Stupid Girls

Monday, November 28, 2011

Wild Weed: Lyle Talbot, Jack Elam, Lila Leeds, David Holt, Don Harvey (1...

Uploaded by on Nov 26, 2011 DVD:

"She Shoulda Said 'No'!" (also known as Wild Weed; Marijuana, the Devil's Weed; The Story of Lila Leeds and Her Exposé of the Marijuana Racket; and The Devil's Weed) is a 1949 exploitation film that follows in the spirit of morality tales such as the 1936 films Reefer Madness and Marihuana. Directed by Sherman Scott and starring Lila Leeds, it was originally produced to capitalize on the arrest of Leeds and Robert Mitchum on a charge of marijuana conspiracy. The film was issued under many titles; it struggled to find a distributor until film presenter Kroger Babb picked up the rights, reissuing it as The Story of Lila Leeds and Her Exposé of the Marijuana Racket. Its relative success came only after the promotional posters were redone and a story fabricated that the film was being presented in conjunction with the United States Treasury.

Leeds' character is "Anne Lester", a young orphan who is trying to pay for her brother's college education. After meeting Markey, a drug dealer, Anne begins to believe that she must smoke marijuana to fit in with her friends. She then goes to a "tea party", where she tries the drug for the first time. She is unaffected by the initial experiment, and loses her fear of drugs as she continues to smoke.

Anne's drug use results in the loss of many of her inhibitions, and the film shows her actions under the influence, including scenes implying sexual promiscuity. As the film progresses, she is fired from her job and begins selling drugs for Markey. Her brother hangs himself when he learns of her new job, and she is arrested and given a tour of the various psychiatric wards and jails that drug users end up in. Finally, after 50 days in jail, she is released, cleaned up and ready to cooperate with the authorities regarding Markey.

According to Friedman, Babb's presentations of the film made more money than any other film the same theater would showcase over a typical film's full booking. While actual dollar figures are not available because of the nature of the genre (which was known for poor record keeping and unconventional distribution practices), the general financial success of "She Shoulda Said 'No'!" prompted producers, in 1951, to import a similar film from Argentina titled The Marihuana Story. That film, about a doctor who goes undercover into the world of drug addicts to learn about his wife's death only to become addicted to marijuana himself, was not as successful as other exploitation-style efforts as the public was more concerned about drug use by younger people.

"She Shoulda Said 'No'!" was not well-received critically upon its initial release, with The New York Times saying "[n]ever did vice seem so devoid of enchantment." Production and distribution of drug films slowed considerably following the film's run until Frank Sinatra's The Man with the Golden Arm forced changes to the Production Code, which was a studio-based system which regulated various aspects of objectionable content in films.

Cast Alan Baxter -- Markey Lyle Talbot -- Captain Hayes Lila Leeds -- Ann Michael Whelan -- Treanor Mary Ellen Popel -- Rita Doug Blackley -- Lieutenant Mason David Holt -- Bob Lester Don Harvey -- Lieutenant Tyne David Gorcey -- Ricky Jack Elam -- Raymond Dick Cogan -- Edmunds Knox Manning -- Narrator

You are reading