35 user 15 critic

Tall Tale (1995)

1:06 | Clip
A young boy's imagination summons cowboy legend Pecos Bill, who helps him save the family farm from a greedy land-grabber. With the help of a lumberjack and a railroad worker, they all embark on a surprise-filled adventure.


Jeremiah S. Chechik (as Jeremiah Chechik)


Steve Bloom (as Steven L. Bloom), Robert Rodat





Cast overview, first billed only:
Patrick Swayze ... Pecos Bill
Oliver Platt ... Paul Bunyan
Roger Aaron Brown ... John Henry
Nick Stahl ... Daniel Hackett
Scott Glenn ... J.P. Stiles
Stephen Lang ... Jonas Hackett
Jared Harris ... Head Thug Pug
Catherine O'Hara ... Calamity Jane
Moira Sinise ... Sarah Hackett (as Moira Harris)
Joe Grifasi ... Man in Top Hat (as Joseph Grifasi)
John P. Ryan ... Grub
Scott Wilson ... Zeb
Bert Kramer ... Bronson
Eric Lawson Eric Lawson ... Sheriff
Bill Rodgers ... Captain of Industry


A young boy draws on the inspiration of legendary western characters to find the strength to fight an evil land baron in the old west who wants to steal his family's farm and destroy their idyllic community. When Daniel Hackett sees his father Jonas gravely wounded by the villainous Stiles, his first urge is for his family to flee the danger, and give up their life on a farm which Daniel has come to despise anyway. Going alone to a lake to try to decide what to do, he falls asleep on a boat and wakes to find himself in the wild west, in the company of such "tall tale" legends as Pecos Bill, Paul Bunyan, John Henry, and Calamity Jane. Together, they battle the same villains Daniel is facing in his "real" world. Written by Sean Parlaman <seanpar@efn.org>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A journey into a world where legends come to life. Dreams come true. And every boy is a hero. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for western action violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


In the bar when the drunk insults Texas in front of Pecos Bill, you can see a "Wanted Dead or Alive" poster for Daniel Hackett on the outside wall, just as the drunk goes through the window. See more »


In 1905, John Henry tells of an argument he had with his father before the father was sold down the river. This would have to have happened well before the last pocket of American slavery was abolished in 1865. Given John Henry's apparent age, he would have been a toddler at most, and too young to have a coherent discussion with anyone. (There are hints that he is a supernatural being who transcends time, but the movie is not consistent about this.) See more »


Pecos Bill: Not as hot as the summer of '88 when the chickens laid fried eggs and the babies cried sawdust.
Paul Bunyan: Does this story have a point or does it go on and on and on like this stinkin' desert?
See more »

User Reviews

Great family movie
6 April 2013 | by jfarms1956See all my reviews

This film is geared to those who are young or young at heart. The movie takes one through an enchanting tale. It is a good all around family movie. The movie takes us through some American mythical characters who we can reminisce about such characters as Pecos Bill. It is light hearted fun and keeps one interested as to what will happen next. It is a good film to eat popcorn or have pizza with. Good musical scores with the film, wholesome and uplifting. This is a film when after its over, it leaves you with a good feeling. You may not remember each and everything. But the feeling is like after a cup of hot chocolate -- you don't remember every sip, but the good feeling sticks. In fact, you can watch it again a month later and just enjoy the feeling all over again. I give it a six thumbs up out of ten.

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Official Sites:

Official site





Release Date:

24 March 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tall Tale See more »

Filming Locations:

Barstow, California, USA See more »


Box Office


$32,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,046,181, 26 March 1995

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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