Ed Wood (1994)

Director-Tim Burton

A biopic about 2 great Hollywood legends the campy B movie director Ed Wood jr, and the late great Bela Lugosi. Wood (portrayed by Johnny Depp) is a struggling Hollywood director looking for his big break and a chance to prove himself to the Hollywood community is down on his luck. But a chance encounter with the legendary Dracula star Bela Lugosi (Martin Landau) Lugosi at this point in his career team up, and zany antics ensue. Everything from Wood lying to studio executives, funding being cut, casting friends of wealthy backers, even stealing studio property! Wood is on a mission to see his dream on the silver screen uncompromised.

I found this movie to be surprisingly fascinating and was even more surprised to find out that it was a commercial failure! According to Wikipedia it had a budget of 18 million dollars, but only grossed around 5.8 million despite acclaimed reviews from notable critics such as the great Roger Ebert “What Burton has made is a film which celebrates Wood more than it mocks him, and which celebrates, too, the zany spirit of 1950’s exploitation films, in which a great title, a has-been star and a lurid ad campaign were enough to get bookings for some of the oddest films ever made.”  Roger Ebert (1994-10-07). “Ed Wood”. Chicago Sun-Times.2008-11-28.This is a Tim Burton film unlike any i’d ever seen, while Burton is known for his outlandish characters and crazy world settings, In this film Burton really subdued himself I don’t believe the events of this story to be parody or hyperbole given the crazy nature of Hollywood and it’s inhabitants, because of the simple fact that the truth is stranger than fiction! The antics of Ed Wood and Bela Lugosi are at times hilarious and take a more serious look about the seedy  Hollywood underbelly when it is revealed that Lugosi has a drug addiction. Depp coming off other projects with Burton as the eccentric Ed Wood was delightful entertaining to watch, however   Martin Landau’s performance as Lugosi was nothing short of spectacular rightfully earning him his first Screen Actors Guild Award as well as the Academy Award for best supporting actor in a drama. I was actually so convinced of his portrayal that I was disappointed to learn it was not Lugosi himself.

Despite a box office failure “Ed Wood” still holds a 92% approval rating on rotten tomatoes, and I would definitely recommend this film to any fan of Burton or Depp’s work or to anyone who loves B movies.

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