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Let Me Die a Woman (1977)

X | | Documentary | 1977 (USA)
A documentary on the work of sex-change specialist Dr.Leo Wollman, including interviews with Dr.Wollman and a few of his patients, with an illustrated lecture on the various aspects of ... See full summary »


Doris Wishman




Cast overview:
Leslie Leslie
Deborah Harten Deborah Harten ... Self - Transsexual
Lisa Carmelle Lisa Carmelle
Frank Pizzo Frank Pizzo
Harry Reems ... Rhoda's Cab Driver (as Tim Long)
Carol Sands Carol Sands
Billy Kelman Billy Kelman
Doug Martin Doug Martin


A documentary on the work of sex-change specialist Dr.Leo Wollman, including interviews with Dr.Wollman and a few of his patients, with an illustrated lecture on the various aspects of transsexuality plus actual footage of a sex-change operation, which is what gives the film its notoriety. Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

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Born With the Body of a Man... See more »




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Did You Know?


Film was originally released in 1972 in a significantly different form under the title Strange/Her. See more »

Alternate Versions

A "screwdriver castration" sequence was deleted from the film and thought to be lost, but was in fact recovered from the original camera negatives. See more »


Referenced in Videoclub (2013) See more »

User Reviews

The Wrong Kind Of Film
2 August 2011 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

I did not know what to expect when I saw Let Me Die A Woman. Trangender friends told me that Leo Wollman was a noted medical authority, maybe THE medical authority on transgender issues and sexual reassignment surgery back in the Seventies when it was a topic that got very little public airing. The only thing I can say is that the film was done the way it was done was to get the widest possible audience for the subject. Even if said audience was only wanting a few pornographic titillating moments.

This film deals with male to female transitioning, the infinitely more complex subject of female to male transgender folks is for the most part left alone. It certainly is true the criticism that Wollman is no actor. He's a doctor and this is purportedly a documentary.

But a few porn stars like Harry Reems apparently offered their services to generate a little box office. In one of a few porn interludes Wollman notes that you can have problems if you don't sufficiently rest and recover after the surgery is done. Then by way of a demonstration Reems does his thing with a newly transitioned woman who then experiences vaginal bleeding. There's a few scenes like this in Let Me Die A Woman.

Talking about reassignment surgery though, the topic that is left untouched is the attitude of the insurance companies who still treat all of this as cosmetic surgery. That is to me mind blowing. All the transgender people I know both pre and post op have never approached sexual reassignment with the same attitude as one say getting a nose job which insurance companies have this on the level of. Some can never transition because the cost is so prohibitive they can't conceive of it in their lifetimes. This film shows the attitudes of 1977 and even with what we now know and the changing attitudes in public opinion, the medical insurance industry remains unaffected.

I suppose Wollman thought this was the way to get the message out, but wow did he pick the wrong kind of film to do it.

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Release Date:

1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Déjenme morir mujer See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hygiene Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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