The Spirit of the Poppy (1914)

Genres - Drama  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Although there's nothing particularly enlightening in this feature-length drama about drug addiction, it certainly proves that America's "War on Drugs" has been going on for longer than most people think -- and that not much has changed in the government's approach since the 1910s. Both Ethel Ford (Edith Luckett) and her artist husband, Stephen, become involved with drugs, she through a doctor who gives her morphine for her nerves, he through the wiles of one of his models. Their use of opium and cocaine slowly ruins their lives and takes them down to the slums, and they drag down other innocent victims along with them. Meanwhile, the government becomes involved and they search for the drug traffickers. In the end, both dealers and addicts meet violent deaths as the government attempts to mete out justice. No one finds regeneration in this gloomy and supposedly realistic tale.