Glen or Glenda (1953)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama  |  April 1953 (USA)
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Ratings: 4.1/10 from 6,439 users  
Reviews: 119 user | 46 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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Complete credited cast:
Inspector Warren
Timothy Farrell ...
Dr. Alton / Narrator
'Tommy' Haynes ...
Alan / Anne
Glen / Glenda (as Daniel Davis)
Charles Crafts ...
Conrad Brooks ...
Banker / Reporter / Pickup Artist / Bearded Drag (as Connie Brooks)


"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


Daring and True EXPOSÉ...of a HUSH-HUSH Subject! See more »




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

April 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Glen or Glenda, Which Is It?  »

Box Office


$20,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


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

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Ed Wood got the part as the director because of his own experience with gender bending. See more »


The text accompanying the close-up of a newspaper story headlined "Man Nabbed Dressed As Girl" is a hodge-podge of unrelated paragraphs lifted from stories about tax reform, a prison injury, and faith healing. See more »


Narrator: Then there was the time Barbara was wearing the sweater Glen had always wanted to feel on his own body.
See more »


Referenced in On the Trail of Ed Wood (1990) See more »


(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

So modern and delicate
29 September 2003 | by (Bern, CH) – See all my reviews

I bought this movie after watching Tim Burton's biography "Ed Wood (1994)". I expected something quite clumsy and was delighted with the result : The questions that are being asked and answered are really interesting and Ed Wood dealt with these a very artistic way. Of course, one could argue this is gross and that the topic lacks subtility but you have to envision yourself back in 1953 and I guess you'll suddenly realise how prophetic this movie was. I gave it 10/10 : I'll watch it again and again.

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