Awful Auteurs: Ed Wood Begins


Ed Wood has become a Hollywood legend in the world of bad movies. His films, which were mostly ignored at the time they were made, have become strange classics, enjoyed by lovers of forgotten cinema.

Mr. Wood was born in 1924 in Poughkeepsie, New York. His father worked for the postal service. His mother had really wanted a daughter, so she would dress Ed up like the girl she never had. Some people thought that was why Wood became a heterosexual cross dresser later in life. Ed loved the movies, with Bela Lugosi as his favorite actor. He would later get the opportunity to work with Mr. Lugosi.

Ed's parents recognized his interests and they bought him a camera for his 12th birthday. He quickly began making his own films. Unfortunately, he also began skipping school to sneak off to see movies. When World War II began, he enlisted in the Marines, seeing heavy combat. (He lost his teeth in an attack made by a Japanese soldier.) Wood was scared of getting killed in action because he wore ladies lingerie under his uniform. After returning to the states, Ed decided that his creative passions were becoming too strong to ignore. In 1947 he headed out to Hollywood to follow his dreams.