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Ed Wood  might have been straight but his films do have a queer sensibility like his autobiographical cross dressing classic "Glen or Glenda" (1953)

 

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1 hour ago, TopBilled said:

I suppose we could discuss other films about cross dressers. I don't remember a thread about this topic before.

Sure why not?

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It's interesting that Bela Lugosi's name is as big as the title of the film. That's kind of indicative of Wood's "kitchen sink" approach, throw everything in there and see who likes what. I think he knew he couldn't trust this one to sell itself. I'm sure he wanted it in neighborhood theaters but I wouldn't be surprised if it ended up in a lot of "adult" peep show type theaters, being lumped in with nudies and other sex-centric films, even though there isn't anything remotely erotic about Glen Or Glenda? I first saw this in a revival house back in the 70's and the audience screamed with laughter, but I wonder how a modern young audience so closely attuned to gender issues would receive it. I wouldn't be surprised if there were some anger and, certainly, some confusion about how they were supposed to take it. Personally, I feel about it like I did back then and like it for the silly absurdity of it and for the general ineptness which Wood made into a personal style.

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2 hours ago, DougieB said:

It's interesting that Bela Lugosi's name is as big as the title of the film. That's kind of indicative of Wood's "kitchen sink" approach, throw everything in there and see who likes what. I think he knew he couldn't trust this one to sell itself. I'm sure he wanted it in neighborhood theaters but I wouldn't be surprised if it ended up in a lot of "adult" peep show type theaters, being lumped in with nudies and other sex-centric films, even though there isn't anything remotely erotic about Glen Or Glenda? I first saw this in a revival house back in the 70's and the audience screamed with laughter, but I wonder how a modern young audience so closely attuned to gender issues would receive it. I wouldn't be surprised if there were some anger and, certainly, some confusion about how they were supposed to take it. Personally, I feel about it like I did back then and like it for the silly absurdity of it and for the general ineptness which Wood made into a personal style.

Lugosi got top billing because Wood used his name to get financing for the project.  "Glen or Glenda" was marketed as exploitation but this was a very personal film for Wood who was a cross dresser. The movie might lack production values but Wood does treat the subject with some respect. Can you imagine a serious movie made about transgender issues by a major Hollywood studio at that time ? Paramount was going to give it a proper release in the  1980s I think but then they backed out.  I imagine the subject matter would be more marketable now

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Never saw The Danish Girl.

I liked Tim Burton's film (which featured Landau's daughter, Juliet (also daughter of Barbara Bain).  I thought he showed respect for his subject.  I thought Jonny Depp gave a great performance and Martin Landau (award-winner for role) showed the dangers of stardom and drugs in Hollywood.  Bela L. basically was typecast.

Sometimes, the cross dressing isn't that believable (which is why Wilder wouldn't film Some Like it Hot in color).

Have a mixed reaction to Tootsie.  Bosom Buddies on TV was cute.

Straight men can enjoy wearing women's clothing.  And straight women often preferred pants (e.g., Katherine Hepburn).  But, when women dress up in shirts and ties, it is called fashions.  Although, in the past few years, men have started carrying handbags or purses.

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Thought Hoffman was great and there is a story that he pulled a fast one on Robert Redford (his All the President's Men costar.  The dialogue where he says that playing Dorothy made him a better person plus his standing up for women's rights on the soap (e.g., changing the script) - I wish I could paraphrase better what he said.  I feel sorry for the way he treated Sandy during some points of the film (big fan of Terri Garr). Jessica L., Bill Murray, Dabney C., etc. were all great.  It is just sometimes you wonder why people don't see through the disguise (also having to fake a lot of into re:  SSN, etc.).  At least his disguise is better than Dick Grayson's/Robin's mask.

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I appreciate Glen or Glenda. Yes, it's marketed as exploitation, but Ed Wood makes a genuine effort in discussing the complexities of gender identity and sexual identity which is pretty impressive for 1953.

I admire Doris Wishman's Let Me Die a Woman (1977) for similar reasons. It's another exploitation film but it provides a surprisingly in-depth look at gender dysphoria and features actual trans men and women telling their stories.

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28 minutes ago, Swithin said:

This gore-fest deals in the most luridly sensational way possible with gender bending. The final line: "My God, she's a boy!"

736937-b.jpg

Yes now this would be considered transphobic

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16 hours ago, Swithin said:

This gore-fest deals in the most luridly sensational way possible with gender bending. The final line: "My God, she's a boy!"

736937-b.jpg

Silence of the Lambs too. Bill is based off the notorious real life, crossdressing serial killer Jerry Brudos and also Ed Gein.

 

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The gist of Sleepaway Camp (1983) is that two children are in the water with their father. A speedboat kills the father (who is evidently gay) and one of the kids, presumably the boy. An aunt adopts the surviving child. We later find out that it was the boy who survived, but since the aunt already has a son, she raises the boy as a girl "Angela."  (As I recall, we think the girl has survived.) The trauma  evidently leads "Angela" to become a killer at camp, a few years later.

The shocking final scene is Angela with full-frontal male genitalia.

I saw the film when it was released, in a movie theater with the best kind of audience for a horror film of the early 1980s: lots of screaming!

 

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