IMDb > Big Top Pee-wee (1988)
Big Top Pee-wee
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Big Top Pee-wee (1988) More at IMDbPro »

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Popularity: ?
Up 7% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
Paul Reubens (written by) &
George McGrath (written by)
View company contact information for Big Top Pee-wee on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
22 July 1988 (USA) See more »
Hero. Lover. Legend.
Pee-wee Herman is now a small-town farmer with a fiancée, but when a traveling circus comes to town, he finds himself falling for the trapeze artist. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 nomination See more »
(81 articles)
'Alf' actor, Ringling Bros. star Michu Meszaros dead at 76
 (From Hitfix. 13 June 2016, 12:07 PM, PDT)

‘Alf’ Actor Michu Meszaros Dies at 76
 (From Variety - TV News. 13 June 2016, 11:15 AM, PDT)

ALF Actor Michu Meszaros Dead at 76
 (From 13 June 2016, 9:50 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Unique and bizarre experience See more (44 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Paul Reubens ... Pee-wee Herman (as Pee-wee Herman)

Penelope Ann Miller ... Winnie

Kris Kristofferson ... Mace Montana

Valeria Golino ... Gina Piccolapupula

Wayne White ... Vance the Pig (voice)

Susan Tyrrell ... Midge Montana
Albert Henderson ... Mr. Ryan
Jack Murdock ... Otis
David Byrd ... Deke
Mary Jackson ... Mrs. Dill

Frances Bay ... Mrs. Haynes

Leo Gordon ... Joe the Blacksmith (as Leo V. Gordon)

Anne Seymour ... Pearl

Kenneth Tobey ... Sheriff
Jay Robinson ... Cook
Eve Smith ... Bunny
Andrew Shalat ... Paolo Piccolapupula

Mihaly 'Michu' Meszaros ... Andy

Franco Columbu ... Otto the Strongman (as Franco Columbo)

Terrence Mann ... Snowball the Clown (as Terrence V. Mann)
Vance Colvig Jr. ... Clownie (as Vance Colvig)

Matthias Hues ... Oscar the Liontamer

Benicio Del Toro ... Duke the Dog-Faced Boy

Kevin Peter Hall ... Big John

Lynne Marie Stewart ... Zelda the Bearded Lady
John Sherrod ... Dell the Human Cannonball
Joseph Arias ... Shim the Half Man-Half Woman (as Joey Arias)
Helen Infield Siff ... Ruth
Carol Infield Sender ... Dot
Bunny Summers ... Costume Woman
Kevin B. Kaplowitz ... Child - Mr. Ryan
Jeffrey R. Shaw ... Child - Otis

Dustin Diamond ... Child - Deke
Savannah Prue ... Child - Mrs. Haynes (as Savanah Prue)
Lisa M. Ball ... Child - Mrs. Dill
Shea Joachim ... Child - Sheriff
Marie Hawkins ... Child - Pearl
Molly Ann Carter ... School Child
Myka Peck ... School Child
Dustin Berkovitz ... School Child
Kit MacKenzie ... School Child
Jered Aspenson ... School Child
Shelly Rudolph ... Teenager
Cheryl Treibitz ... Teenager
Judy Rubenfeld ... Honey
Milton Rubenfeld ... Herman
Diane C. Valentine ... Web Girl
Gainer Johnson ... Web Girl (as Gainer C. Johnson)
Alison Logsden ... Web Girl
Patricia M. Peters ... Web Girl
Lynn Marie Polke ... Web Girl
Lita Villacana ... Web Girl

Stephanie Hodge ... Mermaid
April Tatro ... Human Pretzel (as April Tetro)
Carla Drake ... Fire Eater
Joe Gibb ... Roustabout Clown
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Randal Kleiser ... Popcorn Vendor (uncredited)
Stan Rodarte ... Circus crew (uncredited)
Tai ... Elephant (uncredited)

Directed by
Randal Kleiser 
Writing credits
Paul Reubens (written by) &
George McGrath (written by)

