3.8/10
7,303
121 user 74 critic

Reefer Madness (1936)

Tell Your Children (original title)
PG | | Crime, Drama | 1938 (USA)
Trailer
1:45 | Trailer

Watch Now

With Prime Video

ON DISC
ALL
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 »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An outrageous tongue-in-cheek musical comedy adaptation of the classic anti-marijuana propaganda film Reefer Madness (1936).

Director: Andy Fickman
Stars: Kristen Bell, Christian Campbell, Neve Campbell
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

"It's all a LIE!!" or so screams our hero, DETECTIVE JACK PERRY. We meet Jack in the prologue as he interrupts a telecast of a movie review program. He claims REEFER MADNESS, the classic ... See full summary »

Director: Kent Skov
Stars: Bob Buchholz, Michael Cheselka, Connie Sue Cook
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.2/10 X  

A psychiatrist tells two stories: one of a transvestite (Glen or Glenda), the other of a pseudohermaphrodite (Alan or Anne).

Director: Edward D. Wood Jr.
Stars: Edward D. Wood Jr., Bela Lugosi, Lyle Talbot
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4/10 X  

Evil aliens attack Earth and set their terrible "Plan 9" in action. As the aliens resurrect the dead of the Earth to destroy the living, our lives are in danger.

Director: Edward D. Wood Jr.
Stars: Gregory Walcott, Tom Keene, Mona McKinnon
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.6/10 X  

A backwoods game warden and a local doctor discover that giant leeches are responsible for disappearances and deaths in a local swamp, but the local police don't believe them.

Director: Bernard L. Kowalski
Stars: Ken Clark, Yvette Vickers, Jan Shepard
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

G.I. Nick Blake, a never charged con man in his pre-military life, has just received an honorable discharge from the army on medical reasons. Rather than return to his old life, he plans to... See full summary »

Director: Jean Negulesco
Stars: John Garfield, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Walter Brennan
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.2/10 X  

A mad doctor attempts to create atomic supermen.

Director: Edward D. Wood Jr.
Stars: Bela Lugosi, Tor Johnson, Tony McCoy
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.2/10 X  

A doctor experimenting with transplant techniques keeps his girlfriend's head alive when she is decapitated in a car crash, then goes hunting for a new body.

Director: Joseph Green
Stars: Jason Evers, Virginia Leith, Anthony La Penna
Park Row (1952)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The Globe is a small, but visionary newspaper started by Phineas Mitchell, an editor recently fired by The Star. The two newspapers become enemies, and the Star's ruthless heiress Charity Hackett decides to eliminate the competition.

Director: Samuel Fuller
Stars: Gene Evans, Mary Welch, Bela Kovacs
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

During the Cold War, a scientific team refits a Japanese submarine and hires an ex-Navy officer to find a secret Chinese atomic island base and prevent a Communist plot against America that could trigger WW3.

Director: Samuel Fuller
Stars: Richard Widmark, Bella Darvi, Victor Francen
Marihuana I (1936)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.9/10 X  

A young girl slowly becomes a dope pusher.

Director: Dwain Esper
Stars: Harley Wood, Hugh McArthur, Pat Carlyle
Thriller

A punk rock band is forced to fight for survival after they stop in a small town where the residents are being driven mad by a new strain of marijuana which causes psychotic effects on its users.

Director: Rich Mallery
Edit

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
Edit

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:

It's Public Enemy, Number One! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In the 1960s the film was distributed to the college circuit by Robert Shaye, the first film distributed by his company New Line Cinema. The rest is history. See more »

Goofs

The same extras used in the opening PTA (or TPA) scene are used in the courtroom scenes. See more »

Quotes

[Jimmy finishes a reefer before driving back]
Jimmy: Let's go, Jack. I'm red-hot!
Jack: Better be careful how you drive, or the first thing you know you'll be ice cold.
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

20th Century Fox DVD release flashes "420" on the screen for a couple of frames when Billy first enters Mae and Jack's apartment. This is in both the black-and-white and colorized versions on the disc. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Three Stooges in Color (2005) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
unintentionally hilarious
17 July 2007 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

Why no one changed their name after appearing in "Tell Your Children," aka "Reefer Madness," I'll never know. Perhaps some of them did - I only checked a few names.

This is possibly the worst acted, campiest, most absurd movie ever made, a laugh riot from beginning to end. A cautionary tale is told to parents of high-schoolers (who must have all married late - they looked really past it) about the dangers of marijuana use among the young. Marijuana here is spelled marihuana and is described as worse than heroin or cocaine - one puff and you're hooked. The description of the symptoms is that first you break into uncontrollable laughter, then you become frenetic, and then, your mind altered, you do insane things. In this story, there was a hit and run where this kid just mowed down somebody in the street as if he wasn't there, a near-rape, and an accidental shooting blamed on an innocent young man who is brought to trial.

Well, I'm from the '60s, so right away, you know I'm howling at this thing. This marihuana must have been laced with amphetamine, because one thing you never see in stoned people is frenetic behavior unless it's toward food. It's mind-altering, all right - you totally zone out. These kids were dancing like maniacs. Also, there were no deep intakes of the weed which is then held a bit before expelling the smoke - no, these people were smoking this stuff like cigarettes except they weren't inhaling. At all. You never saw so much smoke.

Now to the performances. Let's start with handsome Dave O'Brien as Ralph, one of the older procurers of the young, who then introduced kids to this powerful substance. O'Brien is one who DID change his name when he turned to comedy writing. I would have done it right after this film. He had the uncontrollable laughter down pat - he did it constantly. And the film was made so cheaply, every time he took a puff, the exact same clip of him laughing was shown again. It was a totally unbelievable laugh, too. By the end of the movie his eye makeup was smeared so he looked like a raccoon. I'm not sure what that look was supposed to represent. I was actually going to write more about the performances. I'll just leave it that they were horrible and amateurish.

I gave this a 4 for camp value ONLY. It is a ridiculous movie. I am not a believer in smoking marijuana, I am not a believer in substance abuse, and our kids have enough trouble living their lives without getting into problems with marijuana, drugs, or alcohol. However, did people really believe this to be the truth in 1936? Or was this movie deliberately done as a gross exaggeration? If so, it is unconscionable, not to mention misleading, particularly to tell people that marihuana is worse than cocaine and heroin. Give me a break. I can only hope that when this film was released, people laughed as hard as I did.


2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 121 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed