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Reefer Madness (Tell Your Children) (Doped Youth)

1936

Reefer Madness (Tell Your Children) (Doped Youth)

(1936)

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  • Top Critics

TOMATOMETER


46%

Average Rating:

4.8/10

Reviews Counted: 24
Fresh:
11
Rotten:
13

Critics Consensus:
No consensus yet.

Tomatometer Not Available…

——

Critic Consensus:
No consensus yet.

AUDIENCE SCORE


37%
liked it

Average Rating:

2.9/5

User Ratings:
11,160

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Reefer Madness (Tell Your Children) (Doped Youth)

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Movie Info

This is one of the ’30s-era “out-for-your-best-interests” films. This one deals with the dangers associated with smoking marijuana and shows how high-school students, after smoking a little pot, may easily commit rapes and other awful drug-induced activities. In later years, in a more marijuana-enlightened society, this film has become a comedic cult classic.
  • Rating:
    PG
  • Genre:

    Classics ,

    Cult Movies ,

    Drama

  • Directed By:

    Louis J. Gasnier ,

    Herman Hertz

  • Written By:

    Paul Franklin ,

    Arthur Hoerl

  • On Disc/Streaming:
  • Runtime:
  • Studio:

    NCM/Fathom

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Cast


Dorothy Short

as

Mary


Lillian Miles

as

Blanche


Kenneth Craig

as

Bill


Lillian Miles


Thelma White

as

Mae


Dave O’Brien

as

Ralph


Dorothy Short


Carleton Young

as

Jack Perry


Thelma White


Patricia Royale

as

Agnes


Joe Forte

as

Dr. Carroll


Pat Royale

as

Agnes


Warren McCollum

as

Jimmy Lane


Harry Harvey Jr.

as

Junior


Josef Forte

View All

News & Interviews for Reefer Madness (Tell Your Children) (Doped Youth)

Marvel’s The Defenders, Reefer Madness, and More on Netflix and Amazon Prime

View All Reefer Madness (Tell Your Children) (Doped Youth) News

Critic Reviews for Reefer Madness (Tell Your Children) (Doped Youth)

All Critics (24)
| Top Critics (2)

| Fresh (11)
| Rotten (13)
| DVD (12)

The original antimarijuana film (1936), offering the true inside story of the devil weed that drives men to savage lusts and women to unspeakable depravities, along with a little bit of dumb fun.

Mar 28, 2007

| Full Review…

Dave Kehr

Chicago Reader

Top Critic

One of the most absurdly earnest exercises in paranoia you’ll ever have the good fortune to see.

Jun 24, 2006

| Full Review…

Time Out

Top Critic

All the performers either overact laughably or underact to the point of just standing in place and speaking lines in a monotone.

Mar 28, 2007

| Rating: 1/4

| Full Review…

TV Guide

“Reefer Madness” is so outrageously over the top that it’s tough to imagine it was taken seriously even in the 1930s.

Jan 21, 2007

| Rating: 4/4

| Full Review…

Phil Villarreal

Arizona Daily Star

The film is so idiotic that it almost demands being seen to confirm how bad it is.

Feb 28, 2006

| Rating: D

| Full Review…

Dennis Schwartz

Ozus’ World Movie Reviews

As the evidence mounts before us, it becomes clear that the general purpose of Reefer Madness was not pedantry, but vicarious lasciviousness.

Aug 24, 2004

| Rating: 50/100

Dan Jardine

Apollo Guide

The most famous of all the vintage “message” movies from the 30s and 40s only gets, uh, better with age.

Apr 19, 2004

| Rating: 1/4

| Full Review…

Matt Brunson

Creative Loafing

…probably the granddaddy of all so-bad-it’s-good cult films. I’m not sure it started a welcome trend.

Mar 11, 2004

| Rating: 3/10

| Full Review…

John J. Puccio

Movie Metropolis

A true guilty pleasure; laughable today. More fun than educational.

Feb 25, 2004

| Rating: 3/5

Bob Bloom

Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)

A laughable and ignorant indictment of marijuana culture. Even the camp appeal isn’t worthwhile.

Mar 19, 2003

| Rating: 2/5

Brian Mckay

eFilmCritic.com

Not as funny as it sounds.

