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Movie-A-Day #11: The Trip (1967).

January 11, 2011

Today we commemorate the birth of Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann, the father of LSD. While researching other, more conventional, pharmaceuticals in his lab in 1938, he first synthesized the drug in 1938. The sample wasn’t what he was looking for, so he set it aside. While handling it five years later he accidentally absorbed some into his fingertips and took the world’s first acid trip. Hofmann would dedicate the rest of his career to research into LSD and other hallucinogens, and he would become a vocal advocate of their therapeutic use in psychiatry. In the 1960s his zeal was picked up by Timothy Leary and other counterculture gurus who would help make LSD the defining drug of the Woodstock generation.

B-movie legend Roger Corman was plugged into the zeitgeist as usual and was among to exploit the LSD phenomenon on film with “The Trip,” starring Peter Fonda, Bruce Dern, Susan Strasberg and Dennis Hopper. The acid trip sequences are pretty cheesy, especially by today’s standards, and the rest of the script is a little too talky. But it struck a chord with audiences and is still one of the classics of the hippiesloitation genre.

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