Edward Scissorhands is a 1990 American romantic fantasy film directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp. The film shows the story of an artificial man named Edward, an unfinished creation, who has scissors for hands. Edward is taken in by a suburban family and falls in love with their teenage daughter Kim. Supporting roles are portrayed by Winona Ryder, Dianne Wiest, Anthony Michael Hall, Kathy Baker, Vincent Price, and Alan Arkin.
Burton conceived the idea for Edward Scissorhands from his childhood upbringing in suburban Burbank, California. During pre-production of Beetlejuice, Caroline Thompson was hired to adapt Burton's story into a screenplay, and the film began development at 20th Century Fox, after Warner Bros. passed on the project. Edward Scissorhands was then fast tracked after Burton's success with Batman. Before Depp's casting, the leading role of Edward had been connected to Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks, Robert Downey, Jr., and William Hurt, while the role of The Inventor was written specifically for Vincent Price, and was ultimately his final performance on film although it was not his last film release. His last film, The Thief and the Cobbler, which he had been completed before Edward Scissorhands, had a delayed release in 1995.
The majority of filming took place in the Tampa Bay Area of Florida between March and June 1990, which generated over $6 million for the local economy. Edward's scissor hands were created and designed by Stan Winston. The film is also the fourth feature collaboration between Burton and film score composer Danny Elfman. Edward Scissorhands was released with positive feedback from critics, and was a financial success. The film received numerous nominations at the Academy Awards, British Academy Film Awards, Saturn Awards, as well as winning the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation. Both Burton and Elfman consider Edward Scissorhands their most personal and favorite work.
One evening, an elderly woman tells her granddaughter a bedtime story of where snow comes from, by telling her the story of a young man named Edward (Johnny Depp), who has scissors for hands, the creation of an old Inventor (Vincent Price). The Inventor's final result was a humanlike young boy who had everything except for hands, but the Inventor suffered a heart attack and died while in the act of giving a pair of real hands to Edward, leaving him "unfinished" forever.
Many years after Edward was created, local Avon saleswoman Peg Boggs (Dianne Wiest) visits the decrepit Gothic mansion on the hill where Edward lives. There, she finds Edward alone, and upon realizing he is virtually harmless she decides to take him to her home. Edward becomes friends with Peg's young son Kevin (Robert Oliveri) and her husband Bill (Alan Arkin). He later falls in love with the Boggs' beautiful teenage daughter, Kim (Winona Ryder), despite her initial fear of him.
Peg's neighbors are impressed by Edward's adept hedge-trimming and hair-cutting skills (both of which he does with his scissor-hands), but two of the townspeople, a religious fanatic named Esmeralda (O-Lan Jones) and Kim's boyfriend, Jim (Anthony Michael Hall), are not impressed. One of the housewives in the neighborhood, Joyce (Kathy Baker), an ageing seductress, suggests that Edward opens a hair-cutting salon with her. While examining a proposed site, she attempts to seduce him in the back room, causing Edward to leave in a state of panic.
Wanting money for a van, Jim takes advantage of Edward's ability to pick locks, and uses this as an attempt to break into his parents' house. The burglar alarm sounds and everyone except Edward flees, despite Kim's angry insistence that they return for him. Edward is arrested and released when a psychological examination reveals that his isolation allowed him to live without a sense of reality and common sense. Meanwhile, infuriated by Edward's rejection, Joyce exacts revenge by claiming that he tried to "rape" her. This, added to the "break-in", causes many of the neighbors to question his personality and ruin his popular reputation. During the Christmas season, Edward is feared and outcasted by almost everyone around him except the Boggs family, resulting in the family becoming outcasts as well.
While the family is setting up Christmas decorations, Edward creates an angel ice sculpture. The shavings create an effect of falling snow, which Kim dances under. Jim calls out to Kim, distracting her, and Edward accidentally cuts her hand. Jim says that Edward had intentionally harmed her and attacks him. Edward runs away, tearing the clothes Peg gave him, and wanders the neighborhood in a rage. Kim, fed up with Jim's behavior towards Edward, breaks up with him and he goes to his friend's van to get drunk. While Peg and Bill search for Edward, he returns and Kim greets him with a hug. When Kevin is almost run over by Jim's drunk friend, Edward pushes him out of the way, but cuts his face, causing witnesses to think he was attacking him. When the police arrive, Edward flees to his hilltop mansion and the vengeful neighbors follow.
Kim runs to the mansion and reunites with Edward. Jim follows her, attacks Edward and angers him when Jim brutally assaults Kim. Edward stabs Jim in the stomach and pushes him out a window to his death. Kim confesses her love for Edward and shares a kiss with him as they say goodbye. Returning downstairs, Kim lies to the townspeople saying that Edward and Jim killed each other in the fight. She tells them that the roof caved in on them and shows them a disembodied scissor-hand similar to that of Edward's. The neighbors return home.
The elderly woman (who is actually revealed to be Kim in her old age) finishes telling her granddaughter the story, saying that she never saw Edward again. She chose not to visit him because she wanted him to remember her the way she was in her youth. She also mentions that Edward is still alive, seemingly immortal since he is artificial and can never age, and he "creates snow" from his ice sculptures, which falls upon the neighborhood below. She tells her granddaughter that "Sometimes you can still catch me dancing in it." While Edward creates more ice sculptures, a flashback of a young Kim is shown dancing under the snow falling from the angel ice sculpture above her.
- Johnny Depp as Edward Scissorhands
- Winona Ryder as Kim Boggs
- Dianne Wiest as Peg Boggs
- Alan Arkin as Bill Boggs
- Anthony Michael Hall as Jim
- Kathy Baker as Joyce
- Vincent Price as The Inventor
- Robert Oliveri as Kevin Boggs
- Conchata Ferrell as Helen
- Caroline Aaron as Marge
- Dick Anthony Williams as Officer Allen
- O-Lan Jones as Esmeralda