Narcotic ()

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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 more »


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Dr. William G. Davis
Joan Dix ...
Mrs. Davies
Lena (as Jean Lacey)
J. Stuart Blackton Jr. ...
Gee Wu
Miami Alvarez ...
Drug Addict
Charles Bennett ...
Hand Wrestler
Federal Narcotics Agent
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Burger (uncredited)
Celia McCann ...
Prostitute (uncredited)
Policeman (uncredited)
Philip Sleeman ...
Drug Addict (uncredited)
Hildegarde Stadie ...
Blonde Waiting Outside Davies' Office (uncredited)
Dennison (uncredited)

Directed by

Dwain Esper
Vival Sodar't

Written by

A.J. Karnopp ... (story)
Hildegarde Stadie ... (screenplay)
Hildegarde Stadie ... (story)

Produced by

Dwain Esper ... producer
Hildegarde Stadie ... producer

Production Companies




Special Effects


Other Companies



Plot 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." However, his "preparation" is one of the great quack cure-alls: "Tiger-Fat." Davies soon becomes one of the leading sideshow attractions for a carnival. His success as a carnival huckster initially allows him to run with a fast crowd. In the movie's most shocking episode, Davies and his ritzy friends retire to a hotel room together for a drug party. "We're gonna get lit," says a woman. A buffet of drugs is spread out on a table and each guest takes their drug of choice. "It takes a needle for me to get a bang," says a woman. As each participant indulges, the party quickly turns into an orgy of excesses, one woman hikes up her skirts, another laughs hysterically, a man pontificates, another man becomes paranoid. The movie provides a litany of different reactions to drugs. Ultimately, Davies' drug addiction leaves him gaunt and stooped, living in a hovel with no hope of returning to his previous life. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Keywords
Taglines One night of bliss... A thousand nights of hell..! See more »
Parents Guide View content advisory »

Additional Details

Also Known As
  • Narcotic: As Interpreted by Dwain Esper (United States)
  • Narcotic! (United States)
  • Narcotic Racket (United States)
  • They (United States)
  • See more »
  • 57 min
Aspect Ratio
Sound Mix
Filming Locations

Box Office

Budget $8,900 (estimated)

Did You Know?

Trivia 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 »
Goofs 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 »
Movie Connections Featured in Narcotic Dens of the Orient (1953). See more »
Quotes Davies: Ladies! Let's not get vulgar, yet.
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