Cocaine (film)

Cocaine is a 1922 British crime film directed by Graham Cutts and starring Hilda Bayley, Flora Le Breton, Ward McAllister and Cyril Raymond. A melodrama – it depicts the distribution of cocaine by gangsters through a series of London nightclubs and the revenge sought by a man after the death of his daughter.

1922 trade advertisement
Directed byGraham Cutts
Produced byHarry B. Parkinson
Written byFrank Miller
StarringHilda Bayley
Flora Le Breton
Ward McAllister
Distributed byAstra Films
Release date
June 1922
CountryUnited Kingdom

Because of its depiction of drug use, it was the most controversial British film of the 1920s.[1] It was feared by the authorities that it might encourage the spread of narcotics.[2] However, as the film had a clear message about the dangers of using drugs, it was eventually passed by the censors in June 1922 and released in some cinemas under the alternative title While London Sleeps.[3]

The Chinese gangster Min Fu was reportedly based on a real-life criminal Brilliant Chang.[4]



  1. Sweet p. 48
  2. Sweet p. 50
  3. Robertson p. 25
  4. Sweet p. 48


  • Robertson, James Crighton. The Hidden Cinema: British Film Censorship in Action, 1913–1975. Routledge, 1993.
  • Sweet, Matthew. Shepperton Babylon: The Lost Worlds of British Cinema. Faber and Faber, 2005.
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