Mar 18, 2003

| Rating: 1/5

Jeffrey M. Anderson

San Francisco Examiner

This is neither the best nor the worst of this sort of thing — nor even the most salacious. It may, however, be the silliest.

Feb 2, 2003

| Rating: 2/5

| Full Review…

Ken Hanke

Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

View All Critic Reviews (24)

Audience Reviews for Reefer Madness (Tell Your Children) (Doped Youth)

Dr. Carroll: Yes. I remember. Just a young boy… under the influence of drugs… who killed his entire family with an axe. 

“Tell your children!”

I finally broke down and watched Reefer Madness after being told by countless friends and family that it is a hilarious movie to watch high. Hilarious? No. I mean sure, I chuckled a couple of times at the extreme exaggeration with the subject, but it was not all that funny to me. It was more infuriating to me. The film was pure propaganda which was thrown out as the truth to the masses and this film and likeminded thinking lead to the demonization of marijuana.

So basically the plot of this so call movie, is about a group of teenagers who fall under the “addictive” and “dangerous” “drug” called marijuana. Before long they go into fits of uncontrollable laughter as they slowly lose their minds underneath the spell of the all destroying reefer. Then pre-marital sexual activities go on(Oh, my god. Teenagers having sex? Who’d of thought that?), then there’s a hit and run while driving high, then there’s cheating, lying, and failing. Then ultimately there’s murder, and you know what? This could happen in your home. So tell your children.

Since the making of Reefer Madness, the public has become aware of what the government already knew. Marijuana isn’t a, quote on quote, “dangerous drug.” We can look back at this film and see it for what it really is, propaganda. We can also look back and say that anyone who watched this shit and believed it is a complete moron. 

So it’s a propaganda film that is terribly made, acted, and scripted. I see why some get a kick out of watching the extreme exaggerations, but for me it is just sick exploitation and a disgusting piece of propaganda. 

Melvin White

Melvin White

Super Reviewer




And here it is, the mother of all drug propaganda films produced in the 1930’s to scare teenagers and warn their parents about the “dangers” of smoking marijuana. Reefer Madness is legendary schlock. According to this film, once you smoke pot then everything goes downhill and never comes back up again. Everything just ends badly for everyone when they smoke up. Apparently you also laugh maniacally, play the piano really fast, dance like crazy, drive yourself to murder and go completely insane. That’s what I got out of it anyway. As a former pot smoker myself, the most I ever wanted to do was kick back on the couch, watch some TV, snack and then sleep. That’s it. I can’t say that I got a burst of energy from smoking pot. Anyways, enough about me. This is an absolutely insane piece of celluloid, and I love it for that alone. My rating is biased I guess, because I’m rating it based solely on my enjoyment and not necessarily its quality. If you’re looking for oddball crazyness, then you need look no further. Reefer Madness is your addiction.

Tim Salmons

Tim Salmons

Super Reviewer

Filmmaking isn’t just the art form that aspiring directors yearn for, but a means to exclude and brainwash the public. The thirties and forties saw an increase in films with skewed views towards the US government, lack of immoral behavior, and patriotism with our entrance into WWII. Because of the Hays Code, instituted around this time but not fully enforced for several years, many propaganda films were produced, including the infamous Reefer Madness. Nowadays the public has dubbed this as campy comedy, a sad remnant of the paranoia fueled ignorance of the early twentieth century. I was disappointed in viewing this film, as I was expecting some shenanigans and tomfoolery so inconsistent with drug use that it was over the top. The film does have some corny lines and strange scenes, but is very serious in its message of keeping people drug free. Watching the sheer inaccuracy of the subject material, and the supposed research into it just made me increasingly angry, the authority this film held and the lack of objectivity in reviewing the effects of the drug seriously harmed America’s education of magician (spelt wrong throughout the film). Not only do characters in this film uncharacteristically laugh in cackles like a maniacal crow, but they murder, lie, commit suicide, and apparently become promiscuous, leading to rape in some cases. There are even links to insanity, deep circles under the reefer user’s eyes, a madness on their lips. Neither funny nor medically relevant, this is good for a curious venture but not a serious view.

Spencer S.

Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

½

This movie barely has a story, and then there isn’t much going on. Plus the quality is bad, so it’s hard to watch.

Aj V

Aj V

Super Reviewer

View All Audience Reviews

Reefer Madness (Tell Your Children) (Doped Youth) Quotes

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