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ED WOOD (1994)

edwoodposter-1994

Tim Burton pays homage to “world’s worst” fringe filmmaker Edward D. Wood Jr., featuring some reenacted scenes of Wood’s most infamous films: GLEN OR GLENDA (1953), BRIDE OF THE MONSTER (1955), NIGHT OF THE GHOULS (1959) and PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE (1959).

The film not only focuses on the artistic struggles of this director, but also sympathetically portrays his obsessions, his love live, and many of his unusual friends.

Martin Landau was awarded the Academy Award and the Golden Globe as Best Supporting Actor for his role as the forgotten horror legend Bela Lugosi (“Dracula”, 1931). [The movie garnered its second Oscar for the Best Make-Up.] Wood is played by a very enthusiastic young Johnny Depp, and you can also enjoy Bill Murray, Patricia Arquette, Sarah Jessica Parker, Vincent D’Onofrio and other great character actors in this film.

Despite being critically acclaimed, this film is the first of Tim Burton’s legendary financial failures with only making back a third of its budget in the USA [the other ones are: “Corpse Bride”, “Dark Shadows”, “Frankenweenie”, “Big Fish” and worst of all “Mars Attacks!” which again interestingly is a different form of homage to Ed Wood!]. It also marks Burton’s first R-rated film.

For this course, this film marks midterm, and from now we will delve into more “modern” and adventurous forms of film production. It will be a break from the classics we have been watching so far, but despite being made in the 90’s, the films setting is the 50’s, and Burton choose to shoot it in B/W, probably aiming to look more “authentic”. It also will introduce you to a different type of film production away from the glamour of Golden Hollywood (despite the studios on “Poverty Row” being at least geographically close).

Wood whose directorial efforts could be considered in the very best case as mixed pleasures, nowadays is admired by many for his strong independent spirit, being an “auteur” type of filmmaker, and having made with “Glen or Glenda” (1953) the world’s first “serious” film about transvestism and transsexualism. Many of his films are also “So Bad It’s Good” type of movies being very enjoyable for their cult audience. The University of Southern California is holding a yearly “Ed Wood Film Festival” in which students are competing to produce short films in Wood’s style. Wood’s films also have been shown in the TV program “Mystery Science Theater 3000″, and there exists even a new baptist group of “Woodites” who celebrate Ed Wood as their savior.

IMDb link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0109707/?ref_=nm_flmg_dr_14

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25 responses to “ED WOOD (1994)

  1. Richard Specht ⋅

    I thought Ed Wood was a very funny film. I had never heard of Ed Wood before nor have I ever heard of this film. I imagine Johnny Depp played this role very good because throughout the entire film I was thinking that his character was a bit crazy in the head. Even though most of Depp’s roles involve crazy, silly characters. Before I knew that this movie about the “worst director ever” I was wondering why this guy was acting so weird and trying to produce these terrible looking films. At first, I thought it was going to be a film about transvestites because Ed Wood was one and he was making a movie about them. I am still confused about the one point of the movie when they walked into the premier and the crowd was going insane. I could not tell if they were mad because the film was bad, but then I realized that the movie had not even started yet. Other than that, everything else made sense. The movie was very silly as a whole, which I think it was intended to be. There were also some big names in the movie such as Bill Murray and Johnny Depp himself, so I was surprised that I had never heard of this movie before. The film Ed Wood has definitely got me interested and I would like to check out some of Ed Wood’s actual films.

