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50's version of "Reefer Madness."
In a small Midwest town, teenager Ben Saul transfers to a new school after his release from a reformatory. In English class, taught by Mrs. Ryan, the rambunctious students, led by Jackie Barzan, are taken aback by the level of Ben's offhand impertinence. After class, Ben drives to the Aberdeen Hotel, where he meets with Eddie, a drug dealer for whom he sold drugs before reform school. Ben reports that the restless local teens are an ideal market for drugs. Eddie approves, but cautions Ben to stay away from smoking. Driving into town that evening, Ben finds Jackie and his friends, who dare him to do something risky. Ben agrees and drives to the police station as Jackie and his friend, Stu Sommerville, follow. Inside the police station, the officers are unimpressed by Ben's flippant behavior, but Jackie is amazed by Ben's bravado. Stu, however, is resentful of Ben's appeal. Driving away in Ben's car, Jackie praises Ben for his independence and self-assuredness, yet moments later, must abruptly take the steering wheel when Ben, who has been smoking pot, nearly drives into an oncoming car. Ben purchases food and beer for the gang and invites them to an impromptu night picnic. Away from the others, Ben apologizes to the suspicious Stu by offering him a marijuana joint, then Jackie suggests the gang go to a nearby dance hall. By the time they arrive at the Blue Note club, however, Stu is high and behaving recklessly, which alarms Jackie. When some of the other boys, whom Ben has also provided with marijuana, begin fighting, Jackie forces them to leave the hall and accidentally knocks down Amy, a classmate. Embarrassed by the erratic behavior of the others, Jackie offers to escort Amy home. Ben checks back in with Eddie to report that he has successfully gotten several teens smoking marijuana. Eddie cautions Ben to make sure they are indeed hooked on the pot before trying to move them onto more potent drugs and again warns him not to make the mistake of smoking himself. The next day at the local soda shop, many of the teens are hung-over or unwell from the previous night's activities. A police sergeant stops by to chastise the kids for the fight at the Blue Note. After the officer departs, Stu and Charles "Cookie" Tyler both plead with Ben for more pot, which confuses Jackie, who is unaware of their doings. Ben insists they pay him first, and the boys grow desperate. The next day Eddie picks up Ben for their usual meeting, but when Ben admits that he has been unable to collect any money from his "clients," Eddie declares an end to their partnership. The following day at school, Cookie beseeches Ben for more pot, but Ben insists he can do nothing unless Cookie pays him. After class Jackie reveals to Ben that he had seen Amy on the night after the dance and attended church with her the day before, but Ben remains distant. After Ben continues to his next class, an edgy Cookie pulls Jackie aside to show him a gun and asserts that he is going to rob a store to get money. When Jackie presses Cookie for an explanation, Cookie reveals he is desperate for more marijuana and Jackie is stunned. He urges Cookie to wait and promises to get him the money, unaware that Mrs. Ryan has been watching the boys. Later that day, Jackie visits Amy at home and secretly steals a valuable antique figurine, then slips away to the soda shop to find Cookie. Stu, angry and frustrated by Ben's abrupt disappearance, taunts Jackie, and the figurine is accidentally broken just as Amy arrives searching for Jackie. Jackie hastens to explain to Amy that he needs money because he is taking drugs, and she leaves sad and disappointed. Meanwhile, Ben is searching his father's apartment for money when the police, summoned by Mrs. Ryan, arrive. The sergeant informs Ben that Cookie was killed during a robbery attempt, but Ben claims to have no knowledge of why Cookie needed money. Jackie goes to Ben to ask for money to repay Amy, but Ben is incredulous at Jackie's naiveté and furious that Amy knows about the drugs. Ben insists he had nothing to do with Cookie's death, but frightened, goes to see Eddie at his hotel to demand money and help in case the authorities return for him. Eddie scoffs at Ben, who stabs him in a burst of fury. Jackie goes to the soda shop to tell the others about Cookie. When Ben telephones Jackie at the shop and pleads to meet with him and Amy, Stu insists on coming along. Jackie visits Amy and she reveals that she knew he was lying to cover up for Cookie, and assures him he is not to blame. Reluctantly Amy agrees to meet Ben with Jackie and Stu. When Ben leaves the Aberdeen, the police follow him after examining the hotel room and finding Eddie dead. Having smoked more pot, Ben is high and on his way to meet Jackie and the others when he nearly hits them head on and, swerving, goes over a ravine where his car explodes. Jackie is hysterical, but the police sergeant forces the teens to watch Ben's car burn, telling them that the accident is the result of drugs.
Cast & Crew
|MPAA Ratings:||Premiere Info:||not available|
|Release Date:||1958||Production Date:||
|Color/B&W:||Black and White||Distributions Co:||American International Pictures|
|Sound:||Mono||Production Co:||Imperial Productions, Inc.|
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User Ratings & Review
The Cool and the Crazy (1958)
Celia Trimboli 2010-11-09
Always wanted to see this movie.