, 200 Motels was restored with an audio commentary by Tony Palmer and is currently available on an England-sourced for-retail DVD.

Plot

In 200 Motels, the film attempts to portray the craziness of life on the road as a rock musician, and as such consists of a series of unconnected nonsense vignettes interspersed with concert footage of the Mothers of Invention. Ostensibly, while on tour The Mothers of Invention go crazy in the small fictional town of Centerville ("a real nice place to raise your kids up"), wander around, and get beaten up in "Redneck Eats", a cowboy bar. In an animated interlude passed off as a "dental hygiene movie," bassist "Jeff", tired of playing what he refers to as "Zappa's comedy music", is persuaded by his bad conscience to quit the group, as did his real-life counterpart Jeff Simmons, who was fired for insubordination before the film began shooting. Simmons was replaced by Martin Lickert (who was Ringo's chauffeur) for the film.

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "200 Motels" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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