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“Narcotics The Decision” (1964) is an anti-drug educational film produced by United Research and Training alongside the Pasadena Narcotics Education Committee, founded by J.J. Engholm. It was used both for police training, and to educate the general public. Directed by Robert W. Larsen and narrated by Marvin Miller, the film warns against the harrows of gateway drugs. The scripted film follows a young woman as she experiments with marijuana before becoming a heroin addict who will do anything, even kill, to get a fix.

Evolution of man from child to adult, changes to nervous system depicted via abstract animation (1:12). Mother in wheelchair holds baby as nurse wheels her out of maternity ward (3:29). Toddler girl jumps excitedly while walking along tree-lined sidewalk (3:43). School teacher reads picture book aloud to young students (3:51). Now adolescent, girl from other scenes walks along college campus (3:55). Protagonist comes home to empty house, takes liquor from cabinet and drinks on sofa (4:05). Vinyl record player spins, living room filled with adolescent coeds / teenagers dancing, smoking, drinking (5:26). Close-up colorful pills in palm of hand (5:48). Party scene continues, narrator details various types of prescription drugs (Nembutal, Luminal, Barbiturates) (5:52). Abstract animation depicts effect of barbiturates, PEPA pills on nervous system (6:18). Protagonist smokes cigarette as party continues (7:07). Cannabis plant (7:47). Dried cannabis packed into tobacco can (7:47). Rolled joint compared to cigarette (8:06). Joint is lit, protagonist takes first puff (8:19). Abstract animation, illustration depicting effect of marijuana on nervous system (8:30). Protagonist and young man stumble along driveway in front of mid-century modern home (9:21). The couple speed along street in perhaps red 1960s Ford Thunderbird convertible (9:38). Music blares from jukebox at retro diner, group of friends gather in booth and sneakily pass drugs (9:49). Police officer steps out of pharmacy on street corner (10:08). Group of young men drive down alley to find place to “hotbox” their car – “tea party” (10:17). Protagonist meets dealer at retro diner, slides into booth (10:44). Police officers walk down alley to break up “tea party” (11:42). Protagonist arrives behind alley as the smokers are being arrested (12:09). Protagonist hurries back to diner and warns the dealer of the drug bust, dealer hands her his stash (12:26). Protagonist walks with coke addict to his home to hide – pair seen walking along sidewalk towards decrepit row houses with wood facades (13:21). Interior of addict’s home – dust cakes walls, messy bed, single room; paranoid addict checks to make sure they weren’t followed (13:45). Police officer arrests dealer driving red convertible at traffic stop (14:59). Addict introduces girl to heroin – unrolls “heroin kit” w/ spoon, capsules. Medicine dropper, small wad of cotton (15:31). Close-up preparing solution on spoon (16:24). Needle placed on medical dropper, addict begins rolling up shirt sleeve, has girl tie tourniquet (17:27). Addict shoots up (18:05). Dealer in police interrogation room, police identify addict and look at his mugshot (18:50). Addict begins to tie tourniquet around girl’s arm (19:26). Police car dispatches from station, drives along Pasadena road towards addict’s home (19:45). Close-up needle entering girl’s arm (19:52). Close-up girl’s face, eyes roll back and sweat drips down forehead (20:10). Abstract animation, illustration depicting effect of heroin on central nervous system and brain (20:33). Close-up girl’s eyes, dilated pupils and sagging eyelids (21:29). Woman junkie, perhaps prostitute, in sparkling dress knock’s on addicts door in search of a fix (21:47). Junkie sits beside protagonist, begins coughing and displaying withdrawal symptoms, close-up of her eyes (22:34). Flashback of junkie before drugs, walking through park with fiancé (23:29). Addict ushers protagonist out of house while junkie stays back to shoot up (24:14). Police bust in, find junkie about to shoot up, struggle ensues (25:04). Close-up, officers check for tracks on arms (25:54). Junkie wretches, experiences extreme chills (27:21). Protagonist pawns items for money for next fix (28:28). Protagonist places gun into purse, next scene of dead shop owner (29:02). Protagonist’s fingerprints taken at police station (29:20).

This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD, 2k and 4k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com


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