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Glen or Glenda (1953)

 -  Drama  -  April 1953 (USA)
4.1
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Ratings: 4.1/10 from 5,860 users  
Reviews: 115 user | 42 critic

A psychiatrist tells two stories: one of a transvestite (Glen or Glenda), the other of a pseudohermaphrodite (Alan or Anne).

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Title: Glen or Glenda (1953)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Inspector Warren
Timothy Farrell ...
Dr. Alton / Narrator
Dolores Fuller ...
'Tommy' Haynes ...
Alan / Anne
...
Glen / Glenda (as Daniel Davis)
Charles Crafts ...
Conrad Brooks ...
Banker / Reporter / Pickup Artist / Bearded Drag (as Connie Brooks)
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Storyline

"Glen or Glenda" tells two stories. One is about Glen, who secretly dresses as a woman but is afraid to tell his fiancée, Barbara. The other is about Alan, a pseudohermaphrodite who undergoes a painful operation to become a woman. Both stories are told by Dr. Alton, who also delivers an earnest lecture on tolerance and understanding. There is a second narrator, called the Scientist, whose commentary on the action contains more philosophical pronouncements than facts. The movie also has flashbacks-within-flashbacks and a strange dream sequence. We meet Insp. Warren, whose investigation of a transvestite's suicide leads him to learn more about men in women's clothes; Johnny, whose wife left him when she discovered what he wears when she's away; Barbara, oblivious to Glen's desire to wear her angora sweater; Satan, who invades Glen's nightmare; and others. Meanwhile, the Scientist will only offer cryptic advice. "Beware!" he warns. "Beware of the big, green dragon that sits on your ... Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The strange case of a "man" who changed his SEX! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

April 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Glen or Glenda?  »

Box Office

Budget:

$20,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (1982 re-issue) | (DVD) | (cut)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Surrealist filmmaker David Lynch called this one of his favorite films. He used the "howling wind" sound effect in Eraserhead (1977). See more »

Goofs

In the very first scene with Bela Lugosi, the cameraman's shadow is visible when the camera zooms out. See more »

Quotes

Narrator: When modern woman's day of work is done,that which is designed for her comfort IS comfort. Hats that give no obstruction to the bloodflow, hats that do not crush the hair. Interesting thought, isn't it?
See more »

Connections

Featured in Mondo Lugosi (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

Csárdás
(or "Czardas")
Composed by Vittorio Monti
[plays during the bondage portion of the dream sequence]
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Don't knock on Wood!
27 June 2007 | by See all my reviews

Like in "plan nine outer space" ,Ed Wood tries to put a message across in his film.In his sci-fi flick,he made his E.T. blame the human race for their self-destruction :it was not unlike Robert Wise's "the day the earth stood still" and not more naive than the latter.The main difference lies in the fact that Wood had a shoestring budget with his cardboard flying saucers and his shower curtain in the "plane"

"Glen or Glenda" is anything but stupid.Just tell me the name of a director (in the USA or elsewhere) who dared to treat such a taboo subject: the transvestites -not necessarily homosexual- and even the transsexuals.His film ,with voice over galore,although dated today of course was a plea for tolerance.The fact that Ed Wood himself used to dress himself as a woman (see Tim Burton's eponymous movie) is proof positive that he knows what he is taking about.

Bela Lugosi's part,on the other hand,gets in the way.Is he a scientist? a puppeteer who plays with humans? or "simply" God Himself?(do not laugh at him!when Agnes Varda ,an intellectual director of the notorious French Nouvelle Vague , films such drivel ("les Creatures",1966) ,the highbrows praise her to the skies )

Despite ludicrous special effects ,terrible acting and poor lines,Ed Wood's film is anything but derivative.


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