Synopsis by Hal Erickson
This exhaustively researched cable-TV documentary traces the history of drug movies, from camp classics like Reefer Madness to more serious and sober examinations like Requiem for a Dream. Top-heavy with clips from such once-shocking groundbreakers as The Man With the Golden Arm, the "head" flicks of the 1960s and '70s (Easy Rider, the Cheech and Chong vehicles, et al.), the goofy dope-head comedies and the straightforward "wasted-teen" dramas of the '80s (Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Drugstore Cowboy) and cautionary epics about the ruined lives of the rich and famous (The Doors) and international narcotics-financed corruption (Traffic), the film illustrates how the truth about the drug culture has been both accurately chronicled and pathetically misrepresented by Hollywood. Several actors, writers, and directors who have worked in films detailing drug use and abuse are interviewed. Assembled by Oscar-winning moviemaker Bruce Sinofsky, Hollywood High was originally telecast by the AMC cable network.