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  2. Chaitea ⋅

    This movie featuring Johnny Depp as the main character Ed Wood is definitely one full of surprises. When I first watched it for a different class, I remember it was difficult to understand why this director would produce such bad films, even through criticisms -when he clearly could have earned more money and success if he just listened to some of the people around him and made few changes to his plots or directing. Later on I learned about his auteur style and when I watched it for the second time for this class, I realised it was easier to forgive Ed wood’s insistent nature of making films his way. His character was also very easy to relate to, especially for film students I felt, because even when we make films for class we face similar situations – problems with funding, trying to solve issues with actors and actresses, managing props, special effects and so on, with limited time and resources. This second time watching the movie made me think him more as a clever (and persistent) director than as the “bad director” I thought of him to be initially. I especially liked the scene where he stole the Octopus from the props store house and asked Bella to thrash the legs around while acting as if the Octopus was attacking him, saying no one would know the difference.
    I also thought of this film’s portrayal of the production and distribution attempts of Glen or Glenda to be accurate. Glen or Glenda’s depiction of transvestites would not have been well received in the Golden age of Hollywood cinema by the studios, because the audience at that time would not have received it as well as a more modern audience would have. Therefore, the struggles we see Ed Wood portrayed by Johnny Depp going through, to get this film out, must have been the reality for the real Ed Wood too.
    In conclusion, as I was able to understand it better, I enjoyed watching this film for the second time in class.

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  3. ken032192

    When I first heard about a younger Johnny Depp starring in Ed Wood, I honestly didn’t know what to expect much. Sure, I’ve heard that he’s quite famous for playing many crazy, unusual, and bizarre characters for most of the films he appeared in, but I never watched any of them to fully understand his acting and character in them. Heck, I didn’t even know it was him until a little later on in the beginning. However, not only did I enjoy this very hilarious film, but I also realized that Johnny Depp was quite talented and pulled off the role as Ed Wood quite well. He did quite an excellent job in portraying the director as a crazy, optimistic, and persistent man whenever he attempts to create a new movie and attempts to make it more successful than the previous ones, even though he had so many failures and criticisms from them. The fact that Ed Wood does not even consider taking the opinions or feedback from other people in making his films better just marks how engrossed he is in his method of filmmaking, and how unsuccessful he is in his attempts, not even taking the time to realize the flaws in them. Yet, he never gives up whenever he tries to make a potential blockbuster as he numerously claimed throughout the entire film, which is a positive trait to his personality, at least for me. Even if Ed Wood’s various attempts in writing and directing various films have mostly ended up in failures, his style is quite distinctive and unique in the sense that what may to bad to some can be good to others in a way, like in a “it’s so bad it’s good” approach. This is probably how his unconventional career, filmmaking style, and his films have led to a cult following by many fans over the years, earning him much recognition as well.

    Bela Lugosi also did a wonderful job in portraying as the fallen horror movie star, and did quite an impressive job in participating in Ed Wood’s films, even if the director’s ideas for them was not always considered “good” by others. The running gag of him thought to be dead by most people who’ve heard of him was quite hilarious as well. Many of the other characters played their roles well, but it is Ed Wood and Bela Lugosi that really stole the show to me. The whole film also had quite a lot of decent and funny jokes as well, such as the recurring transvestite scenes, especially when Ed Wood’s in pretty much all of them. The fact that he feels comfortable wearing women’s clothing is disturbingly hilarious to me. That prop octopus scene where Bela pretended to be attacked by it was also quite funny too. Honestly, this movie just might have kept me laughing longer than all the other films we’ve seen in this class so far. The horror theme of this film seems more appropriate to watch sometime around Halloween though, but nevertheless I was still satisfied that I watched it earlier in class.

    Overall, I enjoyed this film very much, and impressed with the younger Johnny Depp’s performance as well. Though I have no idea how Ed Wood was like, I believe this film gave me a good idea of how he is like after watching how he went through with creating so many terrible, yet unique films. I am quite curious about how the real Ed Wood is right now, and what other films he made that were not shown in this film. Since this is the first time I actually watched a Johnny Depp film, I suppose watching another one of his that he starred in would be interesting and potentially entertaining, perhaps even more so than Ed Wood alone.

