Anti-Drug Propaganda Film: The Terrible Truth [1951]

The Terrible Truth by Sid Davis is a United States anti-drug propaganda film from 1951. It tells the story of a young girl’s introduction to the use of marijuana and other narcotics and the trouble and personal problems that result.

Run time: 10:03
Producer Davis (Sid) Productions. This video is in the public domain.

SYNOPSIS:
An old juvenile court judge named McKesson, who keeps referring to himself as “we” and “us,” decides he wants to find out about drugs. The judge says this to the camera, but the words he mouths bear absolutely no relation to the words on the soundtrack. He drives to a house where he meets “Phyllis,” a teenager who tells us (also out-of-synch) that when you smoke marijuana “everything speeds up to 100 miles an hour!” She meets “Chuck” (who is a “hype” and a “peddler”) and starts wearing lipstick, becomes a junkie, loses her looks, goes through withdrawal (some good histrionics here) and reforms. Judge McKesson then tells us that the Russians are promoting drug traffic in the United States to “undermine national morale,” and that the only way we can stop the spread of drug use is by using “good sense.” The film concludes with a newspaper headline — “America’s Teen Age Dope ‘Fad’ Ending!” Another unique Sid Davis production.

FROM THE PRODUCER:
“The Terrible Truth documents the tragic story of one teen-age girl, typical of youthful addicts. Starting with an occasional marijuana cigarette, she is induced to experiment with a ‘fix’ of heroin. In a few days, she is [a] hopeless ‘hype,’ ends up with a criminal record and a blighted future. Local and national government studies are cited to show that almost 100 per cent of youthful addicts eventually turn to crime to get money to satisfy their ‘habit.’
“It is the responsibility of every community, large or small, to protect its youth against this tragic, appalling menace. Whether a city or town has already experienced the disaster of teen-age drug usage, or whether it has so far escaped being touched, the problem is the same: To educate boys and girls against narcotic usage before it is too late, before more lives and futures are forfeit. No community is safe, so long as the ‘fad’ is allowed to exist anywhere.”

ENCODING:
Upscaled and made it 16:9 without any cropping. Good for wide screen viewing.

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