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Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985)

PG  |   |  Adventure, Comedy, Family  |  9 August 1985 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 39,395 users   Metascore: 47/100
Reviews: 184 user | 45 critic | 13 from Metacritic.com

When eccentric man-child Pee-Wee Herman gets his beloved bike stolen in broad daylight, he sets out across the U.S. on the adventure of his life.


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1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Pee-wee Herman (as Pee-wee Herman)
Irving Hellman ...
Monte Landis ...
Damon Martin ...
Chip (as Damon Landis)
Gregory Brown ...
Mark Everett ...
Chuck (as Daryl Roach)
Bill Cable ...
Policeman #1
Policeman #2


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. Written by Anthony Pereyra {hypersonic91@yahoo.com}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The story of a rebel and his bike. See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

9 August 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Grande Aventura de Pee Wee  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$6,000,000 (estimated)


$40,900,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Early on, at Chuck's shop, Pee-wee mentions "James Bond stuff." Later on, James Brolin's character introduces himself as "Herman, P.W. Herman," in the style of "Bond, James Bond." James Brolin had tried out for the role of James Bond in Octopussy (1983) just two years earlier. See more »


When Pee-wee and Simone watch the sunrise they enter a red T-Rex, but exit a green T-Rex, because it was being lit with a red spotlight. See more »


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


Referenced in Parenthood: Too Big to Fail (2014) See more »


Jimmy Crack Corn
See more »

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User Reviews

Good fun if you're in the mood for it
30 November 2003 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Man-child Pee-wee Herman lives a magical life but has one possession that he treasures over all the others – his bicycle. The envy of the neighbourhood, his bike is his life and he is horrified when he finds it stolen. With the police unwilling to start a statewide search, Pee-wee sets out on an adventure to try and find his bike.

Pee-Wee Herman is a fairly acquired taste and won't please all audiences. I quite liked him here but couldn't have watched his show on a weekly basis. In this film though his `man-child' style and outlandish sense of humour really work out well. The plot is fairly pointless and just sparks off a road trip, which has a series of bizarre characters and adventures along the way.

Tim Burton's darkly comic imagination certainly helps and he gives the whole film an other-worldly feel to the whole thing, whether it be in the delivery of Herman's dreams or just the look of the film as a whole. Not all of it works of course, some of it misfires and isn't as funny as it would like to think that it is, however much of it is weirdly amusing and will be entertaining if you like Herman's style.

Herman can be annoying but here he stays on the right side of irritating and he is amusing in his delivery. He certainly suits the material and his OTT/hyper style helps the audience get into the very silly plot! Support is good and has lots of small roles that are weird and funny.

Overall this film is very much a matter of taste. If you like Herman then you should enjoy this film as it is very well done and is blessed with a real other-worldly touch by a great director in the making.

30 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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