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Glen or Glenda? Movie Review

wood edward thompson bela

The canon of Edward D. Wood Jr. holds a special place in the hearts of his many fans because Wood really had faith in his subject matter; there isn't a trace element of condescension in any of his films. When Wood made Glen or Glenda? for producer George Weiss (who also appeared in the film), he thought enough of the material to retain the services of a medical adviser, Dr. Nathan Bailey. Glen or Glenda? is a sympathetic account of how Glen (played by Wood himself) is attracted to wearing the angora sweaters of his girlfriend Barbara (Dolores Fuller, then involved with Wood). To beef up the theme of the study, composite case studies are included of successful sex changes and of the sad ends of those who fail to realize their cross-dressing destinies for one reason or another. Bela Lugosi watches over mankind while intoning, “Pull the strings! Pull the strings!” Of course it's camp, but it's fun to watch; I will probably see Glen or Glenda? more times in my lifetime than Gandhi. (Once was enough, thanks.) Wood's colossal enthusiasm for creating a meaningful and socially important film along with his sheer genius for hokiness makes Glen or Glenda? a unique viewing experience. WARNING: Do not watch this movie with anyone who uses the “J” word ("juxtaposition”) in every other sentence. S/he will just cramp your viewing style and you will not have fun. I'm serious! AKA: He or She; I Changed My Sex; I Led Two Lives; The Transvestite; Glen or Glenda: The Confessions of Ed Wood.

1953 67m/B Edward D. Wood Jr., Bela Lugosi, Lyle Talbot, Timothy Farrell, Dolores Fuller, Charles Crafts, Tommy Haynes, Captain DeZita, Evelyn Wood, Shirley Speril, Conrad Brooks, Henry Bederski, William C. Thompson, Mr. Walter, Harry Thomas, George Weiss; D: Edward D. Wood Jr.; W: Edward D. Wood Jr.; C: William C. Thompson. VHS

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