Hail, Caesar!

Hail, Caesar! (2015)

TOBACCO INCIDENTS 653
AVG PER MINUTE 6.66
EDITION Universal Studios Home Entertainment BLU-RAY released June 7, 2016
MOVIE SUMMARY A movie studio fixer does his thing in Hollywood’s golden age.
TOBACCO IN SHORT The fixer (played by actor Josh Brolin) smokes cigarettes and goes around talking to other people who also smoke cigarettes.
POSSIBLE SMOKESCREENS (?) The song & dance numbers, the George Clooney kidnapping thing, the communist party thing.

TOBACCO INCIDENTS:653

AVG PER MINUTE: 6.66

First visual frame at 0:48
Last visual frame at 99:25
Total visual running time: 98:37

# TIME ANGLE DESCRIPTION
Ironically the first thing that appears on the disc is an ad for Tobacco Free California with the message: “Tobacco is still killing 1 in 5 Americans”. Gee, I wonder why?!
1 1:32 MD Josh Brolin in the confession booth dialog: “I lied to Connie, uh to my wife. I promised her I’d quit smoking. She thinks it’s bad for me.”
2 1:36 MD Continued from previous shot; Josh Brolin dialog: “And I’m trying but… I snuck a couple of cigarettes. Maybe three. It’s so hard. But I’m trying.”
3 2:49 ES A large pedistal ashtray is visible behind some liquor bottles.
4 3:25 2S Two police officers come in the front door, one is smoking a cigarette.
5 3:30 2S Repeat of same police officer smoking a cigarette.
6 3:37 2S Repeat of same police officer smoking a cigarette.
7 3:40 OTS Smoke rises from over the police officer’s shoulder.
8 3:44 MD/HH Same police officer smoking a cigarette as Josh Brolin & woman exit.
9 3:53 MD Same police officer smoking a cigarette — he takes a drag at center screen.
10 3:56 MD Josh Brolin dialog: “Say, Brian… Can I bum a cigarette?”
11 5:24 ES What appears to be an ashtray on the table next to Josh Brolin.
12 6:37 MD Josh Brolin takes a drag from a cigarette at center screen.
* 7:03 Dolly Two men deep in the background appear to be smoking cigarettes.
13 7:08 Dolly Continued from previous shot: The man with the manilla envelope is holding a cigarette.
14 7:13 Dolly Continued from previous shot: A man sitting on a bench holds a lit cigarette as Josh Brolin & his secretary walk by.
15 9:35 MD/Dolly An assistant holds out a cigarette case to the western movie star.
16-17 13:22 ES Two large orange glass ashtrays are visible on the conference table in front of Josh Brolin.
18 13:36 WS Same large orange glass ashtray is clearly visible as Josh Brolin stands & walks around.
19-20 14:34 WS Same two large orange glass ashtrays are visible on the conference table.
21-22 14:40 WS Same two large orange glass ashtrays are visible as Josh Brolin returns to the head of the table.
23 14:53 MD Josh Brolin dialog: “I want to know if the theological elements of the story are up to snuff.”
24-25 15:42 WS Same two large orange glass ashtrays are partially visible behind Josh Brolin.
26-35 17:03 Dolly Ten canister ashtrays are visible in the hallway as Josh Brolin & his secretary walk along.
36 17:42 ES A glass ashtray is visible on the table behind the western movie star.
37 20:57 ES A woman in the background behind Scarlett Johansson is holding a cigarette.
38 21:01 ES Same woman in background behind Scarlett Johansson holding a cigarette.
39-41 21:05 ES Scarlett Johansson holds an unlit cigarette & small orange glass ashtray on table. Same woman in background taking a drag.
42-43 21:10 ES Scarlett Johansson holds an unlit cigarette & same woman in background with a cigarette. A Zippo lighter is also seen & heard.
44 21:12 OTS Scarlett Johansson lights up a cigarette with a Zippo lighter.
45-46 21:16 ES Scarlett Johansson holds a lit cigarette & same woman in background with a cigarette.
47 21:21 OTS Scarlett Johansson takes a drag from a cigarette whilst talking to Josh Brolin.
48-49 21:30 ES Scarlett Johansson takes a drag from a cigarette & same woman in background with a cigarette.
50 21:36 OTS Smoke rises over Scarlett Johansson’s shoulder in front of Josh Brolin.
51 21:38 ES Same woman in background behind Scarlett Johansson holding a cigarette.
52 21:40 OTS Smoke rises over Scarlett Johansson’s shoulder in front of Josh Brolin.
53 21:43 ES Same woman in background behind Scarlett Johansson holding a cigarette.
54 21:48 OTS Smoke rises over Scarlett Johansson’s shoulder in front of Josh Brolin.
55 21:50 ES Same woman in background behind Scarlett Johansen holding a cigarette.
56 21:57 ES Same woman in background behind Scarlett Johansen holding a cigarette.
57 22:10 OTS Smoke rises over Scarlett Johansson’s shoulder in front of Josh Brolin.
58 22:17 OTS Smoke rises over Scarlett Johansson’s shoulder in front of Josh Brolin.
59-60 22:20 ES Smoke rises next to Scarlett Johansson & same woman in background holding a cigarette.
61-62 22:25 WS Two men in the background are smoking cigarettes.
63 22:28 WS Same orange glass ashtray is visible on the stool next to Scarlett Johansson.
64 23:09 ES A woman in an orange dress sits holding an unlit cigarette in a holder.
65-68 23:22 ES A man in a tuxedo & same woman in orange dress are holding unlit cigarettes. Two crystal ashtrays are also visible.
69-73 23:27 ES Repeat of man in tuxedo & same woman in orange dress holding unlit cigarettes. Same two crystal ashtrays are visible.
74-75 23:28 MD A crystral ashtray & silver cigarette case are visible on the table behind a woman.
76-77 23:33 ES Crew man in background with a cigarette & crystal ashtray on the lamp table as Raplh Fiennes walks over.
78-79 23:36 ES Two crystal ashtrays are visible on the lamp tables.
80 23:40 MD/OTS Same woman in orange dress holding a cigarette in the background.
81-84 23:49 ES Same three crystal ashtrays are visible on the lamp tables & same tuxedo man in background holding a cigarette.
85 24:53 MD/OTS Same woman in orange dress sits holding an unlit cigarette in background.
86 25:10 MD/OTS Same woman in orange dress sits holding an unlit cigarette in background.
87 25:14 MD/OTS Same woman in orange dress sits holding an unlit cigarette in background.
88-89 25:50 Dolly Same crystal ashtray on the lamp table & same tuxedo man in background with a cigarette.
90-92 25:53 WS Two crystal ashtrays on the lamp tables & same tuxedo man in background with a cigarette.
93-94 25:55 2S Same crystal ashtray on the lamp table & same tuxedo man in background with a cigarette.
95 26:14 WS Same crew man with a cigarette.
96 26:19 WS Same crew man with a cigarette.
97 27:04 MD Same crystal ashtray on the table as Ralph Fiennes leans over.
98 27:45 WS Same tuxedo man in background smoking a cigarette.
99-100 27:49 2S Same crystal ashtray on the table & same tuxedo man in background smoking a cigarette.
101-102 28:10 WS Same crew man with a cigarette & crystal ashtray on background lamp table.
103-104 28:19 WS Same crew man with a cigarette & crystal ashtray on background lamp table.
105-107 28:24 BE Two crystal ashtrays on the lamp tables & same tuxedo man in background with a cigarette.
108-109 28:26 2S Same crystal ashtray on the lamp table & same tuxedo man in background with a cigarette.
110 29:54 2S Same crystal ashtray on the lamp table.
111 21:42 ES A pedistal ashtray is partially visible as Ralph Fiennes enters the office.
112-114 33:16 ES/Dolly A man smoking a cigarette & three glass ashtrays are visible on the bar.
115-116 33:25 ES A pack of cigarettes is clearly visible & smoke rising from an implied cigarette.
117 33:34 OTS Smoke rises in front of Josh Brolin from the man’s implied cigarette.
118-120 33:38 MD Smoke rises in front of man & dialog: “Go ahead” as he offers the pack of cigarettes to Josh Brolin.
121-124 33:42 2S Same man holding a lit cigarette, glass ashtray on table, cigarette pack being offered, Josh Brolin dialog: “I’m trying to quit.”
125-127 33:56 OTS Same man holding a lit cigarette, same glass ashtray & pack of cigarettes on table.
128-130 34:08 OTS Same man holding a lit cigarette, same glass ashtray & pack of cigarettes on table.
131 34:13 OTS Smoke rises in front of Josh Brolin from man’s implied cigarette.
132-134 34:18 OTS Smoke rises from man’s implied cigarette, same glass ashtray & pack of cigarettes on table.
135 34:20 OTS Smoke rises in front of Josh Brolin from man’s implied cigarette.
136-138 34:21 OTS Smoke rises from man’s implied cigarette, same glass ashtray & pack of cigarettes on table.
139 34:26 MD Smoke rises in front of Josh Brolin from man’s implied cigarette.
140 34:32 MD Smoke rises in front of man from his implied cigarette.
141 34:35 MD Smoke rises in front of Josh Brolin from man’s implied cigarette.
142-144 34:39 OTS Same man holding a lit cigarette, same glass ashtray & pack of cigarettes on table.
145 34:45 OTS Same man’s lit cigarette moves into frame for a split second.
146 34:49 OTS Same man takes a drag from a cigarette.
147-149 34:56 OTS Same man holding a lit cigarette, same glass ashtray & pack of cigarettes on table.
150 35:02 MD Same man holds his lit cigarette at center screen next to a photo of a hydrogen bomb mushroom cloud.
151 35:07 MD Smoke rises from man’s implied cigarette as Josh Brolin looks at the photo.
152 35:12 MD Repeat of man holding his lit cigarette next to a mushroom cloud photo.
153 35:15 OTS Smoke rises from man’s implied cigarette as Josh Brolin gets a telephone call.
154 35:18 OTS Same man with lit cigarette in his mouth.
155 35:21 MD Smoke rises from man’s implied cigarette as Josh Brolin talks on the phone.
156-157 35:26 OTS Same glass ashtray & pack of cigarettes are partially visible on table.
158 35:28 MD Smoke rises in front of Josh Brolin from man’s implied cigarette.
159 35:34 OTS Same glass ashtray is partially visible on table.
160-168 37:15 ES Four men holding cigarettes, man holding a pipe, man holding a pack of cigarettes, smoke rising from cigarette offscreen, pack of cigarettes & ashtray on coffee table.
169-177 37:22 ES Repeat of four men holding cigarettes, man holding a pipe, man holding a pack of cigarettes, smoke rising from cigarette offscreen, pack of cigarettes & ashtray on coffee table.
178-183 37:27 WS/OTS Two men holding cigarettes, smoke rising from an implied cigarette, man places pack on table, same ashtray & pack of cigarettes on coffee table.
184-192 37:35 ES Six men holding cigarettes, man smoking a pipe, same ashtray & pack of cigarettes on coffee table.
193-194 37:44 MD Two men holding lit cigarettes as George Clooney sits down.
195-196 37:46 2S Two men holding lit cigarettes.
197-198 37:48 MD Same two men holding lit cigarettes beside seated George Clooney.
199-201 37:51 OTS Three men holding lit cigarettes.
202-204 37:57 OTS Two men holding cigarettes & smoke rising from man’s implied cigarette.
205-207 38:09 OTS Same two men holding cigarettes (one at the dead center of screen) & smoke rising from man’s implied cigarette.
208-209 38:13 2S Two columns of smoke rising from implied cigarettes.
210-211 38:17 2S Same two columns of smoke rising from implied cigarettes.
212-214 38:24 OTS Same two men holding cigarettes & smoke rising from man’s implied cigarette.
215-217 38:30 MD Man holding a lit cigarette exhales smoke at center screen, man holding a pipe, a pedistal ashtray is visible.
218-220 38:37 OTS Same three men holding lit cigarettes.
221-222 38:39 OTS Smoke rising from an implied cigarette & same pedistal ashtray is visible.
223-226 38:44 MD Two columns of smoke rising from implied cigarettes, man holding a pipe, same pedistal ashtray.
227-229 38:46 OTS Same three men holding lit cigarettes.
230-231 38:50 2S Smoke rising from an implied cigarette & another man about to take a drag from a cigarette.
232-234 38:53 OTS Two men holding lit cigarettes & another man taking a drag from a cigarette.
235-240 39:02 WS/OTS Three men holding lit cigarettes, same two packs of cigarettes & ashtray on coffee table.
241-242 39:12 OTS Man with lit cigarette in his mouth & another man about to light a cigarette.
243-244 39:16 OTS Two men taking drags from cigarettes.
245-246 39:22 2S Same two men with cigarettes.
247-248 39:29 3S Same two men with cigarettes.
249-251 39:36 2S Same two men with cigarettes & a small silver ashtray is now visible on the side table.
252-253 39:40 MD Man holding a pipe clears his throat & same pedistal ashtray is visible.
254-256 39:41 3S Same two men with cigarettes & same small silver ashtray on side table.
257-258 39:42 MD Same man holding a pipe & same pedistal ashtray.
259-260 39:45 MD/Dolly in Same man holding a pipe & same pedistal ashtray.
261 40:02 Dolly in Same man holding a pipe.
262-265 40:10 3S Same two men with cigarettes; one ashes into a new ashtray on lamp table & same small silver ashtray on side table.
266-268 40:16 3S Same two men with cigarettes & same small silver ashtray on side table.
269-271 40:22 2S Same two men with cigarettes & same small silver ashtray on side table.
272-274 40:25 3S Same two men with cigarettes & same small silver ashtray on side table.
275-277 40:33 2S Same two men with cigarettes & same small silver ashtray on side table.
278 40:41 MD Same man holding a pipe.
279 40:50 MD Same man holding a pipe.
280-282 40:58 OTS Same man holding a pipe, man holding a cigarette & same pack of cigarettes on coffee table.
283-284 41:00 3S Same two men with cigarettes.
285-287 41:05 2S Same two men with cigarettes & same small silver ashtray on side table.
288-291 41:07 3S Same man holding a cigarette, same silver ashtray on side table, pack of cigarettes & same ashtray on lamp table.
292-295 41:13 OTS Same man holding a cigarette, same silver ashtray on side table, same pack of cigarettes & same ashtray on lamp table.
296-299 41:18 3S Same man holding a cigarette, same silver ashtray on side table, same pack of cigarettes & same ashtray on lamp table.
300-303 41:26 3S Same man holding a cigarette, another man about to pull a cigarette from pack, same silver ashtray on side table & same pack of cigarettes on lamp table.
304-307 41:29 MD Two columns of smoke rising from implied cigarettes, same man smoking a pipe, same pedistal ashtray.
308-310 41:38 2S Same two men with cigarettes & same small silver ashtray on side table.
311-314 41:40 MD Man holding a cigarette, same man smoking a pipe, same pedistal ashtray & smoke rising from an implied cigarette.
315-317 41:41 3S Same two men with cigarettes & same small silver ashtray on side table.
318-328 41:49 WS/BE Four men holding cigarettes, man holding pipe, ashtray & pack on lamp table, ashtray & pack on coffee table, ashtray on lamp table, pedistal ashtray.
Over 100 tobacco incidents in a mere five minute scene and somehow it doensn’t even feel bloated… UN-FUCKING-BELIEVABLE!!!!!
329 43:19 HH A silver ashtray is briefly visible on Josh Brolin’s secretary’s desk.
330 47:25 OTS A pedistal ashtray is visible in Josh Brolin’s office.
331 47:35 OTS Same pedistal ashtray visible in Josh Brolin’s office.
332 48:40 MD Same pedistal ashtray partially visible in Josh Brolin’s office.
333 48:51 OTS Same pedistal ashtray visible in Josh Brolin’s office.
334 49:40 MD Same pedistal ashtray partially visible in Josh Brolin’s office.
335 49:55 MD Same pedistal ashtray partially visible in Josh Brolin’s office.
336 50:08 MD Same pedistal ashtray partially visible in Josh Brolin’s office.
337 50:25 OTS Same pedistal ashtray visible in Josh Brolin’s office.
338 50:31 MD Same pedistal ashtray visible in Josh Brolin’s office.
339-341 50:50 BE The bartender with cigar & two brass ashtrays are visible on back bar.
342-343 50:58 MD The bartender with cigar & same brass ashtray visible on back bar.
344 51:04 WS The bartender with cigar is visible behind Channing Tatum.
345-346 51:42 HH The bartender with cigar & a brass ashtray on table behind Channing Tatum.
The gold ashtrays that appear throughout this sequence look strangely similar to the orange bowls of peanuts but you can usually tell by comparing the color & bowl shape.
347-348 51:57 HH Continued from previous: Same two brass ashtrays are visible on back bar.
349 52:13 HH Continued from previous: Another brass ashtray is visible momentarily on back bar.
This is an extremely clever reveal after Channing Tatum slaps the guy passed out on the bar who only wakes up to sing his part. The ashtray is only revealed after he raises up his beer to sing.
350-356 52:24 WS Five brass ashtrays are visible on tables & same two ashtrays on back bar.
351 52:58 FS Same brass ashtray is visible on background table.
The ashtrays on the tables have now vanished so the sailors can do their choreographed tap dancing.
352-356 53:04 WS/BE Same three brass ashtrays on back bar, bartender with cigar, same brass ashtray on background table.
357 53:15 FS The bartender with cigar.
358 53:25 MD The bartender with cigar.
359-363 53:28 WS/BE Same three brass ashtrays on back bar, bartender with cigar, same brass ashtray on background table.
364-365 53:32 MD The bartender with cigar & same brass ashtray on back bar.
366-369 53:33 WS/HA Same two brass ashtrays on back bar, bartender with cigar, same brass ashtray on background table.
370-372 53:38 ES/Pan Two brass ashtrays are visible on background tables & bartender with cigar.
373-375 53:44 WS Same two brass ashtrays on back bar & bartender with cigar.
376 53:46 MD The bartender with cigar.
377 53:47 HH Same brass ashtray on back bar as Channing Tatum slides down the main bar.
378-381 53:48 FS Same three brass ashtrays on back bar & bartender with cigar.
382-386 54:19 WS/BE Same three brass ashtrays on back bar & two ashtrays on tables.
387-388 54:22 WS Same brass ashtray on back bar is partially visible & bartender with cigar.
389-392 54:26 MD Same three brass ashtrays on back bar & bartender with cigar.
393-396 54:36 WS Same three brass ashtrays on back bar & bartender with cigar.
397-400 54:38 FS Same three brass ashtrays on back bar & bartender with cigar.
401-406 55:13 Crane Same two brass ashtrays on back bar, bartender with cigar & two brass ashtrays on background tables.
407 55:20 WS Same brass ashtray on background table.
408-413 55:23 WS/HA Same two brass ashtrays on back bar, bartender with cigar holding a tray with a brass ashtray on it & two brass ashtrays on background tables.
414-419 55:30 WS/HA Same three brass ashtrays on back bar, bartender with cigar holding a tray with a brass ashtray on it & brass ashtray on background table.
420-425 55:37 WS/HA Same three brass ashtrays on back bar, bartender with cigar holding a tray with a brass ashtray on it & brass ashtray on background table.
426-427 55:39 MD Closer view of bartender with cigar and a tray with a brass ashtray on it.
428 55:44 FS Same bartender with cigar.
429 55:46 MD Same brass ashtray on background table.
430 55:48 MD Same bartender with cigar.
431-434 55:54 Dolly Same bartender with cigar & same three brass ashtrays on back bar.
435 56:12 WS/Dolly Same bartender with cigar.
436 56:19 2S Same bartender with cigar.
437 56:30 2S A crew member with a cigarette behind Josh Brolin.
437 56:31 OTS Same brass ashtray on back bar.
438 56:35 OTS Same crew member with a cigarette in background.
439 56:44 OTS Same crew member with a cigarette in background.
440 57:02 OTS Same crew member with a cigarette in background.
441-442 57:23 WS The bartender with a cigar & same brass ashtray on background table.
443 57:26 MD The cleaning woman puts a lit cigarette in her mouth so she can put on her gloves.
444-447 57:29 WS/ES Same cleaning woman with cigarette, two men smoking cigarettes & glass ashtray on lamp table.
448-451 57:55 ES Same two men smoking cigarettes & at least two ashtrays are visible.
452 58:08 OTS A green porcelain ashtray is partially visible next to a decorative silver lighter on the coffee table.
* 58:15 OTS An issue of Life magazine & Fortune magazine are partially visible on the coffee table.
453 58:15 OTS Same green porcelain ashtray partially visible on coffee table.
454-455 58:19 OTS Man with a cigarette & same glass ashtray on lamp table.
456 58:22 OTS Same green porcelain ashtray partially visible on coffee table.
457 58:26 MD Closer view of man with a cigarette.
458 58:28 OTS Same green porcelain ashtray partially visible on coffee table.
459 58:31 MD Repeat of man with a cigarette.
460 58:33 OTS Same green porcelain ashtray partially visible on coffee table.
461-465 58:47 2S Two men with cigarettes, two green porcelain ashtrays & a glass case containing dozens of individual cigarettes.
Who on earth would bother to put a decorative box of individual cigarettes such as this in a period movie simply as texture? I can think of a thousand other more eye-catching, more fun things to insert as a throwback to the golden era but the Coens always seem to have their heart set on cigarettes.
466 58:50 OTS Same green porcelain ashtray partially visible on coffee table.
467 59:03 OTS Same green porcelain ashtray partially visible on coffee table.
468 59:09 OTS Same green porcelain ashtray partially visible on coffee table.
469-474 59:50 WS/OTS Same two green porcelain ashtrays & case of cigarettes on coffee table, man smoking, ashtray on lamp table, man with pipe.
475 60:06 MD Same man with pipe sits down.
476 60:12 MD Repeat of man with pipe.
477 60:25 OTS Same green porcelain ashtray partially visible on coffee table.
478 60:37 OTS Same green porcelain ashtray partially visible on coffee table.
479-483 60:57 WS/OTS Same two green porcelain ashtrays & case of cigarettes on coffee table, man smoking & ashtray on lamp table.
484 61:04 OTS Same green porcelain ashtray partially visible on coffee table.
485 61:09 OTS Same green porcelain ashtray partially visible on coffee table.
486-491 61:18 ES Three men with cigarettes & three clear glass ashtrays.
492-495 61:23 ES A man with a cigarette & same three clear glass ashtrays.
496-498 61:28 ES Same man with a cigarette & same two clear glass ashtrays.
499-502 61:36 ES Same man with a cigarette & same three clear glass ashtrays.
503-505 61:40 ES Another man with a cigarette & same two clear glass ashtrays.
506-508 61:47 ES Same man with a cigarette & same two clear glass ashtrays.
Coincidentally or not, a man walks in front of the man smoking and then takes a drink of his coffee… Could the Coens be trying to tell you something?
509-511 61:53 ES Same man with a cigarette & same two clear glass ashtrays.
512 63:15 ES/MD Frances McDormand with a cigarette.
513 63:19 FS Frances McDormand with a cigarette.
514 63:24 OTS A puff of smoke from Frances McDormand’s implied cigarette.
515 63:25 MD Frances McDormand with a cigarette.
516 63:27 MD Frances McDormand with a cigarette.
517 63:29 MD Frances McDormand with a cigarette.
518 63:32 MD Frances McDormand with a cigarette.
519 63:34 CU A lit cigarette & puff of smoke are visible over the film editing machine.
520 63:35 OTS Frances McDormand exhales a puff of smoke.
521 63:36 MD Frances McDormand with a cigarette.
522 63:43 MD Smoke rises beside Josh Brolin as he leans down to view the film footage.
523-524 65:06 FS B&W film footage: crystal ashtray on lamp table & background man with cigarette.
525 65:21 MD Frances McDormand with a cigarette.
526 65:24 CU Frances McDormand with a cigarette.
527 65:27 CU Frances McDormand with a cigarette.
528 65:30 CU Frances McDormand with a cigarette.
529 65:31 MD Frances McDormand with a cigarette.
530 65:32 MD Frances McDormand with a cigarette.
531 65:35 OTS Frances McDormand with a cigarette.
532 65:36 MD Frances McDormand with a cigarette.
533 65:38 MD Frances McDormand takes a drag from a cigarette.
534 65:41 2S Frances McDormand exhales a puff of smoke at Josh Brolin.
535 65:50 MD Smoke rises beside Josh Brolin as he leans down to view the film footage.
536 65:53 FS B&W film footage: same background man with cigarette.
537-539 66:12 Dolly Two ashtrays on the bar & man with cigarette.
540-541 66:14 MD Pack of cigarettes on table & man with cigarette.
542 66:24 MD Smoke rises in front of Josh Brolin from man’s implied cigarette.
543 66:25 OTS Same man with cigarette.
544 66:30 OTS Smoke rises in front of Josh Brolin from man’s implied cigarette.
545 66:35 OTS Same man with cigarette.
546 66:40 OTS Smoke rises in front of Josh Brolin from man’s implied cigarette.
547-548 66:44 2S Same man with cigarette & glass ashtray on table.
549 66:54 OTS Same man with cigarette.
550-551 66:57 OTS Same man with cigarette & dialog: “Cigarette?”
552 67:00 OTS Smoke rises in front of Josh Brolin from man’s implied cigarette.
553 67:01 OTS Same man with cigarette.
554 67:03 OTS Smoke rises in front of Josh Brolin from man’s implied cigarette.
555-557 67:05 MD Same man with cigarette, same pack of cigarettes & glass ashtray on table.
558-560 67:12 MD Same man with cigarette, same pack of cigarettes & glass ashtray on table.
561-562 67:16 MD Same man with cigarette & same pack of cigarettes on table.
563 67:17 MD Smoke rises in front of Josh Brolin from man’s implied cigarette.
564-565 67:18 MD Same man with cigarette & same pack of cigarettes on table.
* 70:18 FS Josh Brolin’s wife is holding a can of Hills Brothers coffee.
566 70:26 MD Josh Brolin’s wife dialog: “How’s it going with the smoking, dear?”
567 70:38 CU Josh Brolin takes a drag from a cigarette whilst driving.
568-572 70:56 MD Two men with cigarettes, two packs & orange glass ashtray on the table.
573 71:03 2S Man about to light his cigarette with a Zippo lighter.
574-575 71:05 CU Pack of cigarettes & green porcelain ashtray on coffee table.
576 71:09 2S Same man decides not to light his cigarette & closes the Zippo lighter.
* 71:21 CU Date of 1951 is clearly visible on the communist id cards.
* 71:26 2S What appears to be a green glass ashtray behind the lamp.
577 71:28 OTS Man with cigarette behind George Clooney.
578 71:37 OTS Same man with cigarette behind George Clooney.
579-581 72:07 ES Three gold cannisters ashtrays in the theater lobby.
582 72:53 MD Man in second row exhales a puff of smoke.
583 73:24 MD Same man in second row with cigarette.
584-585 73:50 WS Same man with cigarette & woman with cigarette.
586-587 74:03 ES Two men with cigarettes walking by as Josh Brolin pulls his car to a stop.
588-589 74:09 ES Man with cigarette walking by & chauffer with cigarette leaning against a car.
590 74:13 ES Same chauffer smoking a cigarette.
591 74:21 FS Man smoking a cigarette as Josh Brolin enters a building.
592-593 74:42 ES Large ashtray & pack of cigarettes with Zippo lighter on top on Jonah Hill’s desk.
594-595 74:53 ES Same ashtray & pack of cigarettes with Zippo lighter on top on Jonah Hill’s desk.
596-597 75:05 ES Same ashtray & pack of cigarettes with Zippo lighter on top on Jonah Hill’s desk.
598-599 75:10 ES Same ashtray & pack of cigarettes with Zippo lighter on top on Jonah Hill’s desk.
600 75:40 ES Same ashtray partially visible on Jonah Hill’s desk.
601 75:49 MD Scarlett Johansson about to light a cigarette with a Zippo lighter.
602 75:52 OTS Scarlett Johansson about to light a cigarette with a Zippo lighter.
603 75:54 MD/OTS Scarlett Johansson lights a cigarette with a Zippo lighter.
604 75:59 OTS Scarlett Johansson holding a lit cigarette.
605 76:01 MD/OTS Scarlett Johansson holding a lit cigarette.
606 76:04 OTS Scarlett Johansson holding a lit cigarette.
607 76:06 MD/OTS Scarlett Johansson holding a lit cigarette.
608 76:10 MD/OTS Scarlett Johansson holding a lit cigarette.
609 77:08 2S A brass ashtray on the table between Josh Brolin & his secretary.
Another expert tactic often used by the Coens: zooming out about one inch without you even noticing… In the previous view from this angle the ashtray was below the frame… Now on the second viewing the shot is framed about one inch wider so the ashtray is now visible.
610 77:19 2S Same brass ashtray on table between Josh Brolin & secretary.
611 77:57 OTS A glass ashtray on the table next to the salt & pepper.
612 78:05 OTS Same glass ashtray on table next to the salt & pepper.
613 78:08 OTS Same glass ashtray on table next to the salt & pepper.
614 78:22 OTS Same glass ashtray on table next to the salt & pepper.
615 78:28 OTS Same glass ashtray on table next to the salt & pepper.
616 78:41 OTS Same glass ashtray on table next to the salt & pepper.
617 79:15 OTS Same glass ashtray on table next to the salt & pepper.
618 79:36 MD A pack of cigarettes on the silver-haired man’s table.
619-620 80:10 WS Silver-haired man with cigarette & cigarette girl in background.
621 80:29 WS Same silver-haired man with cigarette.
622 80:40 WS Man in background with a cigarette.
623 80:43 MD Same glass ashtray on table next to the pepper.
624 80:45 WS Cigarette girl partially visible in background.
625-626 80:47 ES Background woman in white gloves with a cigarette & smoke rising from a man passing by.
627 80:54 MD Same background woman in white gloves with a cigarette.
628 80:57 MD Same background woman in white gloves with a cigarette.
629-631 80:58 ES Two men with cigarettes & same woman in white gloves with cigarette.
632-640 82:59 ES George Clooney with cigarette & ashtray on side table, two ashtrays & two packs of cigarettes on card table, ashtray on backgammon table, glass case of cigarettes on coffee table, ashtray on lamp table.
641-642 83:02 MD Closer view of George Clooney with a cigarette & ashtray on backgammon table in background.
643-644 83:10 MD Repeat of George Clooney with a cigarette & ashtray on backgammon table in background.
645-650 83:18 Dolly/OTS Pack of cigarettes & ashtray on card table, George Clooney smoking cigarette & ashtray on side table, ashtray on backgammon table in background, glass case of loose cigarettes on coffee table.
651 83:25 MD Same ashtray on backgammon table in background.
652 89:07 ES A man smoking a cigarette whilst sitting on a rock.
* 90:00 MD Interesting George Clooney dialog: “…the studio is nothing more than an instrument of capitalism…”
The Coen brothers might actually be telling the truth here, but it comes across like a joke, which is actually the real irony behind the whole operation.
* 93:51   George Clooney passes by two goat & he also has two winged lions with goat-horns on his breast plate.
Perhaps a strange nod to “The Men Who Stare At Goats” which is a known instrument of propaganda & disinformation.
653 96:55 CU/LA Josh Brolin dialog: “I snuck a cigarette. Or two.”
Can Josh Brolin’s confessions be attributed to the Coens brothers’ ongoing moral dilemma of fooling the masses with their cigarette-laden films?
* 105:41   End Credits Tobacco Disclaimer: Universal Pictures has not received any compensation or other consideration or entered into any agreement relating to the appearance of any tobacco products in this picture.
HARDY FUCKING HAR BITCHES! I guess it really was a passion project after all. Yeah right!

