The bloodshot, grin-wrinkled eyes of Seth Rogen and James Franco have been dopily gazing out from posters all over town lately. The pair star in Friday's "Pineapple Express," a caper built on the stoner vibe present in many of writer-producer Judd Apatow's comedies. But "Pineapple" is hardly the first film distinguished (or improved) by an appreciation of the sinister smoke. Here are a few classics renowned for going one toke over the line.
Reefer Madness a k a Tell Your Children (1936)
The founding father of stoner movies, this exploitation flick follows neat-o students who find that an inadvertent drag on a jazz cigarette leads to rape, madness, suicide and murder - rather than, say, fascination with patterned wallpaper and the munchies.
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Advertised as "the ultimate trip," this is a pothead perennial, for obvious reasons. It opens with excitable apes, features the freakiest talking computer you ever saw, builds to a psychedelic light show - then brings on the giant space baby! Far out!
Up in Smoke (1978)
Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong remain the hairy faces of West Coast stonerism, and their first movie - featuring a van made of marijuana - established their freewheeling style. A bunch more movies followed - and we hear the granddaddies of ganja plan to reunite.
Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)
Dazed and Confused (1993)
A joint entry (pun intended) for these outstanding high-school ensemble movies, which present pot smoking as a fact of teenage life. Surf bum Jeff Spicoli (Sean Penn) and super-slacker Ron Slater (Rory Cochrane) became icons of checking out.
The Big Lebowski (1998)
"Mind if I do a jay?" The Big Lebowski is loosely based on classic film noir, but you never saw Bogart bogarting like this. Jeff Bridges' Dude never lets little things like kidnappings and death threats interfere with his bowling commitments, or his Thai stick.
Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle (2004)
The Cheech and Chong of our time, Harold (John Cho) and Kumar (Kal Penn) get high without quite dropping out. But is there a simpler, more sincere expression of weedophilia than Kumar's love scene with a giant bag of pot?