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Reefer Madness/The Burning Question (1936)

Reefer Madness was also released under the titles The Burning Question, Dope Addict, Doped Youth, Love Madness, and Tell Your Children. The movie was made in 1936 and released in 1938.


This is a government propaganda film that relates the story, as told by high school principal Dr. Carroll to parents at a PTA meeting, of the scourge of marijuana. The tale revolves around Mae and Jack, accomplices in the distribution of marijuana, who manage to entice the local high school kids to stop by Mae's apartment to smoke reefer. The lives of all who are involved with this menace are inevitably shattered. One man becomes so addicted to the killer weed that the guilt over framing a teen for murder causes a judge to order him to be committed for life to a mental hospital! Dr. Carroll closes by advising us to not incur the same tragedy.


The movie had these gems as taglines:

      SEE youthful marijuana victims - what actually happens!

      Sin - degradation - vice - insanity!

      Tell your children!

      Women Cry For It - Men Die For It!

      The Sweet "Pill" That Makes Life BITTER!

      Adults Only!

      Drug Crazed Abandon!

      It's Public Enemy, Number One!

and the DVD version added this one:

      65 years later, audiences are still hooked!


The movie starred:

      Dorothy Short as Mary

      Kenneth Craig as Bill

      Lillian Miles as Blanche

      Dave O'Brien as Ralph

      Thelma White as Mae

      Carleton Young as Jack

      Warren McCullom as Jimmy

      Pat Royale as Agnes

      Josef Forte as Dr. Carroll

      Harry Harvey Jr. as Junior


It was directed by Louis Gasnier and written by Lawrence Meade (original story), Arthur Hoerl (screenplay), and Paul Franklin (additional dialogue).



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Taken on December 29, 2009