Additional Thoughts…

I had already begun writing this expose about the Coen brothers when I finally saw Hail, Caesar! (2015) but I already knew deep in my gut I was going to be exposed to some massive amounts of smoking. I knew it was going to be another wild ride but I had no idea as to the depths the Coens would go to honor tobacco. In many ways, this is the Coen brothers’ most devious and diabolical film to date. Trust me, they have seriously honed in on their craft by this point. The tobacco references are absolutely littered throughout the film and delivered by many celebrities including Josh Brolin, Scarlett Johansson, Frances McDormand, and even, sadly, the George Clooney.

Beyond the hundreds of tobacco incidents, the Coen brothers actually use this film to deliver many embarrassing truths about Hollywood and the studio system. Within the dialog of Hail, Caesar! (2015) you will find many truths, half-truths, and metaphors about life, wealth, communism, religion, and the film industry in general. This film tries to be a gritty reflection of life inside the walls of a large studio during the golden age of Hollywood… You know, but like with tobacco finding its way into every scene.

“The studio is nothing more than an instrument of capitalism!”
Quote from George Clooney’s character in Hail, Caesar! (2015)

Ironically, when you first pop in the Blu-Ray or DVD for Hail Caesar! (2015) an ad for Tobacco Free California plays immediately following the Universal Studios logo with an interesting message: Which moments are you willing to give away since every cigarette shortens your life? Tobacco is still killing 1 in 5 Americans. Gee, I wonder why?! They slap a little warning on the disk yet this million dollar tobacco-ridden masterpiece was actually rated PG-13 so younger viewers are always welcome to watch. The biggest shame is that Hail, Caesar! (2015) portrays so many of our favorite lovable actors as smokers instead of just being themselves.

But don’t take my word for it. Lets take a look at the very first scene in Hail, Caesar! (2015). At nearly one and a half minutes into the film, actor Josh Brolin appears in a confessional booth and confesses his sins to a priest…


JOSH BROLIN: I lied to Connie, uh to my wife.

PRIEST: This is very serious.

JOSH BROLIN: I know. I promised her I’d quit smoking. She thinks it’s bad for me. And I’m trying but… I snuck a couple of cigarettes. Maybe three.

[ sound of distant thunder rumbling ]


Sure enough… The fucking opening scene of the movie. Knock knock and guess who. My old pal and yours… tobacco!

She thinks it’s bad for me. Thinks! Meaning it isn’t really bad for you, right Josh Brolin? Subtle. Very subtle. I guess we are supposed to be impressed because this character is trying to quit smoking. Either way, I guess I can see where the rest of this film is heading. Now when Josh Brolin smokes it will be something he can be ashamed about, so that makes it okay, right?

Watching this opening scene in Hail, Caesar! (2015) I suddenly felt like all of my crazy theories about the Coen brothers & Big Tobacco were carved in marble. I only wished my book could have been released to all fans of the Coen brothers around the world before this particular film. People could have read all of this filthy dirty information and then watching Hail, Caesar! (2015) they would have surely gotten a good chuckle about a whole new kind of understanding behind the film, especially subtle moments like this.

In the second scene of the movie, we hit the ground running when actor Josh Brolin smacks a girl around then talks briefly with two uniformed police officers (one of whom is smoking a cigarette). Basically the second scene ends with Josh Brolin turning backward to look into the camera and asking “Can I bum a cigarette?”

Can you see where this film is heading? As I mentioned, this is only the second scene of the movie and someone is asking “Can I bum a cigarette?” Seriously, no bullshit, Hail, Caesar! (2015) is like a two hour commercial for cigarettes. And a propaganda film for the Hollywood studio system. And communism.

“The picture has worth, and you have worth if you serve the picture!”
Quote from Josh Brolin whilst smacking George Clooney around

Another interesting part… At one point during the film, Josh Brolin actually declines a cigarette onscreen and mentions how he is trying to quit. Back at home, his wife asks “How’s it going with the smoking, dear?” but basically the next shot is Josh Brolin driving in a car whilst smoking a cigarette. Really? I guess he’s not trying too hard to quit.

In another glorious scene, actress Scarlett Johansson appears as a mermaid at the center of a carefully choreographed water ballet which indeed mimics the golden age of Hollywood. The amazing sequence ends when Scarlett Johansson has her mermaid suit yanked off and she quickly lights up a cigarette with her Zippo lighter. For some reason, Scarlett Johansson acts like she can’t breathe until she starts sucking on a cigarette. Trust me, the Coen brothers are playing this tobacco thing from every angle, especially the old adage that cigarettes actually calm you down or reduce stress.

“Would that it were so simple.”

So there’s this beyond-cliche ‘movie within a movie’ thing happening inside the movie Hail, Caesar! (2015). You know, that thing where this movie is actually about filmmakers making movies? Yeah, that tired old shit. The ‘movie within the movie’ in this case also happens to be titled “Hail, Caesar!” but with some additional tagline about Christ. The primary actor inside the ‘movie within the movie’ is actually superstar George Clooney — he plays a Roman who encounters some Jesus-type figure.

During the Coen brothers’ film however, old George Clooney gets kidnapped from the set of “Hail, Caesar!” and ends up talking to all of these disgruntled communist writer guys. While trying to recruit Clooney into their gang, most of these communist guys sit around smoking. Tobacco pipes, cigarettes, cigars… All kinds of them. Heck, even George Clooney ends up smoking a cigarette by the end of the film.

Alarmingly, Hail, Caesar! (2015) marks George Clooney’s fourth collaboration with the infamous Coen brothers, but this is the first time old Georgey boy ever agreed to smoke a cigarette on screen. Poor George!

In one scene of Hail, Caesar! (2015) Josh Brolin pops in on actress Frances McDormand who is editing another ‘movie within a movie’ that the studio is making. Frances McDormand is hard at work during this scene, but that doesn’t stop her character from enjoying a nice juicy cigarette. Whilst threading up a film reel for Josh Brolin’s character to watch, Frances McDormand’s neck scarf gets caught up in the flatbed editing machine and she begins to choke. After Josh Brolin helps her by reversing the playback, a startled Frances McDormand gives the line “Guess I shouldn’t wear scarves” but instead of gasping for air, the first thing she does is take a big drag from her cigarette. Seriously, her character too acts like cigarettes are better than fresh air. By the way, McDormand’s character decided to hold onto to her cigarette rather than save herself — that’s pretty remarkable if you ask me. Considering old Frances is married to Joel Coen in real life, I’m guessing that she knows how the game is played.

