script used with courtesey of Daily Script
by Scott Alexander &; Larry Karaszewski
Directed by Tim Burton
November 20, 1992
INT. HAUNTED MANSION PARLOR – NIGHT
We move through a spooky shrouded parlor, as a storm rages
outside. THUNDER roars, and lightning flashes in the giant
windows. in the center of the room lies an oak coffin.
Suddenly the lid starts to creak open. A hand crawls past
the edge… and then the lid slams up! Famed psychic CRISWELL
pops out. Criswell, 40, peers at us intently, his gleaming
eyes framed under his striking pale blonde hair. He intones,
with absolute conviction:
Greetings, my friend. You are
interested in the unknown, the
mysterious, the unexplainable…
that is why you are here. So now,
for the first time, we are bringing
you the full story of what
We are giving you all the evidence,
based only on the secret testimony
of the miserable souls who survived
this terrifying ordeal. The
incidents, the places, my friend, we
cannot keep this a secret any longer.
Can your hearts stand the shocking
facts of the true story of Edward D.
EXT. NIGHT SKY
We drift down past the dark clouds… through the torrential
rain… and end up…
EXT. HOLLYWOOD – NIGHT
We’ve landed in Hollywood, 1952. We’re outside a teeny, grungy
playhouse. The cracked marquee proclaims “‘THE CASUAL
COMPANY,’ WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY EDWARD D. WOOD, JR.”
Pacing nervously in the rain is ED WOOD, 30, our hero.
Larger-than-life charismatic, confident, Errol Flynn-style
handsome, Ed is a human magnet. He’s a classically flawed
optimist: Sweet and well-intentioned, yet doomed by his demons
The doors open, and Ed’s pal JOHN “BUNNY” BRECKINRIDGE, 45,
hurries out. Bunny is a wealthy, theatrical fop wearing a
string of pearls.
[PAGE 2 MISSING]
Suddenly the rest of the cast runs up, frantically upset. In a
flowing white dress is DOLORES FULLER, 23, a sharp, hungry-
for-a-career ingenue. She’s near tears.
Eddie, my dove just flew out the
She goes on in two minutes! What
are we gonna do??
They all look to Ed, awaiting a response. He thinks a second,
then excitedly CLAPS his hands.
Dolores, give me your shoes.
The ghost can be barefoot. Give
me your shoes!
She hands Ed her white shoes. He snatches one, grabs a pair of
scissors, and starts CUTTING up the shoe. Everyone is baffled.
He keeps cutting the shoe… and it slowly takes on the shape
of a dove!
Ed then grabs some pipe cleaners, works them into a shape, and
sprints into the dressing room. He takes some green eye shadow
and excitedly smears it on the pipe cleaners. Ed then hurries
back out, jams the green pipe cleaners into the cut-up shoe…
and it looks like a dove with an olive branch in its mouth!
The cast is flabbergasted.
The soldiers suddenly look up.
Hey, I think I see something!
Dolores floats down onto the stage, holding out the dove.
I offer you mortals the bird of
peace, so that you may change your
ways and end all this destruction.
INT. SCRUFFY COFFEE SHOP – LATER THAT NIGHT
Ed and his gang celebrate opening night in a dirty 24-hour
diner. They’re noisily slugging down drinks, in a big red
What a show! Everyone was terrific!
Paul, your second-act monologue
actually gave me chills,
He grins at Actor #1, aka PAUL MARCO, a young eager beaver
who’s loyal like a dog.
Aw thanks, Eddie.
Actor #2, aka CONRAD BROOKS, a friendly, simple-minded lug,
runs up waving a newspaper.
I got the early edition! It was just
dropped off at the newsstand.
(he smiles at everyone)
This is the big moment…!
Ed opens the paper to the entertainment page.
INSERT – THE NEWSPAPER. Ed turns to a column, “The Theatrical
Life, By Victor Crowley.” Under this is a photograph of an old
man with an ascot.
Everybody excitedly crowds around and starts reading. A
moment… and then their faces drop. Clearly, this is a
disastrous review. Their faces get sadder, and sadder… and
then they finish. A melancholy beat, until —
What does that old queen know? He
wasn’t even there!
