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YMMV / Ed Wood

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YMMVs for the 1994 film Ed Wood:

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: While the film plays loosely with history throughout, it's also been described as "the kind of biopic Ed Wood would have made for himself." Everything that happens after Ed storms out of the Plan 9 shoot in drag is completely made up: he certainly didn't meet Orson Welles and the movie definitely didn't have such a lavish, heavily publicized premiere. Is the film simply being kind to Ed by giving him a happy ending he could only wish he'd ever get, or, considering that Wood was an alcoholic and immediately goes to a bar, is it all just a drunken stupor?
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  • Cult Classic: Praised by critics but almost unnoticed by the general public during its release, the movie is understandably popular with Ed Wood aficionados and anyone who wants to go into film.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue tells us that Ed had two failed marriages and became an alcoholic. This mirrors what happened to Johnny Depp in Real Life.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Reading a review, Sarah Jessica Parker says "Do I really have a face like a horse?" She would start getting a lot of that during Sex and the City.
    • Martin Landau played Bela Lugosi, who played a popular fictional vampire. A couple of years later, his daughter Juliet Landau would play another popular fictional vampire.
      • Juliet also appears in the film as Loretta King, who famously claimed to be allergic to all liquids.
    • The two main stars of the film are named Ed and Bela. The latter of which is an actor famous for playing a vampire. 11 years later when a book series called Twilight stars two characters named Edward and Bella, the former of which is a "vampire." Of course, that Bella was named after the real Bela, but the fact that her "hero" is named Edward is a hell of a coincidence.
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    • Ed and his ragtag crew having to flee from the cops before they're caught shooting their No Budget film on location without a permit. This is exactly how π was made.
  • Memetic Mutation: "What do you know? Haven't you heard of suspension of disbelief?"
  • Nausea Fuel: Bela's needle-scarred arm.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Orson Welles. Ed's meeting with him is considered one of the movie's high points.
  • Strawman Has a Point: Ed is not a good filmmaker: he ignores Negative Continuity, has visibly cheap production design and continues to insist that no one will ever notice. Everyone who tells him how bad his movies are, from Dolores to the investors themselves, is 100% right, and they do not let him down gently about it. The only reason he never listens to them is because of his sheer unbridled enthusiasm.
  • Vindicated by History: When released, this wrecked Tim Burton's golden streak and made people doubt him and Johnny Depp. Today it's considered one of his best works and one of Depp's best performances.
  • The Woobie:
    • Ed himself. Particularly in the film, you can see that he has a genuine passion and love for movies, and wants desperately to make his own films, and have people love them, not for the money, but just because it's what he loves, and he wants to share his love with people. Sadly for him, the one thing he has passion for in his life, he has absolutely no talent at. Imagine being terrible at the one thing you love. Sort of breaks your heart.
    • Bela Lugosi. Full stop. By the end of his life, he was a mess, and was stuck in horrible B movies, strung out on drugs, alcohol, and painful withdrawal. Landau's performance really helps here too.
    • Dolores. While she may be harsh at times and is not readily accepting of Ed's crossdressing, she makes valid points about Ed Wood's production shoddiness and he is unintentionally insensitive to her. She holds in all her stress in so Ed can finish his movie.


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