Ed Wood

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Ed Wood is a 1994 biographical comedy-drama film about the B-movie writer-director Edward D. Wood, Jr., whose films are often considered among the worst ever. The film focuses on Wood's career in the 1950s and the making of Glen or Glenda, Bride of the Monster, and Plan 9 from Outer Space.

Directed by Tim Burton. Written by Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski.
"When It Came To Making Bad Movies, Ed Wood Was The Best."


Criswell: Can your heart stand the true facts of the shocking story... of Edward D. Wood, Junior? [from opening monologue]

Ed Wood: I'm Ed Wood, I'm here about directing the Christine Jorgensen picture.
George Weiss: Well, a couple of things have changed. It ain't gonna be the Christine Jorgensen story no more. Goddamn Variety had to put the story before I got the rights. Now that bitch is asking for the sky.
Ed Wood: Oh, you're not gonna make the movie?
George Weiss: No, of course I'm gonna make the picture! I already presold Alabama and Oklahoma. Those repressed Okies, they go for that twisted, perverted stuff. We'll just do it without the shemale. We'll fictionalize it.
Ed Wood: Is there a script?
George Weiss: Fuck, no. But there's a poster. [he holds up a movie poster for "I Changed My Sex"] It opens nine weeks in Tulsa.
Ed Wood: Well Mr. Weiss, look no further, I'm your man. I work fast and I'm a deal. I write and direct. And I'm good. I just did a play in Hollywood and Victor Crowley himself praised its realism.
George Weiss: There's about 500 guys in this town that could say the same thing. On the phone you said you had some "special qualifications"?
Ed: Mister Weiss... I have never told anyone what I'm about to tell you. But I really want this job. [pauses, takes a deep breath] I like to wear women's clothing.
George Weiss: You're a fruit?
Ed: No, not at all. I love women. Wearing their clothes makes me feel closer to them.
George Weiss: You're not a fruit?
Ed: No, I'm all man. I even fought in W.W. Two. Of course, I was wearing women's undergarments under my uniform.
George Weiss: You gotta be kidding me.
Ed: Confidentially, I even paratrooped wearing a brassier and panties. I wasn't afraid of being killed, but I was terrified of being wounded and having the medics discover my secret.
George Weiss: So you think this qualifies you to direct my movie?
Ed: Yes. I know what it's like to live with a secret and worry what people are gonna think of you. My girlfriend still doesn't know why her sweaters are always stretched out.
George Weiss: Ed, you seem like a nice kid, but look around ya. I don't hire directors with burning desires to tell their stories. I make movies like "Chained Girls." I need someone with experience, who can shoot a film in four days, and make me a profit. I'm sorry, that's all that matters.

[Bela Lugosi is trying on coffins.]
Bela Lugosi: Too constrictive! I can't even fold my arms.
Coffin Salesman: Gee, Mister Lugosi, I-I've never had any complaints.
Bela: This is the most uncomfortable coffin I've ever been in. Your selection is quite shoddy. You are wasting my time!

Ed Wood: Mister Lugosi, why are you buying a coffin?
Bela: I'm planning on dying soon.
Ed: No!
Bela: Yes. I'm embarking on another truck and bus tour of Dracula. Twelve cities in ten days, if that's conceivable.

Ed: You know, you're, you're much scarier in real life than you are in the movies.
Bela: Thank you.

Bela Lugosi: I refuse to drive in this country. Too many madmen.
Ed Wood: Well... I have a car.

Ed Wood: Boy, Mister Lugosi, you must lead such an exciting life! When is your next picture coming out?
Bela: I have no next picture.
Ed: You gotta be joking. A big star like you? You must have dozens of 'em lined up.
Bela: In the old days, yes. Now, no one gives two fucks for Bela.

Bela: This business, this town... it chews you up and spits you out. I'm just an ex-boogeyman.