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  4. hanaji0 ⋅

    Ed Wood is an innocent man who has a big dream to be a filmmaker who does directing, producing, writing and acting all by himself just like Orson Welles. He keeps mentions that name and he never gives up making film. That is why he understands Lugosi losing his fame and vitality. Ed explains his childhood to Kathy, he mentions himself living an ordinary peaceful life with his father, such as being a member of the Boy Scouts. Even though he was a ordinary boy, he has another illusional himself, which is wearing woman’s clothes. He says it makes him more comfortable. That explains his pureness and femininity. Because of this innocence, he is able to keep respecting his hero from the old day, Bela Lugosi. Nobody remembers him, and care about him but Ed Wood does. He uses Lugosi as his main character in the films. He also takes care of him in personal life too. He nurses Lugosi at the hospital and helps him not to lose his dignity as an actor. Wood shoots him in front of his house before he dies, which eventually becomes Lugosi’s last film. In contrast to his pureness, or maybe because of his innocence, he does not seem to think filmmaking seriously. He does not seem to know the process of filmmaking. Just like what he says, he only sees the big picture. Therefore, his films always fail. However, by experiencing an old star’s death and meeting with his dream star, Olson Welles, he finally changes and takes filmmaking seriously toward the end. At the end of Wood’s film, the last credit says, “Written-Directed-Produced” by Ed Wood. Even after he succeeds in his filmmaking, getting lots of spectators for his film, he does not forget to respect for Lugosi and put his last film at the end. This film, Ed Wood, itself seems to represent Tim Burton’s respect toward Ed Wood as a filmmaker, which is just like the relationship between Ed Wood and Bela Lugosi.

    Cameo lighting at Lugosi’s house on Ed Wood and Lugosi creates horror atmosphere although nothing scary happens. It makes Lugosi look like a real Dracula, although it is just a character he used to play. Since this film is shot in Black and White, this lighting works well and effective. Moreover, it creates the world of the film industry back then. Thus, it makes viewer forget that they are watching a film created in 1994. Instead, it makes them think that they are watching another classical film.

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  5. tatsuya ⋅

    The film “Ed Wood” is about Ed Wood’s life, who was not very successful in his career in the film industry. This film features with the main character as Johnny Depp. Also, Bill Murray, Patricia Arquette, Sarah Jessica Parker, and other famous actors and actresses are featured for the supporting roles. It has many funny scenes and well-played scenes from the casts. All the casts, at that time, already had good reputations from the previous pieces so I assume the film was already expected to be “a great film” before it came out.

    The entire film is shown in black and white, I thought it is because the time Ed Wood lived was the era when Black and White film was the mainstream. Black and White films also give a great atmosphere to project “the old time”, especially when showing the film industry back in the days.

    Johny Depp played Ed Wood, the main character in the film, and his acting was fit and humoraous when it comes about Ed Wood’s struggles in his career. The film is not only a biography about Ed Wood but it also has funny scenes.

    Ed Wood was described as the worst film director both in the film and the real life. His struggles in his career are shown in the film but Ed Wood is described innocent and is admired by Tim Burton, I thought that way by watching his caracter.

    Overall, the film was pretty unique to me but it was very enjoyable and its plots are well organized. I would like to watch more of Tim Burton’s films.

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  6. This movie was absolutely hilarious. I loved every scene. To be honest I didn’t know anything about Ed Wood before this movie, and I’ve never seen any of his movies. I defintiely would have enjoyed it more if I had. I may watch a few and go back and watch it. The casting and the costumes were great. Johnny Depp’s portrayal of Ed Wood was very interesting.

    I don’t have any bad things to say about it. I enjoyed the cinematography. I thought that it was a good choice to shoot the movie in black and white. It gave the film a very authentic feel, and it matched Ed Wood’s style of filming which is something the filmmakers were really aiming for.

    The humor in the film was really great. It was definitley a dramatic story, but it was so funny. I wish Bill Murray had more scenes though. It was an interesting view into filmmaking. Great movie.

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  7. Marya ⋅

    I absolutely enjoyed the film. I adore many of Tim Burton’s works but I had never heard of this movie before, regardless, it was very entertaining to watch and great casting. I agree with Burton’s decision on making the film black and white to give it an “authentic” look, it really didn’t draw me away from the film and it was fitting for the story and theme.

    The film showed me a great insight of how the film industry works in a comical sense. I particularly liked the way Wood was depicted, in the scene when he was frustrated shooting the graveyard scene; he relieves his stress and finds comfort in cross-dressing. From the reaction he received about his first film idea “Glen or Glenda” and his ex-wife reaction, I’m assuming the practice of cross-dressing was shunned not socially acknowledged as much it is now. Since there was a specific gender role for both male and female, both are expected to act and behave in a certain way in accordance to their gender. Given that reason, I think it was very courageous of him to openly come out like he did and I understood his passion for his hobby. It really did add a lot more charm to Wood’s characteristic.

