Story by Tim Burton and Caroline Thompson | Written by:Caroline Thompson
Directed by: Tim Burton
Edward Scissorhands… Johnny Depp
Peg Boggs… Dianne Wiest
Kim Boggs… Winona Ryder
Jim… Anthony Michael Hall
The Inventor… Vincent Price
KIM: Hold me.
EDWARD: I can’t.
After the death of his inventor-creator the still-unfinished Edward lives alone in a Gothic mansion until one day a nice woman drops by and takes him back to live with her (as you do!). Since he has scissors for hands, Edward spends much time attempting to do simple everyday things, but failing miserably. Until he discovers a talent for topiary, and hairdressing! This makes him the toast of the neighborhood, but when he falls in love with Kim, the daughter of the house, his peculiarities are suddenly far less welcome…
Why It’s Must-See: Probably Tim Burton’s finest dark fantasy, this film has a lot to say about people who are different; it is multi-layered, artfully shot and accessible to all ages.
Romance Factor: This is a cliché love story, in one sense: beautiful girl sees past the man’s physical flaws, and realizes how he’s beautiful on the inside. But, in another sense, it’s bittersweet and tragic. Still, the movie gets its heart from the relationship between Edward and Kim, and it does very much end on a positive note.
Box Office: $86 million, on a budget of $20 million.
Critical Reception: Consensus among critics was very warm, with Rolling Stone‘s Peter Travers summing up the general feeling: “Burton’s richly entertaining update of the Frankenstein story is the year’s most comic, romantic and haunting film fantasy.” The film’s makeup was nominated for an Academy Award, and the film itself won both the Hugo for Best Dramatic Presentation and the Saturn Award for Best Fantasy Film.
Influence: This was Burton’s first collaboration with Johnny Depp, and is certainly their best. Depp has since proved himself to be the master of playing all things weird, but his first may just be his weirdest character ever; his performance is excellent, and it needs to be to capture the depths of Edward’s largely dialog-less character (he speaks only 169 words, total). Elsewhere, a ballet adaptation was performed in 2005 and a stage adaptation in 2010. The Twilight Sad named their album Here, It Never Snowed. Afterwards, It Did after one of the film’s final lines, and scientists named an extinct lobster-like creature Kootenichela deppi, because of its scissor-like claws.
Sequels: See below.
Notable Merchandise: There is an Edward Scissorhands POP Vinyl, an array of Halloween costumes and Danny Elfman’s magical score is available for your listening pleasure.
On the Page: As well as a novelization of the movie and memoir from actor Kathy Lockwood entitled 12 Weeks on Tinsmith: Behind the Scenes of Edward Scissorhands, a comic book picking up twenty years after the end of the movie came out in 2014. Written by Kate Leith and published by IDW, the series ran for 10 issues that have since been collected in a trade paperback cleverly named The Final Cut.
Did You Know? Tom Cruise, Jim Carrey and Robert Downey Jr. were all considered for the role of Edward, while Gary Oldman was offered the role but turned it down.
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