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Cocaine Fiends
     

The Cocaine Fiends

Director: W.A. Conner, William O'Connor, Dean Benton, Lois January

Cast: W.A. Conner, William O'Connor, Dean Benton, Lois January

 

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Often compared to Reefer Madness, this low-budget exploitation melodrama features Lois January as Jane Bradford, a small-town coffee-shop waitress falling in love with smooth-talking city hoodlum Nick Brogan (Noel Madison), who gets her hooked on cocaine. While Jane goes from pretty ingénue to a hardened nightclub habitue known as Lil, her brother Eddie (Dean

Overview

Often compared to Reefer Madness, this low-budget exploitation melodrama features Lois January as Jane Bradford, a small-town coffee-shop waitress falling in love with smooth-talking city hoodlum Nick Brogan (Noel Madison), who gets her hooked on cocaine. While Jane goes from pretty ingénue to a hardened nightclub habitue known as Lil, her brother Eddie (Dean Benton), a waiter in a drive-in restaurant, is persuaded by co-worker Fanny (Sheila Manners) to enjoy a night on the town. They both become addicts and Fanny is reduced to walking the streets for money. Pregnant and rejected by the hopped-up Eddie, she finally kills herself. Nick, meanwhile, attempts to seduce Dorothy Farley (Lois Lindsay), a bleach-blonde debutante, but the girl is saved in the nick of time by Jane/Lil, who shoots and kills their tormentor. The police arrive to arrest not only Jane but also the mysterious Mr. Big, who turns out to be Dorothy's father (Frank Shannon). Cocaine Fiends also features well-known character actress Fay Holden ("Hasn't he told you yet? Those headache powders are dope!"), who hides behind her original stage moniker of Gaby Fay, and a full-length floor show that includes gawky singer Nona Lee performing "All I Want Is You." The film was a remake of Willis Kent's silent The Pace That Kills (1928), footage from which is used throughout.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Hans J. Wollstein
"I've gotta have dope! I'm a hop head! I'd sell my soul for just one shot!" Dean Benton cries in Cocaine Fiends. Yes, the dialogue is corny but Benton and the rest of the cast perform with a sincerity completely lacking in Reefer Madness, the anti-dope melodrama with which the film is always compared. Despite the tacky surroundings, there are actually several well-known players involved, including Noel Madison, Sheila Manners (aka Sheila Bromley), and Lois January, all of whom were borrowed from Warner Bros. Yet Cocaine Fiends, or, as it was originally titled, The Pace That Kills, remains a typical exploitation film complete with a lengthy "square-up" (an introductory statement that served to explain why such an unseemly topic was both necessary and urgent) and the inclusion of a dreadful variety show for no other reason than to stretch the running time. The only ingredient missing, and presumably much to the dismay of the paying customers, is "spectacle." You never actually see anyone snort cocaine and there is none of the gratuitous sexual titillation that is so much a part of the genre in general and the more famous (or should that be "infamous"?) Reefer Madness.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/22/2016
UPC:
0889290242662
Original Release:
1936
Source:
Film Detective
Time:
1:08:00
Sales rank:
75,383

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