In another extravagant musical number starring Channing Tatum, a bunch of sailors sing & dance around a bar at closing time. As the energetic sailors perform their homo-erotic dances all around the “Swingin’ Dinghy” bar, the big surly bartender smokes a cigar. If you look very closely in this scene, not only will you notice the bowls of peanuts on the bar but you can also spot dirty ashtrays scattered around as well. Eventually the fourth wall is broken during these musical numbers which usually brings viewers back to the Josh Brolin narrative. At the surface, these hilarious musical numbers do add some Hollywood glamour to the film but in reality, these scenes only give the Coen brothers more ways to sprinkle in the tobacco products.

Yes the Coen brothers’ most recent film Hail, Caesar! (2015) is just a never-ending slew of celebrity tobacco references mingled with some jokes, some religious shit, some communist shit, a couple of musical numbers, and a bunch of ‘movie within a movie’ shit all rolled around it like a big shit cigar.

In all honesty, there are all sorts of odd characters to love, but most of these guys are always smoking cigarettes for no apparent reason at all. Seriously, it never adds a thing to the character. I mean, the first time you see a random cleaning woman, she is vacuuming. It’s funny. The next time you see her, she is standing around smoking a cigarette for no apparent reason at all. It’s also funny, but what the fuck man? Maybe the Coens aren’t so diabolical after all.

At the very end of Hail, Caesar! (2015) actor Josh Brolin once again visits the same confession booth where he again admits to smoking some cigarettes. Ultimately, the priest absolves Brolin’s character by saying he comes to confession too often and “You’re not that bad.” These two highly religious confessional scenes are like nice calm book-ends to an otherwise hectic movie. Kind of the like that strange cowboy that book-ends the Coens’ earlier film The Big Lebowski (1998).

Honestly, this latest film Hail, Caesar! (2015) has so much Hollywood propaganda (not to mention cigarettes) that it actually kind of hurts your head… So again, maybe the Coen brothers were able to achieve some remarkable goal here — they made smoking seem kind of harmless compared to all this other heavy shit going on within the film.

And what about that nice long tobacco disclaimer that appears during the end credits…

Universal Pictures has not received any compensation or other consideration or entered into any agreement relating to the appearance of any tobacco products in this picture.

No compensation? Oh well, I guess this tobacco thing really was a passion project for the Coen brothers after all. Yeah right! Eat a dick, Joel & Ethan… I’ll see you right back here for “Scarface” or whatever their next feature film is.

Inside Llewyn Davis

Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)

TOBACCO INCIDENTS 543
AVG PER MINUTE 5.48
EDITION Sony Pictures Home Entertainment BLU-RAY released March 11, 2014
MOVIE SUMMARY A tired folksinger follows a cat around Greenwich Village NYC in the early 1960s.
TOBACCO IN SHORT The folksinger and title character Llewyn Davis is an irresponsible chainsmoker who visits coffeehouses where dozens of other people also smoke.
POSSIBLE SMOKESCREENS (?) The whole cat thing (whatever the fuck it is), the sad depressing songs, also the movie loops back on itself but with a slight variation of events.

TOBACCO INCIDENTS: 543

AVG PER MINUTE: 5.48

First visual frame at 0:32
Last visual frame at 99:25
Total visual running time: 98:53