    Bela Lugois, again is another example of the fate of old Hollywood stars. He reminded me of Norma from “ Sunset Blvd”. He too had an issue, a drug addiction and he really didn’t have anyone to turn to but drugs and his pet dogs. He was the first Hollywood star to be put in rehab, the press barged into his rooms for pictures. I guess this sort of reaction from the media is same even today but it’s nothing really nothing special if we find a gossip article on actor/actress’ drug abuse or love affair anymore. What was significant about Bela Lugois’ case was that he was the “first” to be in rehab, it showed how much the movie industry had control over the stars’ personal lives.

    I was also very surprised with the amount of people who stuck by Wood for his film. I wondered if they too detected the terribleness of the film or at least questioned some aspect of the production. I guess the essence of film-making is moral support and passion.

    Although, all the criticism he had received for his bad movies, after watching this film, I think I will consider watching one of Wood’s works, particularly “Glen or Glenda”. I found it interesting how it’s pretty much based upon his life with his wife. Who knows I may come to like his style of filming and his visions.

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  8. maiorengi

    Watching Ed Wood was truly a refreshing experience especially because Jonny Depp has a role of a human being in this film. I am not a huge fan of recent Tim Burton’s film such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or Alice in Wonderland, but I found this film to be enjoyable compare those recent ones. Ed Wood still had Burton’s conventional dark humor throughout the film, but not as much as the recent movie he makes, in a way. It seems to me that Burton had a different taste up until the remake of film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Take an example of Edward Scissor Hands, the main character had some types of sentimental appeal to the audience especially his inner feeling wanting to be a normal person.

    Ed Wood is an artist that is disapproved of by fans and studios, but is approved by himself. In fact, he is always identifying with the outsider who is unable to co-exist with others. Like so many Tim Burton films, Ed Wood concerns a protagonist who is far afield from what society-at-large terms “the norm.” However, Wood’s response to his own apparent “strangeness” is not isolation, resentment or even bitterness. Instead, as the film reveals beautifully, Ed Wood creates a “bubble” of acceptance for those “hunted” and “despised” individuals who don’t conform, either socially or sexually to society’s rules or standards. Importantly, Ed’s world of filmmaking is one entirely without harsh judgments or judgment of any kind for that matter.

    There were many lessons I was able to absorb from Ed Wood, that it to say, the survival lesson for the life. First, always be agile and be ready to adapt because one never knows when something will up and disrupts one’s flow. Ed Wood only had a few minutes of footage of Bela Lugosi for “Plan 9 From Outer Space” when he died. That did not prevent him from continuing his film, though, and he enlisted a double to fill in for the scenes he had not been able to film. He was not very successful in finding a proper body double for Bela, but he was able to finish the film. Indeed, he found another way to achieve what it was set out to do even though it was not perfect.

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  9. When I had first heard that this movie would be starring Johnny Depp and directed by Tim Burton, I knew right away that I would enjoy it. While I may fall in the lines of the norm, I am a sucker for a good Depp and Burton movie. I haven’t seen too many older films, so being able to watch this in class was definitely a treat for me.

    I wasn’t sure what to expect from this movie, but I found myself laughing throughout the film.

    The struggling, slightly odd, writer Ed Wood with his trusty drug addicted, half-dead companion Bela Lugosi. I truly thought the two made a wonderful pairing and complimented their characters very well. It was also very entertaining seeing a young Sara Jessica Parker, playing opposite of Johnny Depp.
    There were so many scenes throughout the film that I enjoyed very much, but when Ed Wood confined his dark secret during his first date with Candy. Or when she had jumped in front of a cab for their escape. Either way, this film was by far one of the funniest films we have screened yet.

    I found this film quite interesting as it had some resemblance to Sunset Blvd. We have the struggling writer and then the old forgotten Hollywood star. I also found it compelling to see how the media reacted to Bela’s rehab news. They were shown as vultures trying to get access to the latest news, invading his privacy and not really giving him his privacy. This reminded me a lot of how the media acts arounds stars today. Even when a star enters rehab now, they are bombarded with paparazzi’s trying to get the scoop of the ‘truth’.

