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 ...
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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 »
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
The film includes an appearance of Elmer McCurdy, an Oklahoma would-be bank robber who was killed in 1911, and whose embalmed body circulated through various sideshows, fun houses and amusement parks for over 60 years. McCurdy's body was not only used as that of a "drug addict" in the film but was put on display by Dwain Esper at screenings of the movie. McCurdy was eventually discovered in a Long Beach fun house in 1977, by a film crew for the TV show "The Six Million Dollar Man", and he was returned to Oklahoma for proper burial. See more »
When Davies is persuading his wife that his plan will work, the boom shadow falls the wall behind them. Also, the mike dips briefly into the shot and, and the camera moves forward, the shadow of the accordion-style apparatus used to hoist the mike is also visible, almost distractingly so, on the wall, right behind the wife. 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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