-> ''"Pull the string! PULL THE STRING!"''
-->-- '''The Scientist''' (Creator/BelaLugosi)

''Glen or Glenda?'' (title changed from ''I Changed My Sex!'') is a 1953 exploitation film written by, directed by and starring Creator/EdWood, and featuring [[{{Creator/BelaLugosi}} Bela Lugosi]], and Wood's then-girlfriend, Dolores Fuller.

The movie consists of two parts, the first following a narrator called The Scientist, played by Bela Lugosi, making cryptic comments about humanity. At the beginning of the film proper, Inspector Warren finds the corpse of a male transvestite named Patrick/Patricia, who has committed suicide. Wanting to know more about cross-dressing, Warren seeks out Dr. Alton, who narrates for him the story of Glen/Glenda.

The second part is shorter, following Alan, a pseudohermaphrodite who fights in the Second World War wearing women's underwear. After "his" return, Alan becomes the woman she always was, through surgery. The third part bridges the two stories by returning to Glen/Glenda as he learns the story of Alan/Anne from Dr. Alton (whom Alan/Anne also visited) before managing to cure his transvestism.
!!Tropes associated with this work:
* AllHallowsEve: A flashback scene reveals that a younger Glenn wore his sister's dress for a Halloween party. He won first prize.
** ''[[{{Narm}} "Then one day it wasn't Halloween any longer"]]''
* AuthorAppeal: Ed Wood was famous for being a transvestite and he plays one in his film--which is very up on women's clothing. In fact, the film was going to be entirely about the sex change story, but Wood insisted on giving the lion's share of screen time to his own personal habit.
* AuthorTract: The film is essentially Ed Wood's apology for crossdressers like himself; he even played the crossdressing title character under a pseudonym.
* BMovie
* {{Bookends}}: The movie begins and ends with a scene of Bela Lugosi sitting in a chair, [[{{Main/BreakingTheFourthWall}} talking directly to the audience.]] The first scene begins with the camera moving away from Lugosi, and the last scene begins with it moving towards him again. A litteral example, since he is actually reading a book in both scenes.
* CastingGag[=/=]AsHimself: The [[{{Main/OpeningScroll}} opening text]] claims that this is the case.
--> Many of the smaller parts are portrayed by persons who actually are, in real life, the character they portray on the screen.
* {{Crossdresser}}: Glen, Alan, and a couple of secondary characters.
* [[CureYourGays Cure Your Crossdressers]]: According to this movie, transvestism is something that can be cured.
* DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment:
** "Glen is not a homosexual. Glen is a transvestite, but he is not a homosexual."
** While the screen is showing the headline "World Shocked By Sex Change", Dr. Alton's voice-over asks, "Why is the modern world shocked by this headline?" So apparently, the world was shocked to hear that it was shocked.
** The line "Glen is engaged to be married to Barbara, a lovely intelligent girl." is spoken twice by Dr. Alton, while talking to the same character. You'd think it would be enough to say it once.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: While disembodied, gossipy voices talk about the "scandal" of a man dressing like a woman (or getting sex-reassignment surgery), we see a film of a steel mill in which molten metal is extruded into bars and then ''chopped off''.
* DoubleStandard: For a movie with such a sensitive treatment of transvestism, it still manages to be completely sexist. After Alan gets surgery and becomes Anne, she must now learn how to act like a "proper woman," and certainly can't do any of the soldier/professional things she used to do as a man.
** ValuesDissonance: This ''was'' the [[TheFifties early fifties]].
* DramaticPause: Bela Lugosi... often talks like this... in this movie.
* DreamSequence: A good quarter of the movie is taken up by a long dream sequence by Glen featuring women in lingerie, light bondage, etc.
* FauxlosophicNarration
* HollywoodNatives Played straight. A tribe of these {{Noble Savage}}s in masks and grass skirts is presented as an example of the "state of nature" in which the male is expected to adorn himself, in opposition to present-day Western society where male clothing is rough in texture, and drab.
* InteractiveNarrator: Dr. Alton.
* MindScrew: Just ''what the hell'' is going on in that hallucination/dream scene? Or any of Lugosi's rambling monologues for that matter?
** This movie is said to have at least partially inspired Creator/DavidLynch's ''Film/{{Eraserhead}}''.
* OlderThanTheyThink: Discussed In-Universe by the Scientist in the opening:
-->'''The Scientist:''' Man's constant groping of things unknown... drawing from the endless reaches of time... brings to light... many startling things. Startling? Because they seem new... sudden! But most are not new... in the signs of the ages.
* PublicDomainSoundtrack: The opening theme, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=me-beEv9hgg which was also used in]] ''Series/{{Lassie}}''.
* TheRemake: A porn remake in 1994 (the same year ''Film/EdWood'' came out)
* SweaterGirl: Including loaning the sweater.
* {{Transsexual}}
* TheUnfavourite: Glenn's mother used to favour his sister Sheila over him. The psychiatrist believes that Glenn started wearing Sheila's dresses to attract the attention and affection of his mother.
* WholesomeCrossdresser