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Ed Wood (1994)

R  |   |  Biography, Comedy, Drama  |  7 October 1994 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 137,593 users   Metascore: 70/100
Reviews: 414 user | 144 critic | 19 from Metacritic.com

An ambitious but troubled movie director tries his best to fulfill his dream, despite his lack of support.


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Won 2 Oscars. Another 22 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Brent Hinkley ...
George 'The Animal' Steele ...
Clive Rosengren ...


The life of 'Edward D. Wood Jr.', hailed as the worst director (of Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959), Glen or Glenda (1953) and Bride of the Monster (1955)) of all time. Written by Rogerio Santos

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


When it came to making bad movies, Ed Wood was the best. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

7 October 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ed Vud  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$18,000,000 (estimated)


$5,887,457 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The first film by Tim Burton to not feature Danny Elfman's music score. See more »


In the scene where Ed Wood meets Orson Welles, Ed asks him what he's working on. Welles takes a cigar out of his mouth with his right hand. When they cut to a frontal view of Welles, he's holding the cigar with his left hand. When they cut back to a frontal view of Wood, Welles puts the cigar in his mouth with his right hand. See more »


[pointing to a "Jacob's Ladder" on the set of Bride of the Atom]
Bela Lugosi: I'm not getting near that goddamn thing. One of them burned me in "The Return of Chandu".
See more »

Crazy Credits

Immediately preceding the final credits, the film features a "What Ever Happened To" and/or "Where They Are Now" sequence about Edward D. Wood Jr., Kathy Wood, Bela Lugosi, John Breckinridge, Dolores Fuller, Tor Johnson, Vampira, Paul Marco' , Conrad Brooks, Tom Mason, and Criswell. The commentaries include such statements as: "Bela Lugosi never rose from the grave, but after appearing in 103 films, he is more famous than ever. Today, his movie memorabilia outsells Boris Karloff's by a substantial margin" and "Dolores Fuller, after leaving Ed, went on to a successful songwriting career. Her compositions include the Elvis Presley hits 'Rock-a-Hula Baby' and 'Do the Clam.'" See more »


Featured in The 67th Annual Academy Awards (1995) See more »


Written, Arranged and Performed by Korla Pandit
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Burton's grand masterpiece, too bad so few have noticed
25 February 2004 | by (Chicago) – See all my reviews

As one of the most overlooked films ever made, "Ed Wood" does for Tim Burton what "Malcolm X" did for Spike Lee and "JFK" did for Oliver Stone, it ruins any expectations one can have of Tim Burton, because he has set a standard here that he will never achieve again. An interest in the period in which it is set is essential, given the set decoration is the film's greatest triumph. It's not surprising that Burton's first "biopic" is about someone revered in the b-movie heyday of the 1950s - that spawned Burton himself. Burton must have felt he had to make this picture because without filmmakers like Ed Wood, Burton himself would have never existed. Set in seedy B-movie Hollywood in the mid 1950s - and wisely and beautifully shot in black-and-white, Johnny Depp plays the titular character; a young, talentless, but optimistic auteur who dreams of being a film director; going so far as to model himself after his idol, Orson Welles. Despite an over-reliance on stock footage, a tin ear for dialogue, and a fondness for wacky, exploitative horror and sci-fi fare, Wood wiggles his way into B-moviedom. Casting anyone willing to step before his camera, Wood cranks out a series of cheesy movies.

When he has a chance encounter with horror film legend Bela Lugosi, now a 74 year-old, foul-mouthed morphine addict wrecked by his lost fame, Ed sees his meal-ticket. Quick for his next fix, Lugosi doesn't seem to mind that Wood is also an out-and-proud transvestite with a particular fondness for Angora sweaters, and soon begins starring in Wood's features. Lugosi, played by Martin Landau, gives the story its biggest jolts of energy. Landau is hysterical in scene after scene utilizing the "dirty old man" routine. Remember, there is nothing funnier on earth than an old man who likes profanity. A gentle - albeit somewhat fictionalized - bond forms between Wood and Lugosi. Depp does a spectacular job of fleshing out Wood's quirky innocence and unbridled passion for moviemaking. This may also be the only Johnny Depp film where you actually see him smile!

What ultimately makes this film so stellar is the impeccable production and costume design and the crisp B&W cinematography; it literally transports you back to the clean-cut, wide-eyed days of the 1950s. I cannot recommend this film enough if you have an interest in the world of 1950s B-movies that produced titles like "Teenagers From Outer Space" and "Project Moonbase". This film functions quite well as a time warp. I liken "Ed Wood" to epics like "JFK" because like those films, this movie doesn't seem to be about what happens as much as how it FEELS to be there; and that's what draws me to the film every time I see it. With "Ed Wood", I'm not always interested in following the story, but I'm totally fascinated with being inside that world. Tim Burton did the best job that anyone could in taking you there.

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