Cast & Crew
Herman E. Webber
Clara Kimball Young
Marjorie, a poor girl who works in a large laundry, is shunned by her co-workers because of her unkempt appearance. Her parents and older brother are all lazy and out of work and live off Marjorie's meagre earnings. Marjorie tries to care for her little brother, who shares her philosophy of hard work, but she is frustrated that her business college education is of no use to them because she looks too disheveled to get an office job. When Florence, a girl more experienced in the world than Marjorie, invites her on a double date, Marjorie borrows clothes and has her hair done, hoping for a swell night on the town. Florence's companions take them to a cafe where liquor, drugs and anything else goes. Despite Florence's attempts to shelter Marjorie, she becomes drunk, tries a marijuana cigarette and becomes attracted to Tony Kilonis, whom Florence tells her is bad. Because she passes out at Florence's apartment and does not go home until morning, Marjorie's parents throw her out, preferring to live on relief than accept money from her. With nowhere else to go, she turns to Florence, who invites her to stay because Tony has ordered her to get Marjorie to come back--or else. The next day, Tony intimidates the owner of the laundry into firing the girls, and for the next two weeks they try unsuccessfully to get new jobs. When they are at the point of desperation, Florence suggests getting money from men, but Marjorie begs her not to do anything rash. Tony then takes Marjorie with him, promising to marry her. They go to his apartment instead of a justice of the peace, because it is late, and Marjorie spends the night, believing that they will be married the next day. She soon finds out he has been lying, though, and three months later they are still not married. Using threats, Tony now turns Marjorie into a hotel call girl. After a few months, the house detective has become suspicious of Marjorie, who goes by the name "Judy," and after an incident in which a customer calls the detective to arrest her for stealing his money, she can no longer go back. Tony now promises to take Marjorie up the coast "for a rest," but upon their arrival, they are greeted by Fat Pearl, the madame of a brothel, and Marjorie learns why Tony has taken her away. Because she is now pregnant, Marjorie refuses to work, so Pearl withholds food from her after Tony leaves. One of the older girls, Roz, takes pity on Marjorie, however, and lets her out of the house to hitchhike back to the city. Back at Tony's apartment, Marjorie hides when he arrives and hears him promise another girl the same things that he had promised her months before. When she sneaks into the living room and sees them making love on the couch, she is shocked and goes back into the bedroom where she takes Tony's gun out of a drawer. She then shoots them both and calls the police, hysterical over what has just happened. At her trial, which becomes a headline-grabbing sensation, Marjorie retells her story, and her attorney places a photograph into evidence that shows the compromising position of the bodies when they were shot. He asks them to find Marjorie not guilty because she was Tony's common law wife. During deliberations, the jury becomes hopelessly deadlocked, unable to decide whether Marjorie committed murder, whether it was justifiable homicide, or whether she is not guilty by reason of insanity.
Herman E. Webber
Clara Kimball Young
Frank La Rue
Rose La Rose
There go your reefer smokers. Round and round...- Florence Jones
That was Marihuana you were smoking! It's worse than cocaine! See those two punks over there, Marge? They were high a minute ago. Now they're getting low. Soon they'll be mean, ready to commit murder. You Marihuana's called the murder weed. Don't you ever touch it again.- Florence Jones
Leave me alone! Leave me alone!- Marjorie Benton
What's the matter, Marge?- Florence Jones
Oh, he insulted me!- Marjorie Benton
That was no insult, stupid. That was a proposition. Take it or leave it.- Bruce
The roadhouse sequence is included as supplemental material on Something Wierd Video's DVD triple-feature release of _Marihuana (1935)_ , Assassin of Youth (1937) and Tell Your Children (1938).
At the end of the film, just after the jury takes another vote, a picture of "Marjorie" is shown on the screen and the following appears, superimposed over her face: "The jury is still out. What will the verdict be? What would your verdict be? $100.00 in cash prizes will be given for the best answer-contest open to all. Win a prize. Mail your opinion in not over 300 words to Real Life Dramas, 4376 Sunset Drive, Hollywood California." No information has been uncovered to determine if there was a winner to the Real Life Drama contest. Only one review was located for the film, and it was not listed on available release charts. It is possible that the film did not have a national release, although, according to information contained in the file on the film in the MPPA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, several censorship boards throughout the United States accepted the film for distribution after eliminating "objectionable" scenes.