Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that this comedic look at a real-life movie eccentric has strong language and discussions of transvestism, homosexuality, and gender-reassignment surgery (viewers see the cross-dressing, but no surgery). Drinking, smoking, IV-drug use (not seen), and the death of real-life star Bela Lugosi come up in the plot. There's a threatened suicide by gun, and Wood and his cronies engage in unethical behavior to raise funds for their movies. Young viewers who become interested in Ed Wood through this film might learn that Wood's career ended in assorted forms of pornographic media and chronic alcoholism.
Transvestism is a big part of the plot, with talk about sex-change operations ("he had his thing cut off"), female-to-male hormone injections, and similar gender mixtures. Both Bela Lugosi and a little boy lust after a buxom character's "jugs." Topless and scantily clad women in paintings. Actresses shown in low-cut outfits and bras. Ed Wood and his girlfriend live together.
A suicidal Bela Lugosi brandishes a revolver. Ed is hit with a frying pan in a domestic dispute.
"Screw," "s--t," "f--k," "c--ksucker," "a--hole," "hell," plus "God" and "Jesus" used as exclamations.
The movie's plot suggests that artistic creativity (here, filmmaking) has intrinsic value and nobility -- even if you're making poor quality stuff. Despite ludicrous scripts and inept methods, Wood has the same travails, passion, and legitimacy as his idol, Orson Welles. The film suggests that Wood's cross-dressing obsession, combined with his film ambitions, helps him befriend and understand people who would otherwise be outcasts.
Drugs / Tobacco /
The ailing Bela Lugosi is depicted as a drug addict (injecting narcotics just off camera), a habit he tries to kick -- and gets some unexpected good PR from the scandal. Social and saloon drinking. Characters smoke cigarettes and cigars.