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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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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Details

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Release Date:

7 October 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ed Vud  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$5,887,457 (USA)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Korla Pandit, who plays the Indian keyboard player, was a real-life local Los Angeles television star in the early 1950s. His show, "A Musical Evening With Korla Pandit", aired on station KTLA in Los Angeles, and consisted of Pandit gazing into the camera while playing the Hammond organ. He never spoke, nor smiled. Audiences found this highly intriguing, and the show was a major hit. See more »

Goofs

Bela says he hasn't "worked in four years" when in fact he had made two films, Vampire Over London and Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla. See more »

Quotes

[making up the bald Dr. Tom to look like Bela Lugosi]
Makeup Man Harry: Ed, what am I gonna do here.
Edward D. Wood, Jr.: What do you mean?
Makeup Man Harry: He has no hair.
Edward D. Wood, Jr.: Gee, I never noticed that. Put a wig on him!
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 »

Connections

Featured in Siskel & Ebert: The Best Films of 1994 (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

LASST UNS ERFREUEN (ALL CREATURES OF OUR GOD AND KING)
Music by Peter von Brachel
Lyrics by John Athelstan Laurie Riley
Arranged by Ralph Vaughan Williams
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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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