”Harold & Kumar” and 10 other stoner flicks
As the title characters of ”Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle” take their first munchies-fueled steps on a journey toward burger nirvana, they join a proud American film tradition: the stoner movie. Not movies one gets stoned to (yes, yes, ”The Wizard of Oz” goes with ”Dark Side of the Moon,” we know), but rather movies that show the life and times of pot smokers in all their gnarly glory. In honor of the occasion, we decided to compile a list of the Top 10 Stoner Movies of All Time. We were so anti-putting things in order, but our editor — in a totally bogus move — told us we had to apply ourselves. (Relax, man.)
1 DAZED AND CONFUSED (1993) Richard Linklater’s slacker opus glides along on a buzz stoked by Aerosmith and carefree youth. You don’t need to have a joint to hang with these Texas teens celebrating their last day of school…but, as Wooderson (Matthew McConaughey) would say, ”it’d be a lot cooler if you did.”
2 THE BIG LEBOWSKI (1998) The Dude (Jeff Bridges) is the greatest stoner in the history of film because the Dude abides, dude.
3 HOW HIGH (2001) Method and Red smoke weed planted in the ashes of a dead friend, and his ghost gets them into Harvard. Happens all the time.
4 FRIDAY (1995) On Friday, with nothing to do, Chris Tucker and Ice Cube get high, sit on a porch, and watch the ghetto go by. That, and they learn some important life lessons.
5 HALF BAKED (1998) A rainbow coalition of celebrity cameos populates this whacked-out film that’s sort of about Dave Chappelle dealing stolen medical marijuana and sort of about just hearing Jon Stewart say, ”…on WEED!”
6 UP IN SMOKE (1978) Cheech and Chong bring their doobie-brothers act to the big screen, at one point illegally crossing the border in a van made entirely of reefer. Happens all the time.
7 SUPER TROOPERS (2002) A highway patrol pot caper involving a bear costume, syrup-drinking contests, and an Afghan cartoon monkey carrying coded Taliban messages. Come to think of it, this should probably be higher on the list.
8 REEFER MADNESS (1936) Ostensibly a terrifying cautionary tale about the dangers of marijuana-induced psychosis (with a poster that’s become a dorm-room classic); really just more like ”Our Town” on drugs.
9 FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH (1982) Jeff Spicoli (Sean Penn) is not quite the greatest stoner in the history of film (see Jeff Bridges, above), but his surfer-dude personality became an archetype that led to…
10 BILL & TED’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE, (1989) whose dumb-buddy vision quest enabled the existence of ”Dude, Where’s My Car?” from the director who now brings us ”Harold & Kumar.” Most excellent, indeed.