Film Review – THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW (1975)

THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW (1975, UK/USA) ***½
Comedy, Musical
dist. Twentieth Century Fox (USA), Fox-Rank (UK); pr co. Twentieth Century Fox / Michael White Productions; d. Jim Sharman; w. Jim Sharman, Richard O’Brien (based on the musical play by Richard O’Brien); pr. Michael White; ph. Peter Suschitzky (DeLuxe. 35mm. Spherical. 1.66:1); m/l. Richard O’Brien; ed. Graeme Clifford; pd. Brian Thomson; ad. Terry Ackland-Snow; rel. 14 August 1975 (UK), 26 September 1975 (USA); BBFC cert: 15; r/t. 100m.
cast: Tim Curry (Dr. Frank-N-Furter – A Scientist), Susan Sarandon (Janet Weiss – A Heroine), Barry Bostwick (Brad Majors – A Hero), Richard O’Brien (Riff Raff – A Handyman), Patricia Quinn (Magenta – A Domestic), Nell Campbell (Columbia – A Groupie (as Little Nell)), Jonathan Adams (Dr. Everett V. Scott – A Rival Scientist), Peter Hinwood (Rocky Horror – A Creation), Meat Loaf (Eddie – Ex Delivery Boy), Charles Gray (The Criminologist – An Expert), Jeremy Newson (Ralph Hapschatt), Hilary Farr (Betty Munroe), Pierre Bedenes (A Transylvanian), Christopher Biggins (A Transylvanian), Gaye Brown (A Transylvanian), Ishaq Bux (A Transylvanian), Stephen Calcutt (A Transylvanian), Hugh Cecil (A Transylvanian), Imogen Claire (A Transylvanian), Tony Cowan (A Transylvanian).
A colourful adaptation of Richard O’Brien’s cult musical play sees Sarandon and Bostwick as a newly engaged couple who have a breakdown in an isolated area and must seek shelter at the bizarre residence of Dr. Frank-n-Furter (Curry). The production puts a capital C into Camp with Curry giving a powerhouse performance as the transgender doctor. The foot-tapping and witty musical numbers have translated well, and whilst the choreography is a little loose, it adds to the charm. Sarandon and Bostwick make a likeable hero/heroine pair and O’Brien is suitably spooky as Curry’s handyman. Whilst it could never replace the live experience, the film serves as a good document of a truly original work. US release was edited to 98m. Followed by SHOCK TREATMENT (1981).