Director: Tim Burton
Cast: Johnny Depp, Martin Landau, Sarah Jessica Parker, Bill Murray
Other: Book by Rudolph Grey
Year and Running Time: US 1994, 127 minutes
Year Screened: 2010
‘Greetings, my friends! You are interested in the unknown. The mysterious. The unexplainable. That is why you are here. And now, for the first time, we are bringing you the full story of what happened. We are giving you all the evidence based only on the secret testimony of the miserable souls who survived this terrifying ordeal. The incidents, faces. My friends, we cannot keep this a secret any longer. Can your heart stand the shocking facts of the true story of Edward D. Wood Jr.?’
So opens this masterpiece by Tim Burton. A film that did rather badly at the box office, yet won 2 Oscars. Its subject is the director often considered the worst director ever to release films, and yes, they were bad but what Depp conveys is the unbridled enthusiasm of Wood, his love of film, and his unswerving self belief. Along the way, we are introduced to his love of angora sweaters, and his admiration for forgotten stars; this leads to a superb performance by Martin Landau as the washed-up 74 year old Bela Lugosi.
What ultimately makes this film so stellar is the impeccable production and costume design and the crisp B & W cinematography; it literally transports you back to the clean-cut, wide-eyed days of the 50s.