[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Reefer_Madness_3778.jpg]]

Originally called ''Tell Your Children'', this anti-[[AntiquatedLinguistics marihuana]] film from [[TheThirties 1936]], was directed by Louis Gasnier and originally financed by a [[MoralGuardians concerned church group]] and intended for parents, but was picked up by producer Dwain Esper who recut it as an ExploitationFilm. Today, it's in the public domain and considered SoBadItsGood, and has even inspired [[Film/ReeferMadnessTheMusical a 1998 musical satire which itself was adapted into a well received TV movie.]]

Witness the frightful toll of the new drug menace which is sweeping America [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54xWo7ITFbg online.]] Don't do drugs, kids!
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!!Tropes:

* TheAggressiveDrugDealer
* AnAesop: DrugsAreBad.
* AlternateDVDCommentary: The best way to watch. [[{{Rifftrax}} Mike Nelson]] has done more than one, but in a pinch the goofy commentary of your stoned buddies will suffice.
** The film was the subject of a RiffTrax live presentation, expanding on Mike's solo commentary on the Legend Films release.
* AttemptedRape: Ralph gets Mary stoned and tries to rape her.
* AxCrazy: When going over the government files on "marahuana," they talk about a teenager who became addicted to the drug and killed his family with an ax for some reason. It might have been an allusion to an actual person who was believed to have murdered his family while stoned (he was schizophrenic).
* BigFancyHouse: The pot house is ''really nice'', even by today's standards.
* BloodlessCarnage: Mary is shot, and all that's visible is a little spot on her back.
* BreakingTheFourthWall / TheFourthWallWillNotProtectYou: At the end, the principal says that this could happen to anyone's children, like yours, or yours, or ''[[SeanConneryIsAboutToShootYou yours]]'' (repeating the OpeningCrawl).
* CelebrityResemblance: On the {{Rifftrax}}, the soda shop piano player is compared to [[{{Seinfeld}} Kramer]] and the MarxBrothers while TheJudge is compared to Dick Cheney.
* CluelessAesop: The movie failed so ''badly'' at its [[AnAesop Aesop]] that it's used as a [[StrawmanPolitical strawman]] by people lobbying to legalize marijuana.
** It might not have been the best idea to start the film by giving detailed instructions on how to make and even smuggle joints.
* CoolCar: The main teen characters have a then-brand-new Ford convertible sedan. Ironically, the use of StockFootage means the police cars shown are 5-8 years old (the equivalent of a 15-20 year old car today).
* DawsonCasting:
-->[[{{Rifftrax}} Mike Nelson]]: "These guys probably had sons the same age as their characters."
* DoNotDoThisCoolThing
* DrivenToSuicide: Blanche
* DrugsAreBad: Well, ''duh''. Or at least, that's what it tries to say.
** Well just reefer, anyway. [[ValuesDissonance Tobacco and alcohol are A-OK!]]
* EpicFail: This movie's message is that [[DrugsAreBad Drugs Are Bad]]. It is ''impossible'' to take it seriously because of how over-the-top it is.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: Mae the drug moll doesn't like selling pot to teenagers, a qualm her partner Jack doesn't share.
** Ralph, whose near-rape of Mary leads to her death, is the only one of the gang who shows any remorse that Bill is convicted of her murder. Though it is implied that his attitude is primarily a side effect of marihuana usage.
* FrameUp: They try to frame Bill for Mary's death.
* FramingDevice: Dr. Carroll, the high school principal, relates the film's events while addressing a PTA meeting about the scourge of marihuana.
* GagDub: ''Reefie's Madhouse'', which airs as a celebration to FourTwenty on G4
** Hell, this had a gag ''colorization'': Clown color pot smoke.
* GeorgeLucasAlteredVersion: The colorized version adds [[FunnyBackgroundEvent Funny Background Objects]] ForTheLulz.
* HaveAGayOldTime: "We educators can't do anything until the public is sufficiently '''aroused'''."
* HesDeadJim: Even though none of the characters are medically qualified, they all know that Mary is dead right away.
* HollywoodLaw: All of the place. For one, [[ArtisticLicense plea bargains aren't dealt with in that way]].
* IJustShotMarvinInTheFace: Mary gets shot by accident.
* {{Irony}}: It's a good stoner flick.
* TheJudge: Of the gruff older white man sort.
