Edward Scissorhands (1990) movie review

Edwards Scissorhands Directed by Tim Burton
Edwards Scissorhands Directed by Tim Burton

Edward Scissorhands movie – This classic Tim Burton movie, heavily inspired by fantasies and gothic aesthetics, revolves around Edward, a half finished human robot living in a small American suburban neighborhood. Despite the rather dark tone of the film, the movie is full of innocence and acts of kindness. If you’ve ever felt like a misfit amongst your friends or have experienced the slightest of humiliation for being different, watch or buy Edward Scissorhands.

Facts about Edward Scissorhands, 1990

Director of Edward Scissorhands: Tim Burton

Cast of Edward Scissorhands: Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder and Dianne Wiest

Genre: Drama, Fantasy and Romance

Awards: Saturn Award - Best Fantasy Film, BAFTA Film Award – Best Production Design

Edward Scissorhands movie trivia: The theme for this film was based on a drawing that Tim Burton had sketched when he was a kid.

Reasons why you should watch or buy Edward Scissorhands

Edward Scissorhands is a poignant and a truly touching story about love and innocence. Edward becomes an object of fear, fascination and curiosity in a small American suburban neighborhood. Owing to his strange and quirky appearance, Edward is shunned as an outcast and the film specifically focuses on these experiences of humiliation and fear. It is the interweaving of stark contradictions such as the frightening and the heartwarming, darkness and beauty, cruelty and kindness which make this film absolutely unique.

1. Edward Scissorhands has some of the best actors of our time

Edward Scissorhands stars some of the finest actors from the American film industry. For many of them such as Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder, it was Edward Scissorhands which brought them to the limelight. Although Johnny Depp has now become a popular household name due to the Pirates of the Caribbean series, it was Edward Scissorhands which provided him with the space and the opportunity to showcase his talent. A character like Edward demanded immense talent and Johnny Depp portrays it with a lot of ease and precision. The innocence of Edward is conveyed not through dialogues but facial expressions. Johnny Depp’s portrayal is heartwarming to the say the least, and with very few words he is able to convey a lot of emotions. The character of the old lonely inventor who wanted a son so desperately that he built Edward out of Metal devices is played by the wonderful Vincent Price. Although his role is very short in the movie, his performance with all his eccentricities and compassion is very endearing.

2. The use of contrasting yet stunning visuals in Edward Scissorhands

The visuals in Edward Scissorhands are uniquely contrasting throughout the movie, yet very breathtaking. The film is like a beautiful surreal painting, one can freeze any shot and frame a picture out of it. Like all the other Tim Burton films, the visuals are imbued with a tone of a dark fairy tale, gothic yet strangely innocent and sweet. The Old inventor’s gothic Mansion in which Edward stayed till his creator died has been presented brilliantly. Haunting, beautiful and spooky, capable of evoking memories about the Frankenstein stories that we used to read as children. In contrast to the mansion, the suburban neighborhood in which Edward is eventually taken to by Dianne Wiest’s character Peggy Boggs is painted in bright pastel colors of orange, green and yellow. This fuse of different color palettes aid in further fleshing out Edward’s experiences and emotions.

3. The refreshing love story of Edward Scissorhands

Edward Scissorhands presents an unusually sweet story of love. The romance unfolds between Edward and Peggy Bogg’s daughter, Kim, played by Winona Ryder. Moved by Edward’s innocence and honesty, Kim tries to protect him from the cruel neighborhood. Kim plays the role of a distraught yet kind girlfriend who is torn between her affection for Edward and the cold-hearted boyfriend that she has been dating. It is through her kindness and honesty that Kim expresses her love for Edward in the movie. The film narrative beautifully captures this emotion as it is not merely sympathy which shapes her kindness but it is a genuine feeling of love which forges her relationship with Edward.

