Friday, May 8, 2009

10 Best Stoner Movies

Uh, well, there's...uh

I know The Big Lebowski is one of the 10 Best Stoner Movies of all-time, but I can't really think of any others. The Beatles' Help! is one of the peaks of the '60s zeitgeist and therefore has to count, even if it's not really of the genre.

Apocalypse, Now is really not of the genre, either, but if you think the people who made the movie--wrote it, acted it, directed it, produced it--weren't stoned along the way, you either are stoned right this moment, or never have been, at all. Therefore, Apocalypse, Now qualifies, too. It wasn't for stoners, it was by stoners. "By" and "for" both qualify.

I'd like to include "about," also, but there are simply too many movies that are about stoners to be considered part of the stoner genre. Broadly understood, virtually all movies are about stoners. A genre is a subset.

Linking to The Big Lebowski and Apocalypse, Now and to "stoner movies" and following the links will get us where?.

Ah, the link for TBL goes to "Memorable Quotes for The Big Lebowski." Very nice site. Memorable, indeed. And there is not a single line on the site that would contradict the notion that TBL is one of the Ten Best. One can also link to three of the stars of TBL, Jeff Bridges (also in The Fisher King), John Goodman (also in O Brother, Where Art Thou?) and Steve Buscemi (also in Reservoir Dogs , Con Air and Fargo), but I wouldn't advise it.

The link for Apocalypse, Now also goes to the "Memorable Quotes" site. Just read the first quote from Col. Kurtz and encounter the dark side of stoner movies. What, by the way, is a reader supposed to understand about the comma that separates Apocalypse from Now? Does it refer to Vietnam, the apocalypse happening in the "now" of the movie? Or is it the call of some darker figure for an apocalypse to begin, like, now?

Suddenly can't stop thinking about Smoke, which stars William Hurt and Harvey Keitel (advise that interested readers do not ignore this link to the website "Famous Marines In the News and In the Community;" after reading the long-winded and comprehensive first sentence about Keitel's career, one can backtrack on the site to the page about former marine Captain Kangaroo, aka Bob Keeshan). Keitel, by the way, was also in Reservoir Dogs.

Smoke had an incredible soundtrack. Screaming Jay Hawkins makes Tom Waits seem like a crooner.

There's something about Smoke that makes me think of a book I once read, titled, I believe Letting Go, by an author whom I can no longer identify, but whom brother Mark says is Philip Roth. The middle-class protagonist in Letting Go attempts to help a young woman whose life he is unequipped to understand. In the process, he methodically destroys himself. "Such book," as the German emigrants in Casablanca (not a stoner movie) might say.

Letting Go, of course, is not a movie and certainly not a stoner movie, but it makes good sense to end a post I have no hope of ever completing with a digression. So, three arguably stoner movies TBL, AN and Help! (four, if you include Smoke, which I have not actually nominated to the list), one film that would never qualify (Casablanca), several other mostly good films encountered while linking, and a book somewhat faded from memory--pathetic. Perhaps, others will flesh out the list.

As for the link to stoner movies, itself, that goes where? Here (among other places), a site that claims that such movies are almost always comedies and usually about dopers. Imagine that.


  1. Pink Floyd's "The Wall" comes to mind, though maybe its more of a college cult movie.
    Can't help but think of the Jeff Spicoli sub-plot of "Fast Times at Ridgemont High." Neither of these were on the Wikipedia list.

  2. Thanks, KP. "The Wall" is definitely a trip. I haven't seen "Fast Times ..." Should I?

  3. Do you folks see that last link, there? In the previous post? Follow it.

  4. Finally saw Pineapple Express start to finish, or close. Definitely belongs on the list.