MOVIES WERE HIS PASSION. WOMEN WERE HIS INSPIRATION. SWEATERS WERE HIS WEAKNESS.
Perhaps the eccentric and gifted Tim Burton felt there was a connection between himself and Edward D. Wood, Jr. – two visionaries with a taste for the truly odd. This is essentially what a Wood picture would look like had the director been blessed with Burton’s gift. Johnny Depp gives a passionate performance as a man who wouldn’t recognize talent if it hit him on the head; Martin Landau is brilliant in the part of his life as Bela Lugosi, once a major star of horror movies, in his old age a pathetic morphine addict. Not really much depth in the script, but it’s still a moving film, often a pleasure to watch and it shows affection for these failed artists.
1994-U.S. 124 min. B/W. Produced by Denise di Novi, Tim Burton. Directed by Tim Burton. Screenplay: Scott Alexander, Larry Karaszewski. Book: Rudolph Grey (”Nightmare of Ecstasy”). Cinematography: Stefan Czapsky. Music: Howard Shore. Makeup: Rick Baker, Ve Neill, Yolanda Toussieng. Cast: Johnny Depp (Edward D. Wood, Jr.), Martin Landau (Bela Lugosi), Sarah Jessica Parker (Dolores Fuller), Patricia Arquette, Jeffrey Jones, G.D. Spradlin… Lisa Marie, Bill Murray.
Trivia: Conrad Brooks, one of Wood’s veteran actors, has a small cameo.
Oscars: Best Supporting Actor (Landau), Makeup. Golden Globe: Best Supporting Actor (Landau).
Last word: “I was fascinated by the weird perverted optimism because it’s something that I started out with and has somewhat eroded, and (‘Ed Wood’) kind of reenergized me. I liked the theme of duality in somebody’s nature: like in ‘Batman, the idea of hiding what you have inside. And perception, how you perceive somebody – I’m interested in that theme. Also the relationship with Bela Lugosi – I romanticized it from what I read, but I related that to how I felt about Vincent Price.” (Burton, No Film School)