** Who, coincidentally, is [[HeyItsThatGuy played by the same actor]] who appeared as a judge in TheThreeStooges' ''Disorder in the Court'' later that same year.
* KarmaHoudini: Jimmy runs a man over with his car while stoned and gets away clean. Odd for a 1930s movie (since UsefulNotes/TheHaysCode had a rule about bad people not being able to get away with committing crimes) and especially odd for this movie.
** Although we see Mae being grilled by the cops, we never hear what punishment is eventually dished out to her (possibly because of her [[EvenEvilHasStandards attitude toward underage clients]]).
* LaughingMad
* LeaveTheCameraRunning: There seem to be a lot of long, pointless shots in the movie, such as Bill dropping his book, picking it up, and dusting it off.
* LostAesop: Invoked, for cripes sake! The lead jurist won't accept one juror's "reasonable doubt" argument, but then he envisions a hanging noose, reminding him that a man's life [[IncrediblyLamePun hangs]] in the balance. He then proceeds to '''deliberately ignore his own epiphany''' and continues bullying the jury with his viewpoint.
* MarijuanaIsLSD: Even less accurate, marihuana's shown as a violent narcotic. Hell, some of the posters for the film were covered with ''needles''.
* MiscarriageOfJustice: Bill is found guilty of Mary's murder even though he was framed, but it's averted at the last minute when Blanche admits that it was actually Jack's fault.
* TheMusical: The original film was later made into a highly popular stage musical in the late 90's, and then that was made into an award-winning Showtime movie in 2005.
* NerfArm: seriously, someone was killed with a ''curtain rod''?
* NoIndoorVoice: The District Attorney.
* OneLiner:
-->'''Jimmy:''' Let's go, Jack, I'm red-hot!\\
'''Jack:''' Better be careful how you drive, or the first thing you know you'll be ice-cold.
* OpeningCrawl: a particularly lengthy one. [[RiffTrax Mike Nelson]] was not impressed.
* PoesLaw: By today's standards, definitely.
* ReactionaryFantasy: A quintessential example.
* RogueJuror: Subverted. One of the jurors at Bill's murder trial has doubts as to his sanity, but the others quickly buffalo him into voting for conviction.
* ShoutOut: The newspaper showing Bill's verdict also has a headline about ComicStrip/DickTracy.
* SlidingScaleOfShinyVersusGritty: ''Very much'' on the shiny side, especially considering the producers' intent. The aforementioned nicest drug hangout in cinematic history and new car and all the young drug users are well- (and one would presume by 1936 standards fashionably-) dressed.
* SmokingIsCool: Averted. This was one of the first attempts (if not ''the'' first) at making smoking look ''uncool'', and viewers might have a hard time believing they didn't set the studio on fire... Using "joints" which look ''exactly'' like factory-produced cigarettes is a contributing factor. On the other hand, it's notable that the two leads, Bill and Mary, are depicted as ''incredibly'' square even for 1930s standards -- "Gee, ''hot chocolate!'' -- and yet are shown to smoke (regular tobacco) even before they get introduced to pot.
** The message is [[BrokenAesop slightly warped]], however, when we see an actual cigarette ad in the background, probably not for purposes of dramatic irony so much as [[NoBudget the use of unaltered locations as sets]].
* SpinningPaper: Minus the literal spinning, but still...
* StockingFiller: Mae, getting dressed in an early scene.
* TheStoner: Averted - ''No one'' in this movie behaves like a real-life stoner.
** Whatever they're smoking is some kind of powerful stimulant. [[YouFailBiologyForever It certainly isn't pot.]]
** The only realistic side effect was the bad guy's constant eating.
** Which is funny considering that they list a fair number of accurate symptoms in the opening crawl.
** They don't even get it right on the poster in the page image. Nobody in the film or real life takes Marihuana as a pill.
*** [[Film/MeanGirls "What are marijuana tablets?"]]
* StonerFlick: Ironically.
** To the point where most people hear about it first from someone who's watched it stoned.
* SweaterGirl: One scene shows Mary waiting for Bill at the tennis court in a tight sweater and shorts.
* ThinkOfTheChildren: Invoked by the DA
* WatchItStoned: The movie might be just a teensy bit counterproductive.
* WorstNewsJudgmentEver: All stories pertaining to the plot are given screaming headlines in the local newspapers.

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