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October 31, 2018

Don’t Dream It, Be It: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About The Rocky Horror Show


Who doesn’t love a good “Science Fiction/Double Feature?” Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show (US/UK) is the perfect campy musical to capture your imagination, get your heart pumping and get your toes tapping. With a rockin’ score and outrageous characters like Dr. Frank-N-Furter, Rocky, Brad, Janet and the rest of the gang, it’ll surely inspire you to do the Time Warp again.

Richard O’Brien’s classic 1975 film, based on the original 1973 stage production, included great musical numbers such as “Dammit Janet,” “Hot Patootie” and “I’m Going Home,” to name just a few. If you think you know all there is to this cult favorite, think again – below you’ll find our top 10 freaky and fabulous facts about the film The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

  1. As the production took shape, O’Brien knew he wanted to co-star as the motorcycle-riding Eddie, a role that ultimately went to Meat Loaf. Director Jim Sharman, though, saw O’Brien in the role of the mysterious handyman, Riff Raff, and O’Brien respected and trusted his director enough that he agreed. (Source)

  2. While conceiving of the film’s overall look, Sharman, set designer Brian Thomson and company originally decided that the film’s opening act should be shot entirely in black and white, and that the first color in the movie should be Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s red lips when he appeared on the elevator. The idea was that Brad and Janet were living in a bland world, and when they met Frank-N-Furter they would be shown something much more colorful. Ultimately, the studio rejected the idea – but the original black and white opening can be seen on the 35th anniversary special edition of the DVD. (Source)

  3. The Rocky Horror Picture Show was filmed at The Oakley Court in Windsor, England, which has since been turned into a hotel. You can actually stay there! (Source)

  4. Richard O’Brien borrowed the famous line “don’t dream it, be it” from the back of a magazine. (Source)

  5. The Rocky Horror Picture Show was a flop when it was originally released in 1975, but as midnight showings continued it developed a rabid cult following with a penchant for shouting at the screen as the film played. Brian Thomson first witnessed this phenomenon at New York’s Waverly Theater in 1977, and when he asked what was going on, this was the reply: “We thought it was pretty boring, and we thought if we yelled back [it would be more fun].” (Source)

  6. Many movies and TV shows have paid tribute to The Rocky Horror Picture Show, including Fame, Glee, The Drew Carey Show, That ’70s Show, 3rd Rock From the Sun, CSI: NY, Charles in Charge, Halloween II, Loser, Men in Black, Vice Squad and The Perks of Being a Wallflower. (Source)

  7. Taking a cue from the character’s name, Tim Curry began the stage production of The Rocky Horror Show by playing Frank-N-Furter as German. Then, one day, he heard a woman on a bus speaking with a particularly posh accent and decided, “Yes, he should sound like the Queen.” (Source)

  8. Steve Martin auditioned to play Brad, but was passed over for Barry Bostwick, who had received a Tony nomination in 1972 for creating the role of Danny Zuko in Grease (US). (Source)

  9. Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger asked to play Frank-N-Furter in the film. The creative team turned him down in favor of the musical’s original star, Tim Curry. (Source)

  10. Pierre La Roche, who did makeup for Mick Jagger and created David Bowie’s iconic Ziggy Stardust makeup, created Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s look—but it took him so long to apply the makeup (four hours) that Curry ended up doing it himself. (Source)

To learn more about licensing a production of Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show, visit Concord Theatricals in the US or UK.