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Tell Your Children
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Reviews & Ratings for
Reefer Madness More at IMDbPro »Tell Your Children (original title)

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

The Devil's Weed

2/10
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York
23 November 2014

First let me say that we've come a long way in our thinking on marijuana. Now many advocate its use for medicinal purposes to alleviate pain. It will probably be legalized within the next 20 years in all states.

I grew up in the Sixties when the effects of marijuana were being questioned and the view that Reefer Madness espouses was being ridiculed. From my own observation those who used it in the Sixties certainly had a different experience than what you see here. Those that I saw use it became laid back and mellow. What they lost with too much use was a drive to get up and accomplish something. Reverend Jim Ignatowski on Taxi was a perfect example of that. I also remember a public service commercial from the Seventies and Eighties showing these two thirty somethings puffing on the weed and yelling down to one of the smoker's mother that he'll do it tomorrow. That's far more the effect of overindulging in the devil's weed as Reefer Madness shows. Then overindulging in any pleasure is never good.

Joseph Forte small town high school principal after a brief prologue tells the tale of a pair of high school kids, Dorothy Short and Kenneth Craig who fall into the evil clutches of dope peddlers Carleton Young and Thelma White. It results in death for one and near death for the other. There's also a friend of Young and White played by Dave O'Brien who had a substantial career in B westerns playing second string leads and sidekicks. He's presented as the model for the crazed dope fiend and he also has an unpleasant fate. O'Brien's performance also presents an exact opposite picture of the marijuana users I knew back in the day.

Carleton Young had a most substantial career becoming a member of the John Ford stock company and he got into some classic films for Ford and others. Everyone else in this cast toiled in obscurity.

What can you say about a film that is so horribly wrong and dated, with performances and a story that are laughable and looks like it was shot with an old Bell&Howell camera? Give it the bad rating it so richly deserves.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

what a hilariously bad movie

3/10
Author: dutchchocolatecake from United States
3 December 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Here's some comedic highlights of the movie:

1. That apparently, a mysterious narcotic called "mariHuana" is responsible for every scary social problem that exists. Rape? Murder? Miscarriages of justice? Those aren't caused by people, those are caused by none other than the wacky weed! Who'da thunkit??

2. The piano player in the ice cream shop does an incredible Kramer impression.

3. MariHuana, when smoked, gives off several different colors of smoke depending on who is smoking it. I suspect that the technology of mood rings was developed from this peculiar phenomenon.

4. The word "swell" is used more than any other word in the English language.

5. Dope smokers don't keep a clean house. "It looks like the Marines landed."

These among several other absurdities await the brave viewer that wants to find a creative way to waste an hour and a half of their time. As if the movie doesn't present a much more enjoyable way to do it!

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Thank god the Three Stooges weren't in it.

1/10
Author: anthony-rigoni from United States
1 August 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Yes folks, this movie is like Baby Geniuses as if it were made in the 1930's instead of 1999. Reefer Madness is, I think, the first worst movie even before Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. Reefer Madness tells the account of a bunch of teens that were high as a kite. And when I said high as a kite, I meant that they were on marijuana. Marijuana, according to film, was considered to be "The real public enemy #1!" What, was Al Capone absent to take the Public Enemy #1 title? The acting was so bad that I swear that one the actors is related to the director of Bebe's Kids. Okay, I'm not a fan of marijuana, but I think this movie must've explain the effects of this so-called "public enemy #1" in an exaggerating way. This movie was even considered to be propaganda by the Nostalgia Critic. Bottom line, Reefer Madness is just another corny and bad movie like A Troll in Central Park and the Super Mario Bros movie.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

'Yo Dude....Don't Bogart The Remote!

8/10
Author: druid333-2 from United States
5 January 2010

In 1936,an exploitation film,originally titled 'Tell Your Children' was released to concerned parental groups about the dreaded menace,Marijuana (which,for whatever reasons was spelled Marihuana---go figure!). According to this filmed expose,Marijuana was condemned as "the Devil's weed",and anybody partaking of it would go insane & become a sex crazed murderer. Now,all seriousness aside,'Tell Your Children' (which also got re-released with various other titles,before it became better known as 'Reefer Madness',when it was re-re-re released in the early 1970's as a midnight cult film playing to stoned out audiences,usually with a cartoon,or a 'Three Stooges' short,as Reefer Madness is only about 65 minutes) is a silly,campy,giddy,overblown melodrama with some of the most misleading information on Marijuana. One can tell that this film was shot with the cheapest budget that one can imagine (the film is cast with total non professionals...although, one of the cast members,Dave O'Brien did make a name for himself some years later as one of the central figures in a series of two reeler's for Pete Smith,for M-G-M throughout the 1940's/1950's,and was a regular on Red Skelton's television variety show in the 1960's). France's own Louis J.Gasnier directs (?)from a screenplay written (hamhanded)by Lawrence Meade & Arthur Hoerl. This is not a film to take seriously,by any means (just drop it in your DVD player,sit back & giggle a lot,like Dave O'Brien's character,when he's stoned to the nines). Not rated by the MPAA,but why bother rating something as goofy as this?

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Hard to enjoy, but Slice of an Era.

