Ed Wood (Special Edition)
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The film has two tremendous assets: the performers and its visual style. Johnny Depp leads the cast in the title role, and it is a virtuoso performance, for he entices us to like a man whose self-blindness would normally lead an audience to reject him out of hand; the performance is incredibly witty, wildly over the top, and yet it contains just enough pathos to allow us to relate to Wood on a human level. But the real stunner in the cast is Martin Landau, who picked up a Best Supporting Academy Award for his performance as Bela Lugosi, a legendary actor who was very much a forgotten star (not to mention morphine addict) by the time Wood befriended him in the early 1950s.
As with Wood himself, the film plays fast and loose with the facts of Lugosi's life, but it nonetheless captures something very essential about both Lugosi and the Hollywood that destroyed him, something very elemental that transcends the weird comedy of the piece. And Landau gives the performance of his career; you truly believe that this is Lugosi before you, a strange but appealing mixture of faltering humanity and arrogance desperate for an audience now lost to him.Read more ›
Well, simply because the word "worst" does not even adequately describe Ed Wood. He was the absolute, undisputable worst, unrivalled in his mindless disregard for decent production values, coherent storytelling, credible scriptwriting, and competent acting. If he were just "the worst," he would be no more than a mere footnote in cinematic history. But by single-handedly redefining the standards of ineptitude, Wood achieved that rare status of lovable loser. I mean, really, you have to admire someone who approaches his craft with so much grit and determination and so little talent.
It takes an A-grade cast to bring to life this story of Z-grade moviemaking. And we have one. Johnny Depp delivers a performance of fire in the title role, giving us a lot of insight into the character that Ed Wood was. Martin Landau (in an Oscar-winning performance) doesn't just portray Bela Lugosi. By golly, he becomes Lugosi, almost convincing us that the horror movie legend was resurrected for this project. Sarah Jessica Parker, Jeffrey Jones, Bill Murray, George "The Animal" Steele, and Lisa Marie comprise the ensemble cast that portrays a motley crew of rank amateurs. Think about it, these people had to re-enact the shooting of Wood's movies, looking serious but coming out funny, and doing all that with a straight face.Try that, folks.
Appreciate too, the film's most memorable line. At the premiere night of Plan 9 From Outer Space, Wood declares with unqualified conviction: "This is it. This is the one I'll be remembered for."
Whether you're a fan of bad movies or not, you simply have to see Ed Wood. It's not often that a film comes along that makes you like a man who so admirably succeeded at being a failure.
10. Filmed in gorgeous Black and White
9. An Oscar-winning performance by Martin Landau
8. A "should have won an Oscar" performance by Johnny Depp
7. A gigantic fake rubber octopus
5. Johnny Depp wearing multiple dresses.
4. Black booties
3. Angora sweaters
2. It's the best film ever made about what movies can mean to us
1. There's not one bad line, or false note, or miscast performance. It's perfect!
The film is by turns hilarious and sad. There are loads of great one-liners ("Yes, but if you take that ... and put a star in it, then you've got something!") and other endearingly funny moments. Landau's portrayal of Lugosi provides most of the pathos, showing us the tragic decline of a man who tried his best to work until the very end.
"Filmmaking is not about the little details. It's all about the big picture!" Tim Burton has done a wonderul job with both in this movie.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
didn't know much about Ed Wood, except that everyone thought he made horrible films. I was intrigued when I saw that Tim Burton directed a biography of Ed Wood, and that Johnny... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Travis Chapa
If you are a fan of Mystery Science Theater 3000, then chances are you've seen a (heavily riffed) Ed Wood film and probably laughed until you cried. Read morePublished 1 month ago by lelle76
Love his acting, he plays such strange characters, he keeps us guessing what he is going to be in next.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
A very good biopic of an aspiring director who never quite made it big, but wasn't deterred by the criticism of others and always seemed to look at the bright side of every... Read morePublished 1 month ago by T. Sloan