(he knocks back a drink)
Sending a copy boy to do his dirty
work. Well fuck him!
Do I really have a face like a horse?
What does “ostentatious” mean?
Ed calmly waves his arms for attention. He tries to smile.
Hey. Hey, it’s not that bad. You
just can’t concentrate on the
negative. He’s got some nice things
(he scans the review)
See, “The soldier costumes are very
realistic.” That’s positive!
Everyone kind of stares at their drinks, depressed. Ed
launches into an upbeat speech.
Hell, I’ve seen a lot worse reviews.
I’ve seen ones where they didn’t even
like the costumes! Like, that last
“Francis the Mule” picture — it got
terrible notices. But it was a huge
Lines around the block.
So don’t take it too seriously.
We’re all doin’ great work.
You really think so?
Absolutely! It’s just the beginning.
I promise this: If we stick together,
one day I’ll make every single one
of you famous.
He smiles at everyone at the table. They all believe what he
says, and there is a hushed moment of dream-filled hope.
INT. DOLORES’ APARTMENT – LATE NIGHT
Ed and Dolores lie in bed, in the dark. He stares vulnerably
Honey, what if I’m wrong? What if
I just don’t have it?
Ed, it was only one review.
Orson Welles was 26 when he made
“Citizen Kane.” I’m already 30!
Ed, you’re still young. This is the
part of your life when you’re
supposed to be struggling.
I know… But sometimes I get scared
this is as good as it’s gonna get…
Dolores kisses Ed affectionately.
Things’ll change for us. Nobody
stays on the fringe forever.
She gets out of bed. We see her tiny apartment is drab and
crumbling. Dolores turns on the shower, then walks to the
closet. She looks inside.
God, where’s my pink sweater? I can
never find my clothes anymore…
ANGLE – ED
He rolls over in bed, away from her.
INT. STUDIO WAREHOUSE – DAY
CU on Ed reading “The Hollywood Reporter.” A RUDE BOSS in
suspenders suddenly strides up.
Hey big shot, get off your ass. They
need a potted palm over in the Carl
Sure thing, Mr. Kravitz.
Ed jumps up. We WIDEN, revealing he’s in a giant greenhouse,
packed with rows of potted plants and shrubs. Ed grabs a small
palm tree and hurries out.
EXT. MOVIE STUDIO – DAY
Ed strolls across the busy movie lot, lugging the palm. He
passes a soundstage and notices the stage door open a crack.
Ed glances around, then puts down the palm and hurries in.
INT. SOUNDSTAGE SAME TIME
A big-budget foreign legion movie is shooting, with a huge cast
and crew. A giant desert set has been erected, with camels and
real sand dunes. Ed is blown away.
Whoa, look at all this sand. This
is real sand! My God, where’d they
get all this sand?!
A SECURITY GUARD sees him.
Hey, YOU. This is a closed set.
Ed is caught. He hurries out.
EXT. MOVIE STUDIO DAY
Ed continues across the lot, carrying his palm tree. An OLD
CRUSTY MAN sticks his head out an office window.
OLD CRUSTY MAN
Hey, Eddie! Come in here. I got
some great new stuff to show you.
Ed puts down the plant again and runs in.
INT. EDITING ROOMS DAY
The old guy is proudly showing Ed STOCK FOOTAGE on a moviola.
The footage is totally random: Giant explosions, buffalos
stampeding, tanks, an octopus swimming, etc.
Ed is dazzled.
This is fantastic! What are you
gonna do with it all?
OLD CRUSTY MAN
Eh, probably file it away and never
see it again.
It’s such a waste. If I had half a
chance, I could make an entire movie
out of this stock footage!
See, the story opens with these
mysterious explosions. Nobody knows
what’s causing them, but it’s
upsetting all the buffalo. So the
military is called in to solve the
OLD CRUSTY MAN
Ya forgot the octopus.
No, I’m saving that for the big
The old guy cackles.
EXT. MOVIE STUDIO – DAY
Ed finally carries the tree into the Laemmle Building.
