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Glen or Glenda (1953)

 -  Drama  -  April 1953 (USA)
4.1
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Ratings: 4.1/10 from 6,029 users  
Reviews: 117 user | 45 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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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:

Daring and True EXPOSÉ...of a HUSH-HUSH Subject! 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

Dolores Fuller was Edward D. Wood Jr.'s girlfriend at the time of filming. See more »

Goofs

When Dr. Alton is explains the pseudo-hermaphrodite condition to Inspector Warren, he leaves the pen on the table prior to walking to a chart. When Dr. Alton returns to the table, the pen has moved. In the next shot, the pen is back in Dr. Alton's hand. See more »

Quotes

Narrator: Give this man satin undies, a dress, a sweater and a skirt, or even the lounging outfit he has on, and he's the happiest individual in the world. He can work better, think better, he can play better, and he can be more of a credit to his community and his government because he is happy.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Ring of Terror (1990) 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

 
Ed Wood's shining cinematic moment
17 April 2000 | by (DVD Drive-In) – See all my reviews

Ed Wood. The so-called "worst director of all time". Sorry, there are plenty of other directors who could take that title because Ed Wood is not that bad of a director nor a bad person. Ed made movies to make movies, not to make a buck. And that's why his films are sort of poignant in their flaws.

"Glen or Glenda?" is a statement, not a film. It is a statement about transvestism, the truth behind it, and gives several (for the most part, factual) cases of transvestites and transsexuals. Wood is world-reknowned for being a transvestite with a fetish for angora sweaters. And here, he is brave enough to cast himself in an autobiographical role (Glen) and let the world know (yet, he hides under the pseudonym of Daniel Davis).

"Glen or Glenda?" is a bad movie lover's dream. Hilarious dialogue, no coherent plotline, and many memorable sequences of transvestites and their hardships. The narrator does a splendid job of camping things up while explaining how a transvestite is not a homosexual, how it is more healthy to wear womens' clothing, and the tragic results of misunderstood transvestites. Plus, you get Bela Lugosi as God (he's nice and campy), several out-of-place striptease and cheesecake scenes (pretty graphic for 1953), and Dolores Fuller (Wood's real-life girlfriend) as Glen's fiancee.

Too many people rated this movie with a 1. But "Glen or Glenda?" is not as bad as "Orgy of the Dead" or other later Ed Wood classics. In fact, "Glen or Glenda?" is arguably Wood's greatest achievement. Check it out, I strongly recommend it.


48 of 65 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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