Template:Infobox Film Assassin of Youth (1937) is an exploitation film directed by Elmer Clifton, which is a pre-WWII movie about the ill effects of cannabis. The movie is often considered a clone of the much more famous Reefer Madness (sharing cast member Dorothy Short). The thriller reflects perfectly the anti-drug propaganda of its time.
The journalist Art Brighton goes undercover to investigate the granddaughter of a recently deceased rich woman, killed in a drug-related car crash. The girl, Joan Barrie, will inherit the fortune of her grandmother if she is able to fulfill a morals clause in the will. Joan's cousin Linda Clayton and her husband Jack will try to frame Joan to acquire the fortune themselves.
The journalist tries to save Joan and dismantle the criminal gang of marijuana-dealing youths to which Linda belongs. While the newspaper tries to show the horrible dangers of marijuana to the general public, violence scales in the town in the form of obscene all-night drug parties where anything can happen.
Reference to article by Harry J. AnslingerEdit
The film's title refers to an article of the same year by U.S. "drug czar" Harry J. Anslinger that appeared in American Magazine, and was reprinted in Reader's Digest in 1938. That article briefly mentions several stories from his "Gore file" of tragedies allegedly caused by marijuana. The movie's tone echoes those of Anslinger's cautionary tales.