INT. STUDIO OFFICES – SAME TIME
Young SECRETARIES in June Cleaver hairdos are giggling.
They say he was a girl trapped in a
I’ll bet it hurt when they snipped
his thing off.
EEWWW! All the girls shriek in horror. Ed walks in and puts
down his plant.
What are you ladies gabbin’ about?
You know that Christine Jorgensen
freak? He/she/it’s in “Variety.”
Some producer is making a biopic.
R-really? I didn’t see the story.
Ah, it was buried in the back. The
guy’s a real smalltime operator.
She holds up her “Variety.” Ed hurriedly takes it.
INSERT – VARIETY
The story headline says “BOYTOCHICK FLICK TO CLICK.”
We PULL OUT, revealing we’re now in
INT. ED’S APARTMENT – DAY
Ed holds the newspaper while he paces around his apartment.
The place has threadbare carpet, faded wallpaper, and an
electric burner for a kitchen. A handful of mangy DOGS run
around. Tacked-up are movie posters for “DRACULA,” “FREAKS,”
and “THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS.”
Dolores talks on the phone, while Ed silently coaches her.
DOLORES (on phone)
Yes, I’ve got Mr. Edward Wood on the
line. Could you please hold?
Ed gives her a thumbs up — perfect! He confidently takes the
ED (on phone)
Hello, Mr. Weiss? I heard about your
new project and was curious if you
signed a director. Oh — you
haven’t? Well, if we could get
together, I could explain why I’m
more qualified to direct this than
anyone else in town.
Uh, I’d rather not go into it over
the phone… Alright. Great! l’ll
see you then!
Ed hangs up and YELPS excitedly. He kisses Dolores. She pulls
Eddie, I don’t understand. Why are
you the most qualified director for
the Christine Jorgensen Story?
(nervous, he lies)
Aw, er, it’s just a bunch of hot air.
I had to say something to get in the
INT. LOW-RENT HALLWAY – DAY
Ed walks jauntily along, wearing a snappy suit. He reaches a
door that says “SCREEN CLASSICS George Weiss, President.” Ed
fixes his hair, checks his clothes, then enters.
INT. SCREEN CLASSICS SAME TIME
It’s a crowded root, piled with paperwork and files. Film cans
are stacked everywhere, and framed onesheets for “TEST TUBE
BABIES,” “BLONDE PICKUP” and “GIRL GANG” litter the cracked
walls. Sitting behind the messy desk is GEORGIE WEISS, 60, a
rug merchant turned exploitation film producer. He juggles a
large sandwich and angrily barks into the phone.
GEORGIE (on phone)
Look, when I said you could have the
western territories, I didn’t mean
all eleven states! I meant
California, Oregon, and uh, what’s
that one above it… Washington. Oh
really?! Well screw you!
Georgie slams down the phone. He smiles warmly at Ed.
Can I help you?
Yes, I’m Ed Wood. I’m here about
directing the Christine Jorgensen
Yeah, well a couple of things have
changed. It ain’t gonna be the
Christine Jorgensen story no more.
Goddamn “Variety” printed the story
before I had the rights, and now that
bitch is asking for the sky.
So you’re not gonna make the movie?
No, of COURSE I’m gonna make the
movie! I’ve already presold Alabama
and Oklahoma. Those repressed Okies
really go for that twisted pervert
stuff. So we’ll just make it without
that she-male. We’ll fictitionalize
Georgie bites into his sandwich. Ed is dazed.
Is there a script?
Fuck no! But there’s a poster.
Georgie pulls out artwork of a hermaphrodite: Man on the left
side, woman on the right. The lettering screams, “I CHANGED MY
It opens in nine weeks in Tulsa.
(mustering up his courage)
Well, Mr. Weiss, I’m your guy. I
work fast, and I’m a deal: I write
AND direct. And I’m good. I just
did a play in Hollywood, and Victor
Crowley praised its realism.
Hmm. There’s five-hundred guys in
town who can tell me the same thing.
You said on the phone you had some
kind of “special qualifications.”
Ed takes a measured piuse. This is his big revelation.
Well, Mr. Weiss, I’ve never told
anyone what I’m about to tell you…
but I really want this job.
I like to dress in women’s clothing.
Are you a fruit?
No, no, not at all! I love women.
Wearing their clothes makes me feel
closer to them.
So you’re not a fruit?
Nah, I’m all man. I even fought in
‘Course, I was wearing ladies’
undergarments under my uniform.
You gotta be kiddin’ me.
Confidentially, I even paratrooped
wearing a brassiere and panties.
I’ll tell ya, I wasn’t scared of
being killed, but I was terrified of
getting wounded, and having the
medics discover my secret.
Georgie sits back. It’s a hell of a story.
And this is why you think you’re the
most qualified to make my movie?
Yeah. I know what it’s like to live
with a secret, and worry about what
people are gonna think of you… My
girlfriend still doesn’t know why her
sweaters are always stretched out.
Ed, you seem like a nice kid, but
look around you…
(he gestures at the posters)
I don’t hire directors with burning
desires to tell their stories. I
make movies like “Chained Girls.”
I need someone with experience who
can shoot a film in four days that’ll
make me a profit.
I’m sorry. That’s all that matters.
INT. BAR DAY
Ed sits morosely in a scuzzy bar, three empty shot glasses in
front of him. A BARTENDER ambles over.
Are you gonna get something else?
Ed glumly empties his pocket. All he has is change. Ed sighs,
and staggers out.
EXT. HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD – DAY
Ed shuffles down the street, his head hanging low. A
restaurant door opens, and an EISENHOWER ERA NUCLEAR FAMILY
exits. Whitebread Dad, Mom, Son, and Daughter stride out in
their starched clean clothes.
They march obliviously past Ed. He watches them go, then
continues. Ed reaches a building, “HOLLYWOOD MORTUARY,” and
glances in the window. A pause, then he does a doubletake.
THROUGH THE WINDOW
The showroom is filled with sample coffins. Lying inside one
is BELA LUGOSI.
ANGLE – ED
He is flabbergasted.
INT. HOLLYWOOD MORTUARY – SAME TIME
Lugosi slowly sits up inside the coffin. Bela is an aged 70-
year-old man, once a great star, now a faded memory trying to
hang on to his nobility. Quite frail and tired, he is still a
master of the grand gesture.
An UNCTUOUS SALESMAN steps up. Bela speaks, in a thick
Hungarian ACCENT which gives him an Old World elegance.
Too constrictive. This is the most
uncomfortable coffin I have ever been
Gee, Mr. Lugosi, I’ve never had any
The selection is quite shoddy. You
are wasting my time.
Mildly annoyed, Bela climbs out. He straightens his cloak and
walks to the exit — where be bumps into nervous Ed.
Excuse me, Mr. Lugosi??
I told you, I don’t want any of your
No. I don’t work here.
Bela peers at Ed, then glances confusedly over his shoulder at
the salesman. Oh. Bela looks back at anxious Ed.
Who are you? What do you want?
I don’t want anything. I’m just a
really big, big fan. I’ve seen all
Bela strides out.
EXT. HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD – SAME TIME
Bela hurries along. Ed chases after him.
Why were you buying a coffin?
Because I’m planning on dying soon.
Yes. I’m embarking on another bus-
andtruck tour of “Dracula.” Twelve
cities in ten days, if that’s
Bela pulls out a large smelly cigar and lights it.
You know, I saw you perform
“Dracula.” In Poughkeepsie, in 1938.
Eh, that was a terrible production.
Renfield was a drunk!
I thought it was great. You were
much scarier in real life than you
were in the movie.
I waited to get your autograph, but
you never came outside.
I apologize. When I play Dracula,
I put myself into a trance. It takes
me much time to re-emerge.
A CITY BUS approaches.
Oh, there’s my bus.
(he checks his pockets)
Shit, where’s my transfer?!
Don’t you bave a car?
I refuse to drive in this country.
Too many madmen.
The bus pulls up, and the doors open. Ed is worried he’s about
to lose his new friend. He gets an idea…
INT. 1948 NASH RAMBLER – DAY
Ed drives anxiously. Bela sits next to him, filling the car
with smoke from his big cigar.
