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Ed Wood

Ed Wood

4.8 15
Director: Tim Burton

Cast: Johnny Depp, Martin Landau, Sarah Jessica Parker


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Hollywood visionary Tim Burton pays homage to another Hollywood visionary, albeit a less successful one, in this unusual fictionalized biography. The film follows Wood (Johnny Depp) in his quest for film greatness as he writes and directs turkey after turkey, cross-dresses, and surrounds himself with a motley crew of Hollywood misfits, outcasts, has-beens, and


Hollywood visionary Tim Burton pays homage to another Hollywood visionary, albeit a less successful one, in this unusual fictionalized biography. The film follows Wood (Johnny Depp) in his quest for film greatness as he writes and directs turkey after turkey, cross-dresses, and surrounds himself with a motley crew of Hollywood misfits, outcasts, has-beens, and never-weres. The real story, however, is his friendship with aging, morphine-addicted Bela Lugosi (Martin Landau), whom he tries to help stage a comeback. Landau's unforgettable Oscar-winning performance must be seen to be believed, as must Rick Baker's Oscar-winning makeup. While it would have been easy to make a film simply ridiculing the bumbling director, Burton instead focuses on his driving passion for filmmaking and his unwavering persistence in the face of ridicule and failure. Possibly the most surprising aspect of the film is the genuine sentiment with which Burton treats the relationship between Wood and Lugosi; his devotion to Lugosi is touching, as is Lugosi's final soliloquy -- an inane bit of dialogue from the hilariously bad Bride of the Monster that grows into a poignant metaphor for the actor's life and ultimate triumph of his spirit. Even the look of the film is right; it manages to preserve the air of one of Wood's own films while retaining a sense of artistry in much of the composition on screen (note the scene at the drug rehab where Lugosi endures a horrifying night of detox). In all, Ed Wood is a unique film -- at times side-splittingly funny; at others, tragic or even frightening -- and a heartfelt tribute to the love of movies, good and bad alike.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Bill Pearis
When Harry and Michael Medved proclaimed Edward D. Wood, Jr.'s Plan 9 from Outer Space to be the Worst Movie Ever Made in their 1980 book, The Golden Turkey Awards, the eccentric director attained instant icon status: the Grand Fromage of Cinematic Cheese. The stories behind his movies -- shoestring budgets, stolen props, cross-dressing -- were usually more interesting than the finished product, so it was no real surprise that someone would make a movie about him. Still, while one still wonders how director Tim Burton talked Walt Disney's Touchstone Pictures into producing this black-and-white, R-rated, impossible-to-categorize biographical film, we remain glad he did. Johnny Depp portrays Wood, a wannabe filmmaker whose lack of talent is nearly made up for by his boundless enthusiasm. He also has a penchant for cross-dressing and angora sweaters -- obsessions that will feature prominently in his movies. After spending the early '50s getting rejected by every producer in town, Wood happens on a bit of luck when he meets and befriends onetime horror icon Bela Lugosi (Martin Landau), now a drug addict living in a dingy prefab house on the outskirts of Los Angeles. With a known star onboard, he finally gets backing, and he and his entourage of transsexuals, mentalists, professional wrestlers, and other denizens of the Hollywood fringe go about making such classic schlock as Glen or Glenda, Bride of the Monster, and the aforementioned Plan 9. Depp jumps in with both feet, playing Wood as a wide-eyed, gee-whiz dreamer who sees every production setback as an opportunity. As Lugosi, Landau is both profanely funny and profoundly sad, and the performance earned him the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. The casting is pitch-perfect, down to the smallest parts: Bill Murray as the flamboyant Bunny Breckinridge; Jeffrey Jones as the psychic Criswell; and Vincent D'Onofrio as Orson Welles. Burton, meanwhile, obviously had a blast re-creating some of the most infamous moments in Wood's films; but it is the relationship between Depp and Landau that really make this film worth watching. Ed Wood may ultimately be a cult film about a cult director, but it is a near-perfect one that you don't have to be a Midnight Movie fan to love.
All Movie Guide - Mark Deming
Tim Burton's Ed Wood is a delightfully entertaining and uniquely inspiring film about an artist in love with his medium. Never mind that the artist in question, Edward D. Wood Jr. (played with panache by Johnny Depp), is generally believed to be the worst movie director who ever lived; Burton and screenwriters Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski play Wood's story mostly for laughs, but they also have a genuine fondness and respect for Wood and his never-ending uphill struggle to put his crackpot ideas on screen. For Wood, any day in which he stood behind the camera was a good day, and if his sets were cardboard, his special effects laughable, his dialogue mind-bogglingly bizarre, and his cast a ragtag band of losers, misfits, and has-beens, none of it mattered as much as the simple fact that he was making a film. Ed loved movies with all his heart and soul, despite his lack of talent, and he surrounded himself with people who, like himself, were drawn to the life-changing magic of Hollywood and determined to be a part of it. While it would be easy (and perhaps more realistic) to show the lives of Ed and his friends as sad, Burton understands that a dream in the face of impractical circumstances is a big part of being a filmmaker, and if these characters often seem goofy, they just as often seem to feel strangely honored to be scraping by in the shadow of the Dream Factory. And the friendship between Ed and the aging Bela Lugosi (Martin Landau), in poor health and addicted to drugs, is touching in the least cloying of ways, as an old man who has been stripped of his dreams finds work with a young man whose dreams still keep him going. Plenty of films have been made about people who made it in Hollywood, but Ed Wood is the best film about the people who didn't, perhaps because Burton seems to understand that the biggest thing separating him from his subject is not talent but luck.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Touchstone / Disney
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Deleted scenes; "Making Bela" makeup featurette; Production design feature - "Pie Plates Over Hollywood"; Behind the scenes: "Let's Shoot the F#*%@r!"; "The Theremin" documentary; Audio commentary with cast and filmmakers; Music video composed by Howard Shore