Weiss: So what was the important news you couldn't tell me on the phone, again?
Ed Wood: Well, I started thinking about how you said your movies needed to make a profit. Now, what is the one thing, if you put it in a movie, it'll be successful?
George Weiss: Tits.
Ed: No, better than that. A star!
Weiss: Kid, you must have me confused with David Selznick. I don't make major motion pictures, I make crap.
Ed: Yes — but if you take that crap and put a star in it, then you've got something!
Weiss: Yeah. Crap with a star.
Ed: No, something better! Something impressive. Maybe the biggest money maker you've ever had.
Weiss: Fine, alright. You maybe right, but it doesn't frickin' matter! I can't afford a star, so what are we even talking about?
Ed: Alright, what if I told you you could have a star for $1000?
Weiss: Who?
[Ed holds up a photo of [Bela Lugosi]
Weiss: Lugosi?
Ed: Yes, Lugosi!
Weiss: Isn't he dead?
Ed: No, he's not dead! He lives in Baldwin Hills. I met him recently, and he really wants to be in our movie.
Weiss: Why would Lugosi wanna do a sex-change flick?
Ed: Because he's my friend!
Weiss: All right, fine! You can direct it. I want a script in three days. We start shooting a week from Monday.
Ed: Oh... oh, Mister Weiss, thank you so much! You won't regret it! I won't let you down!

[Dolores comes out of the bedroom to find Ed dressed in drag.]
Dolores Fuller: So that's where my sweater's been.

[Ed and Bela are watching Vampira's TV show.]
Ed Wood: Oh, I hate it when she interrupts the picture. She doesn't show 'em the proper respect.
Bela Lugosi: I think she's a honey. Look at those jugs!

[Bela is doing his trademark "hypnotic" hand gesture.]
Ed Wood: My gosh, Bela, how do you do that?
Bela Lugosi: You must be double-jointed. And you must be Hungarian.

[Bela arrives while Ed is on the phone with Bunny Breckinridge.]
Bela Lugosi: Eddie, you got me a new picture, eh?
Ed Wood: Yes. It's gonna be a great picture and you'll love your character. Have a seat. [back on phone] Listen, Bunny? Bela's here. I gotta go. Listen, work some parties, hit the bars, and get me transvestites! I need transvestites! All right. Bye. [hangs up]
Bela: Eddie... what kind of a movie is this?

[Ed, dressed in drag for a scene as Glenda, addresses his crew on the first day of filming.]
Ed Wood: Everybody, we're about to embark on quite a journey: four days of hard work. But when it's over, we'll have a picture that'll entertain, enlighten, and maybe even move millions of people.

Ed Wood: Say, Bill, which dress works best for you, the red one or the green one?
Cameraman: Which one is the red one?
Ed Wood: What do you mean?
Cameraman: I mean I can't see the difference. I'm colorblind. But I kinda like the dark gray one.

Brooks: You know which movie of yours I love, Mister Lugosi? The Invisible Ray. You were great as Karloff's sidekick.
Bela Lugosi: Karloff? Sidekick? FUCK YOU! Karloff does not deserve to smell my SHIT! That Limey cocksucker can rot in hell for all I care!
Ed Wood: W-what happened?
Bela: How dare that asshole bring up Karloff? You think it takes talent to play Frankenstein? It's all, all makeup, and-and grunting. [imitates Frankenstein] Grrr-Rrrr!
Ed: I agree, Bela. I agree a hundred percent. Now Dracula — there's a part that takes talent.

[On the set, Ed has taken to wearing women's clothing full-time.]
Ed Wood: But, Georgie, I'm proud! I wrote, directed, and starred in it, just like Orson Welles did in Citizen Kane.
George Weiss: Yeah? Well, Orson Welles didn't wear angora sweaters, did he?

Ed Wood: [over the phone] Georgie, what happened? I thought Glen or Glenda was opening this week! Where's the ads?
George Weiss: "Where's the ads?" The ads are in Alabama, Indiana and Missouri, you schmuck! It ain't gonna play in L.A.!
Ed Wood: Why not?
George Weiss: Nobody wants to see this piece of shit!
Ed Wood: Hey, you can't talk that way about my movie!
George Weiss: Your movie?! I wish it was your movie! I wish I had never blown every dime I ever made into making this stinkbomb! And if I ever see ya again, I'll kill ya! [angrily hangs up]

Dolores Fuller: How can you walk around like that in front of all these people?
Ed: Well, hon, look around. Nobody's bothered but you.
Dolores: Ed, this isn't the real world! You've surrounded yourself with a bunch of weirdos!

[Ed, Dolores, and Bunny are at a professional wrestling show.]
Bunny Breckinridge: Guess where I'm going next week.
Ed Wood: I don't know. Where?
Bunny: Me-hee-co. Guess what I'm doing when I get there.
Ed: I don't know — lie on a beach.
Bunny: Wrong. I'm getting my first series of hormone injections. And when those girls kick in, they're gonna take out my organs and make me... a woman.
Ed: Are you serious?
Bunny: It's something I've wanted to do for a long time. But it wasn't until I saw your movie that I realized I have to take action! Goodbye, penis!
Dolores Fuller: Would you please keep it down?

