The year 1936 was a banner one for cautionary cinema about marijuana and the evils sure to visit you if you dare to take a puff. Two films, Marihuana and the future cult classic Reefer Madness, were released that year, and a third, Assassin of Youth, was in production. Like television, rock and roll and marriage equality in years following, marijuana’s presence in polite society was almost certainly expected to bring about its downfall. One need only pick through the ruins of modern-day Colorado and Washington, where cannabis was recently legalized, to see how prescient these alarm-pullers were. Here are three examples of how the movies sensationalized the weedy menace.
Entries in d.w. griffith (3)
United Artists Corporation founders Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin and D.W. Griffith, 1919.
“I went into the business for the money, and the art grew out of it. If people are disillusioned by that remark, I can’t help it. It’s the truth.”
— Charlie Chaplin
In 1909, actor Joseph Kilgour played George Washington in the short films Washington Under the British Flag and Washington Under the American Flag. It was cinema’s first portrayal of a United States president, and, since then, more than a hundred actors have taken on the role of Commander in Chief, playing 39 out of 43 such leaders. Abraham Lincoln alone has been played by an impressive 19 performers, most recently Daniel Day-Lewis in the upcoming Steven Spielberg film Lincoln (2012). Even less compelling figures like Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce and Chester A. Arthur have been brought to the screen, albeit in peripheral roles.
Here are ten of the more memorable Presidents of the United States that have appeared on the silver screen over the years.