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I Love You Alice B. Toklas(1968)

Directed by Hy Averback. Cast: Peter Sellers, Jo Van Fleet, Leigh Taylor-Young, Joyce Van Patten. One day you're a career 9-to-5er with a pending marriage, and then next you know, you chuck it all for beads, bell-bottoms and free love. This is the life of Harold Fine, a dedicated lawyer about to become a more dedicated dropout. "Films such as I Love You Alice B. Toklas! (1968) and Easy Rider (1969) can be used to demonstrate the changing attitude towards drug culture during the 1960's and 1970's. Marijuana was commuted, as were the laws surrounding its possession, from "killer weed" to "drop-out weed." As it became popular with middle-class white university students, its stigma was diminished greatly; so much so that it was decriminalised in eleven U.S. states. It is during this period that marijuana is portrayed openly in films as a peaceful and even enlightening natural substance. I Love You, Alice B. Toklas is a charming comedy focusing on the mid-life crisis of the main character played by Peter Sellers. He meets a sweet flower child and is introduced to the hippie world of counterculture and pot. As Frank Thompson, in his article, "Movies on Drugs", writes, "marijuana is an entirely positive force in Toklas; everyone who uses it (even unwittingly Sellers' aging parents) emerges more thoughtful, aware, spontaneous - freer." I was hard-pressed to find films in any of the other historical periods that portray pot in such a benevolent light. Even Cheech and Chong are shown to be at best dull-witted and slow." [Klein, Philippa. "The Bad Influence Representation of Marijuana in Hollywood Films." Full-text of this article / review is available:] 94 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database