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George At 

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Ed Wood


For me, one of Tim Burton's best films, 1994's ED WOOD tells the unlikely but true story of the worst film director of all time.

Long on pluck and low on actual talent, Ed Wood (Johnny Depp, excellent) knocks down every door in Hollywood to fulfill his vision.

The problem isn't quantity, Wood can churn out a horrible screenplay in a day and shoot an entire film in four. He's never seen a take he didn't like.

After a chance encounter, Ed befriends the legendary Bela Lugosi, long past his days as Dracula. Bela is played in a perfect, Academy Award winning performance by Martin Landau (North By Northwest, Mission:Impossible). Landau IS Lugosi. He's hilarious, sad and always believable.

He's an old, forgotten actor with a very bad morphine habit, thrilled for the attention and work that Ed provides.

Bill Murray is hilarious as Bunny Breckenridge, Sarah Jessica Parker is Ed's long suffering fiance, Jeffrey Jones is Criswell the psychic and Vincent D'Onofrio (Full Metal Jacket) is great in a brief appearance as Orson Welles, the writer/director on the polar opposite end of the talent scale from Wood.

Depp nails Wood's blind enthusiasm, hilarious as Ed reveals his penchant for cross dressing and love for Angora sweaters, but heartbreaking as he watches his friend Lugosi fade before him.

Burton nails all the period details with plenty of laughs and his choice of black & white photography is perfect, as is Howard Shore's music score.

The film is written by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, who penned "The People Vs. Larry Flynt" together two years later.

Martin Landau is fantastic, you should see the film for his performance alone if you haven't discovered this quiet Burton release before.

Like Ed Wood's films, its quirky and was a box office failure upon its release, but deserves a fresh look.

I tried to watch Ed Wood's most famous horrible movie, "Plan Nine From Outer Space" after seeing this in '94, but I couldn't get through more than about 15 minutes of it.

Thankfully Burton's recreated the best of the worst scenes here for your enjoyment.

Ed Wood (for the first time in his life) gets an A.

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