# TIME ANGLE DESCRIPTION
1-2 1:50 MD A man holding a lit cigarette with long ash at center screen & a black ashtray clearly visible on the table.
This guy ain’t taking his cig to the hole, but the girl in the background happens to bring her arm up for no reason to give you a sense the completed gesture however fragmented. Already it’s abstract tobacco art.
3 2:03 MD A lit cigarette sits inside a similar black ashtray next to a woman.
4-8 2:07 ES At least four smokers & a similar black ashtray are visible in the crowd.
9-10 2:18 CU A woman ashes her cigarette into a grey glass ashtray & a black ashtray is visible eight inches away.
11-13 2:24 WS/OTS One lady holds a lit cigarette, one man takes a drag, another man exhales a puff of smoke.
Of the five people onscreen here, three of them are smoking and one is Oscar Isaak who is a pickin and a singin — he smokes later on.
14-21 2:52 WS At least five smokers, two black ashtrays & one grey glass ashtray are all visible in the crowd.
Eight incidents in one shot!!!!!!!!!!!!! And already making good use of the two different kinds of ashtrays.
22-23 3:40 WS A smoker & a black ashtray are visible in the crowd.
24 3:48 MD Smoke rises in front of the guy sitting just behind Oscar Isaak.
25-26 5:52 ES Two grey ashtrays are visible on the bar by character Poppy.
27-28 4:03 ES/2S Same two grey ashtrays are visible on the bar as Poppy talks to Oscar Isaak.
The club owner Poppy in the red shirt is the first (& also last) blast of noticeable color in this otherwise drab and depressing movie.
29 4:23 ES Silhouetted alley man raises his cigarette to take a drag.
30 4:29 ES Silhouetted alley man lowers his cigarette after taking a drag.
31 4:38 ES Silhouetted alley man raises his cigarette to take another drag.
32 4:45 ES/HH Silhouetted alley man takes a drag, drops his cigarette and walks over.
After dropping the cigarette, alley man punches Oscar Isaak square in the face with the same hand.
33 5:38 ES A pack of cigarettes & lighter are visible on the dresser as Llewyns Davis gets woke up by the cat.
34 5:59 MD A gold rimmed porcelain ashtray is visible on table behind Oscar Isaak playing guitar.
35 6:01 ES/WS Same gold rimmed porcelain ashtray is visible on table beside Oscar Isaak playing guitar.
* 6:21 ES An old Nabisco saltines tin is visible as Oscar Isaak makes scrambled eggs.
36 9:39 ES A giant red store sign reads: “Village Cigars” as Oscar Isaak exits the subway stairs.
Several other store signs are visible as well as a vertical banner for cigars & cigarettes.
37-38 10:46 ES/Dolly in A large ashtray holding a cigar is visible on character Mel’s desk & a stack of cigar boxes in background.
Mel’s desk also contains a decorative lighter and a large yellow dish containing dozens of matchbooks.
39-40 10:48 ES Same large ashtray holding a cigar & small brass ashtray are visible on Mel’s desk.
41-44 10:57 OTS Same large ashtray holding a cigar & small brass ashtray are visible on Mel’s desk. A cigar in breast pocket. Same cigar boxes in background.
45-47 11:16 OTS Same large ashtray holding a cigar is visible on Mel’s desk, same cigar in breast pocket, same cigar boxes in background.
48-50 11:22 OTS Same large ashtray holding a cigar is visible on Mel’s desk, same cigar in breast pocket, same cigar boxes in background.
51-52 11:41 MD Closer view of Mel shows same ashtray holding a cigar on desk & same cigar boxes in background.
53-55 11:47 MD Closer view of Mel shows same ashtray holding a cigar on desk, same cigar in breast pocket, same cigar boxes in background.
56-58 11:50 MD Closer view of Mel shows same ashtray holding a cigar on desk, same cigar in breast pocket, same cigar boxes in background.
59-61 11:57 MD Closer view of Mel shows same ashtray holding a cigar on desk, same cigar in breast pocket, same cigar boxes in background.
62-64 12:01 MD Closer view of Mel shows same ashtray holding a cigar on desk, same cigar in breast pocket, same cigar boxes in background.
65 12:15 LA Same cigar is visible in Mel’s breast pocket.
66 12:22 LA Same cigar is visible in Mel’s breast pocket.
67 12:29 LA Same cigar is visible in Mel’s breast pocket.
68-69 12:33 OTS Same large ashtray holding a cigar & small brass ashtray are visible on Mel’s desk.
70-72 12:37 MD Closer view of Mel shows same ashtray holding a cigar on desk, same cigar in breast pocket, same cigar boxes in background.
73-75 12:40 MD Closer view of Mel shows same ashtray holding a cigar on desk, same cigar in breast pocket, same cigar boxes in background.
76 13:16 ES A white ashtray is clearly visible on the table behind Jean.
77 14:04 ES Same white ashtray is clearly visible on the table behind Jean.
78 14:38 ES Smoke rises behind Oscar Isaak from another table.
79 14:41 MD/OTS Smoke rises behind the shoulder of an audience member & he begins to exhale smoke.
80-82 14:51 ES A pack of cigarettes & a grey glass ashtray on the table in front of Oscar Isaak & Jean, at least one smoker in background.
Jean’s bright red shirt here (albeit somewhat muted) is one of a few appearances of such a bright color.
83-86 14:58 WS At least three smokers & one ashtray are visible in the audience.
87 15:03 2S A smoker takes a drag in the background as Justin Timberlake arrives.
88-90 15:05 ES Same pack of cigarettes & ashtray on the table, also same background smoker.
91-93 15:17 ES Same pack of cigarettes & ashtray on the table, also same background smoker.
94 15:43 2S A man takes a drag in the background between Oscar Isaak & Justin Timberlake.
95-96 15:57 2S Two smokers are visible behind Justin Timberlake.
97 16:02 2S Smoke rises near same man in the background between Oscar Isaak & Justin Timberlake.
98 16:06 2S Same man behind Justin Timberlake takes a drag.
99-102 16:16 WS At least three smokers & one ashtray are visible in the audience.
103 16:23 2S Same man behind Justin Timberlake exhales some smoke.
104-106 16:38 ES Oscar Isaak gets a cigarette from the same pack now visible as Marlboros; same ashtray on table, same background smoker takes a drag.
107-109 16:50 ES Oscar Isaak holds a lit cigarette whilst drinking coffee; same ashtray on table, same background smoker takes a drag.
110-113 17:14 ES Same pack of cigarettes & ashtray on the table, same two background smokers are visible.
114-117 17:40 Dolly in Oscar Isaak holds a lit cigarette, same pack & ashtray on the table, same two background smokers are visible.
118-119 17:59 Dolly in Smoke rises in front of Oscar Isaak from his implied cigarette, same background smoker is visible.
120-122 18:17 MD Smoke rises in front of Oscar Isaak from his implied cigarette, same two background smokers are visible.
123-125 18:24 2S Oscar Isaak takes a drag from his cigarette, same two background smokers are visible.
126-128 18:40 2S Oscar Isaak takes a drag from his cigarette, same two background smokers are visible.
129-130 19:00 2S Smoke rises in front of Oscar Isaak from his implied cigarette, same background smoker is visible.
131 19:13 ES The cat sits on the window sill next to a wallet, a pack of cigarettes & a Zippo lighter.
132 20:30 MD Same pack of cigarettes is partially visible on the window sill beside a reclining Oscar Isaak.
133 20:33 ES Same white ashtray is partially visible on the table behind the yellow cereal bowl.
134 20:34 MD Same pack of cigarettes is partially visible on the window sill beside a reclining Oscar Isaak.
135 20:35 ES Same white ashtray is partially visible on the table behind the yellow cereal bowl.
136 20:44 MD Same pack of cigarettes is partially visible on the window sill beside a reclining Oscar Isaak.
137 20:50 MD Same pack of cigarettes is partially visible on the window sill beside a reclining Oscar Isaak.
138 20:53 ES Same white ashtray is partially visible on the table behind the yellow cereal bowl.
139 21:00 ES Same white ashtray is clearly visible after Troy picks up his yellow cereal bowl.
140 21:07 MD A reclining Oscar Isaak eyeballs the pack of cigarettes on the window sill.
141 21:10 ES Same white ashtray is clearly visible on the table.
142 21:14 MD Oscar Isaak sits up and reaches for his pack of cigarettes.
143 21:22 MD/Pan Oscar Isaak pulls out a cigarette with his lips and tosses the pack back on the window sill.
144 21:27 ES Same white ashtray is clearly visible on the table.
145 21:29 MD Oscar Isaak lights up his cigarette with a Zippo lighter.
146 21:33 ES Same white ashtray is clearly visible on the table.
147 21:36 MD Oscar Isaak holds a lit cigarette as he sits back on the couch.
148 21:38 ES Same white ashtray is clearly visible on the table.
149 21:40 CU Closer view of smoke rolling by Oscar Isaak from his implied cigarette.
150 21:46 MD/Whip pan Oscar Isaak holds a lit cigarette as the cat runs out the window.
151 21:49 HH Oscar Isaak holds a lit cigarette as he leans out the window.
152 20:50 MD Oscar Isaak holds a lit cigarette – view from outside the window.
153 20:51 MD Oscar Isaak holds a lit cigarette as he hits his head on the window.
154-155 20:52 MD Oscar Isaak holds a lit cigarette as he runs across the room & same white ashtray on table is visible.
* 21:55   Several brands are visible in the cupboard: Lipton tea bags, Mister Salty, and Wheaties.
* 23:00 Dolly Oscar Isaak & Jean talk outside during winter which obviously gives the appearance of exhaling smoke.
Just thought I should mention that this is another one of those curious moments just like that one back in Fargo (1996) where smoking was as easy breathing. Hey… I like New York in June, how bout you?
156 25:20 ES A man takes a drag from a cigarette in the background as Oscar Isaak walks up the street.
* 25:43   Several brands are visible in the kitchen: Heinz Ketchup, Chef Boyardee, Hellmans Mayonnaise.
157 28:50 ES/Dolly in A small brass ashtray is clearly visible on the desk of the receptionist.
158 28:54 ES A large brown glass ashtray is clearly visible on the coffee table as Oscar Isaak waits.
* 29:15 ES Justin Timberlake asks Oscar Isaak if he can play a “Gibson” (brand name guitar).
159 29:45 CU/Pan Closeup of a guitar being played pans up to show Oscar Isaak singing with a lit a cigarette in his mouth.
160 29:53 OTS Oscar Isaak takes the lit cigarette out of his mouth in front of Justin Timberlake talking.
161 29:56 CU Oscar Isaak exhales a puff of smoke & smoke rises from the implied cigarette.
162 30:01 OTS Oscar Isaak takes a drag from his cigarette while listening to Justin Timberlake.
163 30:08 CU Oscar Isaak gestures then returns the cigarette to his mouth.
164-165 30:11 3S Oscar Isaak with a lit cigarette in his mouth practicing with Justin Timberlake; a small ashtray is visible on the music stand.
166 30:18 CU Oscar Isaak with a lit cigarette in his mouth continues to practice.
167-168 30:22 3S Oscar Isaak ashes his cigarette into the same small ashtray on the music stand.
169 30:30 OTS Smoke rises in front of Justin Timberlake from Oscar Isaak’s implied cigarette offscreen.
170 30:40 WS/OTS Wide shot from the control room shows Oscar Isaak taking a drag from his cigarette.
171 30:45 3S A cigarette rests inside the same small ashtray on the music stand in front of Oscar Isaak, Justin Timberlake & Al Cody.
172 30:51 3S Same small ashtray on the music stand in front of Oscar Isaak, Justin Timberlake & Al Cody.
173 31:25 3S Same small ashtray on the music stand in front of Oscar Isaak, Justin Timberlake & Al Cody.
174 31:52 ES A man seated in the back of the control room takes a drag from a cigarette.
175 31:54 3S Same small ashtray on the music stand in front of Oscar Isaak, Justin Timberlake & Al Cody.
176 32:08 ES Same man seated in the back of control room takes a drag from a cigarette.
177 32:13 3S Same small ashtray on the music stand in front of Oscar Isaak, Justin Timberlake & Al Cody.
178 32:16 ES Same man seated in the back of control room exhales some smoke.
179 32:19 3S Same small ashtray on the music stand in front of Oscar Isaak & Justin Timberlake.
180 32:50 ES A large glass ashtray is clearly visible in front of Oscar Isaak.
Funny this large ashtray, the model used in Hudsucker no doubt, should appear now as a real down turn begins for Llewyn beginning with signing away his artist royalties on a pop song.
181 33:05 ES Same large glass ashtray is clearly visible in front of Oscar Isaak.
182 33:27 ES Same large glass ashtray is clearly visible in front of Oscar Isaak.
183-185 33:42 ES Same large ashtray holding a cigar on Mel’s desk, new large ashtray on stand in front & same cigar boxes in background.
* 33:45 MD Mel’s secretery types on a Smith-Corona brand typewriter.
Probably a coincidence but still interesting to note that even when the logo on the typewriter carriage moves behind the dish here, it is still somewhat visible in the reflection on the desk.
186 33:47 MD A man on the record poster/artwork behind Oscar Isaak appears to be smoking a cigar.
187 33:56 MD Same man on the record poster/artwork behind Oscar Isaak appears to be smoking a cigar.
188 34:04 MD Same man on the record poster/artwork behind Oscar Isaak appears to be smoking a cigar.
189 34:09 MD Same man on the record poster/artwork behind Oscar Isaak appears to be smoking a cigar.
190 34:13 MD Same man on the record poster/artwork behind Oscar Isaak appears to be smoking a cigar.
191 34:18 MD Same man on the record poster/artwork behind Oscar Isaak appears to be smoking a cigar.
192 34:23 MD Same man on the record poster/artwork behind Oscar Isaak appears to be smoking a cigar.
193 34:25 MD Same man on the record poster/artwork behind Oscar Isaak appears to be smoking a cigar.
194-196 34:30 ES Three caricatures of Mel with a cigar in his mouth are clearly visible behind Oscar Isaak — one is very similar to the previous piece.
This is a major breakthrough — what always felt like good texture on the walls here was actually some caricatures that contained cigars all along — all of which I never noticed until just now.
197-200 34:46 ES Same three caricatures of Mel with cigars & a guitar made of cigar boxes are visible behind Oscar Isaak.
201-204 34:53 ES Same three caricatures of Mel with cigars & a guitar made of cigar boxes are visible behind Oscar Isaak.
205 35:10 ES A small ashtray next to the phone is visible as Oscar Isaak enters Al Cody’s apartment.
206 35:20 ES Continued from previous: camera pans down slightly to reveal a new glass ashtray in foreground as Oscar Isaak sits on the couch.
In this modest sheltered setting bookended by lamps, Oscar Isaak is suddenly surrounded by some basic needs: apartment = shelter / plate = food / mug = drink / phone = communication / books = knowledge / records & player = entertainment / ashtrays = smoking WTF!
207 35:38 HA Same ashtray next to phone is visible as Oscar Isaak leans over to his box of records.
208 35:45 WS Same glass ashtray is clearly visible in foreground as Oscar Isaak tries to hide his box.
209 36:20 MD A man holding a cigarette is visible as Jean enters the cafe door.
210-215 36:23 ES Oscar Isaak smoking a cigarette & at least two others smoke cigarettes; also two glass ashtrays & a pack of cigarettes are visible.
216 36:30 MD Same man holding a cigarette is visible behind Jean.
217-219 36:34 OTS Oscar Isaak holds a lit cigarette; an empty pack & a glass ashtray are clearly visible on the table.
220 36:39 MD Same man holding a cigarette is visible behind Jean.
221-223 36:43 OTS Oscar Isaak holds a lit cigarette; an empty pack & a glass ashtray are clearly visible on the table.
224 36:48 MD Same man exhales smoke behind Jean.
225-227 36:51 OTS Oscar Isaak holds a lit cigarette; an empty pack & a glass ashtray are clearly visible on the table.
228-230 36:57 MD Same glass ashtray now visible in front of Jean & Llewyn’s hand puts out a cigarette. Same man holding a cigarette is visible behind Jean.
231-232 37:03 OTS Oscar Isaak finishes putting out his cigarette in the same glass ashtray & same empty pack of cigarettes are clearly visible.
233 37:06 MD Same man holding a cigarette is visible behind Jean.
234-235 37:08 OTS Same glass ashtray which is smoking & empty pack of cigarettes are both clearly visible in front of Oscar Isaak.
236-237 37:17 MD Same glass ashtray on table in front of Jean & same man holding a cigarette behind Jean.
238-239 37:20 OTS Same glass ashtray & empty pack of cigarettes are clearly visible in front of Oscar Isaak.
240 37:25 MD Same man smoking a cigarette is visible behind Jean.
241 37:35 MD Same man holding a cigarette is visible behind Jean.
242-243 37:40 OTS Same glass ashtray & empty pack of cigarettes are clearly visible in front of Oscar Isaak.
244-245 37:45 OTS Same glass ashtray & empty pack of cigarettes are clearly visible in front of Oscar Isaak.
246 37:47 MD Same man holding a cigarette is visible behind Jean.
247-248 37:50 OTS Same glass ashtray & empty pack of cigarettes are clearly visible in front of Oscar Isaak.
249-250 37:57 OTS Same glass ashtray & empty pack of cigarettes are clearly visible in front of Oscar Isaak.
251-252 38:05 OTS Same glass ashtray & empty pack of cigarettes are clearly visible in front of Oscar Isaak.
253-254 38:07 MD Same glass ashtray & same guy smoking in background behind Jean as Oscar Isaak rushes out the door.
255 38:09 WS A woman smoking a cigarette is visible through the window behind Jean.
256-257 38:34 OTS Same glass ashtray & empty pack of cigarettes are visible in front of Oscar Isaak & cat.
258-259 38:39 OTS Same glass ashtray & empty pack of cigarettes are visible in front of Oscar Isaak & cat.
260-261 38:51 OTS Same glass ashtray & empty pack of cigarettes are visible in front of Oscar Isaak & cat.
262-263 39:00 OTS Same glass ashtray & empty pack of cigarettes are visible in front of Oscar Isaak & cat.
264-266 39:06 OTS Same glass ashtray & empty pack of cigarettes are visible in front of Oscar Isaak & cat. A man in background takes a drag from a cigarette.
* 39:53 ES A General Electric refrigerator is visible; Hellmans mayo & Smuckers jam inside, Wonder bread on top.
267-268 39:53 ES Two glass ashtrays are clearly visible as Oscar Isaak gets milk fromt the refrigerator.
269-270 40:09 ES A pack of cigarettes & a tobacco pipe are partially visible on the doctor’s desk & a rack full of tobacco pipes is clearly visible in the background.
271-273 40:14 OTS Same pack of cigarettes, tobacco pipe & a glass ashtray are visible on the doctor’s desk in front of Oscar Isaak.
274-276 40:24 ES/OTS Same pack of cigarettes & tobacco pipe on desk, same rack of tobacco pipes in background.
277-278 40:27 OTS Same pack of cigarettes & glass ashtray are visible on the doctor’s desk in front of Oscar Isaak.
279-281 40:34 ES/OTS Same pack of cigarettes & tobacco pipe on desk, same rack of tobacco pipes in background.
282-284 40:38 OTS Same pack of cigarettes, tobacco pipe & glass ashtray are visible on the doctor’s desk in front of Oscar Isaak.
285-287 40:43 ES/OTS Same pack of cigarettes & tobacco pipe on desk, same rack of tobacco pipes in background.
288-290 40:45 OTS Same pack of cigarettes, tobacco pipe & glass ashtray are visible on the doctor’s desk in front of Oscar Isaak.
291-293 40:47 ES/OTS Same pack of cigarettes & tobacco pipe on desk, same rack of tobacco pipes in background.
294-296 40:53 OTS Same pack of cigarettes, tobacco pipe & glass ashtray are visible on the doctor’s desk in front of Oscar Isaak.
297 40:57 MD Closer view of the doctor; same rack of tobacco pipes in background.
298 41:07 MD Repeat of the doctor; same rack of tobacco pipes in background.
299 41:20 MD Repeat of the doctor; same rack of tobacco pipes in background.
300-302 41:39 ES/OTS Same pack of cigarettes & tobacco pipe on desk, same rack of tobacco pipes in background.
Strangely now a microscope is also visible in this repeating shot… Maybe the Coens are telling you to look more closely!
303-305 41:46 ES/OTS Same pack of cigarettes & tobacco pipe on desk, same rack of tobacco pipes in background.
306-308 41:52 ES/OTS Same pack of cigarettes & tobacco pipe on desk, same rack of tobacco pipes in background.
309-310 42:38 ES Bearded man holding a lit cigarette & an ashtray is visible on the lamp table in the Gorfein’s apartment.
311-312 42:56 ES Same bearded man holding a lit cigarette & at least one ashtray is visible.
313 43:02 OTS Smoke rises behind bearded man from his implied cigarette as he meets Oscar Isaak.
314 43:06 MD/OTS Closer view of bearded man holding a lit cigarette whilst talking to Oscar Isaak.
315 43:13 OTS Oscar Isaak dialog: “Hey, bum a cigarette?”
316-318 43:15 MD/OTS Repeat of bearded man holding a lit cigarette as he hands Oscar Isaak one from his pack.
319-320 43:18 OTS Repeat of bearded man holding a lit cigarette as he helps Oscar Isaak light his up.
321 43:30 MD/OTS Smoke rises between bearded man & Oscar Isaak from the implied cigarettes.
322-323 43:33 OTS Smoke rises beside bearded man & Oscar Isaak is holding a lit cigarette.
324-325 43:42 OTS Smoke rises beside bearded man & Oscar Isaak is holding a lit cigarette.
326 43:45 MD/OTS Smoke rises between bearded man & Oscar Isaak from the implied cigarettes.
327-328 43:48 OTS Bearded man & Oscar Isaak are both holding lit cigarettes.
329 44:00 MD Smoke rises beside Oscar Isaak from his implied cigarette.
330 44:04 MD Repeat of bearded man holding a lit cigarette.
331 44:06 MD Oscar Isaak holding a lit cigarette.
Strangely, everyone at the dinner table scene is wearing glasses except for Oscar Isaak; the one who seems to forego any kind of knowledge.
332 47:44 MD Johnny Five takes a drag from his cigarette.
333 47:52 MD Johnny Five holding a lit cigarette.
334 48:12 CU Johnny Five with a lit cigarette in his mouth.
335 48:27 CU Johnny Five with a lit cigarette in his mouth.
336 48:34 CU Johnny Five with a lit cigarette in his mouth.
337 48:56 CU Johnny Five with a lit cigarette in his mouth.
338 49:30 CU Johnny Five with a lit cigarette in his mouth.
339 50:14 CU Johnny Five with a lit cigarette in his mouth.
* 51:12 ES Several Gulf signs & a Coca-Cola machine are visible at the gas station.
340-341 51:12 ES Johnny Five & Oscar Isaak smoke cigarettes as John Goodman heads for the bathroom.
* 51:22 FS Oscar Isaak exits the gas station drinking a bottle of Coca-Cola.
342 51:24 WS Johnny Five with a lit cigarette in his mouth as Oscar Isaak exits the gas station.
343 51:32 WS Johnny Five with a lit cigarette in his mouth waiting by the restroom.
344 51:56 CU Johnny Five with a lit cigarette in his mouth.
345 52:08 CU Johnny Five with a lit cigarette in his mouth.
346 52:36 CU Johnny Five with a lit cigarette in his mouth.
347 52:53 CU Johnny Five exhales a puff of smoke.
* 56:08 ES An advertisement for Champion spark plugs is visible.
348+1 56:15   Oscar Isaak asks: “Bum a cigarette?” to which Johnny Five replies “I’m out.”
349 56:33 OTS Johnny Five lights up a cigarette with a Zippo lighter.
About 15 seconds later, Johnny Five lights up another cigarette. I guess he wasn’t “out” after all.
350-358 56:42 ES Johnny Five holds a lit cigarette & at least eight ashtrays are visible in the diner.
359-361 57:50 MD Two ashtrays & a pack of cigarettes are partially visible in front of Oscar Isaak.
362-363 57:53 2S Johnny Five holds a lit cigarette & at least one ashtray is visible.
364-365 58:10 2S Johnny Five holds a lit cigarette & at least one ashtray is visible.
366 58:20 2S Johnny Five holds a lit cigarette.
367 58:34 MD Johnny Five holds a lit cigarette.
368 58:39 MD Smoke rises in front of Oscar Isaak from Johnny Five’s implied cigarette.
369-371 58:41 WS At least three ashtrays are visible in the diner.
372-374 58:45 MD Two ashtrays & a pack of cigarettes are partially visible in front of Oscar Isaak.
375 59:49 Dolly Johnny Five exhales a puff of smoke as he enters the bathroom.
376 59:56 CU Johnny Five takes a drag then begins to flick his cigarette.
377 60:01 WS Johnny Five flicks his lit cigarette.
378 60:18 CU Johnny Five with a lit cigarette in his mouth.
* 64:09 ES/Dolly in A “No Smoking” sign is clearly visible at the back of the bus.
* 64:14 WS A “No Smoking” sign is clearly visible at the front of the bus.
379-380 64:23 ES Two men are smoking just down the dinette counter from Oscar Isaak.
381 64:36 ES/HA A black plastic ashtray full of butts is visible as Oscar Isaak opens the phone book.
382 64:51 CU/HA Same black plastic ashtray is partially visible.
383-384 64:56 WS Two black plastic ashtrays are partially visible as Oscar Isaak returns to the dinette counter.
385-389 65:09 ES/TS Two smokers & three large metal ashtrays are visible as Oscar Isaak rests at the train station.
390 67:10 ES An ashtray is clearly visible on Bud Grossman’s desk.
391 67:19 ES Same ashtray clearly visible on Bud Grossman’s desk.
392 67:47 MD/OTS A silver cigarette case & lighter are visible on Bud Grossman’s desk.
393 67:51 MD/OTS Same silver cigarette case on Bud Grossman’s desk.
394 67:58 MD/OTS Same silver cigarette case on Bud Grossman’s desk.
395 68:02 MD/OTS Same silver cigarette case on Bud Grossman’s desk.
396 68:16 MD/OTS Same silver cigarette case on Bud Grossman’s desk.
397-398 68:30 CU Same silver cigarette case is visible & Oscar Isaak holds a lit cigarette on his own album cover.
At 73:13 is where Oscar Isaak walks directly in deep snow rather than the clear pavement nearby.
399 77:24 ES The Merchant Marine clerk is holding a lit cigar.
400-401 77:26 MD Smoke rises in front of Oscar Isaak from the clerk’s implied cigar & one smoker in background.
402 77:28 ES Same Merchant Marine clerk holding a lit cigar.
403 77:30 MD Same smoker is visible behind Oscar Isaak.
404 77:33 ES Same Merchant Marine clerk holding a lit cigar.
405 77:40 MD Same Merchant Marine clerk holding a lit cigar.
406 77:43 MD Smoke rises in front of Oscar Isaak.
407 77:48 ES Same Merchant Marine clerk holding a lit cigar.
408 77:53 MD Smoke rises in front of Oscar Isaak.
409-410 77:55 ES Same Merchant Marine clerk holding a lit cigar & smoke blows in from offscreen.
411-412 78:00 MD Oscar Isaak puts his ciagarette out in an ashtray & same smoker in background.
413 78:03 ES Same Merchant Marine clerk holding a lit cigar.
414-416 78:09 MD Same ashtray on desk & same two smokers behind Oscar Isaak.
417 78:30 ES Same Merchant Marine clerk with his cigar layed on the desk.
418 78:37 ES Same Merchant Marine clerk with his cigar layed on the desk.
419 78:58 ES Two ashtrays are visible inside Oscar Isaak’s father’s room.
420 82:53 ES A black ashtray is visible on the coffee table in the lounge.
421 83:00 MD An ashtray is partially visible next to the kid eating breakfast.
422 83:21 MD Same ashtray & matchbook visible next to the kid eating breakfast.
423 83:40 MD Same ashtray & matchbook visible next to the kid eating breakfast.
424 84:00 MD Same ashtray & matchbook visible next to the kid eating breakfast.
425 84:59 ES A porcelain ashtray is clearly visible on the end table as Jean sits on the couch.
426 85:05 ES Same porcelain ashtray is clearly visible on the end table.
427-429 88:01 ES Two ashtrays are visible on the bar beside Oscar Isaak & one smoker in background.
430-434 88:24 WS At least four smokers & one ashtray are visible in the audience.
435 88:43 2S Same ashtray visible on the bar beside Oscar Isaak.
436 89:04 2S Same ashtray visible on the bar beside Oscar Isaak.
437 89:26 2S Same ashtray visible on the bar beside Oscar Isaak.
438-443 89:36 WS At least two smokers & two ashtrays are visible in the audience.
444-448 89:41 WS At least four smokers & one ashtray are visible in the audience.
449 89:44 2S Same ashtray visible on the bar beside Oscar Isaak.
450-455 89:50 WS At least four smokers & two ashtrays are visible in the audience.
456-460 89:58 WS At least four smokers & one ashtrays are visible in the audience.
461 90:03 FS Smoke rises from behind a woman in the audience.
462-463 90:13 WS Two smokers are visible in the audience.
464-467 90:24 WS At least two smokers & two ashtrays are visible in the audience.
468-471 90:26 WS At least three smokers & one ashtray are visible in the audience.
472-475 90:29 WS Two smokers & two ashtrays are visible in the audience.
476-480 90:30 WS At least four smokers & one ashtray are visible in the audience.
481-485 90:35 WS At least three smokers & two ashtrays are visible in the audience.
486 90:38 FS One smoker is visible in the audience.
487-492 90:41 WS At least four smokers & two ashtrays are visible in the audience.
493 90:44 WS At least three smokers & two ashtrays are visible in the audience.
494-498 90:53 WS At least three smokers & two ashtrays are visible in the audience.
499 90:56 OTS Same ashtray visible on the bar as Oscar Isaak shoves Poppy.
500-504 90:58 ES At least five smokers are visible in the line of people outside.
505 91:53 ES/Dolly Same ashtray visible on the lamp table in the Gorfein’s apartment.
506 92:45 CU Closeup of a pack of Marlboro cigarettes & a Zippo lighter as some coins fall on the table.
507 92:47 ES Same pack of Marlboro cigarettes & lighter visible on the table beside Oscar Isaak.
508 93:12 ES Same pack of Marlboro cigarettes & lighter visible on the table beside Oscar Isaak.
* 93:38 ES An advertisement/poster for PEZ candy is visible as Oscar Isaak walks up the street.
* 93:48 OTS A colorful movie poster for Walt Disney’s “The Incredible Journey” is clearly visible.
509-512 94:29 WS At least two smokers & two ashtrays are visible in the audience.
513 94:37 MD A man sitting just behind Oscar Isaak takes a drag from his cigarette.
514-515 95:07 WS At least two smokers are visible in the audience.
516 95:25 WS A woman in the audience takes a drag while watching Oscar Isaak perform.
517-522 95:33 WS At least three smokers & three ashtrays are visible in the audience.
523-527 96:19 WS At least two smokers & three ashtrays are visible in the audience.
528 96:47 WS One smoker is visible in the audience.
529-532 96:56 WS At least three smokers & one ashtray are visible in the audience.
533-534 97:08 ES Same two grey glass ashtrays are visible on the bar behind Poppy.
535 97:11 2S/OTS Smoke rises behind Poppy from the audience.
536 97:25 ES A smoker is visible in the audience as a young Bob Dylan-ish guy tunes his guitar.
537-539 97:30 ES A smoker & two ashtrays are visible in the audience as the young Bob Dylan-ish guy plays.
540 97:35 TS A woman begins to take a drag from her cigarette as Oscar Isaak walks by.
541 97:42 ES Same silhouetted alley man raises his cigarette to take a drag.
542 97:46 ES Same silhouetted alley man lowers his cigarette after taking a drag.
543 97:52 ES Silhouetted alley man takes a drag, drops his cigarette and walks over.

Additional Thoughts…

Another deeply heartfelt effort by the Coen brothers, Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) is actually a dry, desaturated color film about a depressed young folksinger who is somewhat down on his luck. The titular character Llewyn Davis sings songs, smokes cigarettes, and crashes on people’s couches… He even turns down music royalties in favor of the quick buck. This guy lives much like the restless cat that he chases around town.

Similar to the Coen brothers’ earlier film O’ Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000), this film features another great selection of astonishing music. Said to be the Coen brothers’ fourth collaboration with famous music producer T-Bone Burnett, many of the acoustic songs played during Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) are played complete which definitely helps the impact. The first time I saw Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) I found the film to be mildly entertaining but the songs were extremely moving as they are in many of the Coen brothers’ films.

Overall, the looping story of the folksinger’s struggle was strange (as per usual Coens) but also done with a realism that only the Coen brothers seem to provide. It’s a brilliant movie but what really happens? Mostly nothing. Seriously, the more I look at these films and their place in the universe, the more I think the Coen brothers might be wasting our time with people talking and playing songs just to advertise some cigarettes. I mean who can forget pithy dialog like this…


MEL: Ginny, where’s Cincinnati?
WOMAN: What?
MEL: Cincinnati, it’s not in here.
WOMAN: It should be in there.
MEL: It’s not in here, I’m telling you.
WOMAN: Cincinnati?
MEL: Yeah.
WOMAN: I got it.
MEL: What?
WOMAN: I got it.
MEL: You got Cincinnati?
WOMAN: Yeah, you want it?
MEL: Could I have it?
WOMAN: Should I bring it in?
MEL: Yeah.


Mind blowing. I know it was just a simple gag during the movie but shit even Llewyn Davis was bored out of his mind up onscreen during this scene, so what were we as viewers supposed to be thinking or feeling at this point? Either way, this boring scene gave viewers a chance to see all of the wonderful posters and characitures on Mel’s wall — many of them being cartoons of Mel with a cigar in his mouth. Even that in itself is seriously subtle but ultimately it all just feels like realistic background texture.

Many reviews also declare this film to be a “realistic portrayal” of the NYC folk music scene in the 1960s. You know, right before Bob Dylan blew that shit up. And it probably is a realistic portrayal… But that’s not the point. The Coen brothers really seem to want you to smell the cigarette smoke of the large crowd scenes and coffee houses depicted in this film. And they do a really good job of it. It’s obvious that alot of time was spent choreographing and working on the continuity of these kind of scenes. I can just imagine Joel & Ethan telling each of these extras exactly when to take a drag from their cigarette. The editing is really just masterful when it comes to the subtlety of the tobacco products carefully sprinkled around each of the coffeehouse scenes. Trust me, this kind of shit doesn’t just happen by accident.

