4.7/10
313
17 user 6 critic

Assassin of Youth (1938)

Not Rated | | Drama | 23 February 1938 (USA)
A high-school girl gets involved with a ring of teenage marijuana smokers and starts down the road to ruin. A reporter poses as a soda jerk to infiltrate the gang of teen dope fiends.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (story and screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Watch Now

With Prime Video

WATCH NOW
ON DISC

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Wild Weed (1949)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.7/10 X  

A chorus girl's career is ruined and her brother is driven to suicide when she starts smoking marijuana.

Director: Sam Newfield
Stars: Lila Leeds, Alan Baxter, Lyle Talbot
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
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.7/10 X  

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
Stars: Dorothy Short, Kenneth Craig, Lillian Miles
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.8/10 X  

Drug dealer on the run from the law meets an innocent young girl and her brother, and turns them into "cocaine fiends."

Director: William A. O'Connor
Stars: Lois January, Noel Madison, Sheila Bromley
Sex Madness (1938)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2.5/10 X  

Philanthropist Paul Lorenz is one of the more public faces in the fight against behavior that spreads the many "social diseases", such as syphilis and gonorrhea. An example of such behavior... See full summary »

Director: Dwain Esper
Stars: Vivian McGill, Rose Tapley, Al Rigali
Maniac (1934)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.5/10 X  

A former vaudevillian gifted at impersonation assists a mad scientist in reanimating corpses and soon goes mad himself.

Director: Dwain Esper
Stars: Bill Woods, Horace B. Carpenter, Ted Edwards
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

A girl visiting her sister in Hollywood hopes for a modeling career, but is tricked by pimps into working at a brothel.

Director: W. Merle Connell
Stars: Joy Reynolds, Geri Moffatt, Marko Perri
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2.7/10 X  

A happily married couple has been trying to have a baby with no luck. They discover that the husband is sterile. Their family doctor suggests that they think about artificial insemination, ... See full summary »

Director: W. Merle Connell
Stars: Dorothy Duke, William Thomason, Timothy Farrell
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  

Young girls are cheated in rigged gambling games and then forced into prostitution to pay off their debts.

Director: Elmer Clifton
Stars: Martha Chapin, Wheeler Oakman, Bryant Washburn
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.1/10 X  

A Siamese twin kills the husband who left her. The courts have to decide if she is convicted of murder, how can they punish her sister, who had nothing to do with the crime?

Director: Harry L. Fraser
Stars: Violet Hilton, Daisy Hilton, Mario Laval
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.5/10 X  

An evil gunslinging midget comes to terrorize the good little people of Tiny Town. The townspeople organize to defeat him, and zany antics ensue

Director: Sam Newfield
Stars: Billy Curtis, Yvonne Moray, 'Little Billy' Rhodes
Mad Youth (1940)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

A rich society mother hires a male escort, but he falls for her daughter instead. The mother-daughter conflict forces the daughter to run off to stay with a friend who is enslaved by a prostitution ring.

Director: Melville Shyer
Stars: Mary Ainslee, Betty Compson, Willy Castello
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Joan Barry
Arthur Gardner ... Art Brighton
Dorothy Short ... Marjorie 'Marge' Barry
... Henry 'Pop' Brady
... Henrietta Frisbee
Henry Roquemore ... Judge George Herbert
... Linda Clayton
... Jack Howard
... Mrs. Mary Barry
Hudson Faucett ... Otto (as Hudson Faussett)
Gay Sheridan ... Edith
Edwin Johnson ... Charlie
Edit

Storyline

A high-school girl gets involved with a ring of teenage marijuana smokers and starts down the road to ruin. A reporter poses as a soda jerk to infiltrate the gang of teen dope fiends. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Puff--Party--Tragedy! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 February 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Marihuana  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Something Weird Video)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor High Fidelity System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was heralded with ad-printed matchbooks - a strange choice for a film delineating the dangers of smoking pot. See more »

