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Synanon (1965)

Approved | | Drama | 31 August 1967 (Mexico)
This film chronicles the goings on at Synanon House, a rehabilitation center for people with all kinds of addictions. Chuck Dederich, a recovering alcoholic, founded and runs Synanon House.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Chuck Dederich
Joaney Adamic
Zankie Albo
Reid Kimble
Mary (as Barbara Luna)
Alejandro Rey ...
Richard Evans ...
Gregory Morton ...
Chanin Hale ...
Pruddy (as Casey Townsend)
Larry Kert ...
Bob Adamic
Mark Sturges ...
Joe Mann


This film chronicles the goings on at Synanon House, a rehabilitation center for people with all kinds of addictions. Chuck Dederich, a recovering alcoholic, founded and runs Synanon House.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


"Synanon" ... where dope fiends fight their way back! Some make it ... some don't ... this is the story of both kinds! See more »




Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

31 August 1967 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

Get Off My Back  »

Filming Locations:

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Did You Know?


Original advertising art featured a sketch of Alex Cord's character plunging a syringe into his arm - but the needle was covered by a black censorship block when the image was distributed as newspaper ads, poster art and as cover art of the soundtrack album. See more »


The Whiffenpoof Song
Music by Rudy Vallee & Robert Merrill, Lyrics by George S. Pomeroy & Meade Minnigerode
See more »

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User Reviews

Interesting period piece of difficult subject with excellent cast

Studies of drug use and addiction in these United States show there wasn't really what could be called a "societal problem" until after passage of the Harrison Act of 1913, the law outlawing so many drugs.

Marijuana was outlawed about 25 years later, and all the drug prohibition has faithfully followed the pattern set by alcohol prohibition in the 1920s: crime and misery and violence and bloodshed.

And huge profits for the people willing to break the laws against selling and distributing those products.

Opponents of prohibition believe, with much research and evidence backing their position, that the laws cause more problems than do the drugs.

There is really not much support for the drugs themselves, although there is growing support for the freedom to choose, and even the most ardent opponent of prohibition recognizes that at least some people suffer badly from drug use and especially from drug addiction.

Synanon was founded by a former substance abuser to help addicts kick their habits. This movie is about him and that effort.

It could have been a cheapie exploitation movie, and the original advertising plan did seem to appeal to the sensational. But it had, instead, an intelligent and apparently honest script and some of Hollywood's most talented actors.

I started watching a TCM presentation with trepidation, prepared to switch channels, but found myself fascinated.

Especially by the actors.

Chuck Connors is one of my favorites and I sat in awe of his very low-key performance. Yes, he stayed busy, even having two TV series, but I don't think he got the respect he should have.

Edmond O'Brien is one of the greatest, an actor capable of probably any type of characterization.

Richard Conte is another of my favorites, and again his low-key performance fit his role just perfectly.

Many others also deserve praise, but I've gone on too long. Let me just say I highly recommend "Synanon."

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