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Say NO to Dumb Stoner Movies

Updated on February 13, 2015

Peter Sellers in 'I Love You Alice B. Toklas'

~ What incidence opened my eyes, and yes cleared the smoke to the fact and to the difference, is when voters in California and Arizona passed ballot measures legalizing medicinal marijuana (MMJ) in November 1996. White House drug czar Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey stepped up to the mike and said, in his infinite wisdom, referring to what happened, and the peoples choice of medicine as "Cheech & Chong medicine."

~ Since then I've become quite aware of the 'dumb stoner movie' and wanted to find the stoner movies that painted the stoner, or person that uses cannabis, in a different, more positive light.

~ Luckily, the first major motion picture to show cannabis use was one that is far from the stereotypical dumb stoner genre, and still it is very funny. If we would have stayed on that road I wonder if MMJ would have become legit as a medicine faster than what it did, I haven't the clue. One thing for sure ol' Barry wouldn't have had the chance to use his defrauding phrase. The two comedians should have sued his ass, but they were probably too stoned, man.

~ There are a few that follow that are right on the border line, but they got here because they made up the difference in the quality of acting, context, plot, story, a talented director or directors, well formed characters and dialog, and not just being a story about 'slackers' smoking pot.

~ The movies you wont see here are the ones that are too painfully obvious, at least to me, that the people making it were too busy ingesting their pot, than doing what they were paid handsomely to do and what they were supposedly in love with; making movies.


MARIJUANA INDUSTRY BATTLING “STONER” STEREOTYPES SAYS MEDIA EXPERT: Tired of Cheech & Chong pot jokes and ominous anti-drug campaigns, the marijuana industry and activists are starting an ad blitz in Colorado aimed at promoting moderation and the safe consumption of pot.

According to media expert and author Michael Levine, “they are planning posters, brochures, billboards and magazine ads to caution consumers to use the drug responsibly and warn tourists and first-timers about the potential to get sick from accidentally eating too much medical-grade pot.” Marijuana activists plan to spend $75,000 by year’s end and eventually expand it to Washington State, where pot is also legal according to Levine.

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I Love You, Alice B. Toklas! -1968

Helmed by Hy Averback, this biting satire stars Peter Sellers as a prim, middle-aged lawyer who jilts his fiancée and embraces the 1960s counterculture after falling for a nubile flower child. Sellers plays Harold Fine, whose dull existence gives way to the hippie lifestyle when free-spirited Nancy (Leigh Taylor-Young) enters his world and unleashes his inhibitions with her spiked brownies. Joyce Van Patten and Jo Van Fleet provide fine support.

Easy Rider -1969

(there is only one reason, and one person, why this movie is here: Jack Nicholson)

With cash from a cocaine sale, freewheelers Billy and Wyatt hop on their motorcycles and ride across America toward New Orleans. Along the way, they add boozy lawyer George to their trouble-finding, society-questioning entourage. Dennis Hopper writes, directs and stars in this landmark 1960s counterculture film; Peter Fonda co-writes and co-stars. Jack Nicholson earned a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his role as George.

Cisco Pike -1972

When a dirty narc (Gene Hackman) blackmails faded rock star and former drug dealer Cisco Pike (Kris Kristofferson) into selling a 100-kilo stash of stolen marijuana, he's forced to abandon his plans to go straight. Compelled to return to a realm he thought he'd left behind, Cisco hits up the heaviest users on his list of music industry contacts -- and soon finds his world falling apart. Karen Black plays Cisco's girlfriend.

Save the Tiger

Jack Lemmon won a Best Actor Oscar in 1974 for his gripping performance as Harry Stoner (funny) a Los Angeles dress manufacturer whose business is on the skids. In a desperate move (and against the dictates of his conscience), he hires an arsonist to torch his building so he can collect the insurance payout. Jack Gilford earned an Oscar nomination for his pitch-perfect performance as Harry's partner and best friend. John Avildsen directs.

Blazing Saddles -1974

Politically incorrect and relentlessly funny, Mel Brooks's take on Hollywood Westerns follows the tortured trail of freed slave Bart, who's elected sheriff of the racist town of Rock Ridge. He must foil a land-grabbing governor (Brooks) with help from a washed-up, pot-smoking gunslinger (Gene Wilder).

Midnight Express -1978

The true story of Billy Hayes (Brad Davis) is brought to life by Oliver Stone's Academy Award-winning screenplay recounting the young American's experience in a Turkish prison. When Hayes is caught attempting to smuggle drugs out of Turkey, the courts decide to make an example out of him and sentence him to 20 years in prison. With little hope of ever getting out, Hayes decides to attempt a daring escape. Co-stars Randy Quaid and John Hurt.

Manhattan -1979

In the thick of a midlife crisis, television writer Isaac Davis (Woody Allen) finds himself torn between the sweet but far too young Tracy (Mariel Hemingway, who received an Oscar nod for the role) and his best friend's mistress, Mary (Diane Keaton). Shot in black and white and in wide-screen format -- both firsts for director Allen -- this film is as much a paean to the city he calls home as it is a tale of Davis's romantic foibles.