Author: oscar-35 from working in Movieland
26 February 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I got a chance to finally see and own a copy of this when finding it at a yard sale. I wanted to see what all the hoopla was about. I lived through the druggie 60's, although drugs were not my style. You can tell this film was made to be a informative precautionary film shown at schools to help the students. Original title, "Tell Your Children". It is bombastic and over-the-top judging by today's 2009 subtle standards. Its was over 70 years ago and in another time. This film shows the journalistic and newsreel film preachy style of the day. This film earned unexpected success as a classic cult film, this anti-pot film attempts to warn the public to stay away from recreational drugs by suggesting it leads to insanity. This film was part of the successful effort to get federal law against growing, transporting or using marijuana. It tells the story of Bill and Mary, two high schoolers who get involved with dope dealers and become addicted. Their friends try everything to feed their growing habit, ignoring the adverse consequences it has on them and their friends. Several deaths occur due to drug use.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

One Of The Worst Movies Ever?

1/10
Author: elementskate-1 from United States
10 December 2008

This is one of the worst acted, terrible plotted movies of all time with completely inaccurate facts and events. The Movie is not all terrible though. The movie is highly entertaining because of these things. Many times you are watching the movie just laughing at how dumb and unrealistic the movie is. If this movie was intended to keep people from smoking pot it was a complete failure because pot-heads take it as a joke and laugh through the whole movie and everyone else falls asleep in the first five minutes. The movie lost my attention once it said pot is as bad as all the other drugs. I recommend this to anyone who does drugs, not to make you want to quit, but to make you have a good laugh.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Boring with horrible acting, one of the worst movies ever(and I very rarely say this)

2/10
Author: gangstahippie from Canada(Montreal, Quebec)
26 August 2007

Rated PG for Drug Use,Some Violence and Brief Sexual Content.

Tell Your Children aka Reefer Madness is an exploitation film from 1936.I have heard a lot about this film and I decided to check it out.I must say its one of, if not the worst movie I have ever seen.I hear its hilarious to watch when you are stoned.I've never smoked Marijuana but this movie would probably have been better if I was high.If you're wondering if this is one of those movies that are so bad their good, its not, its just plain bad.The film was originally made by a church group to show parents the dangers of marijuana use(very inaccurately I might add).This film was never seen again until the 1970's when it was shown, and considered a comedy among pot smokers.The only really funny parts about this movie come from the terrible acting.The acting in this film is horrible.I usually don't notice bad acting but this film stands out as one of those films with bad acting.The bad acting also may contribute to the fact that the people who made this film, did not know a thing about marijuana.First of all they misspell it marihuana in the film, secondly while I have never tried pot, I can tell you it doesn't give you the urge to rob banks or kill your family(as told in the film).Reefer Madness is basically unrealistic propaganda.The film is also pretty boring.Don't bother watching it, its not so bad its good, its just bad.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Real story behind "Reefer Madness"

2/10
Author: shiner310 from Hollywood
15 June 2007

In 1932, Harry Anslinger was named head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. The position was not much more than a figurehead because all the bureau was involved in was the amount of morphine etc that were in medicine like cough syrup.

Well Anslinger wanted more power and the best way to get power was to put more "narcotics" under his control. So he set his sights on marijuana. He met and became friends with Charles Randolph Hearst (of Citizan Kane Fame) and they talked about their shared dislike of cannabis. Now during this time, there was a real movement to make paper out of hemp. Hearst didn't like this notion because he owned so many timber yards and such, so he and Anslinger agreed to work together to get hemp criminalized.

First Hearst started publishing false and sensational stories about the effects of marijuana.

Then Anslinger hooked up with a film producer and the end result was Reefer Madness....

crazy as it sounds, the scheme worked. The year after Reefer Madness was released, Congress passed the Marijuana Tax Stamp Act which made possession and/or use of marijuana a criminal offense.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A Lark

5/10
Author: Elfinspirit from United States
1 May 2006

I watched it with friends as a lark. It was side splitting funny without trying to be. There were parts that I thought rang true for that era. i.e. When the parents were in the school learning about Marijuana a few of them started pointing fingers at others for how they lived. Even in 2006 people still seem to judge too harshly their fellow man. I again enjoyed peeping into the past through the eyes of a movie camera. Even though the teenagers were just a bit older than most & most of their actions were really campy. To see how this subject was portrayed was informative in that I believe people reacted strongly to anything they felt that was different than the norm. I feel that the director was giving us a glimpse of the emotions of that day.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Boy, were they IGNORANT back in the day!!!

Author: Brenda Stiller from Pelham, NY
22 March 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This whole film was nothing more than typical propaganda that had been circulating around since Repeal in 1933...and considering that the drug scene, period, was TOTALLY underground at that time, it was easy for people in this country, like my grandparents, to swallow. I mean, you had to go to someplace like China or Africa or The West Indies to know what the truth was.

And it didn't stop there, did it? I mean, in the '50s they came out with HIGH SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL and in the '60s MARY JANE. Even THE BLACKBOARD JUNGLE shows a couple of the gang members (Vic Morrow and Dan Terranova) smoking a J and drinking (perhaps) Brass Monkey while they plan a robbery. Then in the '70s the same brains came up with THE DEATH OF RICHIE (which WAS a true story, but I think this was more along the lines of what happened between Marvin Gaye and his father; they got into an argument and it became physical). Wouldn't this also be propaganda that cheeba leads to a life of crime? I should think so.

Anyway, even my parents had to admit that it was a good laugh. Their own kids smoked without becoming criminal or weird, so they should know.

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