3.8/10
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114 user 67 critic

Reefer Madness (1936)

Tell Your Children (original title)
PG | | Drama, Thriller | 1938 (USA)
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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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Dorothy Short ...
Kenneth Craig ...
Lillian Miles ...
...
...
Mae
...
...
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:

65 years later, audiences are still hooked! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dope Addict  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Producer George A. Hirliman announced production of "Tell Your Children" in Variety, June 15, 1938. It was later sold to an assortment of distributors on a states rights basis, who then used the alternate titles of "The Burning Question" and "Reefer Madness," in addition to "Tell Your Children," depending on the region. See more »

Goofs

During the conversation between Dr Carrol and the man from the FBI, there is mention of a case involving a young woman found in the company of five men. The FBI man introduces the case as being from Michigan, then later says that it took place in West Virginia. 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

Referenced in Atop the Fourth Wall: Batman: Fortunate Son (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

 
It's 10 o'clock. Do you know why your children are cackling insanely?
15 March 2007 | by See all my reviews

"Reefer Madness" (originally "Tell Your Children") was created to teach parents that it's never too early to scare the holy crap out of your kids. Through this film we learn that the soul-destroying effects of Marihuana (Mike Nelson explains in the commentary that this film was made before the invention of the letter J) far surpass those of cocaine or heroin. We see firsthand that even teens who can quote Shakespeare like nobody's business cannot escape its evils.

Here are some of the symptoms of casual Marihuana use:

  • laughing maniacally while running people down in the street


  • playing the piano too fast


  • having sexual relations with people you don't really like that much


  • accidentally shooting people you do like pretty well


  • having no recollection of being framed for murder


If your child has experienced any of these symptoms, he or she is a Marihuana addict. The solution is simple: force them to watch "Reefer Madness" because if we don't heed its warning, "Reefer Madness 2" will be coming to a theater near you or you... OR YOU!


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