Produced by
Richard Gilbert Abramson .... executive producer
Debra Hill .... producer
William E. McEuen .... executive producer
Paul Reubens .... producer
Original Music by
Danny Elfman 
Cinematography by
Steven Poster (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Jeff Gourson 
Casting by
Victoria Thomas (casting by)
Production Design by
Stephen Marsh 
Art Direction by
Beala Neel  (as Beala B. Neel)
Set Decoration by
Anne D. McCulley 
Costume Design by
Robert Turturice 
Makeup Department
Greg Cannom .... duke the dog-faced boy by
Edouard F. Henriques .... make-up artist (as Edouard F. Henriquez)
Ve Neill .... make-up artist
Yolanda Toussieng .... hairstylist
Production Management
Kurt Neumann .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Edward Crocitto .... second second assistant director
Linda Montanti .... second assistant director
Roger Joseph Pugliese .... first assistant director
Art Department
Carl Aldana .... set designer
Gavin Cowie Sr. .... paint foreperson
Gavin Cowie .... painter (as Gavin Cowie Jr.)
Stuart T. Cowie .... production painter (as Stuart Cowie)
Oscar Delgadillo .... lead person
Edward Eyth .... production artist
Oscar Flores .... assistant property master (as Oscar M. Flores)
Horst Grandt .... property master
David Harris .... greens (as Paul David Harris)
Stephen Homsy .... set designer
John Hutchinson .... paint foreperson
Tim R. Lafferty .... construction foreman
David Lanning .... property person (as Dave Lanning)
Anthony J. Martin .... laborer
Pat Moudakis .... assistant property master
William J. Newmon II .... set designer
Frank Noriega .... labor foreperson
James F. Orendorff .... construction foreperson (as James S. Orendorff)
Richard Pitman .... set designer (as Richard W. Pitman)
Constantine A. Poulos .... construction clerk (as Constantine 'Gus' A. Poulos)
Ruth Pulido .... painter
Ray Rarick .... construction foreperson (as Raymond S. Rarick)
Gary Rizzo .... property person
George Stokes .... construction coordinator
George W. Stokes .... propmaker
Craig Talmy .... sculptor
Ralph Votaw Sr. .... labor foreperson
Ralph Votaw .... propmaker (as Ralph Votaw Jr.)
Kenneth L. Westcott .... lead person
Robert Willis .... greens (as Robert K. Willis)
Sound Department
Sandina Bailo-Lape .... sound editor
Pamela Bentkowski .... foley editor
Julia Evershade .... sound editor
Kirk Francis .... sound mixer
Judee Gustafson .... assistant sound editor
Cecelia Hall .... supervising sound editor
Ronald Jacobs .... supervising sound editor (as Ron Jacobs)
Trevor Jolly .... sound editor
Rick Kline .... re-recording mixer
Dessie Markovsky .... supervising sound editor
Hudson B. Marquez .... boom operator
F. Hudson Miller .... sound effects editor
Donald O. Mitchell .... re-recording mixer
Kevin O'Connell .... re-recording mixer
Donald Ortiz .... assistant sound editor (as Don Ortiz)
R.J. Palmer .... sound editor
R.J. Palmer .... sound effects editor
Mychal Smith .... boom operator (as Mychal D. Smith)
Jack Keller .... sound recordist (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Yarek Alfer .... sculptor
Raymond C. Boyle .... special effects person
Dale Brady .... puppet fabrication
Thaine Morris .... special effects foreperson
John Parker .... special effects person (as John A. Parker)
Bob Stoker .... special effects person (as Bob Stoker Jr.)
Lucinda Strub .... special effects person
Matt Sweeney .... special effects supervisor
Fred Tessaro .... special effects foreperson
Visual Effects by
Wayne Baker .... visual effects (as Wayne D. Baker)
Mike Chambers .... visual effects coordinator
Richard Edlund .... visual effects producer
Neil Krepela .... visual effects supervisor
Tom Nikosey .... title designer
Jeff Platt .... electronics
Chris Regan .... optical supervisor
Howard Stein .... visual effects editor
Michael Van Himbergen .... visual effects coordinator: Boss Film Corp.
Bill Couch Jr. .... stunts
Bill Couch .... stunt coordinator
Gene Mendez .... stunts (as Ginear Emilio Mendez)
Gary Morgan .... stunts
Alex Plasschaert .... stunts
Karen Price .... stunts
Mel Ray .... stunts
Bob Yerkes .... stunts
Rick Avery .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
James Arron Barber .... film loader
Mike Brooker .... grip
R. Michael De Chellis .... assistant chief lighting technician
Alan R. Disler .... first assistant photographer
Candace Ann Edwards .... second assistant photographer
Joseph Graham .... dolly grip (as Joseph A. Graham)
Gregg Guellow .... first company grip (as C. Gregory Guellow)
Roy Heath .... best boy (1988)