Obviously it was the film Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) where I began to notice the dozens of people needlessly smoking in the underground coffeehouses. But I was noticing something else too. In this picture (just as in every other Coen brothers’ film) there was always something else going on just above our head, so to speak. There is always something just a little bit peculiar about each and every individual scene that I couldn’t quite place. Watching many of the Coen brothers’ films, there is always that nervous, anxious feeling. Most viewers probably couldn’t put their finger on it, but I’m starting to think I know exactly what that little “something” is.

Ultimately, it was Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) which helped to cause the first gigantic spark in my brain when it came to actually writing this book. When I popped in the BLU-RAY disc for Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) and arrived at the menu, I was treated to a lovely still image of the film’s star, the titular folksinger Llewyn Davis (played by actor Oscar Isaak) with his guitar poised in front of a classic microphone & a lit cigarette in his mouth; and of course some cigarette smoke billowing up nicely over a dark background. Yet it was this single solitary image — combined with my years of admiration for the Coen brothers’ films — that suddenly and unexpectedly caused the massive explosion of thought and speculation in my brain. The Coen brothers’ dirty agenda came rushing into my mind — as I mentioned, I saw it all so clearly like a nice long illustrated Egyptian scroll.

Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) is loosely based on the book “The Mayor of MacDougal Street” written by folk musician Dave Van Ronk. Some of Llewyn Davis’s music played during the movie was actually inspired by Dave Van Ronk. When you see the original book cover for The Mayor of MacDougal Street, you might actually understand how the Coen brothers came to choose this particular photo to base a story around… The cover is basically a man standing on a stoop smoking a cigarette with a cat creeping nearby.

The Coens basically recreated this same image for the “Inside Llewyn Davis” album cover seen within the movie (however the creeping cat is covered up by someone’s hand). In my opinion, the Coen brothers probably select previous works like these kinds of albums, books, or photos because it helps to absolve them from any sin… After all, the Coen brothers are not adding tobacco into the story, they are merely trying to capture the story accurately… right? I mean, they can’t reproduce a story accurately without reproducing the tobacco parts too, now can they? The Coen brothers just love to be authentic.

In this film, the titular character Llewyn Davis stays healthy by eating a single banana at his sister’s house, he stays hydrated by drinking a Coca-Cola at a gas station on the road to Chicago, but otherwise the only items we see Llewyn Davis ingest during the film are cigarettes. He can even smoke a cigarette whilst a pickin’ and a singin’.

There’s another little interesting part in Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) that I also wanted to mention. It’s that thing where the Coen brothers drop a couple of the main characters outside in the middle of winter so that their steamy breath actually looks like exhaled smoke. Around 23 minutes into this film, main character Llewyn Davis and his ex-girlfriend Jean talk outside and exhale the smoke very beautifully whilst sitting on a park bench. This steamy breath looking like cigarette smoke technique also harkens back to another Coen brothers’ mega-hit called Fargo (1996).

True Grit

True Grit (2010)

TOBACCO INCIDENTS 166
AVG PER MINUTE 1.59
EDITION Paramount Pictures BLU-RAY released June 7, 2011
MOVIE SUMMARY A young girl hires a U.S. Marshal to avenge her father’s killer & a Texas Ranger tags along.
TOBACCO IN SHORT The young girl knows how to roll cigarettes, the U.S. Marshall (played by actor Jeff Bridges) rolls & smokes cigarettes, the Texas Ranger (played by actor Matt Damon) smokes a pipe.
POSSIBLE SMOKESCREENS (?) The dramatic ending, then seeing the young girl all growns up but now missing her arm.

TOBACCO INCIDENTS: 166

AVG PER MINUTE: 1.59

First visual frame at 1:05
Last visual frame at 105:12
Total visual running time: 104:07

# TIME ANGLE DESCRIPTION
1-4 4:39 ES At least two cigars are visible & two other smokers are implied amongst the spectators at the hanging.
5-8 5:03 WS At least four spectators are seen smoking in the crowd.
9 5:08 MD Man with cigar appears in background behind young Mattie.
10-15 5:42 ES At least six clouds of smoke are visible (cloud near the gallows is huge).
16-20 5:49 WS At least five clouds of smoke are visible in shot of actual hanging.
21 5:55 MD Close view of young Mattie, a cigar smoker is visible in background.
22-24 5:59 HH At least three smokers are visible in young Mattie’s walk & talk with the sheriff.
25 6:44 MD A smoking man passes behind young Mattie.
26 7:11 MD A different smoking man passes behind young Mattie.
27 8:31 ES A man is smoking on the street corner behind young Mattie.
28 8:42 ES A decorative pipe & matches are visible near some goblets on the table.
29 8:47 ES A gold ashtray is visible on the auctioneer’s desk (sitting opposite a big gold colored lamp).
30 8:49 MD Repeat of same decorative pipe on table next to young Mattie.
31 8:57 MD Repeat of same decorative pipe as young Mattie enters the room.
32 11:50 WS Same gold ashtray is visible on auctioneer’s desk as young Mattie stands.
33 13:16 HH A small brass ashtray is visible on the lamp table.
34 13:57 HA What appears to be a glass ashtray on the nightstand.
35 14:24 HH Closeup of man smoking cigar as young Mattie enters the courtroom.
36 14:35 ES Smoke rises in front of Jeff Bridges from an implied smoker.
37 14:37 MD Same cigar man is now visible behind young Mattie as she moves closer to courtroom center.
38-39 14:41 Dolly At least two smokers are visible in the dolly around the courtroom.
40 14:59 MD At least two smokers are visible in the crowd behind young Mattie.
41-42 15:02 WS Smoke rising from an implied smoker & a bearded man smoking a cigar in courtroom.
43-44 15:11 MD Repeat of two smokers in crowd behind young Mattie.
45 15:20 HH Continued from previous shot; young Mattie moves in closer & same bearded cigar smoker man is visible.
46-47 15:25 Dolly Young Mattie’s POV of Jeff Bridges on the witness stand, smoke rising from implied smoker & giant spittoon.
48 15:34 MD Repeat of bearded cigar smoker man behind young Mattie.
49-50 15:40 FS Repeat of smoke rising & giant spittoon next to Jeff Bridges.
* 15:51 MD Repeat of bearded man behind young Mattie but now out of focus.
51 15:58 OTS Repeat of giant spittoon next to Jeff Bridges.
52 17:15 MD A smoker is seen in the background.
53-57 17:25 ES At least five smokers are visible in the courtroom crowd.
58 18:07 ES A man is seen smoking at the corner of the defendant’s table.
59-61 18:32 WS At least three smokers are visible in the courtroom crowd.
62 19:27 WS Repeat of smoking man at corner of defendant’s table.
63-64 19:30 WS Repeat of at least two smokers in courtroom crowd.
* 19:99 MD Every closer view of Jeff Bridges on witness stand has smoke billowing around him.
65 20:01 WS Repeat of smoking man at corner of the defendant’s table.
66 20:10 WS Repeat of at least one smoker in the courtroom crowd.
67 20:16 OTS A man smoking a pipe in the background crowd.
68 20:18 OTS Repeat of man smoking a pipe in the courtroom crowd.
69 20:20 OTS Repeat of man smoking a pipe in the courtroom crowd.
70 20:23 OTS Repeat of man smoking a pipe in the courtroom crowd.
71 20:35 OTS Repeat of man smoking a pipe in the courtroom crowd.
72 21:00 ES Jeff Bridges removes his tobacco pouch & cigarette papers.
73 21:09 ES Jeff Bridges holds the tobacco pouch in his mouth.
74 21:11 MD Young Mattie dialog: “Let me do that.” as she snatches Jeff Bridges’s cigarette offscreen.
75 21:14 MD Young Mattie dialog: “Your makings are too dry.” referring to the cigarette offscreen.
76 21:15 CU Closeup of young Mattie’s hands rolling the cigarette.
77 21:24 MD Young Mattie licks the cigarette paper and prepares to close it up.
78 21:28 OTS Young Mattie hands Jeff Bridges the hand rolled cigarette.
79 21:52 MD Jeff Bridges puts the unlit cigarette in his mouth.
80 21:57 OTS Closer view of Jeff Bridges with the cigarette in his mouth.
81 22:30 OTS Jeff Bridges dialog: “I don’t believe in fairy tales or sermons or stories about money, baby sister… But thanks for the cigarette.”
82 22:35 OTS Continued from previous: Jeff Bridges holds up the cigarette then puts it back in his mouth before he exits.
83 22:57 TS/Dolly Young Mattie’s POV walking by Matt Damon as he puts a decorative pipe in his mouth.
84 23:02 TS/Dolly Repeat of young Mattie’s POV as Matt Damon’s face glows brightly as he lights his pipe with a match.
85 23:08 TS/Dolly Repeat of young Mattie’s POV walking by Matt Damon smoking his pipe.
86 24:16 FS Matt Damon smokes his pipe as young Mattie wakes up in her bed.
87-88 24:25 FS Repeat of Matt Damon as he sets his pipe in an ashtray.
89 24:37 FS Repeat of Matt Damon as he sits next to his pipe in the ashtray.
90 24:52 FS Repeat of Matt Damon as he stands up next to his pipe in the ashtray.
91 25:10 MD Closer view of Matt Damon with pipe & ashtray are visible in the background.
92 25:26 MD Repeat of Matt Damon with pipe & ashtray visible in background.
93 25:30 MD Repeat of Matt Damon with pipe & ashtray visible in background.
94 25:35 MD Repeat of Matt Damon with pipe & ashtray visible in background.
95 25:45 MD Repeat of Matt Damon with pipe & ashtray visible in background.
96 26:20 MD Repeat of Matt Damon with pipe & ashtray visible in background.
97 26:26 MD Repeat of Matt Damon with pipe & ashtray visible in background.
98 26:41 MD Repeat of Matt Damon with pipe & ashtray visible in background.
99 26:46 MD Repeat of Matt Damon with pipe & ashtray visible in background.
100-101 27:22 ES At least two men are smoking outside after young Mattie exits the post office.
102 27:44 CU A Masonic ashtray is partially visible as young Mattie hands a letter across the auctioneer’s desk.
103 28:34 CU Same Masonic ashtray is visible as young Mattie counts her money out on the desk.
104 30:30 FS Jeff Bridges grabs his tobacco pouch and removes a cigarette paper.
105 30:39 FS Repeat of Jeff Bridges as he pours tobacco into the paper.
106 30:44 FS Repeat of Jeff Bridges as young Mattie snatches the cigarette makings from him.
107 31:14 MD Young Mattie puts the rolled cigarette in Jeff Bridges’s mouth as he stands up.
108 31:22 OTS Closer view of Jeff Bridges with the unlit cigarette in his mouth.
109 31:32 OTS Repeat of Jeff Bridges with the unlit cigarette in his mouth.
110 31:40 HH Jeff Bridges is seen with the unlit cigarette in his mouth.
111 31:44 HH Repeat of Jeff Bridges with the unlit cigarette in his mouth.
112 31:51 HH Repeat of Jeff Bridges with the unlit cigarette in his mouth.
113 32:00 MD Jeff Bridges lays back in his bunk and grabs a match for his cigarette.
114 32:06 MD Closer view of Jeff Bridges talking with the unlit cigarette in his mouth.
115 32:14 MD Repeat of Jeff Bridges with the unlit cigarette in his mouth.
116 32:22 MD Repeat of Jeff Bridges with the unlit cigarette in his mouth.
117 32:28 MD Repeat of Jeff Bridges with the unlit cigarette in his mouth.
118 32:36 MD Repeat of Jeff Bridges with the unlit cigarette in his mouth.
119 32:41 MD Repeat of Jeff Bridges with the unlit cigarette in his mouth.
120 32:50 WS Jeff Bridges lays back with the unlit cigarette in his mouth as young Mattie leaves.
121 33:01 ES The ashtray previously used by Matt Damon is visible on the table in young Mattie’s room.
122 33:37 ES The Grocer lays down in Jeff Bridges’s bunk with a long pipe.
123 33:40 OTS Alternate angle of Grocer laying down with a long pipe.
124 33:44 OTS Repeat of Grocer laying down with a long pipe.
125 35:17 2S Jeff Bridges pulls out his tobacco pouch as he & Matt Damon watch young Mattie cross the river.
126 35:22 2S/Zoom Jeff Bridges has a rolled cigarette now and puts it in his mouth.
127 35:30 2S Closer view of Matt Damon & Jeff Bridges with unlit cigarette in his mouth.
128 35:35 2S Repeat of Matt Damon & Jeff Bridges as he lights his cigarette.
129 35:55 ES/OTS Young Mattie rides up to Matt Damon & Jeff Bridges who is smoking a cigarette.
130 36:03 MD Closeup bust view of Jeff Bridges smoking a cigarette.
131 36:11 MD Repeat of Jeff Bridges smoking a cigarette.
132 36:21 2S Matt Damon next to Jeff Bridges with a cigarette in his hand.
133 36:34 OTS Wider view of Jeff Bridges with a cigarette in his mouth as Matt Damon dismounts.
134 36:38 HH A cigarette is visible in Jeff Bridges’s hand as Matt Damon walks over to young Mattie.
135 36:49 MD Repeat of closer Jeff Bridges smoking a cigarette whilst he watches young Mattie get a spanking from Matt Damon.
136 36:57 MD Repeat of closer Jeff Bridges smoking a cigarette.
137 37:00 OTS Wider view as smoke rolls away over Jeff Bridges’s shoulder.
138 37:08 MD Repeat of closer Jeff Bridges putting his cigarette in his mouth so he can pull out his gun.
139 37:15 CU Even closer view of Jeff Bridges with his gun drawn and a cigarette in his mouth.
140 37:23 CU Repeat of Jeff Bridges with a cigarette in his mouth as he lowers his gun.
141 37:27 CU Repeat of Jeff Bridges with a cigarette in his mouth.
142 37:35 MD Matt Damon sits by the campfire smoking his pipe.
143 37:44 FS Wider view of Matt Damon with the pipe in his mouth.
144 37:56 MD Repeat of Matt Damon holding his pipe.
145 38:08 MD Repeat of Matt Damon smoking his pipe.
146 38:16 FS Repeat of wider view of Matt Damon holding his pipe.
147 38:24 MD Repeat of Matt Damon smoking his pipe.
148 38:28 MD Repeat of Matt Damon smoking his pipe.
149 38:49 FS Repeat of wider view of Matt Damon holding his pipe.
150 38:56 FS Repeat of wider view of Matt Damon holding his pipe.
151 39:09 MD Repeat of Matt Damon holding his pipe.
152 39:21 MD Repeat of Matt Damon holding his pipe.
153 39:36 MD Repeat of Matt Damon holding his pipe.
154 39:45 MD Repeat of Matt Damon holding his pipe.
155 39:50 HH Matt Damon quickly stands up holding his pipe.
156-157 47:13 HA Jeff Bridges has a cigarette ready to roll & holds his tobacco pouch with his mouth.
158-159 47:17 HA Repeat of Jeff Bridges with unrolled cigarette & tobacco pouch.
161 47:23 HA Repeat of Jeff Bridges as he puts the hand rolled cigarette in his mouth.
162 47:27 HA Repeat of Jeff Bridges with a cigarette as he pulls out a match.
163 47:39 LA/OTS It is implied that Jeff Bridges lights his cigarette & smoke is seen rolling away.
164-165 101:38 ES At least two men are seen smoking as grown Mattie walks across the town square.
166 101:46 MD A man is smoking a cigar behind grown Mattie.

Additional Thoughts…

“The wicked flee when none pursueth.”
Quote from Proverbs 28:1 that opens True Grit (2010).

Another interesting remake by the Coen brothers, True Grit (2010) was already destined for greatness before it even came to theaters. While the original 1969 version of True Grit starred “The Duke” better known as John Wayne, the Coens’ version of True Grit (2010) featured Jeff Bridges, better known as “The Dude”. Putting Jeff Bridges in the Rooster Cogburn role would obviously attract the Coen brothers’ loyal viewers not to mention other fans of The Big Lebowski (1998), even the ones who might not have gone to see a western film.

Obviously the Coen brothers have the secret formula locked down because True Grit (2010) grossed over $150 MILLION at the box office. And although it did not win any Oscars per se, the film was actually nominated for ten Academy Awards. But the fun doesn’t stop there. According to website SceneSmoking.org, True Grit (2010) delivered ALMOST TWO BILLION viewer impressions of tobacco — the most out of any Coen brothers’ film to date. [A tobacco impression = 1 viewer watching 1 appearance of tobacco.]

Back in the original film True Grit (1969) big names like Robert Duvall and Dennis Hopper were part of the cast, however most of the tobacco incidents were delivered by none other than The Duke himself, super ultra mega star John Wayne. In Hollywood and in real life, John Wayne was “bigger than life” as they say. Besides standing almost seven feet tall, The Duke was notorious for smoking cigarettes in dozens of his films. He also had a lung removed.

“You must pay for everything in this world, one way or another… There is nothing free except the grace of god.”

The original movie contained very minimal amounts of smoking (relatively speaking) so I’m guessing that the Coen brothers probably figured that at least the same amount of tobacco (or more) would be needed for their remake. Tobacco incidents that appear in the Coens’ version of True Grit (2010) were delivered primarily by infamous actors Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon. It’s kind of funny but Jeff Bridges rolls & smokes his own cigarettes and Matt Damon smokes a large decorative pipe. The first time you see Matt Damon he is lighting up his pipe whilst relaxing on a porch; the camera tracking past him showing the young girl’s point of view, and Matt Damon’s face glowing warmly from the match light. As I mentioned before, most actors would probably do just about anything to work with the Coen brothers, and obviously Mr. Good Will Hunting is no exception.

And don’t worry, the Coen brothers’ definitely kept that old gag around where the young girl helps to hand-roll a cigarette for the much older Rooster Cogburn. This event actually happens in the original book and the 1969 film, so why wouldn’t the Coen brothers want to keep that joke rolling? Like, duhhhhh! Immediately after the young girl delivers the famous “They tell me you’re a man with true grit” titular line she snatches a cigarette away from Jeff Bridges just to be a bitch and finish rolling it for him. “Let me do that,” she exclaims followed by “Your makings are too dry!” Just as in both the original book by Charles Portis and the 1969 film, the Coen brothers were able to maintain that simple connection between two characters who are worlds apart — a connection over tobacco of all things.

A Serious Man

A Serious Man (2009)

TOBACCO INCIDENTS 178
AVG PER MINUTE 1.78
EDITION Universal Studios Home Entertainment DVD released February 9, 2010
MOVIE SUMMARY A father tries to keep his family together despite some turbulance in his life.
TOBACCO IN SHORT A sexy chainsmoking pothead neighbor & many ashtrays appear.
POSSIBLE SMOKESCREENS (?) The confusion around the student’s bribe, the sexy pothead neighbor, the blood-thirsty anti-Semetic neighbor, the unexpected news about Larry’s health, and the tornado that suddenly swirls up at the film’s closing.