    I truly did enjoy this film, not just for the story or the humor. But I enjoyed the cinematography and the truths that this film does hold for the harsh Hollywood industry.

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  10. As soon as I heard we were screening a Tim Burton film, I was pretty excited, and then I read that Johnny Depp was in it. I have always been a fan of Tim Burton’s films, but I’ve never heard of this one. I thoroughly enjoyed this film and I cannot believe it was a financial failure for him.

    This film follows an aspiring movie director that wants to make movies. Ed Wood is a struggling director that cannot make his films due to financial difficulties. In the beginning of the film, Wood contacts a B-movie studio in hopes of directing their next film. The film in question is about a man who transforms into a woman. Wood explains he would be perfect to create this film since he has a secret; he enjoys wearing women’s clothing. At first, when he says this, I assumed it was just a lie in order to gain access to the film, but then he actually changes into his girlfriend’s angora sweater, and my doubt disappears.

    Ed Wood is an interesting character, partly because he seems to have a way of befriending interesting people. He meets Lugosi while Lugosi is shopping around for coffins, he meets Tor Johnson during a wrestling match, he meets Vampira during a dinner party in order to gain money for his upcoming film, and he meets Criswell during Lugosi’s TV spot filming. These characters are very easily liked and made this film very interesting. Wood wouldn’t have been able to make his films without the help from his diverse web of friends he had collected over the years.

    Throughout the film, I couldn’t help but to feel sorry for Wood when so many things went wrong during the filming of his movies. I was surprised with how patient his cast of friends were with him and his little frustration outbreaks. You could tell that his cast and crew really cared for him and tried as hard as they could to support each other. His girlfriend, I had mixed feelings about her. She supported him decently well, but when she got mad at him, she would flaunt his, in her opinion, “weird obsession” with cross-dressing. I thought that was a selfish move on her part and she should have been more supportive. It works out in the end though, and they seem to work it out. I hope that she didn’t keep on yelling at him for that when they got into fights while they were married too…

    This movie was very enjoyable and I will definitely be recommending this film to my friends and family who also enjoy Tim Burton’s films, or Johnny Depp fans, or both.

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  11. janey ⋅

    Ed Wood was such a unique film. I think Johnny Depp did a wonderful job taking on this role.
    From the start of the movie, I wasn’t expecting the movie end the way it did. The first few lines of the movie suggested that something bad or “deadly” would happen to Ed Wood, but I guess being an unsuccessful director is just as bad.
    I was really impressed with Ed Wood (the person) over all. If it was a true portrayal of his personality, then I think he should be acknowledged for never giving up on his dream and staying mostly positive. I was quite surprised at the end credits when they said he had problems with nudity and drinking in his later years.
    I think one of the other students pointed this out, but I agree that Bela’s character did remind me of Norma in Sunset Blvd. It’s really heartbreaking that great talents were kind of abandoned by their fans and left to fend for themselves after having such a great run.
    Overall, I liked Ed Wood a lot. I felt like it was a little long, but now I think I am glad Burton ended it where he did.

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  12. BigDaddy ⋅

    Ed Wood was a wonderful film in my opinion. I enjoyed the fact that the movie was made in modern day, however executed a fantastic old school feel. Johnny Depp roll as Ed Wood seems to have been well researched. Based on the research that I have done on my own on Ed Wood, the character that Johnny Depp played translated very well from his energy to his facial expressions. Ed Wood may not have been the best film director; however he had a lot of charisma and I appreciated him for his risky ideas. An example of Ed’s charisma was when he said “Boy, Mr. Lugosi, you must lead such an exciting life! When is your next picture coming out?” The cast in Ed Wood was very diverse, from Vampira (Lisa Marie) strong facial features to Dolores Fuller (Sarah Jessica Parker). Ed was a risk taker versus someone who follows the norm. It was also refreshing to see some of today’s big time actors and actresses in the early stages of their career. Sarah Jessica Parker is known now for her role in “Sex in the City” in which is a completely different roll from the one she played in Ed Wood. Overall the film was amazing; I do not have anything negative to say about this film.

