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Glen or Glenda (1953)

PG | | Drama | April 1953 (USA)
A psychiatrist tells two stories: one of a transvestite (Glen or Glenda), the other of a pseudohermaphrodite (Alan or Anne).

Director:

Edward D. Wood Jr.

Writer:

Edward D. Wood Jr. (story and written by)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Bela Lugosi ... Scientist
Lyle Talbot ... Inspector Warren
Timothy Farrell Timothy Farrell ... Dr. Alton / Narrator
Dolores Fuller ... Barbara
'Tommy' Haynes 'Tommy' Haynes ... Alan / Anne
Edward D. Wood Jr. ... Glen / Glenda (as Daniel Davis)
Charlie Crafts Charlie Crafts ... Johnny (as 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:

"I Changed My Sex!" See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

April 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Glen or Glenda? See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Screen Classics (II) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

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

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was supposed to be about sex change operations, but only the second part features one. The main plot is about transvestism. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Dr. Alton: You're referring to the suicide of the transvestite?
Inspector Warren: If that's the word you men of medical science use for a man who wears women's clothing, yes.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Card at beginning: In the making of this film, which deals with a strange and curious subject, no punches have been pulled-- no easy way out has been taken. Many of the smaller parts are portrayed by persons who actually are, in real life, the character they portray on the screen. This is a picture of stark realism-- taking no sides -- but giving you the facts -- ALL the facts -- as they are today... YOU ARE SOCIETY -- JUDGE YE NOT... See more »

Alternate Versions

An alternate take of one scene exists and has been featured in documentaries. It is the scene where Barbara gives Glen her angora sweater. In the alternate take, she throws it at him; in the final film, she hands it to him more gently. According to actress Dolores Fuller, the "throwing" take more accurately showed her feelings about the film! See more »


Soundtracks

Czardas
(uncredited)
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

 
Pull the string!
18 February 2000 | by wbwolfSee all my reviews

First of all, Ed Wood Jr. is not the worst director ever, Plan 9 From Outer Space not withstanding. Coleman Francis deserves that title. I present Exhibit B, Glen or Glenda.

The first half of the movie consists of a surprisingly thoughtful exploration of crossdressing, especially since it was made in 1953. The last 15 minutes of movie are also not bad as well.

This is not to say the movie doesn't have problems. Bela Lugosi was totally extraneous, intoning odd lines. Poor Bela looked like even he wasn't sure what was happening at times. The acting was decidely wooden, though no worse than a period Universal B movie. The long dream sequence that makes up the middle of the film was totally bizarre; more like a vaguely menacing stag film than a dream sequence. The Alan/Ann story, the supposed original focus of the film has a tacked on quality about it.

No, Ed Wood Jr. is not the worst director ever. He was able, at least for part of this movie, to make an earnest social statement. When Coleman Francis tried to do that in Night Train To Mundo Fine (aka Red Zone Cuba), it just ended in chaos. Glen or Glenda is at least watchable without Robot help.


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