Glen or Glenda is an exploitation film dealing with transvestism and sex-change.

Told mainly in semi-documentary fashion, story unfolds as two case histories related by a psychiatrist. main story concerns Glen (Daniel Davis), a man who secretly dresses in women’s clothes, much to the dismay of his fiancee Barbara (Dolores Fuller). Other story briefly deals with Alan (‘Tommy’ Haynes), identified as a ‘pseudohermaphrodite’, who is changed into Ann by a sex-change operation (presented tastefully without the explicit shock visuals common to such case study pics).

Though opening credits warn of film’s stark realism, director Edward Wood’s use of stock footage, cheap sets, perfunctory visuals and recited-lecture dialog gives the picture a phony quality. What distinguishes it from other low-budget efforts are the occasional mad flights of fancy.

Most involve a weird scientist, delightfully played by Bela Lugosi in eye-popping fashion. Also out of the ordinary is a suggestive (but far from pornographic) sequence of women writhing in their sexy undies, laden with bondage overtones, as well as a surrealist nightmare scene.

Glen or Glenda

  • Production: Screen Classics. Director Edward D. Wood Jr; Producer George Weiss; Screenplay Edward D. Wood Jr; Camera William C. Thompson; Editor Bud Schelling; Music Sandford H. Dickinson (cons.); Art Director Jack Miles
  • Crew: (B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1953. Running time: 65 MIN.
  • With: Bela Lugosi Daniel Davis [= Edward D. Wood Jr] 'Tommy' Haynes Lyle Talbot Dolores Fuller Timothy Farrell