3.8/10
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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 ...
...
Lillian Miles ...
...
Thelma White ...
Mae
...
Jack
...
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:

Adults Only! 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

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film became one of the earliest cult comedy hits during the golden age of the "midnight movie" in which theaters, especially those near colleges, would run the film at special screenings late at night during weekends. See more »

Goofs

Obvious dummy in the suicide scene. See more »

Quotes

[after realizing the box is empty]
Ralph: Mae? MAE!
[Mae enters]
Mae: What do you want?
Ralph: Bring me some reefers!
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 Decoys 2: Alien Seduction (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

 
No wonder people like drugs so much! This movie makes them look fun!
15 November 2005 | by (Portland, Oregon, USA) – See all my reviews

My 10/10 rating is of course because "Reefer Madness" is so bad that it's good. And boy is it! Meant as an anti-marijuana propaganda film, the whole thing basically makes marijuana look fun. The plot has some wholesome teenagers getting duped into smoking marijuana and turning into lunatics (thereby idiotically implying "One puff and you're hooked!"). The first mistake that the movie makes is calling marijuana a narcotic; anyone should know that marijuana is a weed. Obviously, the law-and-order types have always used this type of propaganda to arrest anyone whom they don't like. But anyway, "Reefer Madness" is unintentionally hilarious. "That '70s Show" once did a spoof of it, portraying Red imagining Eric getting addicted. For the record, there's no such thing as marijuana addiction; people just like smoking it. And who wouldn't want to try some after watching this movie?!


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