Dopokoke and the Sad Decline of a Bright Young Man: Drugs, Movies & Soda Pop (There is a Literary Angle Somewhere)
Stumbled on this in my researches. Nevermind what researches. A little gem of an early addiction movie that uses the Law of Unexpected Consequences to poke fun at the legendary roots of the soda pop industry in the legions of 19th century quack remedies that usually included hard drugs like cocaine, heroin and opium. The overture is quite upbeat for the subject matter. Aside from the music, it’s a silent movie, short, made by D. W. Griffith in 1912. The acting is strange to us, telegraphic (or cartoonish), faces almost masked to project the large emotions, even thoughts. I love the gestural decline of the son and secretary into degradation and death, the madcap crowds swilling Dopokoke (yes, that’s what it’s called) at the drug store (they really were drug stores in those days). Also, that secretary has just bags of hair. Amazing. (She went on acting right into the 1950s.) As an added delight, I include a soda pop ad (above) from, I think, the 1950s. It’s clearly a Coca-Cola bottle, right? Also a brief (possibly truncated) docu-history of drugs in America).
(It’s Sunday, I have student packets, there are STILL leaves to be raked — I had to think of something to do to keep from actually working.)