Glen or Glenda?

1953

Glen or Glenda?

Critics Consensus

Glen or Glenda? remains an interesting artifact from one of Hollywood's more colorful careers -- albeit not one that holds up particularly well as a movie.

35%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 23

33%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 7,221
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Movie Info

In his heart-felt cinematic debut, Edward D. Wood, Jr. himself stars under the pseudonym Daniel Davis as a young man with a dilemma: should he tell his lovely young fiancee (played by real-life girlfriend Dolores Fuller) about his burning desire to cross-dress? She has begun to notice articles of clothing missing from her closet; the suspense builds...what should he do? Bela Lugosi plays the omniscient narrator; note his conviction as he "pulls the strings." Amidst this unintentionally hilarious mish-mash of melodrama, social commentary and inexplicable stock footage, there is something for every taste: countless cross dressers, hallucinatory dream sequences, sex-change surgeries, spirited cat fights, borderline-pornographic simulated sex scenes, poetic monologues, a haunted house, and a stampede of wild buffalo. Released under various titles across the country -- I Lived Two Lives, I Changed My Sex -- this fiasco bombed across the board but managed to gain Wood enough notoriety in the "B"-movie world to launch a career that is today the stuff of legend. Hailed by most critics as the worst film of all time, Wood nearly matched his first effort with such atrocities as Bride of the Monster, Night of the Ghouls, the infamous Plan 9 from Outer Space, and, perhaps the world's first topless horror film, Orgy of the Dead. Although few may count Wood among the best American cinema has to offer, Glen or Glenda certainly places him among its most memorable.

Cast

Bela Lugosi
as Scientist
Edward D. Wood Jr.
as Glen/Glenda
Lyle Talbot
as Inspector Warren
Tommy Haynes
as Alan/Ann
Timothy Farrell
as Dr. Alton
Conrad Brooks
as Banker / Reporter / Pickup Artist
Henry Bederski
as Man with Hat and Receding Hairline
George Weiss
as Man at Transvestite's Suicide (uncredited)
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Critic Reviews for Glen or Glenda?

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (8) | Rotten (15)

Audience Reviews for Glen or Glenda?

  • May 26, 2014
    A documentary, of sorts, about a closeted transvestite named Glen who struggles over whether to tell his secret to his fiancée. The story is interrupted by a bizarre 14-minute dream sequence with bondage and the Devil, and numerous incomprehensible bits with omniscient "scientist" Bela Lugosi yelling "pull the string"! It's terrible, and it's great, so the rating averages out. A must-see for adventurous viewers, but those with more conventional tastes will find its lack of plot and structure to be torture.
    Greg S Super Reviewer
  • Jan 23, 2013
    A complete waste of time and stands as one of the worst films ever made, but Ed Wood's films are just silly enough to do that.
    Bradley W Super Reviewer
  • Jan 11, 2013
    I simply love Ed Wood for his work, his unique style and weird ideas always surprise his audience. In this debut film, Ed Wood explored touchy subjects like Transvestism and Sexuality which would be quite controversial at the time. Bela Lugosi as the scientist was just perfect. As much as I want to say nice things about this film, I simply just cannot do so. it's a Z-movie, the editing was horrible, acting was disgusting, but it's fun and hilarious to watch though. The dialogues did not make any sense at all... but I suppose that's the charm of it. If you like kitsch then this would be a good pass time option.
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer
  • Nov 12, 2012
    With awful performances and ludicrous dialogue, this atrocious movie has a lot of heart but sadly no brains, and so it is repetitious, full of nonsensical stock footage and unintentionally surrealistic without making much sense as a narrative whatsoever.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer

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