Four Rooms

For the Channel 4 television programme, see Four Rooms (TV series).
Four Rooms

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Allison Anders
Alexandre Rockwell
Robert Rodriguez
Quentin Tarantino
Produced by Lawrence Bender
Written by Allison Anders
Alexandre Rockwell
Robert Rodriguez
Quentin Tarantino
Music by Combustible Edison
Cinematography Rodrigo García
Guillermo Navarro
Phil Parmet
Andrzej Sekuła
Edited by Margie Goodspeed
Elena Maganini
Sally Menke
Robert Rodriguez
Distributed by Miramax Films
Release dates
  • December 25, 1995 (1995-12-25)
Running time
102 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $4 million
Box office $4,257,354

Four Rooms is a 1995 American anthology comedy film directed by Allison Anders, Alexandre Rockwell, Robert Rodriguez, and Quentin Tarantino, each directing a segment of it that in its entirety is loosely based on the adult short fiction writings of Roald Dahl, especially Man from the South which is the basis for the last one, Penthouse - "The Man from Hollywood" directed by Tarantino. The story is set in the fictional Hotel Mon Signor in Los Angeles on New Year's Eve. Tim Roth plays Ted, the bellhop and main character in the frame story, whose first night on the job consists of four very different encounters with various hotel guests.


The film is set on New Year's Eve, and starts with Sam (Marc Lawrence), the previous bellhop of the Hotel Mon Signor, briefing his replacement, Ted (Tim Roth), about the job.

The film's animated opening credits are inspired by the cartoons of The Pink Panther Show, and feature the scat song "Vertigogo".

Honeymoon Suite - "The Missing Ingredient"

Ted assists a number of unusual women with their luggage, which he takes up to the Honeymoon Suite. He learns they are a coven of witches, attempting to create a potion to reverse a spell cast on their goddess, Diana (Amanda De Cadenet) 40 years ago. In order to create it, they each must place an ingredient into a large cauldron in a ritual. However, one (Ione Skye) has still to retrieve her ingredient - semen - which she is told she must retrieve in one hour. She manages to seduce an initially reluctant Ted and has sex with him in the cauldron. After he leaves, they complete the ritual and Diana is seen emerging from the cauldron.

Ted's phone call with the party guest

At the end of the segment, a guest from a hotel room party (Lawrence Bender) calls Ted at the front desk to get some ice. He is unsure about which floor the room is on, but eventually directs Ted to Room 404.

Room 404 - "The Wrong Man"

Upon arriving at Room 404, Ted finds himself in the middle of a fantasy hostage situation between a husband and wife. Sigfried (David Proval), the husband, maniacally accuses Ted (whom he calls Theodore) of having slept with his wife, Angela (Jennifer Beals). At gunpoint, Ted is made to participate in the scenario, with uncertainty about what is real and part of the fantasy. At one point, he is stuck in the bathroom window and the party guest from the beginning of the segment appears in the one above, uttering the word "ice" and vomiting. Eventually, Ted escapes just as a different party guest (Paul Skemp) appears, looking for Room 404 and is greeted by Sigfried in the same manner as Ted at the beginning of the segment.

Ambiguity of room number

It is not fully clear if these events take place in Room 404 or 409. The party guests' room is on the above floor, which suggests Sigfried's room is indeed Room 404. Adding to this uncertainty, the door reads "40-", with a faint outline of what appears to be a missing "4" or "9". However, Sigfried answers the phone at one point, which is later revealed to be a call connecting to Room 409.

Room 309 - "The Misbehavers"

A husband (Antonio Banderas) and wife (Tamlyn Tomita) go out to a New Year's Eve party and leave their two children, Sarah and Juancho (Lana McKissack and Danny Verduzco), in the hotel. Ted is paid $500 to keep an eye on them by their stern father, who orders them not to misbehave. As Ted is responsible for the entire hotel he can't actually stay in the room with them, but instead instructs them to do so and watch television. After he leaves, they soon begin to squabble and proceed to both explore and vandalize the room, and manage to explode a bottle of champagne in the process. They call Ted for toothbrushes, at which point he arrives and attempts unsuccessfully to put them to bed by putting ointment on their eyelids. After they wash them and summon him back once more, he arrives at a scene of mass chaos: a painting in the room, which they use to play darts with a syringe, has a target scribbled on it with lipstick, Juancho has a cigarette in his mouth, Sarah has a bottle of liquor in her hand, the television is set to an adult channel, and they have found the corpse of a dead prostitute (Patricia Vonne) stuffed in the box spring. While Ted tries to quell the chaos, Sarah stabs him in the leg with the syringe when he repeatedly uses the word "whore" and Juancho accidentally sets the room on fire with his cigarette. At this point, their father arrives, carrying his passed-out wife, and, looking around the room, asks Ted, "Did they misbehave?"

Ted's phone call with Betty

After the events of Room 309, an unsettled Ted calls his boss, Betty (Kathy Griffin), to quit. After a prolonged conversation with Margaret (Marisa Tomei), he gets Betty on the phone and quits, but a call from the penthouse comes in. Betty reasons with him and convinces him to tend to their needs, due to the importance of continued Hollywood business to the hotel.

