Death in Small Doses

From The Grindhouse Cinema Database

Death in Small Doses (1957, USA) is a Drugsploitation film directed by Joseph M. Newman.

Death in small doses 1957.jpg

Main Details

  • Released in 1957 | B & W
  • Distributed by Allied Artists Pictures
  • Directed by Joseph M. Newman
  • Written by Arthur L. Davis, John McGreevey
  • Starring: Peter Graves, Mala Powers, Chuck Connors, Robert William, Roy Engel


Stately music accompanies the Washington D.C. office of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, where chief inspector Frank Ainsley (Robert Shayne) is briefing FDA investigator Tom Kaylor (Peter Graves). In the aftermath of several deadly truck crashes, the Interstate Commerce Commission has called on the FDA to curb the proliferation of bootleg "bennies" among the truckers. Ainsley sends Kaylor and five other agents to different locales to uncover the source of the pills, which he explains are "as easy to buy as cigarettes or chewing gum." Tom goes to Los Angeles to pose as a student driver and checks into a rooming house for truckers run by Val Owens (Mala Powers), herself the widow of a dead trucker. A fellow roomer down the hall is Mink Reynolds (Chuck Connors) who is clearly hopped-up on Bennies. Mink shows Tom the ropes, which includes easy access to "co-pilots." During his first day on the job, Kaylor witnesses an old-timer who has been sidelined to the loading dock experience a psychotic episode and collapse dead of a heart attack. Mink, who never seems to sleep, later introduces Tom to truck stop waitress Amy Phillips (Merry Anders), who is also a supplier of pills. Another trucker - Wally Morse (Roy Engel) - is beaten to death by thugs after trying to give information about the drug network to Kaylor. Over time, Tom develops a romance with Val while continuing his risky investigation of Amy and her contacts within the drug ring. (TCM)

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