Edward Scissorhands (1991)

Genre: Adventure, Fantasy | Age: 10-12


Ages 4 & under -- No
Ages 5 to 7 -- With Guidance
Ages 8 to 9 -- With Guidance
Ages 10 to 12 -- Yes
Ages 13 to 15 -- Yes
Ages 15 to 17 -- Yes

Edward Scissorhands (1991)

FANTASY ADVENTURE: 1990, PG-13. In the ultimate color-coordinated, middle-class housing tract, Peggy is an inept Avon sales lady. Frustrated, she pays a visit to the local “haunted” castle where she finds Edward. An inventor who died before completing him built him with scissors for hands. She takes the shy, but very odd, youngster home with her. Edward shows talents in trimming bushes and cutting hair and becomes a hit with the local bored housewives. When daughter Kim arrives home and finds Edward in her bed, she panics. When he starts liking her, she rejects him and her boyfriend Jim begins persecuting Edward. Joy helps him open his own beauty salon. Jim recruits Edward into breaking into his own house so he can steal his father’s stereo equipment. When Edward is trapped, the other kids abandon him and he is arrested. The women in the community now turn against him. When Kim jilts Jim, he gets drunk and almost runs down Kim’s younger brother. When Edward saves him, with a few cuts, Jim attacks him. He escapes to his castle with the crowd and Jim in pursuit. Jim attacks both Edward and Kim, Edward kills him. To allow him to live in peace, Kim tells everyone Edward died too.

VIOLENCE/SCARINESS: Mild slapstick. The police threaten Edward when he can’t drop his “weapons.” Edward cuts the dead inventor’s cheek to see if he is alive and we see a little blood. Jim’s attack on Edward is ruthless and realistic.

CRIMES: Robbery (P), Drunk Driving (U), Murder (U).

MORALS, ISSUES & VALUES: Grandma is the source of knowledge. Edward’s presence disturbs the conformity of suburbia. Peggy’s one impulsive act causes a near riot in her conservative neighborhood. A religious woman is portrayed as a fanatic and described as lonely. Jim’s father is so cheap he locks up the hi-fi and TV so his son can’t use them. The black policeman, perhaps an outsider like Edward, is sympathetic. Kim makes a mistake by asked Edward to break into Jim’s house, but realizes her error and she makes a great effort to make amends.

SEXUALITY & GENDER ISSUES: Nuclear family. Traditional gender roles. Joyce tries to seduce anything in pants and gets sexually excited when Edward cuts her hair. She later tries to seduce Edward, only underwear with a bit of cleavage shows. Most of the women are gossips. Edward is in love with Kim so he cooperates in the crime. Kim rebels against Jim.

SUBSTANCES: Joyce, the seductress, smokes. The teens drink and drive. Father offers Edward hard liquor. Jim drinks hard liquor and gets mean.

COMMENTS: An updating of the Frankenstein story told from the point of view of the monster as inept, lonely and clumsy adolescent. It is also an interesting insight into creativity and the nature of art and its influence on the public. A sensitive, insightful and highly original film that deals with the teen problem of conformity – and its absence.

STARRING: Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Dianne Wiest, Anthony Michael Hall, Kathy Baker, Robert Oliveri, Vincent Price, Alan Arkin.

ALTERNATES: This film, where people exaggerate Edward’s handicap, is just the opposite of The Coneheads where no one notices the “outsiders’” differences. Other films with sympathetic monsters are “The Swamp Thing,” “Frankenstein,” and “Dominion Tank Police – Part 2.”


Nudity -- 0
Sexuality -- 2
Physical Violence -- 3
Emotional Stress -- 3
Blood or Gore -- 2
Language/Profanity -- 1
Immorality -- 3
Parental Guidance -- 3
Watchability for Adults -- 3
Overall (For Kids of the Appropriate Age) -- 4
New Search
Copyright Arthur Taussig 2024