|"Is this something you can share with the rest of us, Amazing Larry?"|
|An unhinged Pee-wee|
In this scene, Pee-wee Herman is allowed to act in a manner totally unbecoming the star of a children's film. He yells. He paces. He spouts completely nutty conspiracy theories and keeps his "guests" virtual captives for hours on end in a stuffy basement. Even Pee-wee's little dog, Speck, is afraid of him. Perhaps the most startling moment is when he lashes out verbally at Dottie (Elizabeth Daily), the adorable bike shop employee who is the closest thing the film has to a romantic interest. It took real guts on the part of Reubens and Burton to allow their hero to be portrayed so negatively at this early stage in the film. A more timid film might have worried about alienating the audience, but Pee-wee's Big Adventure gives us more credit than that. Besides, the filmmakers must have rightly figured that audiences would go along with this scene simply because it was so funny. The dialogue throughout this sequence is hilarious. Nearly every line is quotable, so I'll limit myself to excerpting this unhinged monologue, the best of its kind outside of Humphrey Bogart as Fred C. Dobbs in Treasure of the Sierra Madre:
When you've gone over something again and again and again and again like I have, certain questions get answered. Others spring up! The mind plays tricks on you. You play tricks back! It's like you're unraveling a big cable-knit sweater that someone keeps knitting and knitting and kitting and knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting!
Oliver Stone, eat your heart out.
|"Why? What's the significance? I DON'T KNOW!"|