8 November 2016

Edward Scissorhands: A Review

Fig 1

In this review, I shall be looking at Edward Scissorhands (Tim Burton, 20th Century Fox, 1991).

Throughout the film, there is constant contradiction between creativity and conformity. One of the most obvious/apparent cases of this happens within the first few minutes of the film, where we have a shot of the suburb, all the colourful houses and perfect, green lawns, then in the background is a dark, depressing, monotone hill with a bland, grey mansion atop it.

Fig 2

The mansion on the hill is a good juxtaposition of the suburb below it, the latter representing "conformity", all the houses looking extremely similar, all the men leaving at the exact same time every morning to go off to work, etc, and the former being the contrast, the "creativity" (it is the mansion of an inventor, after all), despite being more drab and dreary. 

Fig 3

The contrast between the two location goes even further than the colourisation and hues, though. The actual way they've been designed and structured plays into this. The buildings in the suburb have all been built the exact same way, as you can see in Fig 3 and Fig 4, similar in the way that Levittown, a suburb in New York was designed, with each house being a carbon-copy of the previous, with one house being built every 16 minutes at the peak of construction. William Levitt himself called his company "The General Motors of the Housing Industry", and we can see that the suburb within the film definitely has that mass-produced feel.

Fig 4

The Mansion in which Edward resides is much blander, greyer and stretched out, almost Gothic in its architecture. The mansion and Edward himself were most likely designed to deliberately be a stark contrast to the typical "complacent" and "unimaginative" society of then modern America.

A quote I feel supports this, and ties things together, is "The final image of Edward in the colourful gardens, surrounded by nature and creativity reinforces the idea that American society is too sterile and narrow to cope with one who does not conform." The film, then, can be viewed as a satire, on how America was stuck in its ways, and was afraid of change, of non-conformity.

Bibliography & Illustrations
  • Fig 1 Edward Scissorhands Poster (1991) From: Edward Scissorhands - Directed by: Tim Burton
  • Fig 2 Edward Scissorhands Town Still (1991) From: Edward Scissorhands - Directed by: Tim Burton
  • Fig 3 Edward Scissorhands Town Still (1991) From: Edward Scissorhands - Directed by: Tim Burton
  • Fig 4 Edward Scissorhands Town Still (1991) From: Edward Scissorhands - Directed by: Tim Burton
  • Quote: Edward Scissorhands (2011) From http://www.mediamatters.co.uk/media/EdwSci.html - Written By: Ann Devine


  1. Hi Joe,

    Ok, you have the bones of an excellent review here :) In order to 'flesh it out' more, you need a couple more supporting quotes (you are asked for at least 3; these need to be referenced using the Harvard method, full details of which can be found here (you need to scroll through the annoying big banners that keep interrupting the list!) -


    You will find info there on how to format your bibliography and image list correctly (they should be separated, and the bibliography is organised alphabetically, by author's surname. After the quote, you need the author's surname and the date, so in the case of your quote (Devine,2011).

    You should avoid writing in the 1st person, so instead of 'A quote I feel supports this, and ties things together...' you could introduce it via the author, so 'As Ann Devine comments in her review,...'

    Looking forward to reading the next one! :)

    1. Thank you very much for the feedback! I will certainly look more at the page about Harvard Referencing, and will definitely try to improve for my next review!

  2. JOE!!!!! *happy tutor face!*

    See? You bloody well did it - take the feedback on board and onwards to the next :)