A contemporary of the German Expressionist classics "Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" and "M," "Opium" delivers a cautionary tale about addiction and sexual licentiousness. Sadly, it also delivers a sledge-hammer to the skull, because it's boring, ponderous, and murky. I am not sure it is historically or artistically important as a benchmark or as entertainment, but the box notes tell us that it sold out for weeks on end when it debuted. I suspect that had more to do with the novelty of movies and the exoticism (besides Germany, it purports to take place in China and India) than because anyone enjoyed watching it.
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