Up in Smoke (1978) Poster



The snorting by "The Ajax Lady" was accomplished by a tube hidden in her hand that led to a vaccuum cleaner.
The dog that ate the burrito after it was thrown onto the ground was not a trained dog, but a local stray. He simply walked into frame, took the burrito, and walked away. Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong ad-libbed around this, and it was left in the movie.
The car that Tommy Chong drives at the beginning of the movie is actually owned by Jack Nicholson.
Lou Adler screened the film privately for Jack Nicholson who had just been in a car accident and had a dislocated shoulder. It proved to be a painful experience for Nicholson, for his shoulder hurt him ever time he laughed - which was often.
The team found it hard to get any of the traditional advertising outlets to promote their film so they hit on the novel (and ultimately successful) idea of putting comic strips on bus benches. This gave the film a certain "street" feel, helping it to become a cult hit.
According to Tommy Chong, Stacey Keach's character name of "Sgt. Stedenko" was the name of a real cop from his hometown of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
The movie uses the word "man" 295 times; 212 of those happen before Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong reach the border.
The first of seven Cheech and Chong movies starring the comedy duo Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong.
The license plate on Cheech Marin's car (MUF DVR) actually belonged to an LAPD officer at the time.
Tommy Chong's character's name is mentioned once at the beginning of the movie. He is referred to as "Anthony" by his parents. It is revealed in one of the deleted scenes on the DVD release of the film that his full name is Anthony Stoner.
The extras playing the Hare Krishnas all shaved their heads for $25.
This film was banned by the South African Publications Control Board as it "might encourage the usage of marijuana by the impressionable youth of South Africa".
Harry Dean Stanton had a small role as a jail guard who tries to sell "reds", or Seconal, which are downers, to Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong while they're in jail, but the scene was later cut.
Stars Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong had been a comedy team act as "Cheech and Chong" for about ten years before they started looping together some of their material for this their first cinema movie collaboration together.
On the commentary track, Cheech Marin said that, while hanging out with Mike Judge, Judge revealed that his MTV series Beavis and Butt-Head (1993) was partially inspired by 'Up in Smoke'.
Near the end of the movie, Cheech Marin says "We're gonna be bigger than Ruben & The Jets." This could be a reference to a doo-wop parody album recorded by Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention called "Cruising with Ruben & The Jets." Reportedly, the cover of the album confused many DJ's, and they thought Ruben & The Jets was the name of the band. Most likely, though, it was a reference to the (real) doo-wop band by the same name who formed after Zappa's album was released. They asked for his permission to use his fictitious band name, and not only did he agree, he produced the first album. Ruben and the Jets' singer, Ruben Guevara, appears in the film as Tom, one of the horn players in Cheech & Chong's band.
The girls that Cheech Marin tries to pick up before he first picks up Tommy Chong are actually the daughters of one of the associate producers.
During the scene where Cheech & Chong enter Strawberry's House, the song that is looping on the turntable is the live version of "Star Star" by The Rolling Stones.
Some of the Mexico scenes are really filmed in L.A..
An early lineup for the legendary LA punk band The Germs had auditioned for a part in the "Battle of the Bands" sequence for this film, along with a few other bands of the time. However, Darby Crash and the rest of The Germs instigated a food fight at the Roxy during their audition gig (in front of a live audience) and they were told that they would not be in the film. The other bands which auditioned were given time in the movie. The song The Germs played at the audition, "Sex Boy" (with sounds of the resulting riot) can be heard on the CD "Germs(MIA)".
The Mexican border scene was actually filmed at an agriculture checkpoint/weigh station located on westbound I-8, approximately five miles west of Winterhaven, CA.
Debut theatrical feature film of actress Ellen Barkin.
The payphone that Cheech Marin is talking into in Mexico was a prop. The fake phone was supposed to be stuck onto the wall with double sided tape, but it kept falling down. Because of this, Marin had to speak with his hand on the prop to keep it from falling.
Strother Martin and Edie Adams (who played Arnold and Tempest Stoner, Anthony "Man" Stoner's parents) were allowed to ad-lib their dialogue in the scene where they talk to their son about getting a job.
Lou Adler was heavily influenced by Robert Altman's filmmaking technique.
The movie is included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
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In the later Cheech and Chong film Nice Dreams (1981), Sergeant Stedenko (Stacey Keach) from this movie appears again. In Nice Dreams (1981), to the right of the door of Stedenko's office, there is a paper cut out of Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong carrying a garbage can from Cheech and Chong's Next Movie (1980).
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Stacy Keach reprized his role of police Sergeant Stedenko from Cheech and Chong's Up in Smoke (1978) for the second and final time in a Cheech and Chong film in their later movie Nice Dreams (1981) which was first released about three years later.
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The nick-names of Sgt. Stedanko / Sergeant Stedanko (Stacy Keach) were "The Sarge" and 'The Sarge Stedanko".
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