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Glen or Glenda
I Led Two Lives / I Changed my Sex

USA 1953
produced by
George Weiss for Screen Classics
directed by Ed Wood
starring Ed Wood (as Daniel Davis), Bela Lugosi, Dolores Fuller, Tim Farrell, Lyle Talbot, Charles Crafts, Tommy Haynes, Captain DeZitas, Evelyn Wood, Conrad Brooks
written by Ed Wood

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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A transvestite has killed himself, and inspector Warren (Lyle Talbot), who can neither understand transvestitism as such nor why the man has killed himself, turns to his friend doctor Alton (Tim Farrell) for enlightenment. The doctor tells him the stories of 2 very recent cases he had, and how each of them went into a different direction:

First there's Glen (Ed Wood), who has liked wearing women's clothes ever since he was a child, much to the dismay of his sister, whose clothes hi was frequently wearing. But now he is engaged to lovely Barbara (Dolores Fuller), who doesn't know about his condition, even though she starts to notice some signs, like his long fingernails and his sparkling eyes every time they pass by a shop for women's clothes ...

Glen is in torment, since he is not sure if her love is strong enough to stand the shock of his predilection, and he gets ever more worried, even his dreams are haunted by guilt-ridden and almost surreal representations of his crossdressing, often featuring the devil (Captain DeZita), until one day he just has to tell her ... and at first she's shocked, but soon she promises him she will help him work his problems out ...

So they visit doctor Alton, and he helps them on their way to happiness, and eventually, with the love and care of Barbara, Glen's female alter ego Glenda vanishes.

The second story Doc Alton tells is that of Alan ('Tommy' Haynes), who was born a boy but brought up a girl. Then war came (second World War that is), and he served in the army, even got medals for bravery ... but he never could stop wearing women's cloths ... until he too came to Doctor Alton, and the doc discovers Alan is a pseudohermaphrodite (meaning he has dominant male sex organs, but female organs too) and offers to make him a woman (with all the implications), and as a woman, Anne, Alan winally finds happiness in life.

 

Brought into being following the sensational reports about Christine Jorgensen's sex-change, Glen or Glenda is Ed Wood's first feature and maybe also his most personal, since Ed was a lifelong crossdresser (albeit perfectly heterosexual - like Glen) himself. The claim of the movie's stark realism in its foreword is shattered nevertheless when in the first scene we see Bela Lugosi hamming it up as a godlike puppeteer, delivering some of the funniest lines in film history in his trademark Hungarian accent.

The movie as a whole is of course not the flaming plea for transvestitism Ed Wood wanted it to be, it is however a highly entertaining (if often for the wrong reasons) film consisting of Wood's trademark drivelling and preachy dialogue, some very weird acting performances (while Bela's hamming is almost surreal and nonsensical, Dolores Fuller's weird acting is unique), a very weird sense of continuity and (in the dream sequence) surrealism made on a shoestring - to put it short: A must-see.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD