The difficulties faced by drug addicts attempting to kick their habits provide the basis of this gritty, realistic drama that was filmed at a real rehab house in Santa Monica, California. The story centers on Zankie (Alex Cord), an ex-con who is having trouble following the strict rules of the house. Soon he finds himself involved in an affair with another inmate, an ex-hooker (Stella Stevens). She is only supposed to monitor and assist with his recovery, not get emotionally involved. When Zankie gets into a fight with another patient (Chuck Connors) both he and the girl leave the center. Soon after leaving, he begins looking for more drugs and dies of an overdose in a cheap hotel. The ex-hooker then returns to the rehab house to resume her own treatment. Synanon, the model for the rehab-house of this 1965 feature, was a large ex-addict-run (and ex-con-run) enterprise which expanded its operations steadily over the next decade. It was famous for its harsh "tough-love" policies and its high success rate and would have continued its high-profile role in the rehab industry except that it became embroiled in several scandals in the late 1970s, effectively closing its doors well before the Reagan era.
by Clarke Fountain synopsis
rehabilitation [physical therapy]