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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).

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Inspector Warren
Timothy Farrell ...
Dr. Alton / Narrator
...
'Tommy' Haynes ...
Alan / Anne
...
Glen / Glenda (as Daniel Davis)
Charles Crafts ...
...
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:

What Was "His" Sex...? A Daring Expose Of A Modern Problem... See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

April 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Glen or Glenda, Which Is It?  »

Box Office

Budget:

$20,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (1982 re-issue) | (DVD) | (cut) | (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While the film had no sequel, Ed Wood used the character Glen/Glenda again in two of his novels. In "Killer in Drag" (1963), Glen/Glenda has become a serial killer. In its sequel "Death of a Transvestite", Glen/Glenda is executed. 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

Scientist: Pull the string! Pull the string!
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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 »

Connections

Referenced in Midnight Screenings: Horrible Bosses/Zookeeper (2011) 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

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

So bad it's... what?
22 February 2003 | by (Pittsburgh, PA) – See all my reviews

If you haven't seen any of Ed Wood's other movies, this one is a completely bewildering experience. If you have seen any of Ed Wood's movies, this is still completely bewildering. Wood saw newsreels about Christine Jorgenson (the subject of the first sex-change operation), realized that he had a few things in common with Jorgenson, and made this... um... documentary about it. Lugosi plays, as always, a mad scientist, whose storyline barely ties in with the rest of the movie. Wood himself pseudonymously plays Glen, who enjoys dressing up in angora sweaters. Two policemen investigate Glen's apparent suicide, and... well, the plot sort of lost me between Lugosi's bizarre rants, the stock footage of buffalo herds and the elementary-school-filmstrip-quality acting. It really doesn't make any sense, but it is entertaining by virtue of its profound awfulness.


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