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Johnny Depp Ed Wood
Martin Landau Bela Lugosi
Sarah Jessica Parker Dolores Fuller
Patricia Arquette Kathy O'Hara
Bill Murray Bunny Breckinridge
Jeffrey Jones Criswell
Vincent D'Onofrio Orson Welles
Lisa Marie Vampira
G.D. Spradlin Reverend Lemon
Max Casella Paul Marco
Brent Hinkley Conrad Brooks
Juliet Landau Loretta King
George Steele Tor Johnson
Jim Myers Actor
Victoria Thomas Actor
Mike Starr Georgie Weiss
Clive Rosengren Ed Reynolds
Norman Alden Cameraman Bill
Leonard Termo Makeup Man Harry
Ned Bellamy Dr. Tom Mason
Danny Dayton Soundman
Jonathan Ross Camera Assistant
Biff Yeager Rude Boss
Carmen Filpi Old Crusty Man
Melora Walters Secretary #2
Conrad Brooks Bartender
Don Amendolia Salesman
Reid Cruickshanks Stage Guard
Stanley de Santis Mr. Feldman
Edmund L. Shaff Executive #2
Gene Lebell Ring Announcer
Gretchen Becker TV Host's Assistant
John Rice Conservative Man
Mary Portser Backer's Wife
King Cotton Hick Backer
Don Hood Southern Backer
Matthew Barry Valet
Ralph Monaco Waiter
Anthony Russell Busboy
Gregory Walcott Potential Backer
Rance Howard Old Man McCoy
Vasek Simek Professor Strowski
Alan Martin Vampira's Assistant
Korla Pandit Indian Musician
Vinny Argiro TV Horror Show Director
Patti Tippo Nurse
Ray Baker Doctor
Ryan Holihan Frantic Usher
Charlie Holliday Tourist
Ric Mancini Photographer #2
Mickey Cottrell Hammy Alien
Maurice LaMarche Orson Welles [uncredited]
Charles C. Stevenson Another Backer
Louis Lombardi Rental House Manager
Bobby Slayton TV show host
Lisa Malkiewicz Actor

Technical Credits
Tim Burton Director,Producer
Scott Alexander Screenwriter
Colleen Atwood Costumes/Costume Designer
Stefan Czapsky Cinematographer
Denise Di Novi Producer
Thomas A. Duffield Production Designer
Michael Flynn Co-producer
Bruce Hill Set Decoration/Design
Richard Hoover Consultant/advisor,Production Designer
Larry Karaszewski Screenwriter
Chris Lebenzon Editor
Michael Lehmann Executive Producer
Christopher S. Nushawg Set Decoration/Design
Chris Nushuang Set Decoration/Design
Michael Okowita Art Director
Michael Polaire Production Designer
Cricket Rowland Set Decoration/Design
Howard Shore Score Composer
Victoria Thomas Casting
Edward Tise Sound/Sound Designer
Mike Topoozian Asst. Director


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Ed Wood 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm not going to rate this film just on the fact that Johnny Depp stars in it. I finished watching this film for the hundreth time today and I will never cease to enjoy this...bizarre film! The film Ed Wood is so well put together! The cast was perfect! The movie makes you want to see (the real) Edward D. Wood's movies. It's very entertaining and worth watching! Hope you decide to view this film. It's something you won't regret!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
First off let me say, Mr. Depp is very hot. With that out of the way, i want to say that this movie is awesome. One of the things I look for in a movie is how it relates to me. As a crossdresser, it could not relate to me anymore unless i was making out with Mr. Depp.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really think that Johnny Depp is hot stuff, so I really enjoyed this movie, even though John plays a cross dresser in this movie. I would like looking at Johnny Depp all over again in this movie (as I enjoy ALL of his movies!) I highly reccomend this movie to anybody who likes Johnny Depp.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An incredible film about an artist who has a bottomless supply of positive energy, but is totally pathetic in his approach and product. Based on a true story, the film includes some truly outstanding performances. Johnny Depp is perfect in the title role. Bill Murray is hysterical as 'Bunny' Beckinridge, one of Wood's numerous acting buddies. Perhaps the films best performance is given by Martin Landau as Bela Lugosi, whom Wood befriended toward the end of his film career. The movie was filmed entirely in black and white and it's message of remaining positive against a flood of failure is timeless.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
A fabulous take on the so called worst director ever. The truth is it changed my life! The dialog is great and the characters are deep. It's an absolute must see!!!