7.8/10
163,534
466 user 157 critic

Ed Wood (1994)

Trailer
0:32 | Trailer
Ambitious but troubled movie director Edward D. Wood Jr. tries his best to fulfill his dreams, despite his lack of talent.

Director:

Tim Burton

Writers:

Rudolph Grey (book), Scott Alexander | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
2,328 ( 193)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 25 wins & 34 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Johnny Depp ... Ed Wood
Martin Landau ... Bela Lugosi
Sarah Jessica Parker ... Dolores Fuller
Patricia Arquette ... Kathy O'Hara
Jeffrey Jones ... Criswell
G.D. Spradlin ... Reverend Lemon
Vincent D'Onofrio ... Orson Welles
Bill Murray ... Bunny Breckinridge
Mike Starr ... Georgie Weiss
Max Casella ... Paul Marco
Brent Hinkley ... Conrad Brooks
Lisa Marie ... Vampira
George 'The Animal' Steele ... Tor Johnson
Juliet Landau ... Loretta King
Clive Rosengren ... Ed Reynolds
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Conrad Brooks: the bartender in the Orson Welles scene. See more »

Goofs

When Ed takes Lugosi home after first meeting him in 1952, Bela disdainfully says that modern horror movies only show big bugs, giant spiders, giant grasshoppers, and the like. Giant bug films (e.g. Them!) did not come around until 1954. See more »

Quotes

Edward D. Wood, Jr.: [talking on phone] Bunny? We're making another movie! Yes. I got the Baptist Church of Beverly Hills to put up the cash!
Paul Marco: [knocking on door] Ed, I got the Lugosi doubles outside!
Edward D. Wood, Jr.: Bunny, I gotta go...
[Ed opens the door to find a short man, a fat man, and a Chinese man]
Edward D. Wood, Jr.: [sighs, shakes head] He's too short, he's too... tall, he's... just not going to work.
Paul Marco: Well, Ed. I was thinking like when Bela played Fu Manchu...
Edward D. Wood, Jr.: [Pulls Paul aside]
[wispering]
Edward D. Wood, Jr.: Paul, that was Karloff.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The movie ends with the simple line "Filmed in Hollywood, USA", the same way as the real Edward D. Wood Jr. did it at the end of his movies. See more »

Connections

References Tin Gods (1926) See more »

Soundtracks

Ballet music from 'Swan Lake', Opus 20
(uncredited)
By Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
See more »

User Reviews

 
The one he'll be remembered for
6 December 2004 | by oshram-3See all my reviews

It's sort of embarrassing to admit it took me ten years to see this film. I'm not really a big fan of Tim Burton, and while I never had anything against him, I've only recently started to enjoy Johnny Depp's work. Given the subject matter, this just wasn't a movie I was interested in for a long time. But sometimes good things really are worth the wait.

Ed Wood, of course, chronicles the Hollywood career of its eponymous subject, truly one screwed up individual; a cross-dresser with a fetish for angora, Wood churned out one horrifically bad film after another, culminating with Plan Nine From Outer Space, before descending into crappy porn films toward the end of his life. It isn't necessarily a happy story, and Burton wisely only tells a small sliver of it, from Ed's first movie, Glen or Glenda, through the premiere of Plan Nine.

But the love that Burton has for Wood and his movies shines through in every frame. Though I find Burton needlessly artsy as a director, here that tendency serves him frightfully well, as he manages to do the near-impossible; make a film about someone that plays like one of their films (the abysmal Dragon is a shining example of how NOT to do this). Shot entirely in black and white, we see all of Wood's weirdos not as they were, but rather as Ed probably saw them, through the bizarre filter he must have viewed life with.

Depp is simply brilliant here, probably even better than he was in Pirates of the Caribbean. He captures Wood's enthusiasm and slanted viewpoint, but he does so in a loving, positive way. Wood accepts, as we must, that he was a screwed-up hack, but it never drags him down; in fact, Depp has him reveling in it, and it is that very passion that buoys up the movie. It doesn't hurt that nearly everyone else is very strong too, from Jeffrey Jones' crank 'psychic' Criswell to Bill Murray's Bunny Breckenridge, who often talks about having a sex change but never goes through with it. George 'The Animal' Steele captures Tor Johnson perfectly, and even Lisa Marie is excellent as Vampira. But the true great performance of the film, outshining even Depp, is Martin Landau as Bela Lugosi. He won the Oscar for this, and deservedly so; he presents Lugosi at the end of his life, a washed-up has been, a shell of a man who was once a great star but is now no more than an addict. Landau virtually disappears in the role, and all you get is Lugosi, every tragic inch of him. Again, we see him not only as he was, but how Wood and even Burton see him, and the effect is masterful. One speech in particular, where Lugosi repeats a speech that Wood wrote for him about once being the master of the world but now on the verge of coming back is particularly haunting, and Landau is simply riveting.

Ed Wood is a rare beast – it's a Tim Burton film that doesn't go overboard, it's a movie about Hollywood (sort of) that isn't self-indulgent, it's a nostalgia trip that manages not to be sappy but is still very warm and caring, and overall it's just a strikingly well-done film. I was impressed on many levels, most particularly with Depp and Landau, but really with the whole movie, that such a truly screwed-up human being could be shown in such a positive, indeed, loving way. Ed Wood is nothing less than a tribute to its subject, and in that, as in many other ways, it succeeds marvelously. If somehow you've missed this film, as I had until recently, you owe it to yourself to see it. It's simply a wonderful piece of film-making that should not be missed.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 October 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ed Wood See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$71,566, 2 October 1994

Gross USA:

$5,887,457

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$5,887,457
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Touchstone Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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