7 years ago

Reefer Madness (1936) USA

Vintage Cinema
Reefer Madness (originally made as Tell Your Children and sometimes titled as The Burning Question, Dope Addict, Doped Youth, and Love Madness) is a 1936–1939 American drama film revolving around the melodramatic events that ensue when high school students are lured by pushers to try marijuana—from a hit and run accident, to manslaughter, suicide, attempted rape, hallucinations, and descent into madness due to marijuana addiction. The film was directed by Louis Gasnier and starred a cast composed of mostly unknown bit actors.

Originally financed by a church group under the title Tell Your Children, the film was intended to be shown to parents as a morality tale attempting to teach them about the dangers of cannabis use.[5] However, soon after the film was shot, it was purchased by producer Dwain Esper, who re-cut the film for distribution on the exploitation film circuit beginning in 1938–1939 through the 1940s and 1950s.

The film was "rediscovered" in the early 1970s and gained new life as an unintentional satire among advocates of cannabis policy reform. Despite becoming a cult film, critics have panned it as one of the worst films ever made.
Mae Coleman and Jack Perry are an unmarried couple living together (in the jargon of the era, they are "living in sin") and selling marijuana. Mae prefers to sell marijuana to customers her own age, whereas Jack sells the plant to young teenagers. Ralph Wiley, a psychotic ex-college student turned fellow dealer (and addict, according to the film), and Blanche help Jack sell cannabis to students. Young students Bill Harper and Jimmy Lane are invited to Mae and Jack's apartment by Blanche and Ralph. Jimmy takes Bill to the party. There, Jack runs out of reefer. Jimmy, who has a car, drives him to pick up some more. Arriving at Jack's boss' "headquarters," he gets out and Jimmy asks him for a cigarette. Jack gives him a joint. Later, when Jack comes back down and gets into the car, Jimmy drives off dangerously, along the way running over a pedestrian with his car. A few days later, Jack tells Jimmy that the pedestrian died of his injuries. Jack agrees to keep Jimmy's name out of the case, providing he agrees to "forget he was ever in Mae's apartment". Jimmy does indeed escape the consequences of his crime—a rare occurrence in the film.
File:Reefer Madness.webm
Reefer Madness
Dorothy Short as Mary Lane
Kenneth Craig as Bill Harper
Lillian Miles as Blanche
Dave O'Brien as Ralph Wiley
Thelma White as Mae Coleman
Warren McCollum as Jimmy Lane
Carleton Young as Jack Perry