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

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Cast

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Clive Rosengren ...
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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:

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 »

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Release Date:

7 October 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ed Vud  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$5,887,457 (USA)
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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Johnny Depp developed a love-hate relationship with angora sweaters. He jokingly told MTV that he learned too much about women's clothing while making the film. Because angora sheds profusely, Depp joked that in certain scenes, he may have "inhaled more angora than oxygen." See more »

Goofs

During both scenes where Ed Wood is resting on the bench at the sanitarium, the same car drives down the street as seen through the window in the back. See more »

Quotes

Bela Lugosi: Karloff? Sidekick? FUCK YOU! Karloff did not deserve to smell my shit! That limey cocksucker can rot in Hell for all I care!
Edward D. Wood, Jr.: What happened?
Bela Lugosi: How dare that asshole bring up Karloff? You think it takes talent to do Frankenstein? It's all makeup and grunting.
[Mocks Frankenstein]
Edward D. Wood, Jr.: Bela, I agree with you 100%. Now, "Dracula," that's a role that requires talent.
Bela Lugosi: Of course. Dracula requires presence. It's all in the eyes, and the voice, and the hands...
Edward D. Wood, Jr.: [interrupting] That's right. That's right. You seem...
[...]
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Crazy Credits

The lightning bolt in the Touchstone logo appears after the logo is struck by lightning. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in The Hillywood Show (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

GRIP OF THE LAW
Written by Trevor Duncan
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Kinship with a Fringie
27 June 1999 | by (Greenville SC) – See all my reviews

The theatre wasn't exactly filling up fast: so far my husband, a friend and myself were the only ones seated. Just before the movie began, a young couple walked in. And shortly after the movie began, they walked out. I wonder if they asked for their money back. I hope they didn't get it.

The movie was ED WOOD, Tim Burton's homage to trash-film director Edward D. Wood Jr., which only played in Greenville for two weeks and did not show up at the second-run movie houses. Apparently no one wanted to see it. Their loss.

But perhaps I'm being too hard on those who don't appreciate the subtle nuances of Eddie Wood's movies. To me, Eddie was a glittering bead hanging on Hollywood's lunatic fringe. However, Eddie, a transvestite who often directed his masterpieces wearing high heels and an angora sweater, was not exactly your mama's director. He was no Frank Tashlin, who tried to make Jayne Mansfield respectable in THE GIRL CAN'T HELP IT. He was no Norman Taurog, who made Elvis look like a dork in countless girls-cars-and-guitars flicks. He wasn't even Russ Meyer, whose exploitation films are legendary in their trashiness. No, Eddie just never seemed to get a break. He wanted to be Orson Welles. He didn't even find the measure of fame accorded to Orson Bean! He remained a pathetic outcast, forever a fringie.

Perhaps it is appropriate that Johnny Depp was chosen to portray Eddie Wood. Depp has a long history of playing outcasts and fringies -- Edward Scissorhands, Gilbert Grape, Hunter Thompson. Depp makes it clear that Eddie's angora-covered heart was in the right place. He worked hard on his scripts, he gave important roles to spectacularly talentless actors like Vampira, wrestler Tor Johnson and Eddie's own main squeeze, Dolores Fuller. And he was very kind to the drug-addled has-been Bela Lugosi, even dissuading the drunken Drac from committing suicide (which wasn't entirely altruistic, perhaps, as Lugosi had threatened to take Eddie with him). Depp makes Eddie appear almost human.

Depp's portrayal is just one of several that are outstanding: George "The Animal" Steele as Tor Johnson, Jeffrey Jones as Criswell, Vincent D'Onofrio in his cameo of Orson Welles and Bill Murray as Bunny Breckinridge -- one of the rare times Murray has immersed himself in his character and not been merely Bill Murray with someone else's name. Also delightful is a brief appearance by organist Korla Pandit, 1950's television personality once billed "The Prince of the Wurlitzer."

However, all the performances in ED WOOD are overshadowed by Academy-award winner Martin Landau as Bela Lugosi. For those enough old enough to remember Landau in TV's "Mission: Impossible," it perhaps isn't surprising that Landau was able to hide so completely behind a spookily accurate makeup job; seeing Landau's Lugosi watch himself on television was eerie because Landau looked enough like Lugosi to make it seem real.

The film ends on a high note, which Eddie's life didn't -- he died in his sleep, watching a ball game, just a few days after he'd been evicted from his apartment.

ED WOOD is not a family film. Some of the language is strong, drugs and drink are abundant, and many of the characters are a shade on the bizarre side. It might be hard to explain to one's children why this apparently virile man loves to raid his girlfriend's closets.

Unfortunately, ED WOOD hasn't exactly burned up the box office. Perhaps it is because so few people can relate to someone as weird as Eddie, with his terrible stories about men in angora sweaters, killer octopi, blank-eyed wrestler slaves and, the piece de resistance, aliens with eight failed plans to take over the universe. I believe Eddie himself felt like those aliens, which is why, viewing PLAN NINE FROM OUTER SPACE, he said, "This is the one I'll be remembered by." And perhaps that very weirdness made the story appealing to me. Having lived as a misfit and outcast, working hard all my life to reach a goal that has remained elusive, I can, to quote someone I don't care for, feel Eddie's pain. It's too late for him, but perhaps there's hope for me yet ...


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