Up in Smoke (1978)

R   |    |  Comedy, Music


Up in Smoke (1978) Poster

Two stoners unknowingly smuggle a van - made entirely of marijuana - from Mexico to L.A., with incompetent Sgt. Stedenko on their trail.


7/10
35,929

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6 February 2006 | tedg
The Show
The counterculture was long dead and ripe for retrospective satire. Into the opportunity stepped two pro comics who after trying other things, built these characters. When comics work up a world for years and then brings it to a movie, it bodes well. Mike Myers would follow almost precisely this formula later with "Wayne's World."

The jokes are still pretty funny, many of them. Not the stuff with the flumoxxed cops or the folks who inadvertently get stoned (and get the munchies). But the bits of comic timing associated with the guys as if they were on stage.

Two bits to watch out for. One is two incidental women. The first has a scene only a minute long. A girl comes in, mistakes scouring powder for coke, snuffs it up and has the most comic facial expressions I have even seen on film. This is one of those priceless moments in film. I hope IMDb at some point figures out some means to vote on particular scenes. This girl would in life become an addict and a bag lady.

The second girl has a bigger role: Zane Buzby is one of the hippie stoner cheesecake babes that join the trip. She's got a less flashy role, but in ad libs created most of the situations in which she appears. She would go on to become one of TeeVee's most attuned comedy directors.

So you can see this as two stage personalities that are good, with these two women, who are also as good, surrounded by some disposable situations and jokes.

But there is another something interesting. The end of this comic show is a comic show within, the guys as a rock band in possibly the best Cheech and Chong sequence of all their movies. Everything from about 20 minutes into the film to this is a journey to this show, I suspect that "The Muppet Movie" of the following year was influenced by this.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$44,364,244

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$44,364,244

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