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 »
Another "message" film by Dwain Esper, also written by his wife, Hildegarde Stadie, as was Maniac. It is an example of pre-code Hollywood, and has a place in film history. The message, is, of course, about the evils of drugs.
It is interesting that the Asian in the film was play by a Caucasian, none other than J. Stuart Blackton Jr., who, along with D.W. Griffith, was a pioneer in the development of the motion picture art.
The film also features Jean Lacy, who as Jeanne Gray, had her own talk show on TV from 1949-51. She didn't like the way the young announcer introduced her, "And Nowww, Thhhe . . . Jeeeeannne . . . Graaaay . . . " Thayoung announcer, who wanted his own show, was none other than Johnny Carson.
At least it wasn't as silly as Reefer Madness.
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