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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:

See Doctors Transform Man to Woman! 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 »
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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

Edward D. Wood Jr. got the part as the director because of his own experience with gender bending. 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

Glen: My mind is in a muddle. Like... thick fog. I can't make sense to myself sometimes.
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

Don't knock on Wood!
27 June 2007 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

Like in "plan nine outer space" ,Ed Wood tries to put a message across in his film.In his sci-fi flick,he made his E.T. blame the human race for their self-destruction :it was not unlike Robert Wise's "the day the earth stood still" and not more naive than the latter.The main difference lies in the fact that Wood had a shoestring budget with his cardboard flying saucers and his shower curtain in the "plane"

"Glen or Glenda" is anything but stupid.Just tell me the name of a director (in the USA or elsewhere) who dared to treat such a taboo subject: the transvestites -not necessarily homosexual- and even the transsexuals.His film ,with voice over galore,although dated today of course was a plea for tolerance.The fact that Ed Wood himself used to dress himself as a woman (see Tim Burton's eponymous movie) is proof positive that he knows what he is taking about.

Bela Lugosi's part,on the other hand,gets in the way.Is he a scientist? a puppeteer who plays with humans? or "simply" God Himself?(do not laugh at him!when Agnes Varda ,an intellectual director of the notorious French Nouvelle Vague , films such drivel ("les Creatures",1966) ,the highbrows praise her to the skies )

Despite ludicrous special effects ,terrible acting and poor lines,Ed Wood's film is anything but derivative.


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