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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)
Charles Crafts Charles Crafts ... Johnny
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:

He Loved Women So Much, He Dared To Dress Like One! 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, Which Is It? 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

Surrealist filmmaker David Lynch called this one of his favorite films. He used the "howling wind" sound effect in Eraserhead (1977). 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: Glen is not a homosexual. Glen is a transvestite, but he is not a homosexual.
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 »

Connections

Featured in The Haunted World of Edward D. Wood Jr. (1995) 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

Way ahead of it's time, and was also used as a teaching tool!
7 July 2004 | by jwstrand63See all my reviews

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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