Directed by Tim Burton
Music by Danny Elfman
Screenplay by Caroline Thompson
Director of Photography Stefan Czapsky
"Hold me" Kim Boggs
"I can't" Edward Scissorhands
The story begins with an old lady telling her granddaughter the story
of snow, and why it snows.
Edward Scissorhands lives in a gothic mansion at the top of a hill, below
him a suburban town looking very much like a nightmarish vision from the
1960's, where pink and yellow houses nest, neatly grouped together each
looking as identical as the inhabitants that live and breathe beneath
A very old gentle inventor, played by the renowned actor Vincent Price
famous for his performances in Classic horror movies, has created Edward
but he sadly dies before he is able to give Edward his hands. Edward is
left with only scissors for hands.
In a very comical scene we see Peggy, played by Dianne West, working
as an Avon representative visit the mansion on a hopeless task to sell
her make up. She is however kinder than most of the residents in the town
below and takes it upon herself to give Edward a home, bringing him to
the town below to live with her and her family, although with good intentions
she lacks the wisdom in her actions.
The film is filled with humorous scenes yet within the humour there is
always darker overtones.
neighbourhood soon accepts Edward in a perverse and freakish way, the
people seeing him as a curiosity. He soon becomes popular for his gift
of cutting hedges into pieces of beautiful art and arousing the dormant
passions of spiteful housewives.
From the beginning of the film we see scenes depicting how it feels if
you are different and are amongst people who fit neatly into societies
accepted roles. In a horrible dinner scene Peggy's husband reminds Edward
that in society money is all that matters if one cannot earn money than
one is not acceptable, and he pushes Edward to go to the bank for a loan,
obviously they will not give him one without the proper official papers
that go with being a member of the social order.
Edward himself has never asked to be created in the manner he was, he
is an innocent young man, gentle and greatly gifted, he has a beauty and
heart that is found rarely in life. He worships and adores Peggy's daughter
Kaye, who from the beginning acts as most teenagers would if they came
home and found a strange young man with scissors as hands sleeping in
their bed. She makes fun of Edward and soon uses him unwillingly to break
into her obnoxious boyfriends house.
Soon after this event Kaye begins to see Edwards beauty and uniqueness
in comparison to the people she is surrounded by every day. She reaches
out to him with her love holding him close to her.
The people residing in the neighbourhood attack Edward and chase after
him through the streets in a similar vein to an early Frankenstein movie
directed by James Whale. Kaye saves his life, telling everyone he has
been killed she leaves him to be happy on his own the only true way he
can live away from people, but with the knowledge that he is loved.
Swissorhands depicts in both humourous ways and dark ones, how life can
be if you are different, with Edward on the far end of the scale. Edward
is looking for love and understanding something that becomes difficult
if you are unusual and something that you long for. It is also a story
about someone who cannot physically touch anything or anyone without destroying
the thing itself through no fault of his own.
The film is truly wonderful modern fairytale, the gothic mansion is hauntingly
beautiful and scenes with Kaye dancing in the snow from Edwards Ice Sculpture's
is mesmerising. The story of snow is a rare jewel in filmmaking.