Ed Wood: Bela, what's in the needle?
Bela Lugosi: Morphine. With a Demerol chaser.

[Ed is on the phone with Mr. Feldman at Warner Brothers Studios.]
Ed Wood: So — we gonna be working together? [pauses to listen] Really? Worst film you ever saw. Well, my next one will be better. Hello. Hello?

Bela Lugosi: This... this live television is madness!

Criswell: And who may you be?
Ed Wood: Edward D. Wood, Junior.
Criswell: Ah — the director of Glen or Glenda.
Ed: How'd you know?
Criswell: I am Criswell. I know all.

Bela Lugosi: At Universal, we used to shoot one or two scenes a day. Eddie can knock off twenty, thirty — he's amazing!

Vampira: Look, buddy, I've got real offers from real studios. I don't need to blow some dentist to get a part. Forget it.

[At the "wrap party" on completion of Bride of the Monster.]
Conrad Brooks: Glen or Glenda. Now that was a great movie.
Paul DeMarco: Yeah, but this new one is gonna be a million times better.
Conrad: [awed] Is that possible?

Dolores Fuller: You people are INSANE! You're wasting your lives making shit! Nobody cares! These movies... are TERRIBLE!

Ed Wood: Listen, I was wondering if you'd like to go out some time. Grab some dinner, maybe.
Vampira: You mean a date? I thought you were a fag.
Ed: No, no. I'm just a transvestite.

Bela Lugosi: It's a wonderful idea! We'll be at peace! In the afterlife, you don't have to worry about finding work!

Nurse: OH! My goodness, you gave me the willies! You look like that Dracula guy.
Bela: My name is Bela Lugosi... and I wish to commit myself.
Nurse: For what reason?
Bela: I have been a drug addict for twenty years. I need help.

[Ed has hustled a group of reporters and photographers out of Bela's room at the sanitorium.]
Bela: Eddie, why did you chase them?
Ed: Bela, those people are parasites! They just wanna exploit you.
Bela: So what? Let them. Finally the press is interested again in Bela Lugosi. There is no such thing as bad press, Eddie. Man from New York even said he was going to put me on the front page — first celebrity ever to check into rehab.

[In the waiting room, Ed strikes up a conversation with a girl in an angora sweater.]
Ed Wood: Don't you think angora has a certain tactile sensuality lacking in all other fabrics?
Kathy O'Hara: Well, I suppose so. It is awfully expensive.
Ed: Well, it's made from specially-bred rabbits that live in the Himalayas.
Kathy: Say, what are you — an angora wholesaler?

[Ed and Kathy O'Hara are on a first date at a carnival.]
Ed Wood: I'm about to tell you something that I've never told any girl on a first date. But I think it's important that you know... [takes a deep breath] I like to wear women's clothing.
[There is a long pause.]
Kathy O'Hara: ...Huh?
Ed: I like to wear women's clothing. Panties, brassieres, pumps, sweaters... it's just something I do. And I can't believe I'm telling you this, but I really like you and I don't want it getting in the way down the road.
Kathy: Does this mean... you don't like sex with girls?
Ed: No, I love sex with girls.
Kathy: [after a pause for thought] Okay.
Ed: Okay?
Kathy: Okay.

Bela Lugosi: I'm seventy, but I don't know it. When the mind is young, the spirit is still vigorous, like... [puts an arm around Ed] like a young man.

[Dr. Tom is practicing to be Bela Lugosi's "double".]
Dr. Tom: I vant to suck your blood! I vant to suck your blood!
Bunny Breckinridge: Let's hear you call Boris Karloff a cocksucker.

[To secure funding from a Baptist church, Ed's cast and crew must get baptized in a swimming pool.]
Vampira: [whispering] Why couldn't we do this in the church?
Criswell: [whispering] Because Brother Tor wouldn't fit in the sacred tub.

Minister: Welcome, brother! Do you reject Satan and all his works?
Bunny Breckinridge: Sure.
[Sputtering, newly baptized Bunny joins Ed at poolside.]
Bunny: How do you do it? How do you get all your friends to get baptized, just so you can make a monster movie?
Ed Wood: It's not a monster movie, it's a supernatural thriller.

