Watch The Pace That Kills putlocker
||IMDB Rating: 3.9/10 from N/A votes
||Release: 01 Dec 1935 /
||Director: William A. O'Connor,
||Synopsis: Drug dealer on the run from the law meets an innocent young girl and her brother, and turns them into cocaine fiends.
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This film, better known by its alternate title of "Cocaine Fiends," is
a good example (not a good movie, mind you; just a good example) of the
ultra-cheap "exploitation" market that existed in the '30s and '40s.
Independent producers like Willis Kent--who made this--specialized in
sensationalistic, "taboo" subjects that the major studios, and even the
minor ones, wouldn't dare to touch. Titles like "Cocaine Fiends,"
"Reefer Madness," "Sex Madness," "Confessions of a Vice Baron", "Escort
Girls", etc., were guaranteed to draw crowds into the rural grindhouses
and third-rate urban theaters for which they were designed. Since these
films were outside (WAY outside) the mainstream Hollywood system, they
didn't adhere to the rigid censorship that existed in America at that
time, and consequently were able to tackle subjects (usually badly) and
show material (usually nudity, though mostly partial) that patrons
would otherwise be unable to see. I actually enjoy these films more
than a lot of the "mainstream" product of the time. While MGM was
churning out the bland, inoffensive Andy Hardy series, Dwain Esper was
making "Reefer Madness," Willis Kent was putting out "Confessions of a
Vice Baron" and J.D. Kendis was coming out with "The Vice
Racket"--pictures that explored, however ineptly, a darker, seamier
side of American life that most people didn't know, or didn't want to
As for this picture, it's terrible, of course. Inept at virtually every
conceivable level, it's nonetheless entertaining as an insight into the
attitudes of American society of that time towards unpleasant
subjects--which was, of course, to either ignore them, deny they
existed or punish anyone unwise enough to bring them up. And lest
anybody think that the "epidemic" of cocaine use is a recent
phenomenon, they should know that this picture is itself a remake (by
the same producer and director) of a 1928 film of the same name on the
same subject, which shows that there was an apparently substantial
problem in this country with hard drugs as far back as at least the
1920s--although you'd never know there was a problem with ANYTHING,
judging by the "mainstream" films that came out of Hollywood.
Alcoholism was treated as an amusing diversion, personified by the
genial drunks of Arthur Housman and Jack Norton, and drug abuse (and,
especially, sexual abuse) were such taboo subjects that the studios
wouldn't even MENTION them in films, let alone make films about them.
Although a few serious pictures in the '50s tackled some of these
subjects, it wasn't until the '60s and '70s, when these problems
couldn't be ignored any longer, that truly serious films about drug
abuse, alcoholism and other societal afflictions began to be made.
Movies like "Cocaine Fiends" served their purpose--they made their
producers money (they were shot so cheaply and quickly it was difficult
NOT to make money off them) and gave the "renegade" movie audiences (as
they were called at the time) a cheap thrill they wouldn't have gotten
otherwise. They also had an unintended result--although somewhat
exaggerated, they left an historical record of some of the problems
that affected American society of the time, problems that subsequent
generations would very likely have had little or no knowledge about if
it wasn't for pictures like "Cocaine Fiends" and its brethren. If these
films provided any public service at all, it was that.
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