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Glen or Glenda (1953)

Not Rated | | Drama | April 1953 (USA)
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


See Doctors Transform Man to Woman! 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
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Did You Know?


The film was intended primarily for the drive-in market. It was one of a wave of "exploitative, cheap fare" marketed to teenagers. See more »


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


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.
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Music by Vittorio Monti
[plays during the bondage portion of the dream sequence]
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Brilliantly Bad!
22 October 2003 | by (the rock) – See all my reviews

GLEN OR GLENDA is uniquely bad. Suffice it to say, one has to witness it in order to really believe it. There's almost no point of writing a sensible review of this "movie" because it's beyond wonky. It's so bad that it's almost pure genius. Bunuel couldn't have created a more surreal film than Ed Wood's treatise on the merits of cross-dressing. The "movie" is 70% stock footage or stuff that has nothing to do with the main "story." A huge chunk of the amazing dream sequence is just a nudie cutie. The "acting" is abysmal. Dolores Fuller wins the award for worst actress of all time. The dialogue is so hilarious that it's endlessly quotable. But the whole thing is oddly frank and earnest and because of this, this kooky disaster of a movie actually has a heart, which is more than you can say about most movies out there. I love it. There's almost nothing like it.

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