Goofs

When Art sits down next to Joan at the soda shop, the shadow of the camera is briefly visible on his back. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Caffeine Madness (2014) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Poorly developed moral sh*t-stirrer aimed at frightening rather than honestly informing
10 September 2004 | by See all my reviews

Just like many young people, a group of teenage friends enjoy a partying lifestyle, drinking, dancing and smoking weed. However, the devil of the drug starts as a bit of fun but soon they are living the consequences. During a night of partying that leads them to naked frolicking on the beach, one girl drowns while another ends up pregnant from a moment of casual sex. The pregnant girl gives up her baby as unwanted and continues her lifestyle, getting into harder drugs and getting more and more into the world of her dealer.

Unlike many other viewers on this site, I did not deliberately turn to this film to have ironic laughs at it but more out of interest. I had seen clips of this film played in modern documentaries (Grass for example) and easily derided and, in fairness, it is easy to do because they are dated and rather corny but just to watch it with an agenda to mock it is to do the film (and yourself) a disservice. It is easy to forget that this was one of many attempts to control drug use in the 1930's, the Government turned to movies as part of trying to educate the public. Looking at it now of course, the film is pretty extreme in its depiction of the consequences– it does show the vague good side of drugs, the feelings that it gives you etc but it makes the partying out as a bad thing and ignores that the consequences for every user will not be as extreme as this film tries to portray as the norm for even an one-time casual user; like Bill Hicks said 'never robbed nobody, never shot nobody, never lost one single job. Laughed my *ss off, and went about my day' (I'm paraphrasing).

In terms of its value as a film, it is of course pretty weak. The direction is OK but the production values are low even for the period; some shots are really badly lit, the film crackles and jumps around a lot due to frequent dropped frames and the soundtrack cuts in and out quite badly. The acting is also only average; it would be easy to criticise the actors for how quickly they take their characters from clean cut down to junkies but that is not their fault – they were only doing what they were told and I did think that they did do an OK job. Let's not forget that this is not a movie – it is an educational film and even today the production values and acting within educational films is still pretty dire; the last one I was a short film on confined space entry with William Shatner – hardly a piece of art!

Whether or not you agree, I have seen some of this type of film that actually do show the appeal of drugs in a reasonable fashion (The Pace That Kills did OK I felt) but this one is just far too one sided. The nearest it gets to actual thought is to begrudgingly admit that the kids have a good time, but that's it, no other though as to the reasons or the appeal and it obviously ignores the fact that bad things won't always happen. The film is clearly aimed at parents more than children because I can't imagine many teenage boys watching a group of girls get naked and being very open to ideas, who would say 'parties with naked girls? Nope – not for me thank you'! If I had been told that weed brought you into this sort of party then I would have started puffing a lot sooner than I did – all it does for me is make me sleepy, hungry and laugh, with rarely a naked 19 year old girl anywhere to be seen.

It does what it intends to do – scare without anything in the way of actual information and in doing this it damages whatever good it could have done. I'm sure that even in the 1930's people looked at this and saw it as a very one-sided morality piece as opposed to an educational film. Imagine doing one about alcohol and suggesting that even one drink (not intentionally excessive drinking) would lead you to bar fights, unemployment, broken marriages and homelessness! This is not to ignore the fact that drinking can destroy lives (or even nights out) but to pretend that it is not generally OK would damage your case and it is the same here. It comes across as moral hand wringing and, even though its intentions and aims are good it just becomes heavy handed and really poor both as a film and a piece of social education.

Overall, this is not a good film by any stretch of the imagination, but if you only watch it to get ironic laughs while you smoke some puff then you are not giving it a chance or meeting it on its own ground – that of the mid-thirties. The production is average at best – poor lighting, a poor script, simplistic characters and a real biased spin to the story and, by being so blindly one-sided, it damages its value both at the time and now. A cheap, terrible film – but I could have forgiven it that if it had had educational value and had done some good – it didn't.


4 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 17 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Comedy Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular comedy titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed