Now I have watched him from 21 Jump Street, as the young narc, Tom Hanson. That was a show written by Stephen J. Cannell who I also adored. I loved Johnny in so many films from the original Nightmare on Elm Street in his hip 80’s short tee, to Cry Baby in his leather jacket as the biker who showed emotion. He had me from the start. I could go on with Benny and Joon, Whats eating Gilbert Grape?, Ed Wood, Secret Window, Willy Wonka, Alice in Wonderland, the Tourist, and all the Pirates of the Caribbean, well as you can see the man has had a great career. Tonight since it is the season of weird, I want to talk about the marvelous Edward Scissorhands.
I sat down to grab a bite and there it was, Johnny as the Frankenstein monster meets Pinocchio. I loved that, the spooktacular Vincent Price played the scientist, who in the creation of this boy dies and leaves him alone in this giant Gothic castle overlooking the suburbs. Since he did not have time to finish Edward, his master leaves him with only scissors for hands. The cast is marvelous, and guess who produced it, come on I bet you can’t. Ok, you are right, Tim Burton.
The cast in this film is wonderful. Edward is taken into the home of a suburban housewife, Peg Boggs (Dianne Weist). The cast also includes, Alan Arkin as Peg’s husband Bill, they has a teen age daughter Kim (Wynona Rider, his real life girlfriend at the time) and a young son Kevin (Robert Oliveri). The story is about being unique, and being embraced by these suburbanites. Edward is a master sculpture with his hands both shrubs and hair. He starts doing all the women’s hair and is a hit.
Then there are the 2 people that don’t like him out of fear, Esmeralda (O-Lan Jones- the backward christian) and Jim (Michael Anthony Hall- Kim’s boyfriend). Though the boyfriend’s anger creates discord around the family, truly Edward’s loving, and naive personality aid him in coping. There is one scene I always remember about this film. Edward is focused on making this ice sculpture for Christmas, while he is flailing around in the dark creating the sculpture, it creates ice shavings that look like snow. Kim is turning circles as it snows falls around her. It is a beautiful scene. Now of course they couldn’t make it work with Edward, or there would be no plot. Edward is accused of raping a woman when he rejects her advances, so he is outcast again, and runs to the safety of his Gothic castle on the hill.
The story is told by Kim to her granddaughter. It is legend that he creates the snow from the castle that falls on the town. She never saw him again. Edward was never going to age, as he was a creation, and she wanted him to remember her as she was. Through the timeless story of acceptance and fear of being different, it is a great kids Halloween movie. For me it was a visit to a wonderful film with a wonderful man that has been at the fringes of my life, all my adult life. We all have moments where there is a little Edward in us. I am a little Edward. have been my whole life. Only now I really appreciate it!!
So this is only the beginning of my 2nd favorite season, there are so many wonderful films, TV shows and even books with ghoulish characters and timeless stories. Have a good day tomorrow.