Cheech and Chong often get credited for inventing the stoner comedy, but the cannabis sub-genre actually began long before they crashed the scene. In fact, two-time Academy Award winner director Miloš Forman - who passed away last night at the age of 86 - directed the marijuana-themed comedy 'Taking Off' seven years before 'Up in Smoke' debuted.
Forman's film features a group of wealthy suburban New Yorkers who join a support group to cope with the stress caused by their rebellious kids. To understand their troubled teens, the group takes a crash course on marijuana offered by a guest speaker played by Vincent Schiavelli (whose voluminous hair alone is worth a few laughs). After a lecture on cannabis etiquette, the guest speaker - - encourages the uptight crowd to light up a dozen spliffs while portraits of affluent ancestors look on pensively.
But film critics weren't so prudish. The film won the coveted Grand Prix award at the 1971 Cannes Film Festival- making it one of the most critically acclaimed stoner comedies of all time.
Check out the hilariously awkward scene below, which probably introduced terms like 'joint,' 'bogart' and 'roach' to moviegoers who identified with the squares on screen.