Reefer Madness (1936)

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Teenagers fall into the dark spiral of marijuana use.


Genre

Drama

Characters/Groups

Mary - Dorothy Short

Bill - Kenneth Craig

Blanche - Lillian Miles

Ralph - Dave O'Brien

Mae - Thelma White

Jack - Carleton Young

Jimmy - Warren McCullom

Agnes - Pat Royale

Dr. Carroll - Josef Forte

Junior - Harry Harvey, Jr.

Hot Fingers

Mrs. Lane

Mr. Harper

Mrs. Harper

Drug Boss

Pete Daly

Mr. Wyatt

Kenny

Soda Jerk

Prosecutor

Jury Foreman

Judge

Mae's Neighbor

Character thumbnails with links to profiles

Detailed Synopsis

Newspaper headlines flash across the screen detailing marijuana incidents. One article mentions a PTA meeting at Truman High School where Dr. Carroll will be be giving a talk on marijuana. He tells the parents to tell their children about the dangers of narcotics and to urge lawmakers to enact compulsory education on the scourge of marijuana. He then reads them a letter from the Department of Narcotics telling them that PTA groups can be valuable in stamping out marijuana. He tells the parents how drugs can be hidden in shoes and other items. He ends telling them that marijuana is deadlier than heroin and tells them the story of an apartment run by Mae.

Jack enters an apartment and wakes Mae up and tells her to get the place cleaned up. The doorbell rings and Jack lets in a group of people including Eddie and then tells Mae he is leaving to make a drop off. Ralph is walking with two other guys when one guy invites him to a party. Jack walks up to Ralph and Ralph points out Mary to Jack. They then walk up to Mary, Bill and Jimmy and Ralph introduces Jack to them. Ralph invites them to get together, but Mary tells them they have plans. Jimmy then goes with Ralph and Jack and they go to a soda bar and see Hot Fingers play the piano. Jack asks Blanche, who is also at the club if she has any new prospects and she motions at Jimmy who is dancing with Agnes. Blanche invites Jimmy to Mae's place and they, Jack and Ralph leave. Bill goes to Mary's house and they drink hot chocolate and reenact a scene from Rome and Juliet until they are interrupted by Mrs. Lane. Bill goes home and Junior tells Mr. Harper and Mrs. Harper that Bill has a girlfriend. Jimmy picks up Bill and they drive to the soda shop and sit with Ralph and Blanche. They then leave and go to Mae's place. Jimmy leaves to drive Jack to get some more joints, while Bill stays and sits with Blanche. Mae walks into the room and hands out joints, and Blanche convinces Bill to try one.

Jack goes inside to see his Drug Boss after giving Jimmy a joint. Pete Daly walks into the Drug Boss's office and tells him he wont sell marijuana to kids and the Drug Boss fires him. As Jimmy is driving Jack back to Mae's place, he runs over a pedestrian and drives away. Dr. Carroll is at the Federal Offices Bureau of Investigation telling Mr. Wyatt that he is sure there is a gang distributing narcotics to students. Mr. Wyatt then tells Dr. Carroll about the growing spread of marijuana. Dr. Carroll has a meeting with Bill about his dropping grades. He asks Bill if he has started smoking marijuana and Bill denies it. Mary goes to the tennis court and is told by Kenny that Bill hasn't been around for a while. Blanche and Bill go into Mae's bedroom and have sex, while two cops show up at Mary's house investigating a hit and run driver. Mary lies and tells them that she had the car the entire time and is told by a cop that the victim survived. Mary talks to a Soda Jerk who tells her that Jimmy went to Mae's place and he gives her the address. Mary goes to Mae's and is let in by Ralph who tells her Jimmy went to drop off Agnes but should be back. Ralph gives Mary a joint which she smokes and then he tries to rape her. Bill walks out of the bedroom and in his drug stupor imagines Mary willingly kissing Ralph and then gets in a fight with Ralph. Jack hears the commotion and runs into the room with a gun. As Bill and Jack are struggling for the gun, it goes off and a bullet strikes and kills Mary and Jack knocks Bill unconscious. Jack tells Ralph and Blanche to leave and then puts the gun in Bill's hand. He wakes up Bill and Bill goes to Mary's body and Jack tells him he killed her.

Jack leaves after telling Mae to tell the cops that she heard a noise and witnessed Bill with the gun. Jack goes to the soda shop and lies to Jimmy and tells him the cops talked to him and told him the guy in the hit and run died. The newspaper announces Bill's trial. Dr. Carroll is called to the stand by the Prosecutor and asked if he noticed any changes in Bill, and Dr. Carroll tells him he noticed Bill seemed to exhibit behaviors attributed to drug use. Jack goes to see the Drug Boss and tells him he thinks Ralph might crack and tell the cops everything and the Drug Boss okays the murder of Ralph. The Jury Foreman tells the Judge the verdict of guilty and Mrs. Harper starts to cry. At Mae's house, Ralph gets more and more agitated about the idea that Bill is going to be hung and he demands to see Jack and starts to cry over the fate of Bill. Jack enters the room and Ralph figures out that he is there to kill him. As Jack reaches for his gun, Ralph takes a poker and beats him to death with it and Mae's Neighbor calls the police. The police arrive and arrest Ralph, Blanche and Mae and then interrogate them about Jack's death and they tell them about the drugs. The police then arrest the Boss and Blanche's Attorney tells the Judge that she is willing to testify for leniency. Blanche then tells the Judge that Jack killed Mary and set up Bill. The Judge then has Bill's verdict be changed to not guilty. As Blanche is being led away she commits suicide by jumping out of a window. Bill is freed and hugs his family and shakes Mrs. Lane's hand and Jimmy's hand, while Ralph is sent to an insane asylum for the rest of his life. Dr. Carroll then warns the viewers that it could be their children caught up in marijuana.