Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989) is an American comedy/science fiction film in
which two Heavy Metallers travel through time in order to gather a group of
high profile historical figures for their high school history presentation.
script was written by Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon and directed by Stephen
Herek. It stars Alex Winter as Bill S. Preston Esq., Keanu Reeves as Ted
"Theodore" Logan, and George Carlin as the mystical Rufus from seven
hundred years in the future.
Preston Esq. (Winter) and Ted "Theodore" Logan (Reeves) (or simply
"Bill & Ted") are two Heavy Metal obsessed teenagers (big Iron
Maiden fans) in San Dimas, California, (1988) who are about to flunk out of
high school because they are failing history class.
The only way
they can pass history is to get an A+ on their upcoming history report. This
situation is particularly "heinous" because Ted's authoritarian
policeman father, Capt. Logan, has threatened to ship him to the AlaskanMilitaryAcademy (run by the psychotic Colonel Oats) if he fails.
a guitar-playing guru named Rufus (George Carlin) arrives from San Dimas of the future (2688) to help them pass a vital
history report, because their garage band Wyld Stallyns holds the key to world
peace and ultimate truth. However, they will not achieve this destiny if they
drop out of High school out and Ted is shipped to Alaska. Rufus lends them a time machine disguised as a
phone booth to help them get an A+ on their oral report. Various time traveling
shenanigans ensue, as they proceed to "collect" various historical
figures, including Napoleon Bonaparte, Socrates (whose name they pronounce
“So-Crates"), Billy the Kid, Sigmund Freud (whose name they also
mispronounce, "Frood"), Ludwig van Beethoven (whose name they also
mispronounce, "Beeth Oven"), Genghis Khan, Joan of Arc, and Abraham
Lincoln to help them with their final history presentation.
find love with Princesses Elizabeth and Joanna in 15th Century England, at the
court of King Henry (presumably Henry VII, as the princesses, who are young
women when Bill and Ted meet them, are said in Bogus Journey (the sequel) to be
521 years old; as that film is set in 1991, the princesses were therefore born
in 1470). They also run into some problems, including mechanical troubles with
the booth, and Ted's brother, Deacon, "ditching" Napoleon even though
he was told not to let him out of his sight.
The film was shot
in the Phoenix, Arizona,
metropolitan area, mostly in and around CoronadoHigh School in Scottsdale, Arizona.
its small beginnings in a garage in San
& Ted’s Heavy Metal Band, Wyld Stallyns will go on to solve
the problems of civilization
machine was a 1960s American telephone booth and British viewers will
immediately think of Dr Who’s Police Box TARDIS, however, the Bill & Ted
telephone booth lacked the huge interior spaces of the Doctor's TARDIS.
The film was
followed in 1991 by a sequel, Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey.
The film produced the two
most Triumphant Theosophical Slogans of all time;
Party On Dudes!
Be Excellent to Each Other!
Ted’s Excellent Adventure also features some classic examples of spontaneous
and improvised Air Guitar Playing