Mr. Reynolds: Before we begin shooting Mr. Wood, we have a few questions.
Reverend Lemon: Yes. The script contains numerous references to grave robbing. Now we find the concept of digging up concecrated ground to be highly offensive. It is blasphemy.
Ed Wood: What are you talking about? It's the premise of the movie. It's the title of the movie, for Christ's sake!
Reverend Lemon: But Mr. Wood!
Mr. Reynolds: Yes, about that title, it strikes us as very inflammatory. Why don't we change it to "Plan 9 From Outer Space?"
Ed Wood: Ha! That's ridiculous.

[Ed finishes shooting a scene.]
Ed Wood: And cut! Print! We're moving on! That was perfect.
Mr. Reynolds: "Perfect?" Mister Wood, do you know anything about the art of film production?
Ed Wood: Well, I like to think so!
Mr. Reynolds: That cardboard headstone tipped over. This graveyard is obviously phoney.
Ed Wood: Nobody will ever notice that. Filmmaking is not about the tiny details. It's about the big picture.
Mr. Reynolds: The big picture?
Ed Wood: Yes!
Mr. Reynolds: Then how about when the policemen arrived in daylight, but, now it's suddenly night?
Ed Wood: What do you know? Haven't you heard of suspension of disbelief?

[The Baptists object to Tor Johnson's speaking part.]
Mr. Reynolds: What'd you give him all the lines for? He's unintelligible!
Ed: Look, Lugosi's dead and Vampira won't talk. I had to give somebody the dialogue!
Reverend Lemon: That is no answer!

Gregory Walcott: Reverend, I'm here.
Ed Wood: Who is he?!
Reverend Lemon: This is our choir director. He's gonna play the young hero.
Reverend Lemon: I thought this was a group effort.
Ed Wood: NO!

Ed: They're driving me crazy! These Baptists are... stupid, stupid, STUPID!

Bunny Breckinridge: How about glitter? When I was a headliner in Paris, audiences always loved it when I sparkled.
Ed Wood: No.
Bunny Breckinridge: Cat's eyes?
Ed Wood: No!
Bunny Breckinridge: Well, I'm gonna need some antennae.
Ed Wood: No! You're the ruler of the galaxy. Show a little taste!

[Ed comes out on set in drag and addresses the cast and crew.]
Ed Wood: All right, everybody, let's get set up for Scene 112. Move the crypt stage left and let's get Tor's make-up effect ready.
[The baptists look in shock.]
Reverend Lemon: Mr. Wood! What do you think you're doing?
Ed Wood: I'm directing.
Mr. Reynolds: Not like that you're not!
Reverend Lemon: Remove that getup immediately! You shame our Lord!
[Ed is visibly upset]
[Ed storms out of the studio]

[Ed, still in drag, sees his long time hero, Orson Welles, at the bar,]
Ed Wood: Excuse me, sir?
Orson Welles: Yes?
Ed Wood: Well, I'm a young filmmaker, and, I'm a real big fan. I just wanted to meet ya.
Orson Welles: [shakes hands] My pleasure. I'm Orson Welles.
Ed Wood: Edward D. Wood Jr. Uh, watcha workin' on?
Orson Welles: Well, the financing just fell through for the third time on Don Quioxte.
Ed Wood: You know, I just can't believe it. That just sounds exactly like my problems.
Orson Welles: It's the damn money men. They never know who's a windbag and who's got the goods. Then they all think they're directors.
Ed Wood: Ain't that the truth? Did you know that I've even had producers recut my movies?
Orson Welles: I hate when that happens.
Ed Wood: And they're always trying to cast their buddies. It doesn't even matter if they're right for the part.
Orson Welles: Tell me about it. I'm supposed to do a thriller at Universal, but they want Charlton Heston to play a Mexican.
[Ed looks shocked and shakes his head.]
Ed Wood: [sighs] Mr. Welles, is it all worth it?
Orson Welles: It is when it works. You know, the one film of mine where I had total control - Kane - the studio hated it, but they didn't get to touch a frame. Ed.
Ed Wood: Yes?
Orson Welles: Visions are worth fighting for. Why spend your life making someone else's dreams?

Ed Wood: Mr. Reynolds?
Mr. Reynolds: Yes?
Ed Wood: We are gonna finish this picture just the way I want it, because you cannot compromise an artist's vision.
Reverend Lemon: But it's our money.
Ed Wood: And you're gonna make a bundle, but only if you shut up, and let me do things my way.

Criswell: Greeting my friends, we are all interested in the future because that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember, my friends, future events such as these will affect you in the future! [narrating for Plan 9 from Outer Space]

Ed Wood: This is the one. This is the one I'll be remembered for. [at premiere of Plan 9 from Outer Space]



See also

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