Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure is a 1989 American science fictioncomedy buddy film in which two metalhead slackers travel through time in order to assemble a menagerie of historical figures for their high school history presentation. The film was written by Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon and directed by Stephen Herek. It stars Keanu Reeves as "Ted" Theodore Logan, Alex Winter as Bill S. Preston, Esquire, and George Carlin as Rufus.
The film opens in San Dimas, California in the year 2688 AD. Rufus (George Carlin) prepares to use a time-traveling phone booth to travel back to 1988 to ensure the Two Great OnesBill S. Preston, Esq. (Alex Winter) and Theodore "Ted" Logan (Keanu Reeves)remain together to form the band "Wyld Stallyns", whose music will become the core of the future's Utopian society. Rufus finds that Bill and Ted are on the verge of failing their high school history class, and, should Ted fail, his father, Police Captain Logan (Hal Langdon) will ship him off to an Alaskan military academy, effectively ending the pair's dreams of forming a band. As the two try to write a history report by asking customers questions at a local Circle K, Rufus lands in the phone booth and introduces himself to them. Though Bill and Ted are skeptical of Rufus's claims, they are convinced when future versions of themselves land nearby and explain the situation to them. Rufus reveals to Bill and Ted the secrets of the Circuits of History, which can transport the user anywhere in time. Rufus briefly takes the pair to Austria in 1805 where they find Napoleon Bonaparte (Terry Camilleri), who is preparing to lead his French Imperial Forces into battle. Returning to the present Rufus leaves the two with the phone booth, stating that Bill and Ted will be able to travel anyplace in time, but only as long as they deliver their history report on-time. Discovering that the pair also brought Napoleon back to the present with them, Bill & Ted form an idea for their report to go back in time, kidnap other historical figures and have them explain what they think of the San Dimas of the present. Bill & Ted leave Napoleon with Ted's younger brother, Deacon (Frazier Bain), while they travel to the past to complete their report. Bill and Ted first collect Billy the Kid (Dan Shor) and Socrates (Tony Steedman) (whom they refer to as "So-crates" (English pronunciation: /?so?kre?ts/)), who are both confused but eager to help the pair. When they travel to 15th century England, they become smitten with Princess Elizabeth (Kimberley Kates) and Princess Joanna (Diane Franklin), but fall into trouble with their father, the King (presumably to be Henry VII); they manage to escape with the help of Billy and Socrates and continue traveling through time. Soon, they also collect Sigmund Freud (Rod Loomis), Ludwig van Beethoven (Clifford David), Genghis Khan (Al Leong), Joan of Arc (Jane Wiedlin), and Abraham Lincoln (Robert V. Barron). The passengers encounter brief technical difficulties, and when attempting to return to the present, end up returning on the previous day outside the Circle K with Rufus introducing himself to their past selves. Bill and Ted recount their experience to their past selves, and learn how to properly return to the present from Rufus in order to give their history report on time. While trying to get the other historical figures accustomed to life in San Dimas by dropping them off at the local shopping mall, Ted learns that Deacon abandoned Napoleon at a bowling alley the night before. Bill and Ted go off to search for him, finding him enjoying himself at a local water park, "Waterloo"). When they return to the mall, they find the other historical figures have been arrested by Ted's father due to the chaos they caused. The two try to figure out how to rescue them when they realize they can use the time machine to go back in time and plant elements, such as the keys to the cell in which the historical figures are being held, at the police station for their escape plan. They successfully free the historical figures and make it to the school on time for their report. The report, presented in the style of a rock concert, is an outstanding success, and the two pass their course. In the epilogue, Rufus joins Bill and Ted as they practice music and congratulates them on their report. Rufus brings in Princesses Elizabeth and Joanna, whom he rescued from their father, explains that he's introduced them to the modern century, and that they too are destined to be part of Wyld Stallyns. As the four begin to play an amateurish cacophony of music, Rufus breaks the fourth wall and assures the viewers that "They do get better."