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BIGGER THAN LIFE 1956

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Double Feature!

BIGGER THAN LIFE 1956
U.S. film. Excellent Qualty. Widescreen. Little known film about the dangers of prescription drug abuse. Typical middle American family man Ed Avery (James Mason) is a school teacher who has difficulty making ends meet on a teacher's salary so he takes a second job driving a taxi in the evenings.

He quickly becomes overworked, and with not enough sleep, he begins to experience blackouts which doctors diagnose as a rare arterial condition. When doctors tell Avery he only has months to live, he agrees to an experimental treatment of a new drug called, cortisone. He begins taking cortisone pills regularly and makes a remarkable recovery.

Avery is a well-liked and affable guy, but soon he begins abusing the pills, and increasingly experiences wild mood swings that result in periods of mental breakdowns. Avery begins to display delusions of grandeur and megalomania, and as his delusions increase, he offensively lectures participants of a PTA meeting, admonishes and criticizes his wife (Barbara Rush), becomes a Nazi-like taskmaster to his son (Christopher Olsen), and even tries to re-enact Abraham's sacrifice of son Isaac.  

The 1950s was the golden-age of scary B-movies, but none of those come close to James Mason's scary portrayal of a devastated high-school teacher strung out on a prescription drug. Probably half the 1956 movie audience went home to check their medicine chest.

Modern critics note that while Bigger Than Life can be read as a straightforward exposé on medical malpractice and the abuse of prescription drugs in modern American society, it can also been seen as a critique of consumerism, the male-dominated traditional family structure, and the claustrophobic conformism of 1950s suburban life. James Mason, Barbara Rush, Walter Matthau, Robert F. Simon, Christopher Olsen, Roland Winters, Rusty Lane, Rachel Stephens, Kipp Hamilton, Jerry Mathers, Sid Melton.

Plus this bonus selection...

THE TERRIBLE TRUTH 1951
U.S. documentary short. Phyllis recalls how she became a drug addict. It all started driving around after class with her friends smoking pot, laughing and having a ball. Then she met "Chuck," the suave dope peddler who turned her onto "H." Quickly they marry. The cops raid their pad; Chuck flushes their stash and goes to jail. Phyllis is now strung out without any dope.


BIGGER THAN LIFE 1956 movie on DVD!



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