Happy Birthday, Ed Wood!!! – Part One – Glen or Glenda…or I Led Two Lives (1953)! Plus Jailbait (1954)

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The above images from Flying Saucers Over Hollywood: The Plan 9 Companion

Edward D. Wood, Jr. was born 91 years ago and remains one of the most celebrated, respected, and unique Directors of Hollywood’s history with the followers of wild movies, the work of Edward D. Wood Jr. remains one of the most talked about. From cool flicks such as Glen or Glenda, Plan 9 from Outer Space, and Bride of the Monster to the Proto-Roughie The Sinister Urge and even his Adult films which still had a dash of Wood’s vision plus his Writing credits for The Violent Years and Orgy of the Dead (and even the large number of books sold at Adult stores), this collection has been riffed on, made fun of, and criticized, but there are those who find it a major part of 50’s Drive In, Early Adult Cinema, and Late Night TV history – the later where Cinema Ghouls like me were first introduced to his films and brought in. While his last years were a sad story, there’s a lot to celebrate and remember why we love his films.

After trying to make a Western in Crossroads of Laredo, his interests in transvestism led to his first film. Glen or Glenda starring the legendary Bela Lugosi. After that, there was no looking back as his career went from one interesting film to another. Here’s a post dedicated to that classic and Jailbait, Wood’s crime flick released by Howco.

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In Tim Burton’s tribute to Ed Wood, George Weiss (played by Mike Starr) shouted out to the Director (Johnny Depp) “The ads are in Alabama, Indiana, and Missouri, you schmuck! It ain’t gonna play in LA!” – There was some truth to it, although it actually did play Hollywood Boulevard, but the film did not mention one of it’s strongest states, Texas!

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Lubbock, TX 11-2-54

Just in case you were wondering…

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…it was held over! 11-6-54.

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3-16-55, Corpus Christi, TX

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9-8-54 Terre Haute, IN – From what I have seen so far, Jail Bait was mainly programmed as a B, but I’m still trying to find it as an A.

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Decatur, Illinois, 3-15-55

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4-1-55, Pittsburgh – Glen or Glenda was originally focused by Producer George Weiss to exploit the Christine Jorgenson story. Jorgenson appeared in Pittsburgh in a revue that has been touring since around the time of Glen or Glenda’s release. By this time, Glen or Glenda turned into I Led Two Lives for the East and Midwest territories, Back then, Independent films, especially Skin-Dependent and Adults Only films relied on a formula where a Sub-Distributor in a certain area would pick up the right to play it in it’s service area. This would lead to a film being played in it’s first run in a city long after it’s premiere in some areas. Glen or Glenda appeared as I Led Two Lives a little over two years after it’s April, 1953 release in some cities.

From Rudolph Grey’s essential book Nightmare of Ecstasy, George Weiss: “When you sell States Rights, each territory has the right, not only to change the title, but to exploit it in a title that;s befitting. GLEN OR GLENDA won’t mean a thing in Texas. But when they put out HE OR SHE?, then they had a chance to survive. I CHANGED MY SEX, that was the second title that came out, and that was because, if you didn’t like GLEN OR GLENDA, you could have this one. Everybody that was in Exploitation did that.”

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7-1-55, Wood’s film played at Pittsburgh’s Art Cinema, which will go Porn by The 70’s (and I think a few of his Adult films played there, too!)

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A York, PA performance around the same time.

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Lumberton, NC, 8-8-55

“And if you’re playing North Carolina, you’d better have a title that brings them in, and not GLEN OR GLENDA. Or else they won’t buy the territory.”

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1-31-56, Linton, Indiana

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5-1-56, Clovis, New Mexico

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5-15-56, Amarillo – playing with the sleazy Cult Classic The Flesh Merchant.

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7-26-56, Baytown, TX

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7-28-56, showing the tradition several Drive Ins had of switching the program around through the run.

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10-23-57, Petersberg, Virginia

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4-18-58, Toledo

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Weirton, West Virginia – Adult show at the Family DI!

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9-7-61, Already an Adults Only classic, I led Two Lives plays Kansas City.

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12-21-62, Carbondale, Illinois

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9-25-65, Chillicothe, MO – Part of this classic Dusk to Dawn show!

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8-12-65 – Here, it’s finally I changed My Sex!

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More later! Beware…Take Care!

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~ by screen13 on October 11, 2015.

One Response to “Happy Birthday, Ed Wood!!! – Part One – Glen or Glenda…or I Led Two Lives (1953)! Plus Jailbait (1954)”

  1. An astonishing collection of rare Ed ephemera. Many thanks!

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