Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (1985)
In honour of Aussie Cadel Evans, what film to feature in Movie Moments that deals with bicycles? American Flyers, an early Kevin Costner flick? I like that movie. Quicksilver, an early Kevin Bacon film? I like that one too. Nope, we’ll look at those in the future. The Bicycle Thief? Breaking Away? BMX Bandits, an Oz flick with 16 year old Nicole Kidman pre Botox (pic below)?
Nicole Kidman in BMX Bandits
No, let’s have a look at Man-Child Pee-wee Herman in Pee-wee’s Big Adventure. Actor Paul Reubens created the character of Pee-wee, portraying him in the 1985 film, followed by a children’s TV series Pee-wee’s Playhouse in the years 1986-1981. There was another movie in 1988, Big-Top Pee-wee, which had a circus setting. Reubens’ career nosedived after he was ridiculed by the media for being arrested for masturbating in an adult theatre in Florida., despite many celebrities protesting the unfair critical attention of the media. He dropped out of sight for a period, shattered by the arrest and publicity, but from 1999 started making limited appearances as Pee-wee Herman again. He has also stated he plans to make a third Pee-wee Herman film, tentatively called Pee-wee’s Playhouse: The Movie.
Pee-wee’s most beloved possession, his bicycle, is stolen. Told by a dishonest psychic that it is hidden in the basement of The Alamo, he sets out to find it.
Simone: I know you're right, Pee-wee, but...
Pee-wee: But what? Everyone I know has a big "but” C'mon, Simone, let's talk about your big "but".
Reubens was writing the script for a remake of Pollyanna, his favourite film, in which he would play Pollyanna. Halfway through the script he noticed that everyone at Warner Brothers had a bicycle to get around the backlot. He requested one and, upon being given his own bike, he developed the idea of Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, abandoning the Pollyanna script.