Movie of the Day

Pee Wee’s Big Adventure

I’m continuing to go through all of Tim Burton’s movies—both the few I have never seen and the ones I have seen probably too often. Pee Wee’s Big Adventure definitely falls into the latter category, as it seemed to be a staple on cable television shortly after its release, especially during boring summer vacations. Later, I saw it more times than I could count on rental video, and later still on DVD.

Seeing the film yet again today, there is a lot I can appreciate that was really beyond me the first time I saw it. This is surely one of the most joyously silly films ever made, and that was certainly not lost on me when I was younger. But now I am familiar with the film scores of Bernard Herrmann, which are referenced extensively by Danny Elfman. This film marked the beginning of the long association between Elfman and Burton, and listening again to this score, which is amongst Elfman’s best, in relation to his other works for Burton, make me appreciate its exuberance and scope even more.

But focusing on Elfman’s score, good as it is, may just be a way to attempt to justify the guilty pleasure of watching such a silly—and joyously fun—movie.


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