Note: This is the earliest film review of mine which I still have. While my other early attempts make me cringe in how amateurish they are, this one I find has an appealing innocence to it, therefore I present it as I originally wrote it back in 2011.
I might sound insane, but I’m giving an Ed Wood movie a positive score from an artistic point of view. Glen or Glenda marked Wood’s first film, which he not only written and directed but also starred in. The film was originally slated to be a biopic on Christine Jorgensen, the propriety of the first publicly known sex change operation (in this case from male to female) Wood, however, took over production and instead turned it into a film about his own transvestism.
Whether you’re conservative or liberal on issue of cross-dressing and trans-sexuality, Glen Or Glenda manages to do something which I’ve seen many sacred cows fail to do, create emotional interest in its main characters, and succeeds to raise question on what it means to be normal, with an issue which is just as relevant today as it was in 1953.
The movie’s production values are surprisingly good for a film of this calibre. The surreal dream-like sequence in the 2nd half of the movie features some impressive filmmaking techniques and manages to engage you in the character’s descent into insanity. Even the film’s acting is decent, certainly better than in the likes of Plan 9 from Outer Space.
Lugosi’s character is widely regarded to be a scientist representing God. At first, I didn’t understand the character’s role in the movie (plus the use of the stock of footage is completely random). However, I was impressed with how his catchphrase which he utters throughout the course of the movie actually finds its way to having relevance with the plot.
I’m not the type of person who over analyzes movies looking for their deeper meaning, but in Glen or Glenda it really came through quite obviously and did leave an impression on me, as well as changing my opinions on Wood as a director. I can defiantly sense Ed Wood put a lot legitimate feeling into this movie, and certainly comes through in the finished product.