As the opening scroll tells us, Narcotic was "presented in the hope that the public may become aware of the terrific struggle to rid the world of drug addiction." The movie itself is a ... See full summary »
As the opening scroll tells us, Narcotic was "presented in the hope that the public may become aware of the terrific struggle to rid the world of drug addiction." The movie itself is a salacious plunge into a world of sordid pleasures. It tells us the story of Dr. William G. Davies, an infamous snake-oil salesman who started his career as a promising medical student. In the opening sequence he saves an unborn baby by performing a cesarean operation after the mother was killed in an automobile accident. Stock medical footage shows a woman's stomach being sliced open like a ripe watermelon and the baby popping out like a jack-in-a-box. But the allure of opium proves too strong for the doctor to resist. After a single night of relaxation in a Chinatown opium den, Davies becomes a slave to drugs. As his medical practice deteriorates, he shifts his attention to "selling medicine by demonstration." He says to his nurse/fiancee, "I can't see anything wrong if my preparation has merit." ... Written by
Sujit R. Varma
Writer Hildegarde Stadie based the script on true events. She had gone on tour with a great uncle as a little girl when he worked the medicine show circuit selling the elixir Tiger Fat. The film is actually considered to be a very accurate and unexaggerated retelling of his life. See more »
In the close-up of Davies after he forces the man out of his house, the edge of the mike dips into the shot and hovers above his head. See more »
unrealistic, but interesting example of exploitation genre
From the obviously Caucasian 'Chinaman' who introduces opium to the protagonist, to the patently absurd narcotics party scene, this film makes little attempt at realism, belying its claim that it accurately depicts the scourge of heroin addiction. Disguised as a public service type of message, it instead seeks to titillate the viewer, and is in this sense exploitive, prurient for its day, and intellectually dishonest.
Nice background music, though, including passages from Wagner's Gatterdammerung and Schubert's Unfinished Symphony.
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