Boy, Mr. Lugosi, you must lead such
an exciting life. When is your next
picture coming out?
I have no next picture.
Ah, you gotta be jokin’! A great man
like you… I’ll bet you have dozens
of ’em lined up.
Back in the old days, yes. But now
— no one give two fucks for Bela.
Bela puffs on his oversized cigar.
But you’re a big star!
No more. I haven’t worked in four
years. This town, it chews you up,
then spits you out. I’m just an
Make a right.
EXT. BELA’S NEIGHBORHOOD – DAY
Ed drives past pumping oil wells and into a seedy neighborhood.
They reach a tiny, well-manicured house. Ed and Bela get out.
They don’t want the classic horror
films anymore. Today, it’s all giant
bugs, giant spiders, giant
grasshoppers — who would believe
The old ones were much spookier.
They had castles, full moons…
They were mythic. They had a poetry
(he lowers his voice)
And you know what else? The women
prefer the traditional monsters.
The pure horror, it both repels and
attracts them. Because in their
collective unconsciousness, they have
the agony of childbirth. The blood.
The blood is horror.
I never thought of that.
Take my word for it. You want to
“score” with a young lady, you take
her to see “Dracula.”
Bela’s eyes twinkle. He reaches his front door and unlocks it.
INSIDE… it’s awful. Squalid, dark, with skulls and strange
voodoo objects scattered about. Up front hangs a large
photograph of shockingly young Bela, handsome and regal.
Ed is stunned by this dismal place, but doesn’t say anything.
Within, DOGS start BARKING crazily.
Ugh, what a mess.
My wife of twenty years left me last
month. I’m not much of a
The dogs BARK louder.
Shh! I’m coming! I will feed you!
Well… I guess I should go. Perhaps
we could get together again?
(he shakes his hand)
Certainly. But now the children
of the night are calling me.
Bela smiles and steps inside. The door closes.
INT. DOLORES’S APARTMRNT – DAY
Dolores is in her 1950’s kitchenette, making a green jello
mold. Ed bursts in, euphoric.
Sweetie, you won’t believe it! I’ve
got the most incredible news!
You got the job?!!
Oh, uh, no, I didn’t get the job.
But something better happened!
Better than not getting a job?
Yeah! I met a movie star! Somebody
Who? Robert Taylor?!
No! A horror movie star!
Close! The other one!
You met Basil Rathbone!
Oh, the hell with you. I met BELA
I thought he was dead.
Ed’s eyes pop.
No! He’s very alive. Well… sort
of. He’s old, and frail — but he’s
still Bela Lugosi! And he’s really
Boy, I can’t even remember the last
time he was in a picture.
It’s a shame. He’s such a rest
actor, and nobody uses him anymore.
So did you get his autograph?
Ed calms down. He smiles beatifically.
No. It wasn’t like that at all. It
was just the two of us, and we were
talkin’… and he treated me like —
INT. STUDIO WAREHOUSE – DAY
Ed is back in the plant department, arguing with his boss.
He’s a bum.
No he’s not! Do you realize how much
money he made for this studio over
the years? “Dracula”! “The Raven”!
“The Black Cat”!
Yeah? Well now he’s a junkie. He
don’t deserve to work.
That’s not true —
He’s so great, you hire him.
Well, uh, if I could I would…
The guy takes a mocking face and struts out. Ed glares.
EXT. BELA’S ROUSE – NIGHT
It’s Halloween night. CHILDREN in trick-or-treating costumes
parade up and down the streets. Through Bela’s window, we see
him and Ed watching TELEVISION — a small fuzzy screen in a
INT. BELA’S HOUSE – SAME TIME
ON THE TV, one of Bela’s old ’30s horror films plays. Bela’s
evil character is hypnotizing somebody: His eyes stare the
famous stare, then his hand does the famous hypnotic gesture.
ON ED AND BELA
They are entranced. The men drink beers in silence. Bela’s
TWO DOGS lie at his feet.
ON THE TV
The old movie suddenly stops, and VAMPIRA appears on the TV
screen. Vampira, 25, is the sexy “Creature Feature” hostess,
a pale ghoul slipped into a tight black dress.