Apocalypse Now -1979

Francis Ford Coppola's timeless epic adapts Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness to the Vietnam War, where special operations Capt. Willard (Martin Sheen) must travel deep into the Cambodian jungle to locate and kill the mysterious -- and insane -- Col. Kurtz (Marlon Brando). This double feature includes the 1979 Oscar-winning masterwork set in the Vietnam War, along with the re-edited and expanded 2001 director's cut, Apocalypse Now Redux.

One Trick Pony -1980

Paul Simon wrote and stars in this interesting film about an aging musician who struggles to regain his lost popularity. He frequently sparks up without a sign of complacency. Features the songs: "Late in the Evening," "Ace in the Hole"

Altered States -1980

Harvard scientist Eddie Jessup's (William Hurt) mind-altering experiments on himself, involving a hallucinatory drug and an isolation chamber, get out of control when his handiwork shuttles him back and forth on the evolutionary spectrum -- from human to ape-man. Equal parts sci-fi actioner, 1960s psychedelic trip and farce, the film was based on a Paddy Chayefsky novel and received Oscar nominations for music and sound. Blair Brown co-stars.

Shoot the Moon -1982

Oscar winner Diane Keaton and Albert Finney star in this poignant drama as George and Faith Dunlap, a liberal-minded couple who find themselves struggling with the pitfalls of divorce after George leaves the family to live with his mistress. Directed by Alan Parker (Midnight Express, Mississippi Burning), this provocative tale examines the devastation a family endures in the face of infidelity, jealousy and resentment.

The Big Chill -1983

After years apart, a group of idealistic former college buddies (William Hurt, Kevin Kline, Glenn Close, JoBeth Williams, Mary Kay Place, Tom Berenger and Jeff Goldblum) who've followed divergent paths as adults reunite at the funeral of one of their own, reconnecting and reminiscing while a soundtrack of 1960s hits plays in the background. The ensemble performance in this Oscar-nominated dramatic comedy reflected the period's baby boomer angst.

Repo Man -1984

Lacking role models and a purpose, baby-faced delinquent Otto (Emilio Estevez) finds a code of honor and a higher calling when he hooks up with a band of contemporary "knights": the repo men. A "seasoned" auto repossessor (Harry Dean Stanton) shows Otto the ropes, and when a big reward is offered for an elusive 1964 Malibu, Otto dodges G-men, cops, religious kooks -- you name it -- in a frenzied quest for the car. Does his fate lie in its trunk?

True Believer -1989

Burnt-out civil rights lawyer James Woods's career has devolved into defense for known drug dealers. But he gets a shot at redemption when a starry-eyed legal assistant (Robert Downey Jr.) goads him into taking the case of an innocent man who's spent 8 years in jail for a murder he didn't commit. Woods sizzles in the film that Leonard Maltin calls "entertaining all the way."

The Big Lebowski -1998

Slacker Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski (Jeff Bridges) gets involved in a gargantuan mess of events when he's mistaken for another man named Lebowski, whose wife has been kidnapped and is being held for ransom. All the while, Dude's friend, Walter (John Goodman), stirs the pot. Brothers Joel Coen and Ethan Coen write and direct this cult comedy classic that also stars Steve Buscemi, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Julianne Moore and John Turturro.

American Beauty -1999

While struggling to endure his perfection-obsessed wife (Annette Bening), an unfulfilling job and a sullen teenage daughter (Thora Birch), suburbanite Lester Burnham (Kevin Spacey) falls deep into a midlife crisis and becomes infatuated with one of his daughter's friends (Mena Suvari). Director Sam Mendes dazzles with this arresting blend of social satire and domestic tragedy that scooped up five Oscars, including acting honors for Spacey.

Eyes Wide Shut -1999

Director Stanley Kubrick's final film dishes up a chillingly distant examination of carnal desire and obsession ignited by an argument over fidelity between Dr. Bill Hartford (Tom Cruise) and his wife (Nicole Kidman), which sends the physician reeling into the Manhattan night. He soon finds himself in a surreal succession of sexually charged encounters, capped off by a clandestine visit to an upper-crust orgy.

Saving Grace -2000

In this Sundance Audience Award-winning comedy from director Nigel Cole, newly widowed Grace (Brenda Blethyn) finds herself in financial ruin when she discovers that her dearly departed husband has left her deep in debt. With the help of her gardener, Matt (Craig Ferguson), Grace applies her green thumb to ganja plants -- and soon, everyone in her small English town is getting high on more than life.

Wonder Boys -2000

Directed by Curtis Hanson, this endearing slice of life centers on unraveling English professor Grady Tripp (Michael Douglas), who's forced to confront his writer's block, fear of aging and irresponsibility as he watches a student (Tobey Maguire) surpass him. Meanwhile, he contends with the consequences of an affair and fends off the advances of a young boarder (Katie Holmes). Steve Kloves earned an Oscar nod for his script.



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