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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:

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

Did not get a New York City playdate until 1963. 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

Narrator: Female has the fluff and the finery, as specified by those who design and sell. Little Miss Female, you should feel quite proud of the situation. You of course realise it's predominantly men who design your clothes, your jewelry, your makeup, your hair styling, your perfume. But life, even thought it's changes are slow, moves on.
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

The versions titled "I Led Two Lives", "I Changed My Sex", and "He or She?" and some VHS releases, include 6 minutes additional footage ordered by the Producer, and directed by W. Merle Connell, that had been considered too daring at the time of the initial production. See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Czardas
(uncredited)
Music by Vittorio Monti
[plays during the bondage portion of the dream sequence]
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Not as bad as I had been led to believe
12 February 2000 | by Keltic-2See all my reviews

I approached this movie with the understanding that it was one of the worst flicks ever made. I sat down to watch it with this mindset, and was pleasantly surprised.

It's not great. It's not even that good; in fact, it's pretty poor. However, it's not as bad as I had been led to believe, by a long shot. It's pretty inept, and, evidently as a cost cutting measure, a lot of stock footage is pressed into service, a lot of which has no apparent relation to the narrative.

What it is, however, is an intensely personal movie made by a man who evidently did not have the skills or the funding to do his idea justice. Before you discount _Glen or Glenda?_ out of hand, examine your own artistic skills. Me, I'd love to be able to draw, but anything I try to sketch comes out like stick men. I'd love to be able to sing, but all I do is frighten young children.

Wood had an idea, and unfortunately he didn't have what it takes to make it work. However, this was an incredibly daring movie for the puritan 50s, however exploitative or incoherent it may appear at first glance.


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