Ed Wood

Edward D. Wood Jr. was an actor writer-director-producer, occasionally in drag, who combined meager bursts of talent with an undying optimism to create some of the most bizarrely memorable "B" movies to ever come out of Tinseltown. Though Wood died in obscurity as an alcoholic in 1978, his films have been considered cult classics for years. He is consistently voted the worst director who ever lived. You would think this an odd subject, but director Tim Burton harnesses the undying hopefulness that made Wood such a character. Shot in black and white, just like Wood's creations, this stylized, witty production captures the poetic absurdity of Wood's films and his unconventional life. Burton's recreation of Wood's wonderfully awful Plan 9 from Outer Space looks much better than the original low-budget quickie. Burton tackled an extremely strange subject matter for a biopic, but Wood is presented as naive almost to the point of delusion, so the story works. The pace sags in the middle, as the weirdness starts to wear thin, but Depp proves himself an adroit actor, even while wearing angora and a blonde wig. Wood's unconventional repertoire company is faithfully reproduced, including an Academy Award-winning Martin Landau as Bela Lugosi. Landau is pathetic, droll, and charismatic as the elderly junkie who made his last screen appearances in Wood's films. --Rochelle O'Gorman

Production: Buena Vista Pictures
  Won 2 Oscars. Another 23 wins & 28 nominations.
 
IMDB:
7.9
Metacritic:
70
Rotten Tomatoes:
92%
R
Year:
1994
127
1,202 Views

Ed Wood:
I'm Ed Wood, I'm here about directing the Christine Jorgensen picture.

George Weiss:
Well, a couple of things have changed. It ain't gonna be the Christine Jorgensen story no more. Goddamn Variety had to put the story before I got the rights. Now that bitch is asking for the sky.

Ed Wood:
Oh, you're not gonna make the movie?

George Weiss:
No, of course I'm gonna make the picture! I already presold Alabama and Oklahoma. Those repressed Okies, they go for that twisted, perverted stuff. We'll just do it without the shemale. We'll fictionalize it.

Ed Wood:
Is there a script?

George Weiss:
Fuck, no. But there's a poster. [he holds up a movie poster for "I Changed My Sex"] It opens nine weeks in Tulsa.

Ed Wood:
Well Mr. Weiss, look no further, I'm your man. I work fast and I'm a deal. I write and direct. And I'm good. I just did a play in Hollywood and Victor Crowley himself praised its realism.

George Weiss:
There's about 500 guys in this town that could say the same thing. On the phone you said you had some "special qualifications"?

Ed:
Mister Weiss... I have never told anyone what I'm about to tell you. But I really want this job. [pauses, takes a deep breath] I like to wear women's clothing.

George Weiss:
You're a fruit?

Ed:
No, not at all. I love women. Wearing their clothes makes me feel closer to them.

George Weiss:
You're not a fruit?

Ed:
No, I'm all man. I even fought in W.W. Two. Of course, I was wearing women's undergarments under my uniform.

George Weiss:
You gotta be kidding me.

Ed:
Confidentially, I even paratrooped wearing a brassier and panties. I wasn't afraid of being killed, but I was terrified of being wounded and having the medics discover my secret.

George Weiss:
So you think this qualifies you to direct my movie?

Ed:
Yes. I know what it's like to live with a secret and worry what people are gonna think of you. My girlfriend still doesn't know why her sweaters are always stretched out.

George Weiss:
Ed, you seem like a nice kid, but look around ya. I don't hire directors with burning desires to tell their stories. I make movies like "Chained Girls." I need someone with experience, who can shoot a film in four days, and make me a profit. I'm sorry, that's all that matters.

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