Copyright © 2007 Ed Bagley Ed Wood ? 1 Star ? Terrible "Ed Wood" is a biographical movie about Edward D. Wood, Jr. who has been dubbed the worst director in the history of filmmaking. There is no close second and not even a distant second to Wood's "worst director" label.
The movie depicts the life of Ed Wood in the 1950s and shows Wood as a very determined director with virtually no financial backing and no real talent. Wood liked to direct really bad films and enjoyed dressing as a woman on the set. He was apparently surrounded by equally inept and untalented wannabes who were broke or down on their luck. Wood made such films as "Glen or Glenda", "Bride of the Monster" and "Plan 9 From Outer Space". He was into sci-fi flicks and cross-dressing as a transvestite. He was an advocate for understanding the phenomenon of transvestism before the general public was even aware of the practice and could not spell the word.
In today's world, alternative lifestyles and behavior, while still not generally accepted, are at least recognized and tolerated by some segments of the population and embraced by Hollywood. His film Glen or Glenda is apparently about a transvestite who finds little acceptance and eventually commits suicide. Despite his lack of success, Ed Wood is depicted in this biography as having an optimistic, sunny disposition.
Perhaps the best part of this film is his friendship with once great but now aging and unemployed horror star Bela Lugosi (Martin Landau). Landau steals the show as Lugosi. As Best Supporting Actor, he won both the Oscar and the Golden Globe, and won 9 additional lesser awards as Best Supporting Actor. Landau's winning of the Oscar marked the first time in Academy Awards history that a performer in any category won for playing an actual movie performer.
Martin Landau was that good. Director Tim Burton said that he was drawn to the story because of the similarities between Wood's relationship with Bela Lugosi and his own friendship with Vincent Price late in the actor's life. This 1994 film cost more to produce than all of Edward D. Wood's films put together, and it has been estimated that the opening title/credit sequence cost more (in unadjusted dollars) than the entire budget of any of Ed Wood's films. The film was made in black and white.
Despite the accolades for this film that also picked up an Oscar for Best Makeup, I found the movie to be strange indeed. In real life Ed Wood, the director, was beyond terrible and it made the character of Ed Wood in the movie more difficult for me to accept; I just do not naturally like people who are terrible at their profession. So if I knew going in that this film would probably not be THAT likeable, why even bother? Well, try this on for size: Johnny Depp played Ed Wood, Sarah Jessica Parker played Dolores Fuller (Ed Wood's girlfriend), Patricia Arquette played Kathy O'Hara (Ed Wood's wife), Bill Murray played Bunny Breckinridge (a wannabe transsexual whose character sounds like Gore Vidal's 1970 movie "Myra Breckinridge" starring Raquel Welch), and George "The Animal" Steele played Tor Johnson. I love the work of Johnny Depp and Sarah Jessica Parker, and I remember George "The Animal" Steele as a pro wrestler on television. Depp was nominated for a Best Actor Golden Globe for his portrayal of Ed Wood.
Ed Bagley's Blog Publishes Original Articles on Current and Past Events with Analysis and Commentary on Movie Reviews, Sports, Lessons in Life, News and Comment, Jobs and Careers and Internet Marketing intended to Delight, Inform, Educate and Motivate You the Reader. Find Ed's Blog at: http://www.edbagleyblog.com http://www.edbagleyblog.com/MovieReviewArticles.html http://www.edbagleyblog.com/LessonsinLifeArticles.html