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Reefer Madness (1936)
"Tell Your Children" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  1938 (USA)
3.7
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Ratings: 3.7/10 from 5,433 users  
Reviews: 99 user | 66 critic

Cautionary tale features a fictionalized and highly exaggerated take on the use of marijuana. A trio of drug dealers lead innocent teenagers to become addicted to "reefer" cigarettes by holding wild parties with jazz music.

Director:

(as Louis Gasnier)

Writers:

(original story), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Reefer Madness (1936)

Reefer Madness (1936) on IMDb 3.7/10

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Dorothy Short ...
...
Bill
Lillian Miles ...
Dave O'Brien ...
Thelma White ...
Mae
Carleton Young ...
Jack
Warren McCollum ...
Jimmy (as Warren McCullom)
Patricia Royale ...
Agnes (as Pat Royale)
Joseph Forte ...
Dr. Carroll (as Josef Forte)
Harry Harvey Jr. ...
Junior
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Storyline

Propaganda film that relates the story, as told by high school principal Dr. Carroll to parents at a PTA meeting, of the scourge of marijuana. The tale revolves around Mae and Jack, accomplices in the distribution of marijuana, who manage to entice the local high school kids to stop by Mae's apartment to smoke reefer. The lives of all who are involved with this menace are inevitably shattered. One man becomes so addicted to the killer weed that the guilt over framing a teen for murder causes a judge to order him to be committed for life to a mental hospital! Dr. Carroll closes by advising us to not incur the same tragedy. Written by Rick Gregory <rag.apa@email.apa.org>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It's Public Enemy, Number One! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dope Addict  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The origins of this film have been the subject of controversy. Officially, this film is not in the copyrighted registry, but the opening card of Reefer Madness reads: Formerly "Tell Your Children" - An G and H Production - Copyrighted (though without a copyright date). Some say it was produced by a church group, in the wake of the Victor Licata 1933 murder case. Dwain Esper sued a distribution company in the 1960s claiming that he had produced the film for the US Army, and that he was the legal copyright owner, but he lost the case. See more »

Goofs

In the close-up of Mary lying dead on the couch, a shadow of the camera's barn doors falls on the arm rest just above her head. See more »

Quotes

Jack: Oh, why don't you button up your lip? You're always squawkin' about something. You've got more static than a radio.
See more »

Crazy Credits

FOREWORD: The motion picture you are about to witness may startle you. It would not have been possible, otherwise, to sufficiently emphasize the frightful toll of the new drug menace which is destroying the youth of America in alarmingly-increasing numbers. Marihuana is that drug - a violent narcotic - an unspeakable scourge - The Real Public Enemy Number One! Its first effect is sudden, violent, uncontrollable laughter; then come dangerous hallucinations - space expands - time slows down, almost stands still ....fixed ideas come next, conjuring up monstrous extravagances - followed by emotional disturbances, the total inability to direct thoughts, the loss of all power to resist physical emotions... leading finally to acts of shocking violence... ending often in incurable insanity. In picturing its soul-destroying effects no attempt was made to equivocate. The scenes and incidents, while fictionized for the purposes of this story, are based upon actual research into the results of Marihuana addiction. If their stark reality will make you think, will make you aware that something must be done to wipe out this ghastly menace, then the picture will not have failed in its purpose.... Because the dread Marihuana may be reaching forth next for your son or daughter....or yours....or YOURS! See more »

Connections

Featured in The Union: The Business Behind Getting High (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

Stoned
19 April 2004 | by (Virginia Beach) – See all my reviews

I make a hobby out of finding films whose underlying philosophy contradicts the philosophy, moral or point of the story. This is a great example.

The evil here is of course THCannibis. Regardless of whether you think confusing neurons is a good idea, you mind find it interesting to notice the narrative structure of this film. Now remember this is well before 'Citizen Kane' reinvented the narrative in film and slightly before 'Sullivan's Travels' started the trend.

The story is a story within a story within a dream within a vision, with multiple side stories dreams and visions along the way. Try to diagram this to see where you really are and you'll be shocked at how close it comes to the pathology of being stoned.

Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.


9 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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