4. Beautifully crafted humor

It would be a mistake to label Edward Scissorhands as a gothic story of romance alone. The film is copiously dappled with wonderful moments of humor and joy. Edward’s skill of cutting the neighborhood lawns and shrubs is shown in an adorable way. He would bring joy to his neighbors by cutting their shrubs into different animal shapes. It this skill of cutting and chopping which turns him into an awkward celebrity in the suburbia. The humor in Edward Scissorhands emerges from such quirky but delightful moments.

5. The prejudice of human nature is exposed in Edward Scissorhands

The narrative of Edward Scissorhands is underlined with a very subtle social message. It seeks to expose the prejudiced nature of human beings by revealing how feelings of fear, anger and hate always inhibit people from accepting or appreciating anything or anyone new or different. It is an unusual tale which shows how the triumph of human spirit can be experienced through acts of kindness and love.

Watch Edwards Scissorhands movie trailer

Buy Edward Scissorhands DVD, Blu-ray or Amazon Instant Video online

Janet Maslin's Edward Scissorhands movie review

"Mr. Burton invests awe-inspiring ingenuity into the process of reinventing something very small"

Source: Rotten Tomatoes

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Comments 11 comments

FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 5 years ago

Although he did some TV movies and voice over work, this was Price's final appearance in front of the camera on the big screen. A wonderful end to his big screen career. I loved this movie until the ending. At the time I hadn't yet seen classic horror films where the so called monster is the victim and humans are the real monsters. as a result, I was ill prepared for what happens to the title character. I went back and forth between crying and raging.

Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal

I think Edward Scissorhands is better than Jack Sparrow. It is a great movie.

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lostwithinmyself 5 years ago

I love this movie, not seen it in years though. x

Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 5 years ago from Virginia

Very nicely done princesswithapen. I really like this movie as well....your top 5 reasons are outstanding....a great way for Vincent Price to end his movie career...It also started the very successful Depp/Burton partnership(now up to 7 movies). Another outstanding aspects of Edward Scissorhands is the outstanding music by Danny Elfman. Trivia you might not know.....original this was going to be a musical....and Tom Cruise, Jim Carrey and Robert Downey Jr. were also considered for the role of Edward.....voted up and awesome.

FatFreddysCat profile image

FatFreddysCat 5 years ago from The Garden State

I remember when the pre-release press kit for this movie came in the mail at my college newspaper. The staff and I read through the press releases and synopsis, looked through the 8x10 photos and figured it was just about the most ridiculous looking movie any of us had ever heard of. "This thing is gonna tank big time," we thought. Lo and behold, it came out and started racking up phenomenal reviews, my curiosity was piqued so I went to see it and ended up loving it.

princesswithapen profile image

princesswithapen 5 years ago Author

"....where the so called monster is the victim and humans are the real monsters" Well said Flora. Many viewers miss this irony to simply get carried away with the fantasy theme of the movie.


princesswithapen profile image

princesswithapen 5 years ago Author

Hi Vinaya Ghimire

Maybe Jack Sparrow will be much talked about like a legend 10 years down the line, just like Edward Scissohands is being mentioned today?


princesswithapen profile image

princesswithapen 5 years ago Author

lostwithinmyselft maybe it is time to catch up on this evergreen classic again?


princesswithapen profile image

princesswithapen 5 years ago Author


I somehow find it impossible to imagine Tom Cruise, Jim Carry or Robert Downey Jr. to in the role of Edward Scissorhands. Johnny Depp has played this role to perfection, don't you think?

I love your insight on this movie review. Thanks heaps!


princesswithapen profile image

princesswithapen 5 years ago Author

Talk about bucking the trend, FatFreddysCat. I bet it raises quite some goosebumps to go back to 1990 and thinking about that press release kit for Edward Scissorhands. Just like you, many folks I know have gone and seen this movie just out of curiosity after looking at pictures and reading reviews. And yes, they all loved it too.


FatFreddysCat profile image

FatFreddysCat 5 years ago from The Garden State

Yeah, and I wish I still had that press kit, now that "Edward" has gone on to become a cult film, it would probably bring some $$ on eBay nowadays. Haha.

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