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Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985) Poster

Trivia

Jump to: Cameo (7) | Director Cameo (1) | Director Trademark (1)
This was Tim Burton's directorial feature debut. He had previously directed some short films.
Approximately 10 to 12 bicycles were built for the movie by the Pedal Pusher Bike Shop in Newport Beach CA; a shop that specialized in vintage and classic bicycles and parts. They were offered $10,000 and no screen credit or screen credit only. The shop chose the money. The bike shop had an autographed 8x10 glossy of Paul Reubens that said "To Mike at Pedal Pusher: 'Arrrrgggg!' From Pee-wee Herman."
During the entire time Large Marge tells her story, she never blinks.
Jan Hooks improvised the dialogue for her scenes as the Alamo tour guide.
Tim Burton and Paul Reubens brought on Danny Elfman as composer after Burton had attended concerts by Oingo Boingo, of which Elfman was lead singer and songwriter. Elfman was originally apprehensive, having no formal music training, but he was assisted by Boingo guitarist Steve Bartek as orchestrator. Elfman later said that hearing his music performed by an orchestra for the first time was one of the most thrilling experiences of his life.
Paul Reubens was very sick from the flu when he filmed the return to the bike shop after his bike is stolen, where Pee-wee falls on the bikes. This is mentioned in the commentary.
The Drive-in sequence was filmed at the Studio Drive In, formerly located in Culver City CA. The Studio was built in the 1930s, and was the first Drive-in Theatre constructed in California. It served as a set for several films, including Grease (1978). It was closed in 1993 and demolished in 1998. No trace of this Drive-in remains.
Inside the magic shop by the front entrance is a picture of Elvira played by Cassandra Peterson who later plays Biker Mama in the film.
Paul Reubens mentions on the commentary that during the scene in the movie where he is wheeled out of the bike shop on a gurney, Elizabeth Daily's face went completely white. After filming the scene, he asked her what was wrong. Apparently, she was having flashbacks of her boyfriend Jon-Erik Hexum being wheeled off of a set on a gurney. He accidentally shot himself whilst filming Cover Up (1984)).
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.
When Pee-wee first steals back his bike, around one corner, he finds himself face to face with two elephants, a red one and a blue one. Originally, there was going to be a third elephant, but it got stuck in traffic the day that scene was being shot.
Many of the actors in this film also appeared with Paul Reubens in Pee-wee's Playhouse (1986), albeit in very different roles from the ones they play here.
During the magic shop scene, Mario shows Pee-wee heads of different sizes. The largest head that he shows Pee-wee last is actually Aleister Crowley.
The dinosaurs in the film are an actual tourist attraction located at the Wheel Inn Restaurant in Cabazon, CA (near Palm Springs). They also appear in Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs (1985) and The Wizard (1989).
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This is the first (and only time) Pee-wee swears when he says "I don't want some other crappy bike".
When Pee-wee weighs in at the beginning of the movie, we see that he is in fact a 98 pound weakling.
This is not the first time the Warner Bros. backlot was used extensively in a comedy film - this was also done in Blazing Saddles (1974), over a decade earlier.
According to her sign, Madam Ruby not only performs tarot card readings and fortune telling, but income tax preparation as well.
When Pee Wee turns around while looking for his bike and there are wheels spinning behind his head, is an homage to Alfred Hitchcock.
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When Pee Wee goes down the pole in his house, he goes from his pajamas to his signature grey outfit and red bow-tie. That was written as an obvious nod to the Batman (1966) TV series, in which James Brolin and Monte Landis played guest roles. When Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson goes down the poles into the Batcave beneath Wayne Manor, they arrive as Batman and Robin. Tim Burton would go on to direct two Batman films.
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The car that Pee-wee gets picked up in by Mickey is a 1959 Edsel Corsair convertible.
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Unusually for a Tim Burton film, nothing bad happens to the dog (Speck) in this movie.
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Pee-wee's phone number in the movie is 354-8567, in a departure from filmdom's "555" custom.
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James Brolin's character often gets phone calls from the US President. At the time of this film, that office was held by Ronald Reagan, who was later portrayed by James Brolin in The Reagans (2003).
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Elizabeth Daily (Dottie) would later go on to provide famous cartoon voices such as Tommy Pickles in Rugrats (1990) and its movies.
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The Batmobile from TV's Batman (1966) (in which James Brolin and Monte Landis played guest roles) can be seen driving through the Warner Bros studio lot. Tim Burton would go onto direct Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992).
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Along with Ernest P Worrell and Mr Bean, Pee wee Herman is one of the greatest children's entertainers of all time.
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Cameo 

Cassandra Peterson:  (a.k.a. Elvira) Biker Mama at the Biker Bar.
John Paragon:  man dressed in red armor with a high voice, was "Jambi" and "Pterri" in Pee Wee's TV shows.
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Phil Hartman:  reporter interviewing Francis at the drive-in is "Captain Carl" from Pee Wee's TV shows.
Tom Berenger:  Patron that turns around in the diner after the Large Marge sequence.
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Professor Toru Tanaka:  Francis's butler.
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Lynne Marie Stewart:  impatient "mother superior" in Kevin Morton's movie is "Miss Yvonne" from Pee Wee's TV shows.
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James Brolin, Morgan Fairchild:  as "PW" and "Dottie" in the film-within-a-film that purports to be based on Pee Wee's experience. As a gag, Brolin's character is only called PW Herman because it would make little sense to have a big strong man called Pee Wee.
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Director Cameo 

Tim Burton:  the thug who accosts Pee-wee just before he enters the fortune teller's studio.

Director Trademark 

Tim Burton:  [distorted female face]  Large Marge's shocked expression.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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