This Is Spinal Tap - “Stonehenge”
This is one of the most famous scenes in the entire movie, but for all the wrong reasons. The performance gets all the attention, what with the theatrics and the tiny Stonehenge and the dwarfs dancing around, but it’s the dressing-room fight that follows that is the real gem. The actors are firing on all cylinders here and the wit is non-stop and sharp as a tack.
Harry Shearer speaks all of three lines during the 4 minutes of the fight, but he absolutely steals the scene with his delivery. Three perfect little one-liner gems. He plays the character perfectly - constantly thinking about how to improve the situation and stay focused on the music itself rather than get caught up in the drama that has just occurred.
Ian: “I really think you’re just making a much to big a thing out of it.”
Derek [off camera - with impeccable timing]: “Making a big thing out of it would have been a good idea.”
Derek: “Maybe we just fix the choreography - keep the dwarf clear…”
David: “What do you mean?”
Derek: “…so he won’t trod upon it.”
[IAN HAS STORMED OUT OF THE ROOM - LEAVING A LONG AND UNCOMFORTABLE SILENCE]
Derek: “Can I raise a practical question at this point? … Are we gonna do Stonehenge tomorrow?”
It’s only when you stop and consider just how much of the dialog in the movie was improvised that you can really begin to grasp just how comedically brilliant the entire cast was.