Pee-wee's Big Adventure

August 9th, 1985


Pee-wee's Big Adventure

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Still of Paul Reubens in Pee-wee's Big AdventureStill of Paul Reubens in Pee-wee's Big AdventureStill of Paul Reubens in Pee-wee's Big AdventureStill of Paul Reubens in Pee-wee's Big AdventureStill of Paul Reubens in Pee-wee's Big AdventurePee-wee's Big Adventure

Eccentric man-child Pee-Wee Herman embarks on the big adventure of his life across the US mainland, as he sets out to find his beloved bike, when it is stolen in broad daylight.

Release Year: 1985

Rating: 6.9/10 (24,415 voted)

Critic's Score: 47/100

Director: Tim Burton

Stars: Paul Reubens, Elizabeth Daily, Mark Holton

The cartoonish and childish character Pee Wee Herman goes on a big adventure for the first time ever when his beloved shiny new bicycle is stolen by his nemesis Francis Buxton, a fellow man-child and neighborhood rich "kid." And he sets off on an obsessive cross-country journey, determined to recover it. Pee-wee's awkward and childish attempts to be cool and mature.

Writers: Phil Hartman, Paul Reubens

Paul Reubens - Pee-wee Herman (as Pee-wee Herman)
Elizabeth Daily - Dottie
Mark Holton - Francis Buxton
Diane Salinger - Simone
Judd Omen - Mickey
Irving Hellman - Mr. Crowtray
Monte Landis - Mario
Damon Martin - Chip
David Glasser - BMX Kid
Gregory Brown - BMX Kid
Mark Everett - BMX Kid
Daryl Keith Roach - Chuck (as Daryl Roach)
Bill Cable - Policeman #1
Peter Looney - Policeman #2
Starletta DuPois - Sgt. Hunter

Taglines: You will believe a man can ride a bike.

Release Date: 9 August 1985

Filming Locations: 1846 Oxley St., South Pasadena, California, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $99,184 (USA) (28 July 1985) (21 Screens)

Gross: $40,940,662 (USA) (10 November 1985)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

When Pee-wee is hitchhiking to the Alamo, the Texas-shaped sign he holds up has a big star on it indicating his destination. But the star isn't where the actual Alamo is located (San Antonio). Instead the star is over Bracketville, the location of the Alamo facade used in many western and period movies.

Revealing mistakes: When Pee Wee removes his bike chain from its container, the chain is clearly seen begin fed through a hole in the bottom. This is only visible in unmatted fullscreen home video.

[first lines]
Pee-wee: Look out, Mister Potato Head!

User Review

Masterpiece from maligned genius

Rating: 10/10

Okay, so it loses a bit of steam in the final third, but that's true of most movies. It still rates a ten. The first film by Paul Ruebens, Tim Burton and the incomparable film composer Danny Elfman, it bubbles with the pure joy and exuberance of three talented people playing with a brand new toy. No film has ever been more fun to watch.

Reubens' media crucifixion in the early 90's was a crime against pop culture. America's snickering sanctimony stifled and virtually silenced one of the few original voices in the entertainment industry. I'm only thankful that Pee-wee lives on in video-land, so that my children and I can continue to enjoy his film and television work (the new DVD of "Big Adventure", by the way, is a treasure).

Pee-wee Herman, it's time to come back! Your loyal fans await your triumphant return. And to all those sicko name-callers out there, we have only one thing to say:

"I know you are, but what am I?"


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