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  13. Chroma ⋅

    Before seeing “Ed Wood,” I was not very familiar with the man it was about; however, I have seen “Plan 9 from Outer Space.” (It wasn’t a great, American film, but it struck me as something “so bad, it was good.”) Regardless of his reputation as the worst director, he didn’t stop his work and followed his dream. 
    This film was unbelievably entertaining; as a long-time fan of Tim Burton’s work, I was imporessed. The cast was a perfect selection, and Burton’s dark sense of humor was key. Even after seeing so many black and white films, I could not imagine seeing “Ed Wood” in color; like others have mentioned, it really gave the film and authentic feel.

    I think the film was a great protrayal of the ups and downs of an eccentric filmmaker, as well as the industry at the time. It was real, and the humor incorporated into it made “Ed Wood” worth watching. This was definitely a film that didn’t have me wondering when it would end, but rather, I was curious about the life and times of what this man went through to achieve his own goal.

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  14. Jordan ⋅

    A movie featuring Johnny Depp and Bill Murray is always one to see. This film was interesting because it was based on true events that details the struggle of entering the film industry as an up and coming writer/director. One of the best attributes of this film is it’s backstory and how Tim Burton took on this film as a passion-project and wasn’t something done only for commercial success. Of all the Tim Burton film’s I’ve seen, this film sees very far removed from his iconic and unique style. Despite the film’s production being relatively recently, I thought the black & white motif was fitting for a film set in this time and helped give it a feel of authenticity. Overall I enjoyed the film, the story was interesting and easy to follow, and the dialogue was quite humorous. Recreations of Wood’s films were enjoyable, although I’m only personal familiar with “Plan 9”. This was probably my favorite film screened so far; it gives an inside view into the cutthroat world of the America film industry through an interesting and character driven drama. The cinematography coupled with Johnny Depp’s always enjoyable acting with Burton’s direction made it an enjoyable modern piece of American cinema. Would have loved more Bill Murray though.

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  15. satchi ⋅

    I really enjoyed this film. I had never heard of Ed Wood before, but the themes he chose for his films as well as his very unique (if not somewhat reckless) style of directing were really fascinating. I especially enjoyed watching his portrayal of the themes in Glen or Glenda. Because this film was set in the past, I really wasn’t expecting such a good approach to the topic, especially as it still a very controversial subject even to this day.

    I also liked how Tim Burton chose to made this a black and white film, and also was very impressed when I found out just how accurately he redid the scenes from Wood’s actual films. Being a causal fan of both him and Johnny Depp, it was also very nice to see one of their older films. I had forgotten just how much I liked their work, and this brought it all back to me.

    The character and portrayal of Bela Lugosi was also very touching, also because it brought back memories and themes from “Sunset Boulevard”. Even the sets of the two “faded” stars homes looked eerily similar, as well as the depression and longing both of them shared for the “good old days”. I can see why the actual Lugosi’s son was slightly wary of his characterization however, as they did tell the story of his drug troubles and added more swear words to his dialogue. However, I think that they were able to portray both Lugosi and “the worst director in the world” Woods in a positive light, highlighting their unique and passionate characters.

    Overall, Ed Wood was entertaining, touching, informative, and carried the flare of the Burton and Depp team that is still loved to this day.

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  16. I think ed wood was the best movie we watched so far. It was just over all entertaining and had everything you can want in a movie. It made me laugh and feel bad for the director at the same time. Also the fact that Johnny Depp was the main actor it made me more intention. I feel as it was also directed pretty well! The way Tim burton pert rayed ed woods life was based off the real thing. It starts off bad for him and then progressively gets worse towards the end of the film. I also enjoyed how it was edited. Everything placed well next to each other. I think I would have enjoyed to see the movie in color. I know it’s supposed to be placed in the the 50’s but I figured it would have more if an impact with more vibrant colors. Over all the movie was well done and enjoyed how it related to the film industry.