She leers in front of a corny fog-shrouded set. There is a
pumpkin, a broomstick, and a sign reading “Happy Halloween.”
VAMPIRA (on TV)
Ooo! Those eyes! He gives me the
willies! The only thing scarier than
him is this guy I dated last week:
Charlie from Pittsburgh. Boy, talk
about the living dead…
ON THE MEN
Ed is disgruntled.
Ugh! I hate the way she interrupts
the pictures. She doesn’t show ’em
the proper respect.
(glued to the TV)
I think she’s a honey. Look at those
Ed LAUGHS. Bela waves his arm and starts doing his hypnotic
hand gesture at the TV.
Vampira! You will come under my
spell! You will be my slave of love.
(fascinated by Bela’s hand)
Hey Bela, how do you do that?
You must be double-jointed, and you
must be Hungarian.
(back at the TV)
Vampira, look at me! Stare into my
Ed joins Bela in this activity. The two of them wave their
arms spookily at the TV.
Bela becomes fatigued.
I am getting tired. I need to take
Do you want me to get it for you?
No thank you, Eddie. I’ll be
Bela smiles. He gets up, shuffles across the room, and steps
behind a curtain. Ed is puzzled. Bela’s thin arm appears and
draws the curtain tight. We hear mysterious CLANGING, drawers
opening and closing, and then silence.
Ed sits, waiting.
Behind the curtain, something DROPS. We hear a muffled “Shit!”
Ed is getting worried. But then the curtain whips open, and
Bela bounds out, grinning. He’s a bundle of energy.
I feel better now.
AT THE DOOR
The doorbell RINGS. Kids SHOUT “Trick or treat!” Bela jumps
Children! I love children.
Bela puts on his famous cape, then gets a pair of fangs and
sticks them in his mouth.
Little kids in Lone Ranger and Howdy Doody costumes giggle
Suddenly the door flies open, and standing there is Count
Dracula! The real Count Dracula. YEOWWWW!!! The kids SCREAM
Bela chuckles. Every kid is gone… except one TOUGH BOY.
Aren’t you scared, little boy? I’m
going to drink your blood!
Ehh, you’re not a real vampire.
You can’t turn into a bat, and
those teeth don’t frighten me.
Suddenly Ed lurches out, menacingly.
Well how about these teeth?!!
Ed RIPS HIS TEETH out of his head and thrusts them at the
kid. The boy SCREAMS in terror and races away.
Bela is wowed.
Hey, how’d you do that?
Ed smiles impishly, then sticks the teeth back in his mouth.
Dentures. I lost my pearlies in
EXT. STREET – LATER THAT NIGHT
Ed and Bela run toward us, Bela’s cape flapping in the wind.
Ed takes a swig from Bela’s flask. They’re a bit tipsy.
Are you sure this is okay?
Don’t worry. I do it every
EXT. CEMETERY – NIGHT
The moonlight shines down on a rickety old cemetery. The wind
blows hauntingly, and tombstones gleam in the blackness.
Ed and Bela reach the locked gates. They glance at each other,
then start to climb over. Ed helps Bela. They jump down, and
Ed peers nervously.
Bela looks like a child on Christmas morning. He takes another
swig, then starts running giddily.
He disappears into the cemetery.
I am DRACULA!
Bela darts happily through the graves.
His cape flies behind him.
I am the BAT!!
Ed’s eyes light up. He starts chasing after Bela.
Bela’s heart is racing. He zig-zags past ancient crypts.
Gargoyles peer down. The wind howls through the skeletal
trees, silhouetted against the cloudy sky.
Ed runs through the shadows, trying to catch up.
Bela flaps his cape up and down. We almost think he’s going to
Ed races up, then quietly stops. He eagerly watches Bela,
practically expecting him to turn into a bat. It’s a magical,
I am DRACUlA! I will LIVE FOREVER!!!
Bela laughs, then lies down on the grass.
Ed slowly walks over and lies next to Bela. They’re happy,
eyes alert, on top of the world.
Ed peers in wonder at his new friend.
