Saturday, 24 September 2011

Narrative: Film Review on 'Ed Wood' (1994)

FIG.1: Ed Wood Poster 
Director: Tim Burton
Producer: Tim Burton and Denise Di Novi
Cast: Jonny Depp, Marti Landau, Patricia Arquette, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jeffrey Jones
Year: 1994

Tim Burton's Ed Wood is a an American comedy following the career of Ed Wood himself, an ambitious young man who struggles to get into the film industry and grasp success during the 1950's, at the time when low budget films with technical errors and low quality graphics were released . Johnny Depp successfully portrays this very energetic, but not so great, film writer who became well known for his cheap genre films which are known today as B-Movies. The film itself is really charming depicting Wood's complex personality in the best way.

FIG.2 : Ed Wood crossdressing
Edward Wood's fragile and eccentric personality started taking shape from his early life experiences. One of the events that traumatised his view on life was during his duty as a U.S Marine during World War II when he stabbed a Japanese guerrilla to death even after the soldier was presumably dead. As a sensitive man, Wood was traumatised to be put into that situation and his whole view in life changed. Like Rob Craig mentioned " How this explosion of wanton blood-lust, and the subsequent drama it produced in Wood, affected his later adult life, and later his art, can only be intuited." (Craig.2009:9)
FIG.3: Ed Wood with Bela Lugosi
What was interesting about the film was that it did not hesitate to show Wood's eccentricity, especially when it came to feeling comfortable in women's clothing. Wood was a self-proclaimed transvestite and for him it wasn't a performance of his sexual orientation but more like an action to give him more confidence in his work. In a world with a widely accepted belief that gender is determined by clothing, Wood as an heterosexual that wears dresses and women's underwear was  referred as the eccentric man, with an outstanding passion in making his own films-even though he could not see any flaws in them. Wood himslef stated in his film Glen or Glenda? that "a transvestite is not homosexual, and thusly draws a line in the sand to differentiate the subjects in his film, including himself, and for those who he considers, by implication, to be morally and psychologically corrupted." (Craig. 2009: 25)
All in all, Ed Wood is an enjoyable film depicting the hard world of The film Industry, a world where taking risks is the key to success but simultaneously, can be disastrous. 


Craig, Rb (2009). Ed Wood, Mad Genius.USA: Mc Farland and Company

List of Illustrations

FIG.1: (accessed on 24/9/2011)


  1. Hey Andi,

    A nicely presented review! How well trained you are! So - all that nagging in the first year was worth it! ;)

    Listen - you know I'm on the hunt for mentors to take the first years under their wing... I was hoping you might consider putting your hat in the ring and helping them over some hurdles with me. If you're up for it, email me at


  2. Hi Andriana

    Nice review. The only addition I would add it to start commenting on the practical construction of the film. In this case the recreation of Ed Wood movies, the Brown Derby resturant, and 50's Hollywood.