Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure: 1989
Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure

About the Movie

Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure – 1989: Originally planned as “Bill & Ted’s Time Van,” this 1989 comedy flick was originally produced by Nelson Entertainment, which went bankrupt, leaving the film in the shadows for two years. Then, Orion Pictures purchased the rights to the film and published it for the world to see. In fact, Kimberly Kates, who played Princess Elizabeth, was told to take the movie off of her resume because it had such a poor reputation. Once it came out, she had given up on it ever seeing the big screen!

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Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure: The Plot

With the future of their band, Wyld Stallyns, at stake, Bill S. Preston, Esq. and Ted Logan make a last-ditch effort to save their flunking history grades. If they fail to pass the class, they won’t be able to graduate, which in turn, will cause Ted’s father to send him off to military school in Alaska. Graciously, their history teacher offers them one more chance to prove they absorbed his teachings: a history report on the topic of how historic figures would react to modern times. He agrees to give them both passing grades if they can pull it off.

Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure Official Trailer

For the two teens, who placed their heavy metal music ahead of their studies, and, frankly, everything else in life, the task ahead is daunting. While the pair are sitting in a convenience store parking lot trying to figure out how they can cram all the information they need into their heads before the due date, a flying phone booth comes barreling out of the sky and lands next to them. From the phone booth, a man named Rufus emerges, explaining that he comes from the future and is here to help Ted and Bill pass their history class.

Another Phone Booth

At first, the boys don’t believe what Rufus is saying. It isn’t until another phone booth comes flying towards them, bringing their future selves to reassure them that Rufus is trustworthy. Rufus continues his proposition, telling them that the phone booths are time machines and that he can take the duo to any time in history to help them prepare for their exam. Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure

The first stop is 1805 where Bill and Ted witness Napoleon fighting a battle. When the head back to current times, Napoleon accidentally gets brought back with them. After discovering this as a possibility, Bill and Ted hatch a plan to kidnap historic figures and ask them directly how they feel about present times. Rufus leaves a phone booth with Bill and Ted, and they waste no time visiting historic figures.

Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure

The Wild West

Ultimately, they end up visiting the Wild West and grabbing Billy the Kid; ancient Greece to connect with Socrates, and medieval times where their endeavor gets a bit more complicated. After being captured and subsequently rescued by Billy the Kid and Socrates, they decide to keep exploring history. Their travels pick up Sigmund Freud, Joan of Arc, Genghis Khan, Abraham Lincoln, and Beethoven before bringing them back to the present time. Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure

With just a couple of hours before their oral reports are due, all of the historic figures get arrested by Ted’s dad, throwing a wrench in their day. In the nick of time, they get the characters freed, make it to school to give their oral reports, and both end up passing history. Successfully sticking together for summer to perfect their music skills, Bill and Ted get one more visit from Rufus, explaining that their music will be the foundation for the world’s future society. Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure

bill and ted's T-shirt

Fun Facts:

  1. The movie became popularly played in high school classrooms as a way to make history more relatable.
  2. The ending was originally scripted to be a boring presentation in a dingy classroom, but during filming, the producers realized that wouldn’t be the big finish that was needed.
  3. Bill and Ted’s characters were developed in an improv class taken by Ed Solomon and Chris Matheson.
  4. Keanu Reeves, who played Ted Logan actually auditioned for the role of Bill. On the other hand, Alex Winter, who played Bill, wanted to play Ted.
  5. One of the phone booths used in the movie was given away as a contest prize as part of the promotion for Nintendo’s “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Video Game Adventure.”
bill and ted's excellent adventure tee shirt

Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure Cast

  • Keanu Reeves – Ted “Theodore” Logan
  • Alex Winter – Bill S. Preston, Esq.
  • George Carlin – Rufus
  • Terry Camilleri – Napoleon Bonaparte
  • Dan Shor – Billy the Kid
  • Tony Steedman – Socrates
  • Rod Loomis – Sigmund Freud
  • Al Leong – Genghis Khan
  • Jane Wiedlin – Joan of Arc
  • Robert V. Barron – Abraham Lincoln
  • Clifford David – Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Hal Landon Jr. – Captain Logan, Ted’s and Deacon’s father
  • Bernie Casey – Mr. Ryan, Bill and Ted’s history teacher
  • Amy Stock-Poynton – Missy/Mom, Bill’s stepmother
  • J. Patrick McNamara – Mr. Preston, Bill’s father
  • Frazier Bain – Deacon Logan, Ted’s younger brother
  • John Karlsen – Evil Duke
  • Diane Franklin – Princess Joanna
  • Kimberley LaBelle – Princess Elizabeth
  • Clarence Clemons, Martha Davis, and Fee Waybill – The Three Most Important People in the World
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  • The movie was directed by Stephen Herek and written by Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon.
  • The iconic phone booth time machine was inspired by the TV series Doctor Who.
  • The film was originally budgeted at $6 million but ended up costing $10 million due to additional special effects.
  • The movie was a box office success, grossing over $40 million worldwide and spawning a sequel, Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey, as well as the third installment, Bill and Ted Face the Music (2020).
  • The film’s catchphrase “Be excellent to each other” has become a cultural touchstone and is still celebrated today.
  • Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure is a fun, lighthearted movie that has definitely earned its place in cinema history. We strongly recommend giving it a watch, and remember: be excellent to each other!
Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure
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