INT. SCREEN CLASSICS OFFICE – DAY
Ed sits across from Georgie. Ed’s very excited.
So what’s the big news you couldn’t
tell me over the phone… again?
Ed gulps excitedly. He has a spiel all planned out.
Mr. Weiss, I was thinkin’ about what
you said, about how all your movies
have to make a profit. And I
realized, what’s the one thing, that
if you put in a movie, it’ll be
No. Better than tits — a star!
Georgie shakes his head.
Eddie, you must have me confused with
David Selznick. I don’t make major
motion pictures. I make crap.
Yeah, but if you took that crap and
put a star in it, you’d have something!
Yeah. Crap with a star.
No! It would be something better!
Something impressive. The biggest
moneymaker you’ve ever had!
Fine, maybe you’re right. But it
doesn’t friggin’ matter. I can’t
afford a star, so I don’t even know
what we’re talking about.
What if I told you you could have a
star for $1000??
Ed opens his valise and whips out an 8×10 GLOSSY OF BELA.
Isn’t he dead?
No, he’s not dead! He lives in
Baldwin Hills. I met him recently,
and he wants to be in our picture.
Uh, yeah. Our picture.
Georgie mulls this over. He’s interested.
Why would Lugosi want to be in a
Because he’s my friend.
Georgie stares carefully at Ed, then finally smiles.
Alright, fine! You can direct it.
I want a script in three days, and
we start shooting a week from Monday.
ANGLE – ED
He leaps up euphorically. He eagerly pumps Georgie’s hand.
Thank you! Bless you, Mr. Weiss!
I promise I won’t let you down!
INT. ED’S APARTMENT – DAY
CU on a ROYAL TYPEWRITER. Ed’s hands whirl across the portable
typewriter, frantically feeding in pages as fast as be can
type. We PULL OUT.
Ed sits on the bed, typing. He’s a blur of activity, juggling
a cigarette, coffee, and a telephone, while he writes.
ED (on phone)
But Bunny, you’re perfect for this
job! You’re so good at organizing.
His adrenalin is pumping. Ed pours some booze into his coffee.
You know these people. I need all
the transsexuals and transvestites
you can get.
(he sucks on his cigarette)
No, I don’t care if they’re not
actors. I want realism. I want this
film to tell the truth! I’ve waited
my whole life for this shot, and I’m
not gonna blow it.
There’s a KNOCK at the door. Ed carries the phone on a long
cord and answers it. Bela hurries in, smiling broadly.
Eddie, you got a new movie for me?!
Yeah, it’s gonna be a great picture!
You’ll love your character!
(back into the phone)
Bunny, Bela’s here. Look, hit the
bars, work some parties, and get me
transvestites! I need transvestites!
Ed hangs up and resumes typing. Bela is puzzled.
Eddie, what kind of movie is this?
Well, It’s about how people have two
personalities. The side they show
to the world, and then the secret
person they hide inside.
Oh, like Jekyll and Hyde! Ah, I’ve
always wanted to play Jekyll and
Hyde! I’m looking forward to this
Ed stops typing. He pours Bela a drink.
Ehh, your part’s a little different.
You’re like the God that looks down
on all the characters, and oversees
I don’t understand.
Well… you control everyone’s fate.
You’re like the puppetmaster.
Ah, so I pull the strings!
Yeah. You pull the strings —
(he suddenly gets a look)
“Pull the strings”… hey, that’s
Ed quickly starts typing again.
INT. ED’S APARTMENT – NIGHT
Ed and Dolores sit at a card table, finishing up dinner. The
dogs eat scraps below them.
Wipe off your hands. I’ve got a
little surprise for you…
(he smiles nervously)
I finished my script.
Ed anxiously pulls out a pile of pages. Dolores looks in awe
at the cover: “‘GLEN OR GLENDA’ By Edward D. Wood, Jr””
Ed, I’m so proud! I’ll read it as
soon as I get home.
Well, I’d really like to know what
you think. Why don’t you go in the
bedroom and take a look at it? I’ll
There’s an uneasy moment between them. She senses something
funny. Dolores takes the script and goes into the bedroom.
