Arguably the worst director ever, Edward D, Wood Jr. is more than a mere footnote in film history. His "Plan 9 from Outer Space", made in just days on a shoe-string budget is considered by many to be the worst film ever made, thereby rendering it a classic and cult favorite. "Ed Wood", shot in black-and-white by director Tim ("Batman") Burton, depicts the cross-dressing Mr. Wood's start in the movie business and chronicles his mutually-beneficial friendship with aging horror film star Bela Lugosi.
Ed's (Johnny Depp) big break comes early in the film when he convinces a producer of "B" flicks to give him a shot at directing a movie about cross-dressers. Ed writes the film and stars in it in addition to directing and names the film "Glen or Glenda?". Also cast in the film is Ed's girlfriend Dolores Fuller (Sarah Jessica Parker) who was previously unaware that her beau enjoyed dressing up in her clothes. The film turns out awfully but that doesn't stop the wildly optimistic and enthusiastic Mr. Wood from pursuing other features.
Ed Wood meets Bela Lugosi (Martin Landau), who happens to be shopping for coffins at the time, and convinces the former- Dracula to star in one of his films. Their relationship spans other movies including "Plan 9", although Lugosi died during production and a substitute was used for the remaining scenes. A visionary without a shred of talent, Wood surrounded himself with an eclectic band of friends, many of who appeared in his films. They included flaming homosexual Bunny Breckinridge (Bill Murray), pseudo-psychic Criswell (Jeffrey Jones), and a new girlfriend (Patricia Arquette) who was better able to copy with Ed's angora sweater fetish.
"Ed Wood" is Burton's least accessible film and will hold only passing interest to those unfamiliar with Ed Wood or who don't care much about the Hollywood of yesteryear. Johnny Depp, however, is quite funny and outrageous as Ed Wood. Likewise, Martin Landau does a bang-up job bringing Bela Lugosi back to life. The supporting cast is equally adept at appearing inept. You pays your money, you takes your chances.