Jack Kirk .... assistant chief lighting technician
John Koester .... camera operator (as John C. Koester)
George Kohut .... camera operator
Michael Krueger .... lighting technician
Kyle T. MacDowell .... electrician
Scott McKnight .... lighting technician
James Plannette .... chief lighting technician
Alex Rodriguez .... lighting technician
Mike Schwake .... dolly grip (as Michael Schwake)
Hank Sheppard .... second company grip
Bing Sokolsky .... first assistant photographer (as Ivan 'Bing' Sokolsky)
Bruce W. Talamon .... still photographer
Craig Talmy .... rigger
Paul Threlkeld .... dolly grip
Tony Whitman .... dolly grip (as Anthony Whitman)
Ron Kunecke .... musco light operator (uncredited)
Casting Department
Renee Milliken .... casting assistant
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Craig Ames .... costumer
James 'Mike' Balker .... costumer (as James 'Michael' Balker)
Sandy Berke Jordan .... costume supervisor (as Sandra Berke-Jordan)
Jerry Herrin .... set costumer
Christopher Lawrence .... assistant to robert turturice
Milton G. Mangum .... key costumer
Sharyn Manis .... costumer (as Sharyn 'Ruby' Manis)
Anthony J. Scarano .... costumer
Editorial Department
Terry Haggar .... color timer
Maria Lee Silver .... assistant editor
Irvin Paik .... assistant editor
Donald Rounds .... assistant editor
Dianne Ryder-Rennolds .... additional editing by
Music Department
Steve Bartek .... orchestrator
Dick Bernstein .... music editor
Tom Boyd .... oboe soloist
George Doering .... musician
William Ross .... conductor
John Rotondi .... scoring engineer: Y4
Steven Scott Smalley .... additional orchestrator
Dan Wallin .... music scoring mixer
Dan Goldwasser .... soundtrack producer (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Joel Marrow .... transportation coordinator
Gaston Veilleux .... transportation captain
Other crew
Michael Adley .... production assistant
Ty Arnold .... production assistant
James Bailey .... first aid (as Jim Bailey)
Marcy Bolotin .... unit publicist
David Bryant .... production assistant
Scott E. Chester .... assistant to mr. herman
Jeff Copeland .... production assistant (as Jeff K. Copeland)
Joy Green .... animal trainer
Cheryl Harris .... animal trainer (as Cheryl Ann Harris)
Ann Meade Johnson .... assistant to randal kleiser
Tom Jones .... craft service
Elyse Katz .... assistant to debra hill
Joyce King .... script supervisor
Sandy Lawrence .... production coordinator
Jamie Marshall .... assistant to randal kleiser (as Jamie Anise Marshall)
Dan Miller .... production assistant (as Danny Miller)
Paul Plannette .... production assistant
Roland Raffler .... animal trainer
Chris Regan .... optical supervisor
Don Reynolds .... animal trainer (as Don Kay Reynolds)
Paul 'Sled' Reynolds .... animal trainer (as Paul C. Reynolds)
Michael Roberts .... production auditor (as Mike Roberts)
Lindsay Root .... production assistant
Doree Sitterly .... animal trainer
Diana Smith .... animal trainer (as Diana C. Smith)
Phil Smith .... animal trainer (as Philip Glen Smith)
Patsy Swayze .... choreographer
Craig Talmy .... puppeteer
Rex Tegelaar .... production assistant
Helena Walsh .... animal trainer
Hubert Wells .... animal coordinator (as Hubert G. Wells)
Jeanine Wilson .... assistant production auditor
David L. Wolfson .... facilities coordinator (as David Litmen Wolfson)
Stephanie Ziemer .... production secretary (as Stephanie Suzanne Ziemer)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
86 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

"Big top" is a common term for the biggest tent in early-20th century circuses. Hence the movie's title works both literally and as a pun.See more »
Continuity: When the Sheriff enters Mr. Ryan's Store to tell everyone about the Storm, Otis switches from standing next to the Sheriff and Mr. Ryan between shots.See more »
Andy:You okay, Boss?
Mace Montana:Well, my chin's banged up pretty bad... I think my ribs are broke... an' it feels like I punctured a major organ, Andy... but I'm circus.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Pee-Wee Herman Had A FarmSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
4 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
Unique and bizarre experience, 22 October 2013
Author: rooprect from New York City

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


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

Free Willy


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.

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