Synanon (1965)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Addiction Drama  |   Run Time - 107 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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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.

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Keywords

abuse, addiction, citizen, cure, drugs, extramarital-affair, habit [custom], hidden, house, inmate, jealousy, medical-treatment, motel, overdose, problems, prostitute/prostitution, recovery [health], reform [improve], refugee, rehabilitation [physical therapy], romance, ruler