Penthouse - "The Man from Hollywood"

The penthouse is currently being occupied by the famous director Chester Rush (Tarantino) and a group of his friends, which includes Angela from The Wrong Man. The party requests a block of wood, a doughnut, a ball of twine, three nails, a club sandwich, a bucket of ice, and an extremely sharp hatchet (Rush specifically requests a hatchet "as sharp as the Devil himself"). After getting acquainted with Chester and his friends, Ted is asked to take part in a challenge: Chester's friend, Norman (Paul Calderón), has bet he can light his Zippo cigarette lighter ten times in a row. If he succeeds, Norman will win Chester's car, but if he fails, Norman's pinky will be cut off. Ted is asked to "wield the hatchet" and cut off Norman's pinky, should he fail. He initially tries to leave, but Chester persuades him to stay by offering $100 up front and another $1,000 if he performs his assigned role. Norman's lighter fails on the first try, and Ted chops off his pinky, sweeps up all the money, and leaves the penthouse with an energetic step. While the credits are rolling, Chester and company are seen frantically getting ready to take a screaming, agonized Norman to the hospital.


"The Missing Ingredient"

"The Wrong Man"

"The Misbehavers"

"Betty's house"

"The Man from Hollywood"


The role of Ted was originally written with Steve Buscemi in mind, but he had to pass due to scheduling conflicts. Buscemi's Reservoir Dogs costar Tim Roth eventually took his place.

The film was originally going to be called Five Rooms, with Richard Linklater contributing a segment, but he eventually withdrew before production began.

Bruce Willis performed in the film for free as a favor to Quentin Tarantino. This violated Screen Actor Guild rules. They agreed not to sue him if his name was not included in the credits.

Crossovers between rooms

The four segments are shown chronologically, except for "The Misbehavers", the events of which both precede and succeed the events of "The Wrong Man".

There are some connections between the four segments:


Critical reception

The film did not fare as well with critics as it received a 14% "Rotten" rating from Rotten Tomatoes based on 44 reviews with the consensus: "Four Rooms comes stocked with a ton of talent on both sides of the camera, yet only manages to add up to a particularly uneven -- and dismayingly uninspired -- anthology effort."[1] James Berardinelli of ReelViews described it as "one of 1995's major disappointments".[2] Hal Hinson of The Washington Post said it "asserts itself as a goof so laboriously and aggressively that you almost feel pinned back in your seat".[3]

The film won a Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Madonna).[4]

Box office

The film grossed $4,257,354 in only 319 theaters.[5]


Four Rooms: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by various artists
Released 1995
Genre Lounge music, soundtrack
Length 49.20
Label Elektra/Asylum
Producer Mark Mothersbaugh
Carl Plaster
Combustible Edison
Robert Rodriguez film soundtrack chronology
Four Rooms
Quentin Tarantino film soundtrack chronology
Pulp Fiction
Four Rooms
From Dusk Till Dawn
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic [6]

The soundtrack features a score composed and performed by contemporary lounge music band Combustible Edison, coproduced by Mark Mothersbaugh. Additional music is by Juan García Esquivel.[7][8]

Track listing

  1. "Vertigogo (Opening Theme)" (Combustible Edison) – 2:35
    • Tracks 2-11 from "The Missing Ingredient":
  2. "Junglero" – 1:54
  3. "Four Rooms Swing" – 2:11
  4. "Theme From 'Bewitched'" (Howard Greenfield and Jack Keller) – 1:01
  5. "Tea and Eva In The Elevator" – 0:55
  6. "Invocation" – 1:26
  7. "Breakfast At Denny's" – 3:57
  8. "Strange Brew" – 0:27
  9. "Coven Of Witches" – 0:59
  10. "The Earthly Diana" – 0:36
  11. "Eva Seduces Ted" – 2:10
    • Tracks 12-17 from "The Wrong Man":
  12. "Hallway Ted" – 0:31
  13. "Headshake Rhumba" – 0:41
  14. "Skippen, Pukin, Siegfried" – 0:29
  15. "Angela" – 0:46
  16. "Punch Drunk" – 2:57
  17. "Male Bonding" – 3:06
    • Tracks 18-25 from "The Misbehavers":
  18. "Mariachi" – 0:29
  19. "Antes De Medianoche" – 2:45
  20. "Sentimental Journey" (Written by Bud Green, Les Brown and Ben Homer, performed by Esquivel) – 2:39
  21. "Kids Watch TV" – 2:03
  22. "Champagne and Needles" – 2:06
  23. "Bullseye" – 1:01
  24. "Harlem Nocturne" (Written by Earle Hagen, performed by Esquivel) – 2:30
  25. "The Millionaire's Holiday" – 2:13
    • Tracks 26-29 from "The Man from Hollywood":
  26. "Ted-o-vater" – 0:39
  27. "Vertigogo (Closing Credits)" – 5:33
  28. "'D' In The Hallway Credits" – 0:25
  29. "Torchy" – 0:16


  1. Four Rooms at Rotten Tomatoes
  2. James Berardinelli (1995-12-25). "Four Rooms review". ReelViews. Retrieved 2012-02-11.
  3. Hal Hinson (1995-12-25). "Four Rooms". Washington Post. Retrieved 2012-02-11.
  4. HeadRAZZBerry (2005-12-04). "The (Not So) Sweet Sixteenth Annual RAZZIE® Awards (for 1995)". Golden Raspberry Award. Retrieved 2012-02-11.
  5. "Four Rooms". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2012-02-11.
  6. Four Rooms at AllMusic
  7. "Soundtrack: Four Rooms". Retrieved 2012-02-11.
  8. "Four Rooms- Soundtrack details". Retrieved 2012-02-11.

External links

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