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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 23 wins & 25 nominations. See more awards »



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


Because of his eccentric habits and bafflingly strange films, director Edward D. Wood Jr. is a Hollywood outcast. Nevertheless, with the help of the formerly famous Bela Lugosi and a devoted cast and crew of show-business misfits who believe in Ed's off-kilter vision, the filmmaker is able to bring his oversize dreams to cinematic life. Despite a lack of critical or commercial success, Ed and his friends manage to create an oddly endearing series of extremely low-budget films. Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Movies were his passion. Women were his inspiration. Angora sweaters were his weakness. 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?


During the bar scene with Wood, Orson Welles (Vincent D'Onofrio) complains that Universal Pictures wanted him to make a film with Charlton Heston cast as a Mexican, a reference to Touch of Evil (1958). In reality, Welles was first approached by Universal only to act in that film; Heston was the one who insisted that Welles be allowed to direct it, too. Furthermore, the film was based on a novel, Badge of Evil, where Heston's character was an American, and since Welles also wrote the screenplay, it doesn't appear that casting Heston as a Mexican was anybody else's idea but Welles himself. See more »


At the time Plan 9 from Outer Space was filmed, Orson Welles was very fat and had a chubby face, but Vincent d'Onofrio plays the slimmer Welles of earlier years. See more »


[while he and the others flee the chaotic premiere of "Bride of the Monster" in a cab]
Bela Lugosi: Now that was a premiere.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the opening credits, Johnny Depp's name appears in capital letters, followed by the title - both of them alternating in black and white, as though being illuminated by lightning - and the rest of the main cast are credited on tombstones. Supporting cast and crew names appear in white against dark, rainy sets featuring meant-to-look-low-budget effects such as a giant tentacle and flying saucers in outer space. See more »


Referenced in Nostalgia Critic: Alice in Wonderland (2014) See more »


Written by Alan Braden
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

An Unlikely Masterpiece
26 April 1999 | by (Wokingham, England) – See all my reviews

I hear that ED WOOD took just $6,000,000 on its initial cinematic release in the USA. I'm not surprised. The extraordinary thing is that the film was financed and released at all. Had it not been for the prestige that Tim Burton had already earned from his previous projects, ED WOOD would no doubt have foundered long before the cameras began to roll. The result could have been another 1941 – but it wasn't. What came out of Tim Burton's fascination with the `Worst Director of All Time' was something very rich and strange – perhaps the most un-Hollywood Hollywood picture of the 90s.

I see two main themes in ED WOOD. The first is the dreadful fear that hovers over everyone who enters the creative arts – `Am I any good?' `Is my work any good?' `How do I know if it's any good?' `What if I think it's good, but everybody else thinks it's rubbish?' Artists use all kinds of strategies to deal with these fears – some become eccentric, others arrogant, others diffident. Without the right to fail, no artist is likely to take the sort of risk that sometimes, just sometimes, leads to great work. Tim Burton knew this.

Edward D Wood Jnr believed himself to be a creative artist. Oh, how he believed. But he still failed to create anything worthwhile. And this leads to what I believe to be the second theme of the movie, and the reason why I think it failed commercially.

Look at all the things Ed did right. He believed in himself. He followed his dream. He worked hard. He was an entrepreneur – he did his best to make others believe in his dream and help him to turn it into reality. In short, he did all the things that the self-help books, the daytime TV shows, the junk ballads and the feel-good movies tell us will give you success. Just wish upon a star, work all the hours there are to turn your vision into reality and you will succeed. Ed did all of these things. And still he failed. He died short of his 60th birthday, living in a crime-riddled apartment building, drunk, broke, supporting himself and his loyal wife Kathy by writing formula pornography and making sex instruction flicks on 8mm.

America doesn't want to hear this. Hollywood doesn't want to tell America this – that you can try and try and try and still get nothing but heartbreak. This is why ED WOOD is such an un-Hollywood film – and why it's one of the best Hollywood films of the 90s.

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