TOBACCO INCIDENTS: 178

AVG PER MINUTE: 1.78

First visual frame at 0:31
Last visual frame at 100:01
Total visual running time: 99:30

# TIME ANGLE DESCRIPTION
1-3 12:00 ES A doctor pulls a cigarette from his pack & lights up, a large ashtray is also visible.
4 12:07 MD The wooden turkey in the background appears to be a decorative pipe holder.
This mirror of 4/4 incidents makes me think I should be counting the actual lighters also. The Coens are actually playing with the tobacco appearances now.
5-8 12:11 ES Repeat of doctor smoking, ashtray on desk, pack of cigarettes & offering Larry a cigarette.
9-11 12:14 OTS Repeat of doctor smoking, ashtray on desk & pack of cigarettes.
12-14 12:19 OTS Repeat of doctor smoking, ashtray on desk & pack of cigarettes.
15 12:22 MD Same wooden turkey pipe holder in background.
16-18 12:25 MD Repeat of doctor smoking, ashtray on desk & pack of cigarettes.
19 12:30 MD Same wooden turkey pipe holder in background.
20 12:39 MD A brass ashtray with handle appears in foreground on the desk.
21 12:41 MD Same brass ashtray is partially seen on desk.
22 12:51 MD Same brass ashtray is partially seen on desk in the reversal shot.
23 13:05 MD Same brass ashtray is partially seen on desk.
24 13:12 MD Same brass ashtray is partially seen on desk in the reversal shot.
25 13:14 MD Same brass ashtray is partially seen on desk.
26 13:16 MD Same brass ashtray is partially seen on desk in the reversal shot.
27 13:18 MD Same brass ashtray is partially seen on desk.
28 13:26 MD Same brass ashtray is partially seen on desk in the reversal shot.
29 14:43 ES A copper ashtray is visible outside of Larry’s office door as the student enters.
30 14:47 ES An ashtray with handle in the foreground on Larry’s desk next to a big fancy lighter.
31 14:59 MD A big brown glass ashtray with handle & stand is clearly visible next to the student.
32 16:09 ES Same ashtray with handle in the foreground on Larry’s desk next to same lighter.
33 16:17 ES Same ashtray with handle in the foreground on Larry’s desk next to same lighter.
34 16:33 CU Same ashtray with handle is clearly visible on Larry’s desk next to same lighter.
35 16:40 CU Same ashtray with handle is partially visible on Larry’s desk.
36 16:43 ES Same ashtray with handle in the foreground on Larry’s desk next to same lighter.
37 16:50 Dolly in Same copper ashtray visible outisde of Larry’s office door.
38 17:05 WS Same copper ashtray visible outisde of Larry’s office door.
39 22:50 ES Same ashtray with handle on Larry’s desk next to same lighter.
40-41 22:52 OTS Same big brown glass ashtray next to student & ashtray with handle on Larry’s desk next to same lighter.
42 22:54 OTS Same ashtray with handle in the foreground on Larry’s desk next to same lighter.
43 23:10 OTS Same ashtray with handle in the foreground on Larry’s desk next to same lighter.
44 23:18 OTS Same ashtray handle is partially visible on Larry’s desk next to same lighter.
Larry holds up the envelope of cash in front of the big brown ashtray next to the student in this shot.
45 23:25 OTS Same ashtray with handle is partially visible on Larry’s desk next to same lighter.
46 23:44 OTS Same ashtray with handle is clearly visible on Larry’s desk next to same lighter.
47 27:48 ES Danny & his friend share a wacky tobacky cigarette in the school bathroom.
48 27:48 ES Continued from previous –> Dialog referring to the wacky tobacky cigarette: “Want some of this, fucker?”
49 28:05 Dolly in/TS Same brass ashtray with handle appears in foreground on the desk.
* 28:45 ES A red Ford Mustang convertable is visible in the neighbor’s driveway.
50-51 31:00 TS Larry’s nude sunbathing neighbor grabs a lit cigarette from the ashtray and takes a drag.
52-53 33:00 ES/OTS Same ashtray with handle and brown glass ashtray are visible in Larry’s office.
* 36:22 FS Possibly a silver ashtray with lid on the lamp table next to a possible lighter.
54-56 36:58 ES Three small brown glass ashtrays are visible on tables at the restaurant.
57 41:15 MD/TS Danny smokes a wacky tobacky cigarette & passes it to his friend as the camera rolls by.
58 41:18 TS Continued from previous –> Dialog referring to the wacky tobacky cigarette: “Gimmie that fucker!”
* 47:33 ES Same red Ford Mustang convertable is visible in the neighbor’s driveway.
* 47:41 ES Possibly a big green ashtray on the living room coffee table.
59 48:39 OTS A big brown porcelain ashtray is partially visible on the lawyer’s desk.
The big fancy cigar lighter that is seen beside Larry is seen quite a few times in this scene.
60 48:51 OTS Same brown porcelain ashtray is partially visible on the lawyer’s desk.
61 48:56 OTS Same brown porcelain ashtray is partially visible on the lawyer’s desk.
62 49:01 OTS Same brown porcelain ashtray is partially visible on the lawyer’s desk.
63 49:08 OTS Same brown porcelain ashtray is partially visible on the lawyer’s desk.
64 49:34 OTS Same brown porcelain ashtray is partially visible on the lawyer’s desk.
65 49:47 OTS Same brown porcelain ashtray & new big fancy cigar lighter are clearly visible on the lawyer’s desk.
66 50:09 OTS Same brown porcelain ashtray is partially visible on the lawyer’s desk.
67 50:42 ES/Dolly in A glass ashtray is clearly visible in the foreground on the nightstand.
68 50:58 ES/Dolly in Continued from previous: another glass ashtray is visible on the table as Larry opens the blinds.
69 52:24 Crane Same ashtray with handle & fancy lighter are visible on Larry’s desk as he answers the phone.
* 53:00 Crane Columbia record club is mentioned along with Santana’s Abraxas album.
70 55:55 ES/OTS A big brown porcelain ashtray is clearly visible on the rabbi’s desk.
71 56:09 OTS Same brown porcelain ashtray is clearly visible on the rabbi’s desk in the reversal.
72 56:15 ES/OTS Same brown porcelain ashtray is clearly visible on the rabbi’s desk.
73 56:27 OTS Same brown porcelain ashtray is clearly visible on the rabbi’s desk in the reversal.
74 56:33 ES/OTS Same brown porcelain ashtray is clearly visible on the rabbi’s desk.
* 56:56 MD First appearance of the silver ashtray that is creeping into view on the left.
The masters are truly at work here — some silver sparkly historical Jewish dishes in the corner precede the ashtray so your mind probably doesn’t notice it slip into the frame.
75 57:06 MD A sparkly silver ashtray with stand is visible beside Larry.
76 57:10 OTS Same brown porcelain ashtray is clearly visible on the rabbi’s desk.
77 57:24 ES/OTS Same brown porcelain ashtray is clearly visible on the rabbi’s desk.
78 57:31 ES/OTS Same brown porcelain ashtray is clearly visible on the rabbi’s desk.
* 60:13   A Red Owl grocery store is mentioned and clearly visible.
79 60:44 ES Same silver ashtray with stand is partially visible beside the Goy character.
80 61:16 OTS Same brown porcelain ashtray is clearly visible on the rabbi’s desk.
81 61:19 ES/OTS Same brown porcelain ashtray is clearly visible on the rabbi’s desk.
82 61:42 MD Same silver ashtray with stand is clearly visible beside the Goy.
83 61:45 MD Same silver ashtray with stand is clearly visible beside Larry.
This near seamless transition puts the ashtray in full view for an easy point of reference between the two shots.
84 61:48 OTS Same brown porcelain ashtray is clearly visible on the rabbi’s desk.
85 62:01 MD Same silver ashtray with stand is visible beside Larry.
* 66:25 ES Same possibly a big green ashtray on the living room coffee table.
86 66:37 ES Same brown porcelain ashtray & lighter are clearly visible on the lawyer’s desk.
87 66:44 WS Same brown porcelain ashtray & two lighters are visible.
88 66:55 OTS Same brown porcelain ashtray & lighter are clearly visible on the lawyer’s desk.
89 67:00 WS Same brown porcelain ashtray & two lighters are visible.
90 67:03 OTS Same brown porcelain ashtray & lighter are clearly visible on the lawyer’s desk.
91 67:07 Dolly in Same brown porcelain ashtray & two lighters are visible.
92 67:20 OTS Same brown porcelain ashtray & lighter are clearly visible on the lawyer’s desk.
93 67:22 OTS Same brown porcelain ashtray & lighter are visible on the lawyer’s desk.
94 67:27 OTS Same brown porcelain ashtray & two lighters are visible.
95 67:33 OTS Same brown porcelain ashtray & two lighters are visible.
96 67:38 OTS Same brown porcelain ashtray & lighter are visible on the lawyer’s desk.
97 67:40 OTS Same brown porcelain ashtray & two lighters are visible.
98 67:42 OTS Same brown porcelain ashtray & lighter are visible on the lawyer’s desk.
99 67:45 OTS Same brown porcelain ashtray & two lighters are visible.
100 67:54 WS/HA A giant silver ashtray is clearly visible on the lamp table under two owls.
101 71:03 ES Same glass ashtray is visible on the table in Larry’s motel room.
102 71:14 ES Same glass ashtray is visible on the table in Larry’s motel room.
103-104 72:52 ES An orange ashtray & pack of cigarettes is visible on the center table.
105-106 73:03 MD Same orange ashtray & pack of cigarettes are clearly visible in the foreground.
107-108 73:30 OTS Mrs Samsky grabs a wacky tobacky cigarette and a lighter. Dialog: “Something I do for recreation.”
109 73:40 OTS Mrs. Samsky lights the wacky tobacky cigarette. Larry’s dialog: “Marijuana?”
110 73:46 OTS Mrs. Samsky extends the lit wacky tobacky cigarette to Larry.
111 73:51 OTS Larry takes the lit wacky tobacky cigarette from Mrs. Samsky.
112 73:58 OTS Larry holds up the lit wacky tobacky cigarette.
113 74:00 OTS Larry takes a drag from the wacky tobacky cigarette.
114 74:08 2S/DA Mrs. Samsky smokes a cigarette as she and Larry lay on the couch.
115 74:37 MD/DA Mrs. Samsky takes a drag from the cigarette at center screen.
This is one of the most iconic smoking shots — and quite strange looking out of context — this would be a great lead-off to a trailer etc.
116 74:55 2S/DA Mrs. Samsky holds up a lit cigarette as she and Larry lay on the couch.
Here Larry considers how meaningless his problems are as the sexy neighbor lady holds up a cigarette that fumes proudly like an olympic torch.
117-119 75:18 WS/DA Mrs. Samsky sits up to ash her cigarette; same orange ashtray & pack of cigarettes are visible on table.
120 75:31 ES Mrs. Samsky comes out of her front door holding a lit cigarette.
121 75:52 ES/OTS Mrs. Samsky walks into the background holding a lit cigarette.
122 75:59 ES/OTS Mrs. Samsky remains in the background holding a lit cigarette.
123 76:07 ES/OTS Mrs. Samsky remains in the background holding a lit cigarette.
124-126 76:14 ES Three large brown glass ashtrays are clearly visible on an otherwise empty conference table.
127 77:02 MD Same brown glass ashtray is clearly visible in front of Larry & lawyer.
128-130 77:12 WS Same two brown glass ashtrays are clearly visible as pipe smoking man enters.
131 77:14 MD Same brown glass ashtray is clearly visible in front of Larry & lawyer.
132-134 77:16 WS Same two brown glass ashtrays are clearly visible as pipe smoking man is about to sit.
135-138 77:22 WS/OTS Same three brown glass ashtrays are visible as pipe smoking man sits down.
139-141 77:30 WS Same two brown glass ashtrays are clearly visible in front of pipe smoking man.
142 77:32 MD Same brown glass ashtray is clearly visible in front of Larry & lawyer.
143 77:34 MD Closer view of pipe smoking man as he prepares his files.
144 77:38 MD Same brown glass ashtray is clearly visible in front of Larry & lawyer.
145 77:42 MD Closer view of pipe smoking man as he puts on his glasses.
146 77:47 MD Same brown glass ashtray is clearly visible in front of Larry & lawyer.
147 77:51 MD Closer view of pipe smoking man as he looks over a file.
148 77:56 MD Same brown glass ashtray is clearly visible in front of Larry & lawyer.
149-151 77:59 WS Same two brown glass ashtrays are clearly visible in front of pipe smoking man.
152 78:01 HA/CU Closeup as same man suddenly drops the pipe out of his mouth onto the table.
153 78:03 MD Same brown glass ashtray is clearly visible in front of Larry & lawyer.
154-155 78:04 WS Same two brown glass ashtrays are clearly visible on the conference table.
156 78:06 MD Same brown glass ashtray is clearly visible in front of Larry & lawyer.
157-158 78:07 WS Same two brown glass ashtrays are clearly visible on the conference table.
159-162 78:09 WS/OTS Same three brown glass ashtrays & man’s pipe are visible on the conference table.
163 78:12 FS Same brown glass ashtray is clearly visible on the conference table.
164 80:24 MD/LA Mrs. Samsky takes a drag from a cigarette in Larry’s sex dream.
165 80:30 MD/LA Mrs. Samsky exhales a puff of smoke into the air.
166 80:33 MD/LA Mrs. Samsky exhales a puff of smoke at the camera.
167 80:35 CU/DA A puff of smoke blows into Larry’s face in the reversal.
168-169 80:44 ES/HA Same two glass ashtrays are visible in Larry’s motel room.
It’s a dark room yet Larry’s ashtray is somehow bathed in light… And what about that other ashtray in the dark next to Arthur? Thankfully some headlights drift by and bring it clearly into view… How convenient, wouldn’t you say!
170 83:25 MD Same glass ashtray is clearly visible on the nightstand as Larry turns on the light.
171 83:32 MD Same glass ashtray is clearly visible on the nightstand beside Larry.
172 87:24 CU Three cigarette butts are visible on the bathroom floor by the feet.
173 94:50 MD Same ashtray with handle & fancy lighter are visible on Larry’s desk.
174 94:56 OTS Same ashtray with handle & fancy lighter are visible on Larry’s desk.
175 95:01 MD Same ashtray with handle & fancy lighter are visible on Larry’s desk.
176 95:06 OTS Same ashtray with handle & fancy lighter are visible on Larry’s desk.
177 95:14 OTS Same ashtray with handle & fancy lighter are visible on Larry’s desk.
178 95:27 OTS Same ashtray with handle & fancy lighter are visible on Larry’s desk.

Additional Thoughts…

“Receive everything happening to you with simplicity”
Quote by Roshi that opens the film.

Said to be one of the Coen brothers’ most personal films, A Serious Man (2009) follows the everyman character Larry Gopnik (played by actor Michael Stuhlbarg) as he navigates many uncertainties surrounding his marriage, his family, his career, his religion, and even his health. You can tell that the Coen brothers enjoyed crafting this story about a middle-aged man, especially the parts about Larry’s son getting stoned before his bar mitzvah.

“Very unsettling.”

Many of the tobacco incidents in this film come from Larry’s next door neighbor — a turbo sexy wierd pothead lady. She’s the calm level-headed relief in an otherwise nervous picture. Actually, she’s the only relief in Larry’s life. And although she’s constantly holding a long cigarette, she only takes an occasional drag.

Even as Larry’s sexy neighbor lady lays out sunbathing in the nude, she even blindly reaches over for her lit cigarette resting in an ashtray on a table nearby. Every time Larry encounters his sexy doe-eyed neighbor, not only is she is smoking a cigarette, but usually some free spirited hippie type music comes on which is completely removed from the rest of the film. The feeling you get from watching the scenes of the sexy wierd neighbor lady, you know that is the hip place to be during this period film.

“Letting it breathe, so important.”

Once Larry finally enters the woman’s home, they drink some iced tea and smoke some pot. These optically unique scenes shot in crooked Dutch angles deliver many bright warm colors in the otherwise drab film and they are some of the most memorable parts in the movie. Trust me — if desire is a destination, this is where Larry wants to be.

However, even as Larry fantasizes later about wild colorful sex with his neighbor, she retains her zen-like calmness and continues clutching her signature long cigarette — she even blows smoke in Larry’s face during coitus as his dream is reaching its climax.

One very interesting musical number is used throughout the movie: Jefferson Airplane’s song “Find Somebody to Love”

When the truth is found to be lies
And all the joy within you dies
Don’t you want somebody to love?
Don’t you need somebody to love?
You better find somebody to love

In this film, what exactly could the song be referring to?

[ insert image of a single cigarette ]

The Jefferson Airplane song is even referenced again near the end of the movie when Larry’s son meets with the head rabbi.

In some ways, this song does parallel the turbulence happening in Larry’s life… In other ways, this movie is much like other Coen films where stuff just happens unexpectedly. All of the Coen brothers movies are confusing in ways that other mainstream films aren’t. However, once I started filtering out the tobacco elements from these films I quickly came to the conclusion that the Coen brothers could be doing all of this random confusing stuff for just that reason — to confuse the audience. If my wacky tobacco theory is true, filmmakers like the Coen brothers probably don’t give a shit about little details like the fact that their films don’t actually make sense. To them, the goal might really be to make a two hour commercial for cigarettes, and to give it some hype so not only will people see the film, people will be talking about it as well.

I’ve realized it’s best not to think too hard beyond the two hours you spend watching the Coen brothers’ films. But on the contrary, isn’t that what we love to hate about the Coen brothers’ movies? We love to sit around and discuss these films endlessly in order to find some additional meanings or interpretations. But what if there is none? What if Joel & Ethan’s only real intention is to make viewers desire a cigarette when they leave the theater. If they don’t have any other endgame in mind, they are at least doing just that.

The first blatant smoking that appears during A Serious Man (2009) is around twelve minutes into the film. However, following the strange fable segment that appears at the start of this film, this particular tobacco reference actually appears around two minutes into the normal/modern part of the film. It’s an interesting tobacco reference because it is delivered by a doctor sitting behind a desk in his white doctor coat… Perhaps a kind of a throw back to Raising Arizona (1987)? Anyways, this doctor lights up and then offers a cigarette to Larry before they talk doctor stuff. The especially interesting part is… Similar to the plight of Young Donny in the Coen brothers’ earlier film The Big Lebowski (1998), main character Larry is the one who never touches alcohol or cigarettes but ends up with some serious health problems by the end of the film. Ultimately, this same doctor who delivered the first tobacco appearance ends the film by summoning Larry to his office for a “serious” talk.

“Accept the mystery.”

FUN FACT — A DISAPPEARING ACT

The first time you see Larry in his office during A Serious Man (2009) on the desk in the foreground sits an ashtray with a silver handle & a large decorative lighter. The second time you see Larry in his office, the same ashtray is present on the desk but the large decorative lighter has now moved a little closer toward Larry. Coincidentally, Larry is having a conversation with an unhappy student who says “…I’m not missing anything… I know where everything is.”

