I have always had problems with Ed Wood. Martin Landau gives a truly great performance as Bela Lugosi (he deserved the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor), and he’s really given a great character to play. It’s one of the most moving and effective portrayals I’ve ever seen of a real person—a great portrait of a man haunted by lost fame. Unfortunately, I never really cared about anyone else in the movie. I always felt that Bela Lugosi should’ve been the protagonist and Ed Wood should’ve been a supporting character. Wood is certainly colorful, but he’s just not interesting enough to carry an entire movie, in my opinion. The portrayal is so over-the-top camp that I always felt emotionally distant from him. This would’ve worked fine as a supporting character in a movie about Lugosi, but not when he’s supposed to be the lead. As soon as Lugosi died, I pretty much lost all interest in the movie, and started paying more attention to the production design, costume design, and makeup and hairstyling (all of which are pitch-perfect) than to the story. I think it could’ve been a great movie with some rewrites to focus it on Lugosi, but as is, I think it’s a mediocre film with one truly great character.
Other titles that come to mind are The Lord of the Rings (1978) and Superman IV.
I think it would be important to note what exactly feels unfinished. Is it the narrative structure is the production design? Some other films may be really strong in one area and lack in others. – Cagney7 years ago