3.8/10
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Reefer Madness (1936)

Tell Your Children (original title)
PG | | Drama, Thriller | 1938 (USA)
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Cautionary tale features a fictionalized take on the use of marijuana. A trio of drug dealers lead innocent teenagers to become addicted to "reefer" cigarettes by holding wild parties with jazz music.

Director:

Louis J. Gasnier (as Louis Gasnier)

Writers:

Lawrence Meade (original story), Arthur Hoerl (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Dorothy Short Dorothy Short ... Mary
Kenneth Craig Kenneth Craig ... Bill
Lillian Miles Lillian Miles ... Blanche
Dave O'Brien ... Ralph
Thelma White ... Mae
Carleton Young ... Jack
Warren McCollum ... Jimmy (as Warren McCullom)
Patricia Royale Patricia Royale ... Agnes (as Pat Royale)
Joseph Forte Joseph Forte ... Dr. Carroll (as Josef Forte)
Harry Harvey Jr. Harry Harvey Jr. ... Junior
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Storyline

Film that relates the story, as told by high school principal Dr. Carroll to parents at a PTA meeting, of the scourge of marijuana. The tale revolves around Mae and Jack, accomplices in the distribution of marijuana, who manage to entice the local high school kids to stop by Mae's apartment to smoke reefer. The lives of all who are involved with this menace are inevitably shattered. One man becomes so addicted to the killer weed that the guilt over framing a teen for murder causes a judge to order him to be committed for life to a mental hospital. Dr. Carroll closes by advising us to not incur the same tragedy. Written by Rick Gregory <rag.apa@email.apa.org>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Sweet "Pill" That Makes Life BITTER! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dope Addict See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to author John Cocchi in his book "Second Feature", Thelma White told him she was loaned in 1938 from RKO to do the film. According to her, the film was written by a religious group and shot in three weeks. See more »

Goofs

When Dr. Caroll and the unnamed man behind the desk talk about marijuana, there is a door by the filing cabinet that has had a name removed from it (not done very well). In a later scene with Dr. Caroll and Bill, the same door appears next to bill. (Both scenes filmed on same set.) See more »

Quotes

[after realizing the box is empty]
Ralph: Mae? MAE!
[Mae enters]
Mae: What do you want?
Ralph: Bring me some reefers!
See more »

Crazy Credits

FOREWORD: The motion picture you are about to witness may startle you. It would not have been possible, otherwise, to sufficiently emphasize the frightful toll of the new drug menace which is destroying the youth of America in alarmingly-increasing numbers. Marihuana is that drug - a violent narcotic - an unspeakable scourge - The Real Public Enemy Number One! Its first effect is sudden, violent, uncontrollable laughter; then come dangerous hallucinations - space expands - time slows down, almost stands still ....fixed ideas come next, conjuring up monstrous extravagances - followed by emotional disturbances, the total inability to direct thoughts, the loss of all power to resist physical emotions... leading finally to acts of shocking violence... ending often in incurable insanity. In picturing its soul-destroying effects no attempt was made to equivocate. The scenes and incidents, while fictionized for the purposes of this story, are based upon actual research into the results of Marihuana addiction. If their stark reality will make you think, will make you aware that something must be done to wipe out this ghastly menace, then the picture will not have failed in its purpose.... Because the dread Marihuana may be reaching forth next for your son or daughter....or yours....or YOURS! See more »

Alternate Versions

The shot of Mary unzipping the back of her dress, plus the close-up dolly-in shot of her lying on the sofa, was censored from some prints. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Weed: Or, A Cancer in the Community (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

Low-Budget but Good Work!
8 September 2004 | by PrincessAnankaSee all my reviews

Thelma White is the actress who really makes this anti-drug flick memorable. She portrays "Mae", who runs a drug den out of her late 30s apartment. Most of her scenes are shallow and brief but at the end she redeems herself in a memorable confession scene. The camera moves up close to catch her emotions and she really delivers when she says she didn't mean to hurt anybody to the DA. I don't know what happened to Thelma White before or after but she and the rest of the cast try valiantly to make this low-budget exploitation film work. "Reefer Madness" has become a joke movie--one everyone is expected to howl at and parody. That's unfortunate but understandable. I love to watch these roadshow exploitation movies from the 30s and early 40s and wonder about the fate of the cast and the crew, wonder about where they got their wardrobes and how were they hired? Was their a "Want Ad" in the Hollywood Reporter or did the film makers use their own friends, neighbors?


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