From The Deuce
Also Known As
- Marihuana, the Devil's Weed (1938 Re-release)
- Marihuana, the Weed with Roots in Hell!
- Pitfalls of Youth (Alternative Title, 1936)
- Sinister Weed (Alternative Title, 1936)
- Lust Crime Sorrow Hate Shame Despair
- See the truth about the smoke from Hell!
- A Puff--A Party--A Tragedy
- Daring drug expose'
- Weed with roots in hell!
- Released in 1936
- Black & White
- Runtime: 57 min
- Production Co: Roadshow Attractions Inc.
- Distribution Co: Roadshow Attractions Inc. | Marden Films (Canadian release, 1973)
Cast and Crew
- Directed by Dwain Esper
- Written by Hildegarde Stadie
- Produced by Dwain Esper and Hildegarde Stadie
- Cinematography by Roland Price
- Editing by Carl Himm
- Starring Harley Wood, Hugh McArthur,Pat Carlyle, Paul Ellis, Dorothy Dehn
Let's start off with the good ol' scrolling text:
For centuries the world has been aware of the narcotic menace. We have complacently watched Asiatic countries attempt to rid themselves of DRUGS CURSE, and attributed their failure to lack of education. We consider ourselves enlightened, and think that never could we succumb to such a fate. But--did you know that-the use of Marihuana is steadily increasing among the youth of this country? Did you know that---the youthful criminal is our greatest problem today? And that---Marihuana gives the user false courage and destroys conscience; thereby making crime alluring, smart? That is the price we are paying for our lack of interest in the narcotic situation. This story is drawn from an actual case history on file in the police records of one of our large cities. NOTE: Marihuana, Hashish of the Orient is commonly distributed as a doped cigarette. It's most terrifying effect is that it fires the user to extreme cruelty and license.
Ah, I love these openings.
But just to quickly get this out of the way, Marihuana doesn't have a whole lot to do with the drug, marijuana (I know. Bummer) Instead it's another one of the "Roadshow moral tales" that focuses more on drug-dealing than drug-abusing. So don't go into this one thinking it's a companion to the ever popular Reefer Madness.
All you need to know is that innocent Burma Roberts (Harley Wood--Nice name!) gets invited to a party thrown by Tony Siletto (Paul Ellis) where there's plenty of booze and doped-up cigarettes available. The weed, in this case, is the equivalent of laughing gas and causes a group of girls to provide us with one of the first skinny dipping sequences seen on celluloid! But the good times come to a crashing end when one of the party goers winds up dead when trying to take a swim. Burma then receives a verbal assault at the Roberts Household for being involved with the party and chooses to leave home and marry her boyfriend, Dick (Hugh McArthur). But Dick needs some quick cash if he plans to marry. In comes the drug-smuggling operation which will soon have Burma following in Dick's footsteps of becoming a drug-dealer.
The movie does make an interesting turn when Burma becomes a ruthless criminal (It's a hoot to see how evil she gets!) but the short running time of the movie doesn't do her justice. I definetly would've liked to see a little more screentime of this incarnation of her character. Yet, in the short running time, you're able to get glimpses that you're watching a Dwain Esper movie with some of the recognizable fast-cutting and images superimposed over each other. Marihuana is mandatory viewing here in the Redlight domain, but don't forget that it's more about drug dealing than drug partying.
Reviewed by Laydback - 3/30/08