Ed Wood (1994)
Directed by Tim Burton
Johnny Depp …. Ed Wood
Martin Landau …. Bela Lugosi
Sarah Jessica Parker …. Dolores Fuller
Patricia Arquette …. Kathy O’Hara
Jeffrey Jones …. Criswell
G.D. Spradlin …. Reverend Lemon
Vincent D’Onofrio …. Orson Welles
Bill Murray …. Bunny Breckinridge
Mike Starr …. Georgie Weiss
Max Casella …. Paul Marco
Brent Hinkley …. Conrad Brooks
Lisa Marie …. Vampira
George ‘The Animal’ Steele …. Tor Johnson
Juliet Landau …. Loretta King
review written by Gypsy:
Taking the true life story of Edward D Wood Jr. as its inspiration, the film tells a story of a filmmaker determined to make it in to Hollywood. Central to this movie is Edward’s friendship with the ailing washed up Bela Lugosi – a major motion picture star who achieved international fame as the lead in the 1931 version of ‘Dracula’ and then gradually plummeted into obscurity and drug addiction. Lugosi stared in many of Edward’s most famous films including Bride of the Monster, Glen or Glenda and Plan 9 from Outer Space. Edward’s reverential treatment and acceptance of the man everyone else forgot is the touching heartbeat of the film that sketches its characters as so inherently likeable despite being outcasts of society.
It’s hard not to be inspired by both Edward’s enthusiasm and belief in himself. The film is very engrossing and at times hilarious. Tim Burton was drawn to this film because of the similarities between Edward’s friendship with Bela and Tim’s own friendship with Vincent Price, and it comes through, the friendship scenes between the two are genuinely moving and heartfelt.
The acting is excellent. Johnny Depp played the character of Edward with “the blind optimism of Ronald Regan, the enthusiasm of the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz, and Casey Kasem”. Whatever Johnny’s inspiration, it obviously works, he plays the eccentric filmmaker perfectly, and exactly how you would imagine Edward to be. Martin Landau manages to steal every scene he appears in as Bela. He has some hilarious scenes, but also brings real emotion to the character. Patricia Arquette is very sweet as Kathy and Sarah Jessica Parker plays the character of Dolores exactly how you’d expect the character to behave. Every bit of thought has obviously gone into selecting the actors, as even the secondary and bit players are very well cast.
Visually the movie is nearly flawless. Filming it in crisp black and white was a wonderful idea, it suits the film perfectly. Throughout the film there are many echoes and parodies and pastiches of 1950s B movies, but these aren’t even nearly distracting, they suit the film well.
The first thing Burton fans are sure to notice is that Danny Elfman is missing. Howard Shore provides the score for this film, but it’s impossible to be disappointed with Danny Elfman not being there, as Shore’s music fits each scene perfectly.
Ed Wood is without a doubt one of Johnny Depp’s most memorable performances, as well as one of Tim Burton’s greatest films. This is definitely the one they’ll be remembered for.
Ed Wood regular Conrad Brooks appears in the movie as a bartender.
Juliet Landau (Loretta King) is the daughter of Martin Landau.
For an interview with Max Casella (Paul Marco) check The Tim Burton Collective!