Template:Infobox Film Glen or Glenda (1953) is a movie, written, directed by and starring Ed Wood, and featuring Bela Lugosi, and Wood's then-girlfriend Dolores Fuller. The movie is a docudrama about transvestism and transsexuality, and is semi-autobiographical in nature. Wood himself was a transvestite, and the movie is a plea for tolerance. However, it has become a cult film due to its low-budget production values and idiosyncratic style.


The sex reassignment surgery of Christine Jorgensen made national headlines in the US in 1952, and this was the inspiration for George Weiss, a Hollywood producer of low-budget films, to commission a movie to exploit it. Ed Wood persuaded Weiss that his own transvestism made him the perfect director despite his modest resume. Wood was given the job and took the money, but instead made a movie about transvestism. When the finished movie was deemed too short and too divergent from what was requested, Wood tacked on a few extra scenes about sexual reassignment. The producer spliced in two unrelated soft-core sequences, one with some mild bondage, cutting in reaction shots of Wood and Lugosi. The film received a release only because it had been pre-sold to a number of theatres before it was made.

Behind the scenesEdit

This was the only movie Ed Wood directed but did not also produce. He persuaded Bela Lugosi, a former star now aged, impoverished, and drug-addicted, to appear in the movie. Wood himself played the eponymous Glen/Glenda, but under the pseudonym 'Daniel Davis'.[1] His girlfriend, Dolores Fuller, played Glen's girlfriend. Fuller was not aware of Wood's transvestism at the time: the nature of the film was not fully explained to her, and Wood rarely wore women's clothing when she was on set. Only at a screening of the finished product was the truth revealed, and Fuller claims to have been humiliated by the experience.

In the theatrical trailer, included in laserdisc and DVD editions, the concluding scene of the film, where Fuller hands over her angora sweater, is a different take than the one in the release version - in the trailer, she tosses it to Wood in a huff, while the release version shows her handing it over more acceptingly. There is also a shot of Wood in drag, mouthing the word "Cut!".


File:Lugosi Glwen or Glenda.jpg

Leonard Maltin's best-selling Movie and Video Guide names this film as "possibly the worst movie ever made," a dubious honor previously held by another Wood film, Plan 9 from Outer Space.

Bela Lugosi is credited as 'The Scientist', a character whose purpose is unclear. He acts as a sort of narrator but gives no narration relevant to the plot; that job is reserved for the film's primary narrator, Timothy Farrell.[1] The Scientist is surrounded by horror-movie trappings such as skulls and test tubes as he exhorts the audience to "beware of the big green dragon that sits on your doorstep".[1] Stock footage of rampaging bison are superimposed over The Scientist's face at one point for no obvious reason. There are also various long, surreal dream sequences during which Glen is haunted by a devil-like character.[1]

File:Glen or Glenda box.jpg

In Popular CultureEdit

  • Another transvestite character named Glen with a female persona of "Glenda" appears in Wood's novel Killer in Drag and is executed in the sequel Death of a Transvestite after a struggle for the right to go to the electric chair dressed as Glenda.
  • Tim Burton's movie Ed Wood depicts the making of the film and includes reconstructions of several scenes with Johnny Depp in the role of Ed Wood.
  • Glen or Glenda was reissued with six minutes of additional footage in 1982. Restored scenes include Glen's rejection of a pass made by a gay man.
  • A pornographic remake of the film entitled Glen & Glenda was made in 1994 featuring much of the same script as the original film, but with explicit sex scenes added. [1]
  • Comes 50th on The 50 Worst Movies Ever Made. (Wood's film Plan 9 from Outer Space is ranked the #4 on the same list)
  • The original "Glen or Glenda" now resides in public domain. Template:Fact
  • In Seed of Chucky, Chucky and Tiffany's child who lacks genitalia is decided to be called "Glen or Glenda".


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Template:Cite book

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit


Template:Edward D. Wood, o Glenda da:Glen or Glenda de:Glen or Glenda es:Glen o Glenda eo:Glen or Glenda fr:Louis ou Louise it:Glen or Glenda he:גלן או גלנדה ms:Glen or Glenda ja:グレンとグレンダ fi:Glen or Glenda sv:Glen or Glenda zh:忽男忽女

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