Burn After Reading

Burn After Reading (2008)

TOBACCO INCIDENTS 36
AVG PER MINUTE 0.40
EDITION Universal Studios Home Entertainment DVD released December 21, 2008
MOVIE SUMMARY Two fitness trainers blackmail a CIA analyst after finding his disk of encrypted files.
TOBACCO IN SHORT At one point the trainers try to sell the disk to a chainsmoker at the Russian embassy.
POSSIBLE SMOKESCREENS (?) The stupidity of most characters, George Clooney’s homemade dildo machine, the sudden death of Brad Pitt.

TOBACCO INCIDENTS: 36

AVG PER MINUTE: 0.40

First visual frame at 0:26
Last visual frame at 91:53
Total visual running time: 91:27

# TIME ANGLE DESCRIPTION
* 13:40 TS/WS A Chevy Impala slowly creeps past a jogging George Clooney.
* 14:22 CU A Dell computer is clearly visible on the desk.
1-6 14:34 HH/TS At least three cigar & three cigarette smokers are seen but actor John Malkovich swings a turkey leg instead.
In this beautifully orchestrated and broad sweeping shot inside some old historic room, dozens of men dressed in black tie all sing along to the same fraternity song. Most men are holding liquor drinks or waving cigars & cigarettes, however Malkovich Malkovich swings a turkey leg instead. Could the Coens be trying to say something about tobacco and liquor being a staple just as important as food? After all, these men have just finished a huge feast like knights at a giant roundtable.
* 18:08 MD/2S Frances McDormand & Brad Pitt looking at a Dell computer screen.
* 18:47 MD/2S Brad Pitt mentions a Brione suit.
* 22:52 CU Cards for 7-11, American Express, and Safeway are visible.
* 23:06 CU A note reads: Please pick up – Plunge – Honey Nut Cheerios.
* 27:48 MD A Buick logo is visible on George Clooney’s station wagon.
7 28:22 ES/2S A black plastic ashtray appears on the bar next to Frances McDormand.
* 28:22 ES/2S F.M. asks for an “Absolut Saketini” and R.J. asks for a “Tab”
* 34:00 Various Brad Pitt wears an Apple Ipod on his arm the entire scene.
* 36:08 MD Brad Pitt drinks a bottle of Tropicana orange juice.
* 44:52 MD John Malkovich and Brad Pitt both mention a Schwinn bicycle.
8 46:30 MD Smoke rolls into frame from an implied cigarette held offscreen by the Russian embassy guy.
9 46:39 MD Alternate angle of Russian embassy guy, smoke rolls into frame from an implied cigarette.
10 46:49 MD Repeat of Russian embassy guy, smoke rolls into frame from an implied cigarette.
11 47:02 MD Repeat of Russian embassy guy, smoke rolls into frame from an implied cigarette.
12 47:12 MD Repeat of Russian embassy guy, smoke rolls into frame from an implied cigarette.
13 47:30 MD Repeat of Russian embassy guy, smoke rolls into frame from an implied cigarette.
* 47:35 MD Russian guy asks “PC or Mac?”
14 47:42 ES Russian embassy guy stands up from his desk holding the lit cigarette implied in earlier shots.
15 47:51 WS Russian embassy guy exits through the doorway with the lit cigarette in his mouth.
16-17 48:03 HA A large ashtray & pack of cigarettes are visible on Russian embassy guy’s desk.
18 48:21 CU A large carved marble ashtray with a bear on top is visible behind the disk of secrets.
19 48:27 2S The top of the bear ashtray from earlier shot is partially visible.
20 48:29 OTS Same marble ashtray with bear is clearly visible between Frances McDormand & Brad Pitt.
21 48:38 2S Repeat of bear ashtray partially visible between Frances McDormand & Brad Pitt.
22 48:48 2S Repeat of bear ashtray partially visible between Frances McDormand & Brad Pitt.
* 51:05 Dolly in Slow dolly into the back end of a Mercedes car.
* 51:35 CU Closeup of a Motorola brand cell phone.
* 52:40 Dolly in George Clooney mentions Home Depot.
23 53:24 ES A large black ashtray is visible on the background table of the lounge.
24 53:27 OTS Part of a similar black ashtray is visible on Osborne’s table.
25 53:35 ES Repeat of same black ashtray on background table.
*
26 53:40 OTS Repeat of same black ashtray on Osborne’s table.
27 53:42 ES Repeat of same black ashtray on background table plus another momentarily.
28 53:55 ES Repeat of same black ashtray on background table.
29 53:58 OTS Repeat of same black ashtray on Osborne’s table.
30-31 54:01 WS Two similar black ashtrays adorn other tables in the lounge.
32 54:03 OTS/Pan Repeat of same black ashtray on Osborne’s table.
33-34 54:07 WS/Pan Repeat of two black ashtrays on other tables.
* Brad Pitt & Frances McDormand talk inside a Jamba Juice.
* 56:12 Various A Lexus car is seen several times in only a few minutes.
* 59:47 CU A computer desktop displaying Microsoft Windows XP.
* 68:14 MD A Sharp brand television is visible.
35 76:21 ES A silver canister ashtray full of cigarette butts is clearly visible at the top of the stairs.
36 77:08 ES Another silver canister ashtray is visible as Frances McDormand is escorted down the hallway.
* 79:00   Actor Richard Jenkins asks for a 7 & 7 drink (Seagrams Seven Crown & 7-UP).
* 80:30   Jamba Juice is mentioned by actor Frances McDormand.
* 81:17 ES What appears to be a small silver ashtray is visible momentarily.
* 82:22 CU A liquor cabinet with many brands visible including Maker’s Mark, Cointreau, and more.
* 83:15 OTS Jamba Juice is mentioned by actor George Clooney.
* 84:28 FS A Jose Cuervo box is clearly visible next to Malkovich.
* 84:59   Same Chevy Impala from earlier is visible.

Additional Thoughts…

Set in the modern day Washington D.C. area, Burn After Reading (2008) is another interesting digression from the normal Coen brothers’ historical period movies. Once again, the Coen brothers take a few more bumbling idiots — or average people, depending on how you look at it — and place them out into the wilderness. Two of the main characters are actually fitness trainers. Most of the characters pine for better things.

Burn After Reading (2008) also features an A-list of Hollywood actors, so the movie was truly destined for some kind of greatness. Famous names like John Malkovich, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, and J.K. Simmons help to make this picture hilarious but also unsettling. At times, this is one of the most human portrayals of American life, with all of its ugliness and rejection. The Coen brothers seem to love to tap into a character’s sense of despair, but as usual every actor lights up the screen in their own way. Maybe the Coens’ gift is that all of their films are distinctly unique, whatever they may be. Each film is a real departure from the last, so to speak. A real departure besides that same old tobacco thing, I mean.

Nearly the least amount of tobacco incidents scored in a Coen Brothers movie, Burn After Reading (2008) has a powerful message overall…

“Don’t sweat the small stuff…. And it’s all small stuff!”

In truth, there is very little smoking in Burn After Reading (2008) save for the fraternity banquet attended by Malkovich and the guy at the Russian embassy.

Infamous actor John Malkovich appears at the end of a single beautiful sweeping shot where dozens of men dressed in black tie all sing along to the same fraternity song as they sip drinks and smoke cigars. As you can clearly see several men with cigarettes and cigars, when the camera finds Malkovich he is swinging a turkey leg instead. Could the Coen brothers be trying to say something about tobacco being just as important as food? After all, these men have just finished a huge feast like knights at the roundtable. Above all, these men are part of a fraternity or brotherhood of some kind… Like what you would think a Skull & Bones meeting might be like.

In the case of the Russian embassy guy, the cigarette smoking doesn’t really bring anything to the character, unless you notice the way this Russian guy happens to sit around a huge office inside a big empty building all day… Yeah, I guess he has to fill the void somehow. But even with very few tobacco incidents such as this, the Coen brothers still manage to portray some kind of emotion related to smoking.

It may have the one fewest counts on tobacco references of any Coen brothers film, but don’t worry because this movie is often reviewed by critics as another one of their worst. Ain’t that always the way!? The two films with the least amounts of tobacco also happen to be the two that critics dislike. I could make a correlation here, but I think you can smell what I’m stepping in.

No Country For Old Men

No Country for Old Men (2007)

TOBACCO INCIDENTS 113
AVG PER MINUTE 0.97
EDITION Buena Vista Home Entertainment DVD released March 11, 2008
MOVIE SUMMARY A guy finds some money and goes on the run from a psychopathic killer.
TOBACCO IN SHORT Josh Brolin meets a sexy woman smoking a cigarette beside a hotel swimming pool plus occasional ashtrays.
POSSIBLE SMOKESCREENS (?) The ultra-violence and bloody gun deaths make it easy to overlook the dozens of ashtrays that appear. And Josh Brolin’s death is portrayed like a missing scene that didn’t even make it into the final cut. WTF?

TOBACCO INCIDENTS: 113

AVG PER MINUTE: 0.97

First visual frame at 0:48
Last visual frame at 116:31
Total visual running time: 115:43

# TIME ANGLE DESCRIPTION
* 10:00 ES Many old Ford trucks are seen clearly as Josh Brolin scouts around.
* WS Josh Brolin returns to his Ford truck.
* 14:11 ECU Closeup of Josh Brolin’s back pocket shows wear possibly from a round container of chewing tobacco.
* 14:23 ES A Hitachi brand television is seen with a black & white movie playing.
1 14:32 ES A gold porcelain ashtray is partially visible on the end table after Josh Brolin walks by.
2 14:35 ES Same gold porcelain ashtray visible as Josh Brolin walks down the hall.
3 14:37 ES Same gold porcelain ashtray partially visible on end table as Carla-Jean sits on the couch.
4 14:42 ES Same gold porcelain ashtray visible as Josh Brolin is at end of the hall.
5 14:46 ES Same gold porcelain ashtray visible as Josh Brolin walks back into the living room.
6 14:49 ES A green glass ashtray is visible in foreground as Josh Brolin sets his hat down back in the kitchen.
7 14:51 ES Same gold porcelain ashtray on end table in a different angle of Carla-Jean on the couch.
8 15:33 TS/Dolly in Same green glass ashtray is visible on counter near the kitchen.
* 20:56 ES A large Texaco sign & small Coca-Cola cooler are visible outside the gas station.
9 21:02 ES A display for Red Man chewing tobacco is partially visible on the counter.
10 21:09 ES Same display for Red Man chewing tobacco is partially visibly on counter.
* 21:12 OTS A Snickers sign & some Jack Links beef jerky products are visible inside the gas station.
11 32:10 ES A red ashtray is visible on the coffee table.
12 32:23 ES Same red ashtray is visible on the coffee table.
13 32:35 ES A gold glass ashtray is clearly visible on the nightstand.
14 35:49 ES Same green glass ashtray is visible as Tommy Lee Jones enters the room.
15 35:57 MD/HH Same green glass ashtray is visible as Tommy Lee Jones stares at the wall.
16 36:07 OTS Same green glass ashtray is visible as Tommy Lee Jones inspects the lock.
17 36:15 CU Same red ashtray is clearly visible in the closeup of the milk bottle.
18 36:28 ES Same gold porcelain ashtray is visible on the end table as Tommy Lee Jones sits on the couch.
19 36:25 ES Same gold porcelain ashtray is visible in repeat of Tommy Lee Jones on couch.
* 36:55 CU Same red ashtray is probably visible as Tommy Lee Jones stares into the television reflection.
20 39:08 ES A glass ashtray is visible on the table as Josh Brolin looks out the window.
21 39:16 ES Same glass ashtray is visible as Josh Brolin shuts the window blinds.
* 41:56 ES A Coca-Cola soda fountain is visible inside the diner.
22-24 42:03 OTS Three black plastic ashtrays are visible as Tommy Lee Jones eats his breakfast.
25 42:09 MD One black plastic ashtray is visible behind Tommy Lee Jones.
26 42:20 MD Same black plastic ashtray is visible behind Tommy Lee Jones.
27 42:26 MD Same black plastic ashtray is visible behind Tommy Lee Jones.
28 42:30 MD Same black plastic ashtray is visible behind Tommy Lee Jones.
29 42:36 MD Same black plastic ashtray is visible behind Tommy Lee Jones.
30 42:43 MD Same black plastic ashtray is visible behind Tommy Lee Jones.
31 43:09 Dolly out A decorative wooden pipe hangs behind the counter as Josh Brolin shops.
* 43:09 Dolly out A Coleman product display is visible inside the gun shop.
32 44:33 ES An ashtray is visible on the dresser in Josh Brolin’s motel room.
33 47:30 ES An ashtray is visible on the dresser in Javier Bardem’s motel room.
34 47:59 ES A glass ashtray is visible on the table in Javier Bardem’s motel room.
35 48:06 ES Same ashtray is visible on the dresser in Javier Bardem’s motel room.
36 53:04 ES A large black ashtray is visible on the table next to the water pitcher.
37-39 53:07 ES Same large black ashtray & gold glass ashtray are visible on tables & a new black ashtray on desk as Woody Harrelson enters.
40 53:29 OTS Same black ashtray is visible on the desk by the crystal ball.
41 53:37 OTS Same black ashtray is visible on the desk by the crystal ball.
42 53:53 OTS Same gold glass ashtray is visible on the coffee table behind Woody Harrelson.
43 54:26 OTS Same black ashtray is visible on the desk by the crystal ball.
44 54:48 OTS Same black ashtray is visible on the desk by the crystal ball.
45 54:54 OTS Same black ashtray is visible on the desk by the crystal ball.
46-48 55:03 ES Same large black ashtray & gold glass ashtray are visible on tables & black ashtray on desk as Woody Harrelson exits.
49 55:13 MD Same black ashtray is visible on the desk by the crystal ball.
50 55:28 ES/HH A gold glass ashtray is visible on the table in the hotel lobby.
A perfect example of another pointless ashtray which always seems to linger in the frame for a few seconds too long.
51 56:57 ES A gold glass ashtray is visible on the nightstand in Josh Brolin’s hotel room.
52 58:05 ES Same gold glass ashtray visible on nightstand in Josh Brolin’s hotel room.
53 58:10 CU Same gold glass ashtray on nightstand is clearly visible in a closeup.
54 58:41 ES Same gold glass ashtray is visible on the nightstand in Josh Brolin’s hotel room.
55 59:20 ES Same gold glass ashtray is visible on the nightstand in Josh Brolin’s hotel room.
56 59:56 CU Same gold glass ashtray on nightstand is clearly visible in another closeup.
57 60:51 HH Same gold glass ashtray on nightstand is partially visible for a flash.
58 61:11 HH Same gold glass ashtray is visible on the table in the hotel lobby.
59-62 61:18 Pan Four ashtrays are visible as Josh Brolin runs through the hotel lobby.
* 68:21 Pan A Corona brand beer is visible in Josh Brolin’s hand.
63 72:45 ES A small glass ashtray is visible on Javier Bardem’s motel room dresser.
64 73:25 ES A cowboy hat-shaped ashtray is visible on Tommy Lee Jones’ desk.
65 73:46 MD Same cowboy hat-shaped ashtray on Tommy Lee Jones’ desk.
66 73:59 MD Same cowboy hat-shaped ashtray on Tommy Lee Jones’ desk.
67 74:04 ES Same cowboy hat-shaped ashtray on Tommy Lee Jones’ desk.
Behold the masters at work… You might have to watch carefully now…
* 75:07 OTS Woody Harrelson holding up some flowers whilst talking to Josh Brolin in a hospital bed.
* 75:12 OTS Woody Harrelson holding up some flowers whilst talking to Josh Brolin in a hospital bed.
68 75:35 OTS Woody Harrelson lowers the flowers & a white porcelain ashtray is now visible on the table beside Josh Brolin.
Yes, a white ashtray is visible now in the third installment of this repeating angle… BTW this is a Spanish hospital that allows patients to smoke in bed.
69 75:41 OTS Same white porcelain ashtray is visible on the table beside Josh Brolin.
* 75:52   Woody Harrelson holds the flowers a back up and the ashtray is again concealed. Ha!
I’ve seen this movie a dozen times and never noticed the white ashtray in any of these shots until I was actually looking for it. WTF!
70 76:00 MD Same white porcelain ashtray is visible on the table beside Josh Brolin.
71 76:03 MD Same white porcelain ashtray is visible on the table beside Josh Brolin.
72 76:07 MD Same white porcelain ashtray is visible on the table beside Josh Brolin.
73 76:14 OTS Same white porcelain ashtray is partially visible behind Woody Harrelson.
74 76:18 OTS Same white porcelain ashtray is partially visible behind Woody Harrelson.
75 76:37 MD Same white porcelain ashtray is clearly visible on the table beside Josh Brolin.
76 77:26 ES Same white porcelain ashtray is visible on the table beside Josh Brolin.
77 78:02 MD Same white porcelain ashtray is visible on the table beside Josh Brolin.
78-80 78:07 ES/Dolly Three grey glass ashtrays are visible in the restaurant with Tommy Lee Jones.
81 78:19 OTS Same grey glass ashtray is visible on the table in front of Tommy Lee Jones.
82-83 78:24 OTS Two grey glass ashtrays are visible on tables in the diner with Tommy Lee Jones.
84 79:20 OTS Same grey glass ashtray is visible on the table in front of Tommy Lee Jones.
85 80:00 OTS Same grey glass ashtray is visible on the table in front of Tommy Lee Jones.
86 81:08 ES Two ashtrays are visible in the lobby as Woody Harrelson passes through.
87 81:41 OTS A glass ashtray is partially visible beside the phone.
88 84:04 Pan Same glass ashtray is clearly visible next to the ringing phone.
89-90 86:05 ES Two black plastic ashtrays are visible on tables flanking Tommy Lee Jones.
91 86:14 Dolly in Same black plastic ashtray is visible on table in front of Tommy Lee Jones.
92 86:20 Dolly in Same two black plastic ashtrays are visible on tables flanking Tommy Lee Jones.
93 86:30 OTS Same black plastic ashtray is visible on table in front of Tommy Lee Jones.
94 86:37 OTS Same two black plastic ashtrays are visible on tables flanking Tommy Lee Jones.
95 86:48 OTS Same black plastic ashtray is visible on table in front of Tommy Lee Jones.
* 87:36 CU A rusty bucket being used as a spittoon.
* 87:38 OTS Josh Brolin wipes his lips in the very next shot.
96 90:28 ES/TS Same black ashtray is visible on desk from earlier (#40-50).
97 90:30 ES/TS Same black ashtray is visible on desk.
98 90:31 OTS Same black ashtray is visible on desk.
99 90:32 CU Same black ashtray is visible on desk.
100 90:33 ES/TS Same black ashtray is visible on desk.
101-103 91:34 ES Same three ashtrays are visible from earlier (#37-39/46-48).
104-105 94:50 TS A woman smoking a cigarette & a black ashtray are seen by the pool as Josh Brolin walks by.
106-107 95:18 OTS Same woman smoking a cigarette & a black ashtray are seen by the pool.
108 95:25 MD Same woman smoking a cigarette & a black ashtray are seen by the pool.
109 97:20 ES A man in a white suit smokes a cigarette as Tommy Lee Jones exits from a doorway nearby.
110 101:10 ES A glass ashtray is visible on the table in the dark motel room as Tommy Lee Jones waits in the doorway.
111 101:18 ES Same glass ashtray is visible on the table in the dark motel room as Tommy Lee Jones enters.
112 102:05 MD Same glass ashtray is visible on the table as Tommy Lee Jones sits on the bed.
113 102:09 MD Same glass ashtray is visible on the table as Tommy Lee Jones sits on the bed.

