Thursday, April 7, 2016

Reefer Madness!

When I ran into this 1936 black-and-white film on tv yesterday, I was so astounded I didn't even make a note of which channel was offering it.  I came in toward the end,
as a girl was making a dash across the room and out the window of a skyscraper.  Soon after that a judge was sentencing a young man to an institution for the criminally insane for the rest of his natural life.
I clicked on the little 15-word description of the movie, and learned that it depicted the way

"young people go from marijuana  
        to wild piano playing,
         hysteria and death." 

Later I located these posters, according to which the movie should have been restricted to adults only, but there it was on tv in the middle of the morning where any kid playing hookey from school could  view it.  Wild piano playing!!



  1. Hi Edith, I have heard a lot about this movie but have never seen it. Did you notice the other headline on the second newspaper article? "Norway and Russia Exchange Hot Notes Over Leon Trotzky" Do you know when that was from? Almost more intruiging than the hysterical headlines about the supposed effects of marihuana use.

    - Nan

    1. Yes, I did see the Trotsky headline. I think he was on the run in Norway -- at any rate, I acturally remember seeing the news stories when he was assassinated in Mexico City not long after that.

  2. Delighted to see that you've discovered Reefer Madness. As long ago as 1972, the film buffs at my alma mater (New College of Florida, a laid-back institution from its beginnings) got hold of a copy and showed it as a piece of camp. I even remember the line about the unfortunate lad being sentenced to the asylum for the rest of his natural life--which would have become an unnatural life pretty quickly, of course (see One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest).

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