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#hmvDecades: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About… The Rocky Horror Picture Show
by Tom
Tom
by Tom hmv London, Bio hmv.com Editor. Peanut butter, punk rock and pillows.

#hmvDecades: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About… The Rocky Horror Picture Show

It bombed at the box office and was mauled by critics when it was first released, but, as time has gone, nothing has defined the phrase ‘Cult Classic’ like The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Conceived by Richard O’Brien, initially as purely a stage musical, it is a strange, magical and, at times, downright bizarre show, with a cast that includes Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Meat Loaf and Barry Bostwick.

It begins with Janet Weiss and Brad Majors, a squeaky clean, newly engaged, all American couple who are driving through the countryside when their car breaks down. Seeking refuge in the nearest home, they end up in the castle of Dr Frank N. Furter, a transvestite with designs on creating his own personal human being and leading his own strange revolution. Although the way there are some of the most iconic moments and musical numbers from the history of cinema.

Still in cinemas to this day and now on offer as part of hmv’s Decades, we thought we’d revisit and present 10 things you didn’t know about The Rocky Horror Picture Show...

 

Jim Sharman stayed true to his cast and it cost him…

Sharman wrote and directed the big screen adaptation of the musical and wanted to stay true to as much of the stage version as he could. However when the studio agreed to finance the movie they told Sharman he had two options, he could either cast popular musicians of the day and enjoy a much more lavish budget or stay true to the actors from the stage show and make the movie on a shoestring. In the end he chose the latter and Tim Curry, Richard O'Brien, Patricia Quinn and Nell Campbell all reprised their role in the movie. As you’ll see later on, this decision didn’t come without consequences…

 

Mick Jagger and Vincent Price both wanted a part in the movie…

When he became aware that the musical was heading for the silver screen, The Rolling Stones’ frontman expressed an interest in taking the role of Dr Frank N. Furter in the movie, while horror legend Vincent Price was actually offered the role of the narrator. In spite of Jagger’s high-profile, Sharman and his producers decided to stick with Tim Curry, who would be making his feature film debut. In the end Price had to pass due to scheduling conflicts, with his role going to Charles Gray.

 

And Steve Martin almost starred in it…

Martin was a successful stand-up comedian back when Rocky Horror went into production in the mid-1970s, but had yet to find his feet in Hollywood. He auditioned for the part of Brad Majors, half of the unsuspecting couple who find themselves inside Dr Frank N. Furter’s mansion, but lost out to Barry Bostwick.

 

The first time Meat Loaf saw the show he walked out…

The Bat Out Of Hell singer scored a part in both the stage and movie version of the show, but when he first got the part he almost ran away. His audition for the role was a singing only one and the singer later revealed he hadn’t actually read the script. So, when he first turned up for a dress rehearsal and saw Tim Curry in full drag he actually raw away in the middle of the production. Eventually actor Graham Jarvis, who played the Narrator in the stage version, talked him into staying, but only after he’d gotten a ticket for jaywalking (crossing the road when pedestrians are supposed to wait) after first legging it…

 

The show’s most iconic scene was only written to fill space...

Back when the show was first written, it was only a measly 40 minutes long, which meant the writers needed to come up some more songs and plot. It was only then that ‘Time Wrap’, the show and film’s highlight, was written. Even with all the new additions, the film is still a skinny 100 minutes long...

 

Rocky doesn’t actually do his own singing…

Peter Hinwood, who plays Frank N. Furter’s muscular creation Rocky, couldn’t sing at all. As a result he had to mime all his lines, with a session singer drafted in later to complete the film.

 

It gave Susan Sarandon pneumonia…

As you heard above, the film’s budget was pretty tiny and lots of things had to be spared, including heat and bath rooms. Susan Sarandon in particular suffered, after speaking to producers about conditions on set she was told she was complaining too much, she then contracted pneumonia after filming the movie’s pool scene. They probably took her more seriously then…

 

Dr Frank N. Furter’s Castle is now a luxury hotel…

The vast majority of the film was shot at Oakley Court, the location for many of Hammer Horror’s bloody cinematic adventures and, in this case, Dr Frank N. Furter’s castle. It was built way back in 1859 and eventually refurbished in 1981 with tennis courts, a golf course and even it’s own polo team.

 

It was banned in South Africa…

Upon its release in 1975 the film’s controversial content proved too much for the censors in South Africa, although, bizarrely, not until several weeks after it had first been released and over 250,000 had seen it...

 

But it’s the longest-running film release in history…

Released back in 1975, the film continues to play in cinemas across the world to this day, with regular midnight screenings happening in cities every single weekend. Distributors 20th Century Fox have no plans to pull the film from cinemas anytime soon…


The Rocky Horror Picture Show is available in-store and online as part of hmv’s decades promotion. Click here to see the full range of titles available.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show
The Rocky Horror Picture Show Jim Sharman

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