Reefer Madness

Browse by  Genre | Director | Actor
  OpenFlix > Reefer Madness


Reefer Madness


English   Country: USA   Year: 1938

Reefer Madness


Louis Gasnier


Dorothy Short; Kenneth Craig




A propagands film about the evils of marijuana smoking. The story, as told by a high school principal to a PTA meeting, chronicles the ruined lives of teenage dope smokers. Black & White.


[User Reviews]  [Summary]  [Marketplace]

User Reviews


(Average=3.39 out of 5; Total Number=46)

Reefer Madness IN COLOR For The First Time - Fire UP! (rating=5)

Reefer Madness is the quintessential cult classic. Originally made as a 1930's propaganda film, it was meant to scare America's youth away from drugs, showing them that one puff of the "demon weed" turns teens into raving reefer addicts. Now, years later, this ham-fisted effort to warn you off weed has become the height of camp entertainment. A 'must watch' film among students, Reefer Madness continues to entertain today's youth with the edgy exploits of their high school predecessors. This movie is so beautifully bad, it's great!

Finally someone has released Reefer Madness the way it should be: Beautifully restored, in color for the first time, and in 5.1 surround sound. Both the color and black-and-white versions are on the disk. Plus this DVD has loads of fantastic bonus material. Mike Nelson of Mystery Science Theater 3000 does a hilarious commentary track, cracking wise from start to finish. Grandpa's Marijuana Handbook, A short film by Grandpa Ganja himself, graces this edition and tells us everything we need to know about dope.

No question this is the "FEEL GOOD" DVD of the year!

Re Urban Legend (rating=5)

To address xerxes59's question about the urban legend:

I never heard any evidence about Dupont funding Reefer Madness, but they would have a motive.

Dupont was facing enormous loses because their inventions rayon and nylon could not compete with natural hemp (in quality, cost effectiveness, not to mention environmental friendliness). Andrew Mellon, US Treasury Secretary and chairman of Mellon Bank, one of the major financers of Dupont, did appoint Harry Angslinger (who was also married to his niece) as Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. As seen in Ron Mann's documentary "Grass", Angslinger was an extremist zealot who managed to criminalize marijuana and create ridiculous sentences for smoking pot. One of Angslinger's methods was to demonize pot with completely false evidence throughout the various media (newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst, whose financial interests in paper mills was also being hurt by hemp, was a great ally). Of course this is a tenuous connection between Dupont and Reefer Madness, but Dupont clearly had a direct financial interest in demonizing reefer, just like the movie attempts to do.

Restored Edition, Fantastic!!!!!! (rating=4)

The movie Reefer Madness seen by itself is really nothing to brag about, but this special addition for this best-selling cult classic is fantastic. It's a must buy, because for how cheap it is, you really get your money's worth. For the first time ever, I can say that the colorized version (complete with multicolor smoke and over saturated psychedelic color schemes) is better and looks better than the original black and white, and both versions are available to watch which is considerate of the DVD producers to give us both, and it looks as good as we can ever expect. Extra features are fantastic highlighted by a hysterical commentary by Mike Nelson, formerly of Mystery Science Theater 3000, which is the sole reason why I bought this edition. The commentary by the people who colorized the film is also worth a look. I highly recommend this new edition.


Although it was made in 1936,Reefer Madness didn't become a cult hit until 1972 when the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) rescued it from the Library of Congress film archive. Thereafter, it was a mainstay on the midnight movie circuit. And it's easy to see why. The ostensible story involves a group of upstanding young high school students who succumb to the allure of the "killer weed." What follows, as if by natural progression, is a catalog of crimes that includes hit-and-run driving, loose morals, rape, murder, suicide, and my personal favorite,permanent insanity! The action is at times so hysterical, in both senses, that you may forget to inhale. Honors go to the wild-eyed, cackling hophead David O'Brien; his performance reaches a raw intensity that is hard to imagine. One measure of this film's pervasive influence is the extent to which its title continues to be invoked in news stories about decriminalization and medical marijuana. Such posterity for unintentional humor must be rare. A great film to see stoned, man.--Jim Gay