As the 80's came to a close, It was around this point that Tim Burton's reputation as one of the most artistic, unique, and creative directors in Hollywood was beginning to establish. With three movies a critical and financial success under his belt, he began to work on his next movie. He produced and directed what many people consider to be one of his best movies ever made. That movie is the 1990 romantic comedy Edward Scissorhands.
The inspiration for this story was based on Tim Burton's upbringing in Santa
Clara, California feeling isolated, depressed, and alone. While
Frankenweenie was a rendition of himself as a child, the character of
Edward was based on himself as a teenager. "I get the feeling people just got
this urge to want to leave me alone for some reason, I don’t know exactly why".
So when Burton read a short novel called First Born written by Caroline
Thompson about an abortion coming back to life, he hired her to write the script
for Edward Scissorhands.
While working on the movie at Warner Bros., the same studio that distributed
his previous movies, they sold the film rights to 20th Century Fox. The
studio gave him full creative control for the movie. So with everything riding
on this one film, does Tim Burton start the 90's off with a slashing success or
has the scissors rusted over time? This is Edward Scissorhands.
The movie begins with an old woman and her granddaughter looking at the snow.
The granddaughter wonders where the snow comes from. The old woman looks up
reminiscing and tells the story about a man named Edward Scissorhands (played by
Johnny Depp). He appears to be a normal boy except that he has scissors for
hands due to his "father"/inventor (played by Vincent Price). His final gift for
his creation was a pair of human hands so he can be able to have a normal life
among people. However, he died of a heart attack before he can get the job done
and Edward is left alone and unfinished. With his "father" dead and no one else
knowing he exists, he is left in the Gothic mansion where he lives to remain
Many years later, we cut into a Avon salewoman named Peg Boggs (played by
Dianne West) approaching the Gothic mansion where Edward lives. While looking
around, she finds the place empty and abandoned, but not before long when she
sees Edward with her very own eyes. Instead of being afraid of him, she's
friendly to him. When asking about where his family is, he says with a very sad
response that they didn't wake up. She feels bad for Edward and decides to take
her home with her family.
Peg lives in a quiet suburban neighborhood with her husband Bill (played by
Alan Arkin), her youngest son Kevin (played by Robert Oliveri), and her older
daughter Kim (played by Winona Rider). At first, they find Edward a bit strange
and odd due to his appearance, but as time goes on, he's welcome into the
neighborhood due to his ability to hedge-trimming and hair cutting abilities.
The hedges presented give the movie such a brilliant appearance and a wonderful
craftsmanship that is organic and alive. It's so inviting and bright compared to
the dark, spooky atmospheric art pieces in Beetlejuice.
However, there are a few people in the neighborhood who absolutely can't
stand Edward: a crazy, psycho religious woman named Esmeralda (played by O-Lan
Jones), Kim's boyfriend Jim (played by Anthony Michael Hall), and Joyce (played
by Kathy Baker). Throughout the movie, Edward's reputation gets tarnished due to
the acts of Jim and Joyce for different reasons. Joyce offers Edward an
opportunity to open a hair salon alongside with her. Edward accepts. When they
look at a possible building for the salon, Joyce takes Edward to the back and
tries to seduce him. Edward panics and runs away from her.
As for Jim, he tricks Edward to unlocking the locks of his parents' house.
When he's captured by the police, the neighbors that once respected Edward
questions his personality, so they ignore him. Around Christmas time, Edward,
Peg, and her family are dubbed as outcasts among the neighborhood. So they spent
Christmas time, they spent it alone. Edward goes outside to create ice statues
While Edward is doing this, Kim sees the snow flakes and dances around to it.
When Kim and Edward get close to each other, Kim's hand is accidentally cut by
Edward. Jim sees this and pursues to chase Edward away from the neigborhood
after getting cut in the face by Edward's hand. Edward runs back to the Gothic
manor where Kim follows him. Edward tells Kim that he can no longer be around
people and must now forever stay at the mansion alone forever. All of a sudden,
Jim appears and attacks Edward. Edward defends himself and does not attack Jim
until he pushes Kim onto the floor. Edward attacks Jim leaving him falling to
When Kim returns to the neighborhood, she tells them that Edward and Jim
killed each other. With that said, the neighbors are sad for the loss of Jim and
Edward and return to their homes. We then cut back to the old woman and her
grandchild. It's revealed that the old woman is Kim finishing the story of her
and Edward. She never saw Edward again due to her not ruining her rememberance
from her youth. She tells him that Edward is still alive and immortal since he's
artificial. He would create the ice sculptures every year that would cause the
snow to fall down on the neighborhood. The movie ends with Edward creating more
sculptures and a young Kim dancing on the snow falling below.
Overall, the movie was highly praised when it was released in theaters. They
had loved the performances of the actors, the story was tragic and heartwarming,
the music was wonderful, and the artistic scenary was captivating. For many
people, Edward Scissorhands is considered Tim Burton's masterpiece. I
think it's really good! I love the story, music, art, and actors. The final
performance of Vincent Price was fantastic, the relationship between Edward and
Kim was great, and the story was sad, yet mesmering. I highly recommend checking
That's all for now. Tune in next time as we discuss about Tim Burton's 5th
movie. The second installment of the Batman franchise: Batman
Hope to see you around Old School Lane soon.