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Glen Or Glenda

3.6 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Edward D. Wood Jr., Bela Lugosi, Lyle Talbot, Timothy Farrell, Dolores Fuller
  • Directors: Edward D. Wood Jr.
  • Writers: Edward D. Wood Jr.
  • Producers: George Weiss
  • Format: Black & White, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: Oct. 1 2002
  • Run Time: 65 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B00003XAMS
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #50,467 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

He loved women so much, he dared to dress like one! Ed Wood strikes again. The true story of a man whose lust for women drove him to be as close to a woman as he could by trying to become one. The first film based on the strange tastes of legendary filmmaker Ed Wood, Jr., and a sordid plea for acceptance in the world of bondage and the sexually confused, decades before "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" and TV's "Ellen." "Glen or Glenda?" stars famous horror icon Bela Lugosi as the "puppet master" and Ed himself in the role of Glen/Glenda. It also marks the screen debut of Wood's main squeeze at the time, Dolores Fuller, who went on to become one of Elvis's star songwriters. An important film document about the early career of a man years ahead of his time. Wildly entertaining!

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on July 17 2004
Format: DVD
Ed Wood's continuing reign as the so-called 'worst director of all time' has earned him many fans, but it has also done his work a disservice: few reviewers dare to go against the tide and write constructively about his movies, preferring instead to hop in the so-bad-it's-good bandwagon. This is unfortunate, because his most interesting films are worthy of critical scrutiny - especially his first project, 'Glen or Glenda' (1953). Whereas most of his other films tackle a specific genre, this movie creates its own: an unlikely but personal blend of documentary and fiction, horror, romance, police procedural, and more. There isn't a single storyline throughout but rather a set of imbricated tales that feed off of each other. The bulk of the narrative is devoted to a couple of case histories which are recounted by a psychiatrist to an inspector, but the film is frequently punctuated by Lugosi's enigmatic character. His 'Scientist' name, much like an early scene in which he prepares a potion, is a nod to his past roles: he is a Demiurge-like figure whose utterances often have anthropogonic connotations and can affect people's lives. Lugosi's performance in this film is quite underrated, and arguably one of his most effective. (He was not quite as memorable in Wood's subsequent 'Bride of the Monster' [1955].) To further complicate the narrative, one of the two case histories related by the psychiatrist - that of Wood himself - features an elaborate dream sequence whose images are suitably bizarre and full of strange symbols. The film always operates on multiple levels at once, since Wood constantly shifts between characters while using a proliferation of contrasting techniques (voice-over, documentary, fiction, stock footage, image juxtapositions, etc.).Read more ›
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Format: DVD
Normally I'd give films 1 or 2 for something that was terrible and that I didn't like. Ed Wood however is an exception. His films are bad but so bad they're good. Basically I could tell you all of what the other reviewers have said here. But I won't other than to say that I got this DVD really cheap in Tower Records ( €6 ) and I can say that this really was cheap entertainment. Lugosi's role in this is somewhat silly given that the film doesn't know whether it wants to be a genuine film or a shockumentary! And in some ways that's part of it's charm while it harms the whole process. It gives Lugosi the chance to spew wannabe crypto mumbo jumbo. In a way, he doesn't really " pull ze strings " so much as cut them off from him.
But give credit to Ed on this. This was a genuine attempt at trying to be risque and his heart was really in this and you can tell that - it just didn't translate as well as it could have. His real life fiance Dolores is in this and well.....she's not exactly a great actress. But in some ways the script is just embarassingly naive on Ed's part that in some ways you just can't really believe in it at all no matter how much heart was put into this.
Another thing you'll notice is the dubbing and it is pretty poor. There's a clear 1 and a half second delay on everyone's speech which can be amusing. In fact some people will be in hysterics and just take the piss out of it
But god bless Ed - he tried, honestly he tried
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Format: DVD
As a connoisseur of cult/bizarre films, I've seen some bad movies. If they're interesting enough, bad movies can be incredibly entertaining (i.e. Mystery Science Theater 3000). Even being familiar with Edward D. Wood's work (Plan 9 From Outer Space, Bride of the Monster) did not prepare for the experience of viewing his debut film, Glen or Glenda. Partially based on Wood's own life, the film was a serious attempt to dramatize the lifestyle of a man who is compelled to wear women's clothing. A disclaimer at the beginning proclaims it a film of "stark realism". What follows is 80 minutes of cinematic ineptitude, the likes of which I have never seen. There are plenty of bad films, but this movie is in a class by itself! Even Ed Wood's "classic" Plan 9 From Outer Space, often called the worst movie of all time, looks great in comparison to Glen or Glenda.
The film follows (occasionally) a man named Glen (Wood himself) who likes to wear women's clothing. He is engaged to a girl named Barbara (Dolores Fuller, Wood's girlfriend), but is distraught over whether to reveal his secret to her.
Wood's attempt at "stark realism" is destroyed immediately as soon as we see Bela Lugosi in a chair spouting incoherent nonsense ("Pull de string!", "Beware of the big green dragon that sits on your doorstep. He eats little boys, puppy-dog tails and big fat snails".)
Half the film consists of random stock footage that has no relevance to the material whatsoever. No to mention the absurd dream sequence that, I think, is supposed to represent Glen's confused state of mind, but it really makes no sense at all. It features half-clothed women dancing around for no reason, a torture scene (!!) and even an appearance by the devil (!!!).
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By A Customer on June 1 2002
Format: DVD
There is no trick to making a normal bad movie. Most of the movies out there are bad or boring, or both. The people involved generally know the movie isn't very good. They are film professionals who realize they haven't brought what is necessary to create a quality movie. It may be due to time or a lack of money to hire the best actors and script writers. It may be pressure to clone the latest box office smash and capitalize on it's success. Whatever the reason it isn't because the director is so inept, incompetent, foolish, and inexperienced that they think incoherent rambling makes a fine picture.
That is precisely why "Glen or Glenda" is a priceless gem. Ed Wood poured his heart and soul into what he considered a hard hitting drama to enlighten the masses about cross dressing men. A cross dresser himself, Wood even wore women's underwear under his uniform while in the military. He felt this movie would educate, inform, and bring a better understanding about cross dressing. He actually thought it was a great movie.
Of course what he made was a wildly incoherent mess, full of unrelated scenes and crazy dialog. The Bela Lagosi character, who is playing God, rambles about "Pulling skrings" while buffalos stampede across the screen. There are dream sequences where scantily clad women slink about while Wood stands offstage and looks "Horrified". It simply cannot be described and has nothing to do with the plot. In fact, nothing in the movie has anything to do with the plot. That in itself is a remarkable achievement.
"Glen or Glenda" is a high water mark in bad movies. Along with "Robot Monster" and his own "Plan 9 from Outer Space", it has stood the test of time to become an icon. Watch it and be amazed.
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