The door closes. Ed starts pacing…
INT. BEDROOM – LATER
Dolores reads the script. She finishes the last page, then
looks up. She is very shaken.
Dolores stands. She grabs the door and opens it.
THROUGH THE DOORWAY
Ed stands somberly in drag. He’s in a pantsuit, heels, and
pink angora sweater.
Dolores is totally rattled. She struggles for a response.
So that’s where my sweater’s been.
Ed silently nods.
How long have you been doing this?
Since I was a kid. My mom wanted a
girl, so she used to dress me in
girlie clothing. It just kinda
became a habit.
Jesus Christ! And you never told me?
This is my way of telling you —
What, by putting it in a fuckin’
script, for everyone to see?! What
kind of sick mind would operate like
Ed is terribly hurt. Dolores shakes tht script.
And what about this so-called
“Barbara” character? It’s obviously
ME! I’m so embarrassed! This is our
Of course it is. And that’s why you
should play the part.
Oh! You got nerve, buddy.
He calmly points at the script.
It’s a damn good role.
That’s not the issue!!
(she suddenly stops)
Ugh! How can you act so casual, when
you’re dressed like that?!
It takes me comfortable.
Oh, just like in the script!
Ed smiles serenely.
(he takes her hand)
So what do ya say? Do you wanna
break up… or do you wanna do the
movie with me?
INT. SCREEN CLASSICS – DAY
The hallway is filled with eager TRANSVESTITES. It’s a very
festive atmosphere, and Bunny tries to create some order.
Inside the busy office, Paul types, and Conrad cranks a
It’s good to have a job. Now I can
get my phone reconnected.
In a corner, Georgie angrily waves the script at Ed.
I thought this was gonna be a sex-
There’s still a sex-change —
Yeah! Five pages right before it
ends! The rest of the show is about
some schmuck who likes angora
I don’t think he’s a schmuck.
And what’s with this new title?! My
poster says “I CHANGED MY SEX”!
So change the poster. Trust me,
you’ll be better off. This is a
story that’s gonna grab people.
(he goes into a pitch)
It’s about this guy. He’s crazy
about this girl but he likes to
wear dresses. Should he tell her?
Should he not tell her? He’s torn.
George, this is DRAMA.
Georgie throws up his hands
Fine, shoot whatever baloney you
want! I give up. Just make sure
it’s seven reels long.
EXT. STREET – EARLY MORNING
We are on location for Ed’s first film! A SMALL CREW of a
dozen unpacks the camera and reflectors from their cars. Ed’s
voice rises above the hubbub.
Excuse me, could I have everyone’s
attention?! Could you gather around?
I’ve got something to say.
The crew members put down their things and gather in a circle.
In the middle, we reveal Ed, in complete drag. Dress, nylons,
pumps, lovely blonde wig… he’s quite a sight. Like an eager
Scoutmaster, he addresses his troops.
Everybody, we’re about to embark on
quite a journey. Four days of hard
work… but when it’s over, we’ll
have a picture that’ll entertain,
enlighten, and maybe even move
millions of people.
A COUPLE GRIPS glance at each other.
Now the only way we’re gonna achieve
all this is if we stay on schedule.
Day one — TODAY — we’ll start easy.
We have eighteen silent scenes that
can be shot quickly: Cars parking,
Patrick’s suicide, me strolling as
a man, me strolling as a woman, etc.
After lunch, we’ll bring in the
Inspector and the Doctor. The Doctor
is very important to the plot, so we
might have to spend time on retakes.
But it’s worth it. Scene totals for
the first day is thirty-four.
(he catches a breath)
Day Two, we’ll be a little busier —
Veteran CAMERAMAN BILL, an old guy with thick glasses, speaks.
Excuse me Eddie, I don’t mean to
interrupt… but I’m gettin’ a little
worried about those clouds.
He points up. Everybody looks at the sky. The clouds are
Ed nods in agreement.
Good thinkin’. We’ll talk about Days
Three and Four later. Now let’s get
that first shot off! It’s Scene 17,
Glenda looking in the window.
disperses. Ed quickly runs in his heels over to the burly
make-up man, HARRY.