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Edward Scissorhands

October 14, 2010

823. Edward Scissorhands
Directed by Tim Burton

USA, 1990
IMDB | allmovie

Reviewed by Rachel
Umpteenth viewing


An elderly inventor (Vincent Price) begins work on his most ambitious creation; a human being. But when the Inventor dies, his creation Edward (Johnny Depp) is left unfinished, with scissors where his hands should be. When kindly Avon lady Peg Boggs (Dianne Wiest) finds Edward at the Inventor‘s castle, she takes him home. Although he is readily welcomed into the family and into the community due to his artistic talents and gentle nature, his naivety and inability to connect with reality start to cause problems.

Essential Scene:

Edward remembers something from his past in the form of a flashback:

The Inventor opens a beautifully wrapped box to reveal a pair of plastic looking hands.

The Inventor: I know it’s a little early for Christmas, Edward, but er… [takes hands out of box] I have a present for you.

The Inventor walks towards Edward. Edward moves his scissors in nervousness and anticipation as he looks at the hands being shown to him. He holds his scissors up and touches the hands gently as the Inventor watches him proudly. Edward compares his scissorhands to the plastic hands before him, admiring the difference. He kisses the tip of one of the fingers and smiles at his creator. The old man smiles back.

Suddenly the Inventor’s smile begins to fade. A blank stare comes across his face and he starts to collapse. As the old man falls, Edward’s scissors accidentally skewer the hands, breaking them apart.

Edward stands alone and looks at his creator and the hands, both in a crumpled heap on the floor. He bends down and touches the old man’s cheek, cutting into it. Edward looks at his bloodied scissors in confusion.


Edward Scissorhands seems to be a gorgeous mix of Frankenstein, Buster Keaton, Beauty and the Beast and The Wizard of Oz, with a dollop of German expressionism: Edward, a creation, is so innocent and naïve to the ways of the world that he can cause disaster purely due to his curiosity, and he takes it all with a bemused, deadpan face. This ‘creature’ falls in love with a beautiful girl and she begins to feel the same. All Edward needs is a pair of hands to help him become somewhat normal. I think you can see where I’m goin’ here…

Even with all these influences, Edward Scissorhands is definitely Tim Burton’s own. I’ve always been fascinated by Burton’s imagination and style. Love him or hate him, he’s very distinctive. This isn’t my favourite Tim Burton film but it’s certainly one to watch. Magical.

Bloody amazing on blu-ray, too.

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