Director Tim Burton takes a character as wildly unlikely as a boy whose arms end in pruning shears, and makes him the center of a delightful and delicate comic fable.

Director Tim Burton takes a character as wildly unlikely as a boy whose arms end in pruning shears, and makes him the center of a delightful and delicate comic fable.

Johnny Depp plays Edward, who lives in isolation in a gloomy mansion on the hill until a sunny Avon lady (Dianne Wiest) discovers him and takes him into her suburbia home and mothers him like a crippled bird. The creation of an inventor (Vincent Price) who died and left him unfinished, Edward sports an astonishing pair of hands – five-fingered, footlong blades that render him either lethal or extraordinarily skillful.

For the bevy of bored housewives in the pastel-colored nabe, gentle and exotic Edward becomes an instant celeb who amuses them by artistically pruning their hedges, their dogs and their coiffures.

But when he’s wrongly accused in a burglary, his star falls and they turn on him. Meanwhile his wistful and impossible attraction to Kim (Winona Ryder), the Avon lady’s teenage daughter, adds another level of tension.

Depp, former TV teen idol in his second starring screen role, gives a sensitive reading of Edward. With Ryder kept mostly in the background, Wiest’s mother figure shares the screen with Depp, and she’s a smash. Also a hoot is Alan Arkin as her unexcitable husband, and Kathy Baker as a sex-starved vixen.

1990: Nomination: Best Makeup

Edward Scissorhands

Production

20th Century-Fox. Director Tim Burton; Producer Denise De Novi, Tim Burton; Screenplay Caroline Thompson; Camera Stefan Czapsky; Editor Richard Halsey; Music Danny Elfman; Art Director Bo Welsh

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1990. Running time: 98 MIN.

With

Johnny Depp Winona Ryder Dianne Wiest Anthony Michael Hall Alan Arkin Kathy Baker
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