Week Ten: Ed Wood (1994)
Title: Ed Wood
Tone: A dramedy-biopic from when Tim Burton still made good films
Cast- Johnny Depp, Martin Landau, Bill Murray, Patricia Arquette, Sarah Jessica Parker
What: A funny, stylish, and thoughtful portrait of the “Worst Director of All Time” Ed Wood
- Not only is Ed Wood a fantastic biopic (biopics are quite possibly my least favorite genre) it’s also a great way to kick off this month’s theme, films-about-films.
- Ed Wood, a man who fought in WWII while secretly wearing a bra and panties under his uniform and later performed in a traveling freak show as a bearded lady, was one of the most eccentric, passionate, and inept directors of all time. Wood posthumously received the Golden Turkey Award for “Worst Director of All Time” in 1980, two years after his death.
- One of the best aspects of Ed Wood is that Although Ed Wood’s films are so-bad-they’re-good (eg. Glen or Glenda, Plan 9 from Outer Space, Bride of the Monster ) Tim Burton doesn’t ridicule Wood and his films but rather portrays them sympathetically.
- Ed Wood is also a great reminder of how great a director Tim Burton was, before he started just going through the motions. Ed Wood contains some marvelous performances, easily one of Bill Murray’s best, and the cinematography is superb. Ed Wood earned two Academy Awards, Rick Baker for Best Make-up and Martin Landau for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. Landau’s performance as Bela Lugosi is exquisite. Below is a clip showcasing Landau’s performance. Enjoy!