One evening, an elderly woman tells her granddaughter a bedtime story of where snow comes from, by telling her the story of a young man named Edward (Johnny Depp), who has scissors for hands, the creation of an old Inventor (Vincent Price). The Inventor’s final result was a humanlike young boy who had everything except for hands, but the Inventor had a heart attack and died while in the act of giving a pair of real hands to Edward, leaving him “unfinished” forever.
Many years after Edward was created, local Avon saleswoman Peg Boggs (Dianne Wiest) visits the decrepit Gothic mansion on the hill where Edward lives. There, she finds Edward alone, and upon realizing he is virtually harmless she decides to take him to her home. Edward becomes friends with Peg’s young son Kevin (Robert Oliveri) and her husband Bill (Alan Arkin). He later falls in love with the Boggs’ beautiful teenage daughter, Kim (Winona Ryder), despite her initial fear of him.
Peg’s neighbors are impressed by Edward’s adept hedge-trimming and hair-cutting skills (both of which he does with his scissor-hands), but two of the townspeople, a religious fanatic named Esmeralda (O-Lan Jones) and Kim’s boyfriend, Jim (Anthony Michael Hall), immediately dislike him. One of the housewives in the neighbourhood Joyce (Kathy Baker), an ageing seductress, suggests that Edward open a hair-cutting salon with her. While examining a proposed site, she attempts to seduce him in the back room, causing Edward to leave in a state of panic.
Wanting money for a van, Jim takes advantage of Edward’s ability to pick locks, and breaks into his parents’ house. The burglar alarm sounds and everyone except Edward escapes, despite Kim’s angry insistence that they return for him. Edward is arrested and released when a psychological examination reveals that his isolation allowed him to live without a sense of reality and common sense. Meanwhile, infuriated by Edward’s rejection, Joyce exacts revenge by claiming that he tried to “rape” her.
This, added to the “break-in”, causes many of the neighbors to question his personality and ruin his popular reputation. During the Christmas season, Edward is feared and outcasted by almost everyone around him except the Boggs family, resulting in the family becoming outcasts as well.
Character to watch: Johnny Depp as Edward Scissorhands.
Journal your answers to the following questions after you watch the movie.
- How does this particular character’s journey compare with yours?
- Did the character develop certain characteristics during the movie that you have or that you would like to have? If so, what are those characteristics?
- What obstacles did this character face? What was his or her biggest challenge?
- What would you have done differently if you had been in the same position as the character?
- Is this character the type of person you would be friends with? Why or why not?