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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:

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, 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 »
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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

Dolores Fuller was Edward D. Wood Jr.'s girlfriend at the time of filming. See more »

Goofs

When Dr. Alton is explains the pseudo-hermaphrodite condition to Inspector Warren, he leaves the pen on the table prior to walking to a chart. When Dr. Alton returns to the table, the pen has moved. In the next shot, the pen is back in Dr. Alton's hand. See more »

Quotes

Narrator: Give this man satin undies, a dress, a sweater and a skirt, or even the lounging outfit he has on, and he's the happiest individual in the world. He can work better, think better, he can play better, and he can be more of a credit to his community and his government because he is happy.
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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 »


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

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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