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Big Top Pee-wee (1988)

PG  |   |  Adventure, Comedy, Romance  |  22 July 1988 (USA)
4.9
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Ratings: 4.9/10 from 6,840 users  
Reviews: 42 user | 12 critic

Pee-Wee Herman is now a successful small-town farmer, engaged to a nice local girl. He and his talking pet pig Vance agree to help a traveling circus win over the bitter townsfolk. Then he falls for their cute trapeze artist, Gina.

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, (as George McGrath)
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Title: Big Top Pee-wee (1988)

Big Top Pee-wee (1988) on IMDb 4.9/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Pee-wee Herman (as Pee-wee Herman)
...
...
...
Gina Piccolapupula
...
Vance the Pig (voice)
...
Midge Montana
Albert Henderson ...
Mr. Ryan
Jack Murdock ...
Otis
David Byrd ...
Deke
Mary Jackson ...
Mrs. Dill
...
Mrs. Haynes
Leo Gordon ...
Joe the Blacksmith (as Leo V. Gordon)
...
Pearl
...
Sheriff
Jay Robinson ...
Cook
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Storyline

In the sequel to "Pee Wee's Big Adventure", Pee-Wee Herman is a simple farmer in a small town. But after a big storm blows their way, a circus ends up at Pee Wee's farm. So he lets the circus stay at his farm for a while. The circus decides to put on a show with one lovable star, Pee-Wee! Written by James Preston

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Hero. Lover. Legend.


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 July 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Big Top Pee-Wee - la mia vita picchiatella  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$15,122,324 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the back story of the film, which connects "Big Top Pee Wee" and "Pee Wee's Big Adventure" together: Pee Wee had become famous, due to the "Pee Wee's Big Adventure" feature film, inspired by his adventure and Pee Wee had a lot of girls flock over him, when he became a Frank Sinatra-like singer. But, Pee Wee had found fame too much and decided to fly away and live a quiet normal life as a farmer in an old folk's community. See more »

Goofs

When PeeWee and Winnie are eating lunch, some of Winnie's egg salad sandwich falls on PeeWee's face and jacket. He wipes his face on her dress, but in the next shot it's not on her dress or his jacket. See more »

Quotes

Pee-wee: [shouts impatiently] All I wanted was a measly sandwich! I very nicely explained that I was starving. I'm starving! PLEASE!
Mr. Ryan: [defeatedly] Sorry, ladies. I guess you'll just have to wait. You remember, no one is as important in this community as Pee-wee Herman. All you other shoppers will just have to play second fiddle to Pee-wee. I guess that's just the way things are around here. My whole purpose in life is to serve Pee-wee Herman. And everything else comes second!
[finishes Pee-wee's sandwich]
Mr. Ryan: ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the credits, a short cartoon plays featuring snacks singing about getting refreshments at the theater lobby. See more »

Connections

Featured in Pee-wee's Playhouse: Mystery (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

Arthur Murray Taught Me Dancing In A Hurry
Written by Victor Schertzinger and Johnny Mercer
Performed by Betty Hutton With Jimmy Dorsey And His Orchestra
See more »

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User Reviews

Unique and bizarre experience
22 October 2013 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

This is a very difficult movie to appreciate. Or it may be a very simple movie to appreciate, depending on who you are.

Have a look at the following movies, and if you see at least 1 that you really like from EACH category, then you'll probably enjoy "Big Top Pee-Wee".

CATEGORY A ----------------------------

Pee-wee's Big Adventure

Edward Scissorhands

The Fall

Labyrinth

CATEGORY B ----------------------------

Free Willy

E.T.

Anything by Walt Disney

The Muppet Movie

Category A movies are fairy tales for adults. Category B movies are straightforward kid's movies. In order to appreciate "Big Top Pee-wee" you have to be ready for either. You have to expect some jokes & gags that only adults will recognize (mildly sexual, cynical or taboo: such as the cranky old lady's hilarious reference to bulimia), but overall the film takes the format of a kid's movie, with lots of cute animals, predictable slapstick and a cheerful approach, right down to the cheezy sing-song finale.

I think it's the latter--the category B "kid" content--that threw off a lot of fans. The original "Pee-wee" was an adult film packaged in a kid's presentation. But this is the opposite: a kid's film in adult clothing.

As such, the gags aren't as subtle & witty as adult comedies usually are. Like a Saturday morning kids show, "Big Top Pee-wee" comes on strong with exaggerated and hyper-enthusiastic dialogue, overt sight gags & corny action. This may turn off a lot of adults expecting the more biting, tongue-in-cheek comedy of the original Pee-wee.

All the same, there are some classic comedic moments that adults & kids alike will enjoy. The whole "I just wanted a cheese sandwich!" scene had me rolling. I also liked the 1st picnic with Winnie which could easily have been a deleted scene in the original Pee-wee. The creepy townsfolk in general, contrasted against Pee-wee's oblivious optimism, provided great entertainment. But be forewarned, these acidic gags are sparsely presented. Most of the film is straightforward silliness, suitable for kids & young minds.

Being a die-hard fan of the original film, and being a fan of adult fairy tales in general, I have a love-hate relationship with this movie and that's why I can't rate it. But I've seen it 4 times if that's any indication of how compelling it is. My gut says I shouldn't recommend it to everyone, but all the same, there will be a few of you out there who will really enjoy this flick. If you're a kid at heart, don't hesitate.


2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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