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  17. Kris ⋅

    This movie is an all time classic. In this time frame, the late eighties and nineties, Johny Depp was at his best. This film strikes a heart chord for all the film makers who couldn’t quite make it professionally but had/has a strong passion for film in general. Ed Wood certainly had a passion for film and it shows with his own work, but he lacked a certain polish in his films that dragged him down. The film technically is great. The writing is spot on and the actors add such character to the movie. These two factors, writing and acting, will destroy a movie. No amount of special effects or scenery or anything can save a crap script and crap actors. Oblivion with Tom Cruise is a good example of this. The writing in the film missed the mark and the budget went towards the production and post production. Critics bashed the writing and acting and the movie missed its numbers regardless of the effects and post production. The film was also in black and white. This effect is great. Modern films with modern technology shot in b&w really look great. The only other film that comes to mind shot in b&w recently in my lifetime is Schindler’s list.

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  18. Hosta Mahogey ⋅

    Ed Wood is yet another great film that we have watched so far. Tim Burton slightly departs from his famous directing style to depict the trials and tribulations of Edward Wood, the best worst director of American film history.

    The highlight for this film for me is the overall quirkiness, and not in the usual Tim Burton dark and twisted way. The dialogue is over-the-top, quick, and snappy to a point where it is comparable to a cartoon (I mean that in a positive way). The directing is superb as well, especially the attention to detail with the recreations of the real Ed Wood productions. I really enjoyed the acting in this film. Johnny Depp does a great job and is the obvious standout. Bill Murray is always nice to see as well. The black and white attribute of Ed Wood seems a bit gimmicky to me at times, but it is an effective tool to get the audience to really feel like they are in 1950’s Hollywood.

    Over all this film is definitely one of my favorite that we have watched thus far. The peak inside Ed Wood’s life really gave me a sense of respect for him and I will definitely be checking out some of his masterpieces/disasters.

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  19. michi1st

    I thought Ed Wood (1994) was a hilarious film. Once again I was planning on leaving early and I decided to stick it out. I love Tim Burton and I love Jonny Depp when he’s crazy (isn’t that all the time?), so I really enjoyed this movie. I am surprised this film was a failure. I will admit that it dragged on and on and it was kind of boring at times, but there was a sense of “thriller” to this movie even though it wasn’t all too exciting. The entire time I was thinking “Is this guy (Bela Lugosi) going to kill him?” for some reason I still had Sunset Boulevard in my head. It made me want to know what was going to happen to Ed Wood at the end. It’s kind of amazing to think that a director could act this way on set though. “Oh it’s okay.” “One take is enough.” I want to be a director. I would never allow myself to think this way. I guess if you don’t have a producer breathing down your neck then it’s alright for you to do what you want. But Ed Wood is kind of living proof that the Producer System (today’s system) isn’t a bad one. It keeps directors in check and can potentially save a movie from a bad director. It’s also amazing to think that movies can be made in just 4 days. I kind of want to see an Ed Wood film now. Just to see how bad they really are.

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  20. Tim ⋅

    I had never heard of this film before, but I honestly think that this was the best one we have watched so far. Furthermore as I am not familiar with Ed Wood’s work, I totally understand why anybody would even consider making a film about him. Even though he was branded as “the worst director ever,” you have to give the guy credit for his passion and dedication about what he did, despite the fact that he was a rubbish director.

    I also loved the fact that Tim Burton never made fun of Ed Wood. So it ended up being sort of a mix between a comedy and a drama about a man with a dream to make films.
    You have to admire Tim Burton’s genuine love for his characters. No matter how pathetic they are, Burton shows love for them in every single shot – you can see it with Willy Wonka, Mad Hatter, Edward Scissorhands (or does that happen because of the magical connection/chemistry between him and Johnny Depp?)

    Overall this is a great film, but the tale of a rubbish director who enjoys cross-dressing and hangs out with a group of weirdoes is likely not to be to everyone’s cup of tea. Regardless of this, Ed Wood is one of Tim Burton’s finest films and if you are passionate about films in general, you should be pleased with this partly amusing and affectionate take at what is a fairly depressing story of Ed Wood.

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  21. Yuki ⋅

    I thought Ed Wood (1994) was really hilarious. Personally, it was one of the best films we watched in class so far.

