The heyday of cocaine in our nation’s history was arguably the late 1970s through the early 1980s. In the summer of 1980, Richard Pryor set himself on fire while freebasing cocaine, an incident which Pryor mined for a memorable bit in the 1982 movie Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip. The 1981 movie Modern Problems featured a fantasy sequence in which the protagonist, played by Chevy Chase, exploits his telekinetic powers to vacuum up a roomful of coke, which also brings us, inevitably, to Brian De Palma’s Scarface, which is probably the ultimate cokehead masterpiece in American history. Obviously, Woody Allen featured an iconic coke gag in the 1977 classic Annie Hall when he sneezed into a friend’s coke stash.
At the time, there was considerable sentiment around the country that after marijuana, cocaine might be the next drug to “go mainstream.” It was even considered non-addictive! In retrospect, this was never in the cards, however, many people thought it was on the cusp of becoming societally acceptable… read more >