Release Year: 1994
Director: Tim Burton
Writers: Scott Alexander (screenplay), Larry Karaszewski (screenplay), Rudolph Grey (based on his 1992 biography Nightmare of Ecstasy)
Starring: Johnny Depp, Martin Landau, Sarah Jessica Parker, Patricia Arquette, Jeffrey Jones, G.D. Spradlin, Bill Murray, Mike Starr, Max Casella, George Steele, Brent Hinkley, Lisa Marie, Tor Johnson
Rating: Won 2 Oscars: Best Supporting Actor (Martin Landau), Best Makeup. Won 1 Golden Globe: Best Supporting Actor (Martin Landau), Nominated for 2 Golden Globes: Best Motion Picture Comedy/Musical, Best Actor – Comedy/Musical (Johnny Depp). Won 2 Saturn Awards: Best Actor (Martin Landau), Best Music. Nominated for 2 Saturn Awards: Best Fantasy Film, Best Writing.
A biopic about the years in which cult director Ed Wood (Johnny Depp) made his most well known films as well as his relationship with actor Bela Lugosi (Martin Landau).
This black and white biopic is a delightfully un-Hollywood Hollywood film about the underbelly of Hollywood, set not amongst big studio stars but among those without talent, money, or past their best years, who are clinging on to Tinseltown like their life depended on it. Ed Wood wants to tell stories about the sort of things he likes, the only problem is that noone else seems particularly interested. Plus his overenthusiasm makes him so uncritical that the end product is terrible beyond measure. It did not earn him succes in his lifetime, but it did earn him a cult following after his death. Johnny Depp (The Lone Ranger, 2013) is great as the eponymous director, capturing the endless energy, enthusiasm, and childlike glee of Wood. But the performance that sticks in the mind is the tour-de-force turn by Martin Landau (Crimes and Misdemeanors, 1989) as fading horror icon Bela Lugosi whose final years are invigorated by the attention, friendship, and roles offered to him by Wood. This is one of Tim Burton’s more “serious” films but thanks to an unusual subject and a determination to do it his own way (in true Ed Wood spirit) it is a biopic like no other. Two years after his death, Ed Wood was named the “Worst Director of All Time” but Tim Burton is fascinated by him and that fascination spills into the film and makes it into something strange and quite unique; much like Ed Wood’s own films only infinitely better.
The film cost more to produce than all of Ed Wood’s films put together.
Picture Copyright: Buena Vista Home Entertainment