    After I watched Ed Wood in class, I watched some parts of the original versions of Ed Wood’s films. Those were Bride of Monster (1955) and Plan 9 from Outer Space (1956) and then I understood more that how the film, Ed Wood, showed Tim Burton’s immense respect toward original director Ed Wood. I also understood why Tim Burton chose the black and white style of film. The shots of original Bride of Monster and Plan 9 from Outer Space looks really same in Ed Wood (film). I was surprised at how well Tim Burton remade the each scene. The set, actors, the way they talk, etc. I had no surprise that Ed Wood (film) won the Academy Award for Best Makeup and Hairstyling. Especially, the scene of Bela Lugosi caught by the giant octopus was exactly same.

    The story itself was ended with kind of a happy end. Ed Wood in real life, however, continued to suffer from the failure of his films, harsh critiques, and poverty. That was a smart way to end the film I thought.

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  22. nemokenza ⋅

    I quite enjoyed Ed Wood.
    Johnny Depp is one of my favourite actors, and the story of Ed Wood is a great subject to cast him in. I’m also a big fan of works by Tim Burton. Ed’s story is one of preserving even though the odds seem staked against you. While Ed never actually had any substantial success during his lifetime, his work did go on to influence other people and spawning cult classics. This could be taken as a source of inspiration for anyone at any stage in their life. Personally for me the story of Ed sticking to his guns in spite of what people said gives me the courage to continue to create the type of music I want. Experimenting is often the birth of newer techniques and genres, however ironically, no one notices anything while the art is being created and experimented with. On another note, I quite enjoyed the scenes with Lugosi I found those to be quite touching. It was good to see how Ed and Lugosi were able to help each other. All in all I really enjoyed Ed Wood and I am quite interested in seeing some of his actual works, particularly Glenn or Glenda.

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  23. Pingback: Ed Wood 1994 Movie Review - Eradicator Reviews

  24. tbrenji

    Ed Wood was Burton and Depp’s most unsuccessful movie financially. But that is where the failure ends. The film is by far one of their best works and a masterpiece in its own right. Burton’s film definitely paid homage to Ed Wood as a film maker and Depp gave one of his best performances in the movie. I highly enjoyed this film and thought about all the hardships and obstacles film makers go through just to have their works appreciated. But Ed Wood never once let things set back his views and his determination. Ed Wood believed he was a great film maker and Depp’s portrayal of this confidence was on point with the way Wood envisioned himself. The display of Bela Lugosi represented the many actors and actresses who once tasted great fame and wanted a comeback. Lugosi had an impressive on screen presence and larger than life view of himself. Unfortunately it was from a different time and era. The partnership between Wood and Lugosi showed a real friendship and Wood seemed to really care about Lugosi’s well being. Wood’s first movie focused more on his personal issues about cross-dressing and when it didn’t go so well, the failure only drove the film maker into trying harder. It is a shame that Wood’s films was never able to see real success until after his death. It shows in literal terms that Wood was much ahead of his times and the general audience was not ready for his vision. Perhaps if Wood would have been born just a generation later, he would have become more famous. But then again, he most likely would not have met Lugosi and not have became such an iconic figure. What I enjoyed most about the film was the methods Wood used to create his film. Even with set backs and no access to props or the studio, Wood ventured with his crew and took the props he needed to make the film from the studios. This is referring to the point in the film where Lugosi had to wrestle a fake octopus. This shows how a great actor from a high status can be brought down through time and age. Depp really portrays Wood’s faith, loyalty and admiration for Lugosi.

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  25. I wanted to like this film, really I did. But I just found it a bit boring. I really liked the acting and the character’s, I just wasn’t very interested in the actual story. I think this film was a good tribute to the late director though, presenting his films in a way that acknowledged how silly they were, but without making fun of them, celebrating that aspect rather than belittling it.

    I really liked the character of Bella Lugosi and how they showed his fall. Showing how he couldn’t adapt to the new style of film making was really telling.

    I think one very interesting aspect of this film was the style it was shot in. It was shot like an actual Ed Wood film which I thought was a nice touch. Also it was nice to see Johnny Depp in this kind of role, I feel like he really enjoyed his character.

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