RARA-AVIS: Who put the benzedrine . . .

From: DJ-Anonyme@webtv.net
Date: 02 Aug 2005

Not exactly book related, but I though someone here might know. I watched The Street With No Name over the weekend, featuring Richard Widmark as the bad guy. Several times, Widmark put a small tube to his nose and inhaled, and it weren't no nasal spray. I was kind of surprised to see a benzedrine inhaler in a movie, even if used by a bad guy. I thought the Motion Picture Code forbade the depiction of drug use. Was it okay if there were consequences for the character? Would contemporary (1948) audience members have recognized the inhaler as amphetamines? Were benzedrine inhalers still legal at that point?

The other question I had is more print related. The movie started off with a teletype printout of a message by J Edgar Hoover which explains the title. How widely read were Hoover's press releases about crime in America? I know he also published more than a few books on the subject. How well did they sell? Finally, did he write them or, more likely, were they ghosted? If the latter, does anyone know who wrote them? Anyone well known?


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