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Ed Wood (1994)

R  |   |  Biography, Comedy, Drama  |  7 October 1994 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 137,499 users   Metascore: 70/100
Reviews: 414 user | 143 critic | 19 from Metacritic.com

An ambitious but troubled movie director tries his best to fulfill his dream, despite his lack of support.


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Won 2 Oscars. Another 22 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Brent Hinkley ...
George 'The Animal' Steele ...
Clive Rosengren ...


The life of 'Edward D. Wood Jr.', hailed as the worst director (of Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959), Glen or Glenda (1953) and Bride of the Monster (1955)) of all time. Written by Rogerio Santos

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


When it came to making bad movies, Ed Wood was the best. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

7 October 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ed Vud  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$18,000,000 (estimated)


$5,887,457 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The first film by Tim Burton to not feature Danny Elfman's music score. See more »


During both scenes where Ed Wood is resting on the bench at the sanitarium, the same car drives down the street as seen through the window in the back. See more »


Bela Lugosi: I refuse to drive in this country. Too many madmen.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the opening credits, Johnny Depp's name appears in capital letters, followed by the title - both of them alternating in black and white, as though being illuminated by lightning - and the rest of the main cast are credited on tombstones. Supporting cast and crew names appear in white against dark, rainy sets featuring meant-to-look-low-budget effects such as a giant tentacle and flying saucers in outer space. See more »


References Raging Bull (1980) See more »


Written by Jon Arkell
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

More than merely a biography, or an homage
9 March 2004 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

I am a Johnny Depp fan, and this film only reinforced my enjoyment of his genuine talent. He's whatcha call a real actor. He's on record ("Inside the Actor's Studio" & elsewhere) as saying that his characterization of Wood was a mixture of "the blind optimism of Ronald Reagan, the enthusiasm of the Tin Man from 'The Wizard of Oz' (1939) and Casey Kasem." Well, I must add that either he left out channeling Jon Lovitz or that's where Lovitz got his inspiration, too. It is at moments positively eerie how well it works, and without feeling like Depp stole Lovitz's act--his overall character is so much more, so much else, that the Lovitz echo becomes a small part of a larger coherent whole, although it never disappears entirely.

Sarah Jessica Parker and Patricia Arquette as the principal women in Wood's life are each endearing and effective in their own separate ways. Bill Murray is fun as always, and the secondary and bit players are very well cast.

Martin Landau . . . well . . . Martin Landau simply left me awestruck. Depp is all over the screen doin' his best wacky movie guy and chewing the scenery, Parker, Arquette, Murray, and the rest are obviously having a real fun time backing him up, and Martin Landau is shuffling around in the foreground muttering in Romanian and writing a book called "How to Steal a Movie." Mind boggling performance, and absolutely deserving every award it got him in 1995, which included a Best Supporting Actor Oscar, Golden Globe and SAG Awards, and the American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture. (Incidentally, his daughter Juliet, better known to millions of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans as the vampire Drusilla, is one of the supporting players.)

If I weren't already a Tim Burton fan this movie would have made me one. He here makes an almost perfectly crafted period piece (anachronisms noted--see the "goofs" page--and dismissed), half cheesy fake scifi B movie and half period noir thriller, as a cinematic biography about the quintessential cheesy fake noir scifi thriller B movie guy. This film goes beyond pastiche, and beyond homage to a genre, although it is both. With this film Burton genuflects--no, prostrates himself--before the gods of 1950s low-budget black and white, and the gods are pleased indeed. It seems like he must have watched every movie made in America for under a million dollars between 1948 and 1962. I lost count of the echoes and parodies and pastiches and mini-homages that fill, I think, every darn frame of the movie, and which by no means are mostly of Wood and his work.

As with, I think, every movie biography, there's the odd gratuitous fact changing (see the "goofs" page again)--you know, the "Why'd they do that when the truth wouldn't make any difference?" kind of stuff, and as glowing as this review obviously is I must also say that it is in some ways an imperfect film--it glosses over Wood's later career, for example. But it it so obviously a labor of love and joy for all involved that in my opinion its imperfections are inconsequential. Ed Wood stands proudly, with that slightly odd gleam in its eye, with the best movie biographies made.

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