A woman is dying in her apartment. Two friends visit her and she tells them she wants to go to Chinatown. They convince her not to go, and then leave themselves. Unable to stand her ... See full summary »
"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
Way ahead of it's time, and was also used as a teaching tool!
I am a huge fan of Ed, after seeing "Ed Wood", and I have since bought the book "Nightmare of Ecstacy". Also, I bought all of the films that he had made that I could get my hands on.
Like it or not, "Glen Or Glenda" was a landmark film!
This particular film was made WAY AHEAD of it's time!! While I was first watching Tim Burton's fantastic film, recreating the making of "Glen Or Glenda", I noticed that there were things in it that seemed rather familiar to me, even after 30+ years have passed, and that is what partly interested me in looking into both the book, and Ed Wood's films. What I discovered was, I had seen this film when I was in GRADE SCHOOL!!
After viewing the REAL "Glen OR Glenda" film, I realized that I had had seen this exact same film before, although heavily edited!
It was shown as a part of our sex-ed class!! I can hardly believe it that they showed us this back then, but they did. No
thanks to the school I went to, and the horribly incompetent teachers, but they did show it!
Now, fast forward to today, the reason for all of the extra scenes near the end of the film, such as the 'Devil' sequences, and the rest of the rather abstract looking scenes, were not originally part of the screenplay. Those scenes (baffling and dumbfounding), were NOT part of the film as Ed had written. His script left the running time short of what George Weiss had told him he wanted, a 7 reel, 16MM film, which was what he needed to sell it. A 16MM reel runs about 10 minutes, and George needed a 70 minute film (at least), because he pre-sold it in several states as a "Feature", before he actually found out what it really was. He wasn't too pleased with what Ed had made, but he was able to distribute it to his clients, after all of the extraneous material was added at the end. George did eventually make his money back, and he and Ed worked on a couple of other projects, unlike what is shown in the "Ed Wood" film.
Even today, though, I think that this film was made way before it's time, and Ed Wood should deserve some credit for trying to bring a sense of understanding to what was then a totally misunderstood way of life for a select few.
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