Additional Thoughts…

When it was released, No Country for Old Men (2007) caused quite a stir in the media in terms of the graphic ultra-violence. Though the film features huge name actors like Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Woody Harrelson & Javier Bardem, the pacing is often very slow at times — you know, being in a desert in Texas and all — but the film always remains intriguing in that Coen brothers kinda way. A real “gettin back to yer roots” kind of flick, the psychotic behaviors and the Texas landscapes were definitely reminiscent of the Coen brothers’ first feature film Blood Simple (1984). One of the major differences this time was that the Coen brothers actually won the Oscar for Best Picture for their efforts. Really, for this crazy picture, they won the the biggest Academy Award?!

In truth, No Country for Old Men was not entirely crafted by the Coen brothers alone… The film was actually based on a novel of the same name by Cormac McCarthy. Like other instances where the Coens’ are inspired by work that features instances of tobacco, this book was no exception. Perhaps when they read No Country for Old Men for the first time and saw all of the different tobacco references already printed on several pages, it was possible that the Coen brothers figured that this story — complete with all its bloody violence & blatant tobacco use — was seriously ripe for the picking. Believe it or not, the original source novel actually contained many random tobacco instances that were left out of the Coens’ final movie. I’m not sure why, but obviously the Coens decided not to flood this movie with tobacco like some of their other films.


Tommy Lee Jones: What is it Torbet says about truth and justice?

Woman: We dedicate ourselves daily anew. Something like that.

Tommy Lee Jones: I’m gonna commence dedicating myself twice daily. Might come to three times before it’s all over.


Interestingly enough, when you pop in the DVD for No Country for Old Men (2007) the first thing that plays is a short musical anti-tobacco segment: “You don’t always die from tobacco” by Truth etc. You know that one where the guy is holding the vibrator up to his vocal cords when he sings. Yeah, that one. I guess that is supposed to balance out the tobacco incidents in the following feature film? Yeah right, not by a long shot — especially if you compare the number of DVD sales to the original box office figures. Honestly, this minuscule ad appearing before this movie is about as impactful as those other tiny mentions in the end credits where a studio didn’t receive any money for the onscreen depiction of tobacco.

In this film, the everyman character is a welder played by actor Josh Brolin. “If it can be welded, I can weld it.” Although you never actually see him weld anything. One time, when Josh Brolin’s character is out hunting in the desert, he discovers the aftermath of a gunfight and a suitcase full of money. After taking the money home, Josh Brolin’s character is on the run for his life.

At some point during the film, you see the well worn back pocket of Josh Brolin’s jeans and what looks like the outline of a chewing tobacco or snuff tin… But you never see Josh Brolin take a chew. Toward the end of the movie, Brolin arrives a motel where a woman laying next to a pool hits on him whilst smoking and drinking. Brolin turns down her advances and ends up dead in the next scene. Hmmm.


Woman: Hey mister sportin’ goods.

Josh Brolin: Hey yourself.

Woman: You a sport?

Josh Brolin: Yeah, that’s me.

Woman: I got beers in my room.

Josh Brolin: Oh well Ima, waitin’ on my wife.

Woman: Oh, that’s who you keep looking out the window for?

Josh Brolin: Mmm, half.

Woman: What else then?

Josh Brolin: Just looking for what’s coming.

Woman: Yeah, but no one ever sees that… There! That’s what’s coming. I’ll bring the ice chest out here, you can stay married.

Josh Brolin: No, I, I know what beer leads to.

Woman: Ha ha, beer leads to more beer.


Oh yeah, and that random tobacco pipe hanging in a hunting store that I mentioned earlier actually appears in this movie at incident #31 listed above.

The Ladykillers

The Ladykillers (2004)

TOBACCO INCIDENTS 240
AVG PER MINUTE 2.45
EDITION Touchstone Home Entertainment DVD released September 7, 2004
MOVIE SUMMARY A gang of misfits dig a tunnel through an old lady’s basement in order to steal a riverboat treasure.
TOBACCO IN SHORT One character is a chainsmoker who can retract a lit cigarette inside his mouth for several minutes then resume smoking it.
POSSIBLE SMOKESCREENS (?) That creepy bridge, how nearly everyone in this movie ends up dead, etc.

TOBACCO INCIDENTS: 240

AVG PER MINUTE: 2.45

First visual frame at 0:20
Last visual frame at 98:14
Total visual running time: 97:54

# TIME ANGLE DESCRIPTION
1 2:09 TS A big green glass ashtray drifts into view from background behind the sleeping deputy’s foot.
2-3 2:44 MD Repeat of sleeping deputy with same green glass ashtray in background & what appears to be a wooden bowl ashtray in foreground.
4-5 3:00 MD Repeat of deputy with same two ashtrays visible.
6-7 3:07 MD Repeat of deputy with same two ashtrays visible.
8-9 3:18 MD Repeat of deputy with same two ashtrays visible.
10-11 3:24 MD Repeat of deputy with same two ashtrays visible.
12-13 3:38 MD Repeat of deputy with same two ashtrays visible.
14-15 3:54 MD Repeat of deputy with same two ashtrays visible.
16-17 4:13 MD Repeat of deputy with same two ashtrays visible.
18-19 4:17 MD Repeat of deputy with same two ashtrays visible.
20 4:34 OTS/WS Wide view inside the sheriff’s office, same green glass ashtray is visible way in the background.
21 4:42 OTS/WS Repeat of wide view, same green glass ashtray is visible in background.
* 5:33 ES What appears to be a small green ashtray is visible on the end table.
22 5:37 ES Wide view of room; a decorative ashtray with stand is visible near the fireplace.
23 5:58 OTS Alternate view of room; same decorative ashtray with stand is visible.
24 6:20 OTS Closer view of room; same decorative ashtray with stand.
* 6:24 ES Repeat of what appears to be a small green ashtray on the end table.
25 8:22 Dolly/HH Same decorative ashtray with stand from earlier is clearly visible beside Tom Hanks.
26 8:34 OTS Repeat of Tom Hanks; same decorative ashtray with stand is partially visible.
27 8:48 OTS Repeat of Tom Hanks; same decorative ashtray with stand is half-way visible.
28 9:02 OTS Repeat of Tom Hanks; same decorative ashtray with stand is half-way visible.
29 9:14 OTS Repeat of Tom Hanks; same decorative ashtray with stand is mostly visible.
30 9:28 OTS Repeat of Tom Hanks; same decorative ashtray with stand is mostly visible.
31 9:34 MD Closer view of Tom Hanks; same decorative ashtray with stand is partially visible.
32 9:40 MD Repeat of Tom Hanks; same decorative ashtray with stand is partially visible.
33 9:55 MD Repeat of Tom Hanks; same decorative ashtray with stand is partially visible.
34 10:11 MD Repeat of Tom Hanks; same decorative ashtray with stand is partially visible.
35 18:31 ES The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – entering the room.
36 18:33 OTS/2S The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – alternate angle.
37 18:35 ES The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – repeat of view from earlier.
38 18:38 OTS/CU The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – a gun is being pointed in his face.
39 18:41 OTS/CU The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – repeat of gun closeup.
40 18:44 OTS/MD The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – alternate angle.
41 18:47 OTS/MD The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – repeat of alternate angle.
42 18:49 OTS/CU The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – repeat of earlier gun closeup.
43 18:51 OTS/CU The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – repeat of gun closeup.
44 18:53 OTS/MD The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – repeat of alternate view.
45 18:58 ECU The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – very close view of his face.
46 19:02 ECU The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – repeat of closeup face.
47 19:11 ECU The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – repeat of closeup face.
48 19:12 HA The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – smashing a guy’s head into the donut counter.
49 23:24   The old woman’s dialog: “There’s no smoking in this house!”
50 23:24 ES The General takes the cigarette from his mouth and tosses it away.
* 23:30 CU A JVC brand boom box is seen.
51 23:33 CU The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – another closeup view.
The old woman’s no smoking in the house rule lasted only 9 seconds because The General is now smoking in the basement.
52 23:51 MD The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – a short zoom in.
53 24:02 ES The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – walks over to the group table.
* 24:04 ECU A closeup of the JVC brand boom box seen earlier.
54 24:14 WS The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – repeat of group.
55 24:33 CU The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – nice bust view.
56 25:43 WS Smoke can be seen rising from The General’s implied cigarette – repeat of group.
57 26:10 WS The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – repeat of group.
58 26:21 ES The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – alternate view of group.
59 26:40 CU The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – facing the camera as Tom Hanks stands close behind.
60 27:10 CU The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – repeat of bust view.
61 27:28 CU The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – repeat of bust view.
62 27:47 WS The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – repeat of group.
63 28:04 WS The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – repeat of group.
64 28:18 OTS/WS The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – visible over Tom Hanks’ shoulder.
65 28:28 ES The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – camera pans toward the group.
66 29:03 MD The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – carrying a trash bag.
67 29:30 ES The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – seen briefly as Lump looks over the bridge.
68 29:35 ES The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – seen briefly in repeat of Lump at the bridge.
69 29:50 ES The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – leaning into the group car.
70 30:01 MD The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – exits the tunnel and begins to undress.
71 30:13 ES The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – assisting the others in the tunnel.
72 30:19 HH/Whip pans The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – quickly evacuatiing the tunnel.
73 30:31 MD The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – stepping into frame with his instrument.
74 30:35 MD The General quickly retracts his lit cigarette back into his mouth with his tongue.
75 30:41 WS/HA The General with an implied cigarette inside his mouth – seen with the group.
76 30:47 Crane The General with an implied cigarette inside his mouth – seen with the group.
* 30:57 MD The old woman comes down the steps carrying what looks like an unlit cigar but it turns out later to be a wooden flute.
77 31:00 2S The General with an implied cigarette inside his mouth – closer view this time.
78 31:05 2S The General with an implied cigarette inside his mouth – repeat of closer view.
79 31:12 HH/WS The General with an implied cigarette inside his mouth – repeat of group.
80 31:44 2S The General with an implied cigarette inside his mouth – repeat of closer view.
81 31:47 MD The General with an implied cigarette inside his mouth – solo in a nice bust view.
82 31:54   The old woman asks Tom Hanks directly: “You been smoking?!”
83 31:57 MD The General with an implied cigarette inside his mouth – repeat of bust view & shown immediately after previous dialog.
84 32:02 WS/HA The General with an implied cigarette inside his mouth – seen with the group.
85 32:06 MD The General finally tongues out the lit cigarette from inside his mouth back to his lips.
86 33:10 ES/HA Same decorative ashtray with stand from earlier is visible beside Tom Hanks & same little green glass dish.
87 33:19 ES/HA Same decorative ashtray with stand visible beside Tom Hanks.
88 33:58 ES/HA Same decorative ashtray with stand visible beside Tom Hanks.
89-90 35:42 ES The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – sitting with group at the waffle hut. A black plastic ashtray is also briefly visible on the table.
91 36:04 2S The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – sitting beside Tom Hanks talking.
92 36:17 MD Smoke blows in front of Marlon Wayons from The General’s implied direction offscreen.
93 36:19 2S The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – repeat sitting beside Tom Hanks.
94 36:23 MD Smoke blows in front of Marlon Wayons from The General’s implied direction offscreen.
95 36:30 CU The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – in a nice whip pan to closeup.
96 36:32 WS The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – repeat of wider shot of group at waffle hut.
97 37:38 MD Smoke blows in front of Marlon Wayons from The General’s implied direction offscreen.
98-99 38:07 WS The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – repeat of group at diner & same black plastic ashtray on table.
100-101 38:15 WS The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – repeat of group at diner & same black plastic ashtray on table.
102-103 38:25 WS The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – repeat of group at diner & same black plastic ashtray on table.
104 41:04 ES Same decorative ashtray with stand from earlier is clearly visible beside Tom Hanks.
105 43:17 WS Same decorative ashtray with stand & possible green glass dish are visible.
106 43:22 WS Same decorative ashtray with stand & possible green glass dish are visible.
107 46:05 ES The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – as the group works in the cellar.
108 46:26 WS The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – repeat of group in cellar.
109 47:45 WS The General with an implied cigarette inside his mouth – repeat of earlier gag.
110 48:02 WS The General with an implied cigarette inside his mouth – repeat of group.
111 48:26 WS The General with an implied cigarette inside his mouth – repeat of group.
112 48:39 WS The General with an implied cigarette inside his mouth – repeat of group.
The gag is not revealed this time however The General has a cigarette again in the very next shot/scene so you can do the math on that one.
113 49:10 ES The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – alternate view of group in cellar.
114 49:54 WS The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – repeat of group.
115 50:15 WS The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – repeat of group.
116 51:28 3S The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – smacks Lump around.
117 52:26 MD/LA The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – gesturing toward the camera.
118 52:34 MD/LA The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – running after the cat.
119 53:30 ES The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – view of group in cellar.
120 53:52 WS The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – repeat of group.
121 54:28 MD The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – solo in a nice bust view.
122 55:12 WS The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – repeat of group.
123 55:14 MD The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – repeat of bust view.
124 55:16 WS The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – repeat of group.
* 56:34 ES A Burger King drink cup & french fry container are visible.
125 57:47 ES The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – opening the security door.
126 57:50 WS The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – closing the security door.
127 58:01 WS The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – pouring cash into a bag.
128 58:08 OTS The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – alternate closer view.
129 58:13 OTS The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – facing forward this time.
130 58:15 OTS The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – repeat of alternate view.
131 58:19 OTS The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – repeat of alternate view.
132 58:21 WS The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – repeat of wider view.
133 58:26 WS The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – repeat of wider view.
134 58:33 WS The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – repeat of wider view.
135 60:04 Dolly/TS The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – crawls through the tunnel.
136 60:30 ES The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – Tom Hanks says a toast for the group in the cellar.
137 60:42 OTS Smoke rolls into frame from the The General’s implied direction offscreen.
138 60:53 OTS Smoke rolls into frame from the The General’s implied direction offscreen.
139 61:41 HA The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – group raises their glasses for the toast.
140 61:47 4S The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – group laughing after their toast.
141 62:04 Dolly The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – camera moves into the tunnel.
142 62:12 4S/Dolly The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – alternate view of group from tunnel.
143 62:24 4S/Dolly The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – repeat of view from tunnel.
144 62:35 4S The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – repeat of view from tunnel.
* 64:06 ES More Burger King products & Pepperidge Farm Goldfish crackers are visible.
Somewhere in here the decorative ashtray appears to be filled with candy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
145 64:40 HA The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – group reaches for falling paper money.
146 64:46 HA The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – repeat of group in cellar.
147 65:13 MD The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – closer view of his frozen pose.
148 65:14 CU Old woman dialog: “I told you I don’t want any smoking in this house!”
149 65:36 ES The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – group cleans up mess in cellar.
150 65:47 WS The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – repeat of group in cellar.
151 65:54 MD The General quickly retracts his lit cigarette back into his mouth with his tongue.
152 66:01 WS The General with an implied cigarette inside his mouth – repeat of group in cellar.
153 66:09 WS The General with an implied cigarette inside his mouth – repeat of group in cellar.
154 66:18 MD The General with an implied cigarette inside his mouth – closer bust view again.
155 66:23 MD The General tongues out the lit cigarette from inside his mouth back to his lips.
156 67:22 ES Same decorative ashtray with stand is visible next to Tom Hanks.
157 67:30 ES Same decorative ashtray with stand is visible next to Tom Hanks.
158 67:35 ES Same decorative ashtray with stand is visible next to Tom Hanks.
159 68:26 WS Same decorative ashtray with stand is partially visible.
160 68:30 WS Same decorative ashtray with stand is partially visible.
161 69:30   Tom Hanks dialog: “…The General here violated the cardinal rule of this house and lit himself a cigarette…”
162 71:05 ES/OTS Same decorative ashtray with stand is clearly visible as Tom Hanks sits.
163 71:12 OTS Same decorative ashtray is partially visible beside Tom Hanks.
164 71:23 OTS Same decorative ashtray is partially visible beside Tom Hanks.
165 71:31 OTS Same decorative ashtray is partially visible beside Tom Hanks.
166 71:47 OTS Same decorative ashtray is partially visible beside Tom Hanks.
167 72:01 OTS Same decorative ashtray is half-way visible beside Tom Hanks.
168 72:18 OTS Same decorative ashtray is half-way visible beside Tom Hanks.
169 72:26 OTS Same decorative ashtray is clearly visible beside Tom Hanks.
170 72:41 OTS Same decorative ashtray is clearly visible beside Tom Hanks.
171 72:57 OTS Same decorative ashtray is partially visible beside Tom Hanks.
172 73:04 OTS Same decorative ashtray is partially visible beside Tom Hanks.
173 73:20 OTS Same decorative ashtray is partially visible beside Tom Hanks.
174 73:26 OTS Same decorative ashtray is partially visible beside Tom Hanks.
175 73:47 OTS Same decorative ashtray is half-way visible beside Tom Hanks.
176 75:22 MD The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – sitting in the cellar.
177 75:38 ES The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – wide view of group scheming in cellar.
178 76:11 MD The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – repeat of sitting alone.
179 76:13 OTS The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – reversal toward Tom Hanks.
180 76:16 OTS The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – removes it to speak some wisdom.
For the first time ever, The General takes the cigarette out of his mouth to give some sage advice: “Must float like a leaf on the river of life,” he says, “…and kill old lady!”
181 76:24 OTS The General returns the lit cigarette to his mouth.
182 76:25 OTS The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – “And kill old lady,” he grunts.
183 76:29 OTS The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – reversal toward Tom Hanks.
184 76:40 OTS The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – sitting and listening.
185 76:42 OTS The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – reversal toward Tom Hanks.
186 76:55 OTS/Zoom in The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – reversal toward Tom Hanks.
187 78:19 WS/HA The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – stands with the group in cellar.
188 78:32 MD/DA The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – gets first pick at drawing straws.
189 79:19 4S/Crane The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – stands with the group.
190 79:32 ES/Dolly Same decorative ashtray with stand is visible near the fireplace.
191 79:47 Dolly in Same decorative ashtray with stand is visible near the fireplace.
192 80:56 ES Same decorative ashtray is visible as old woman stands.
193 81:17 4S/HA The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – repeat of group waiting in cellar.
194 81:24 Crane The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – repeat of group waiting in cellar.
195 81:28 4S The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – eye-level shot of group in cellar.
196 81:35 4S The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – “Must shoot,” he grunts.
197 81:45 4S The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – repeat of group in cellar.
198 81:54 4S The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – repeat of group in cellar.
199 82:07 4S The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – repeat of group in cellar.
200 82:16 MD The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – watching a fight.
201 82:35 OTS The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – repeat of watching a fight.
202 82:40 OTS The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – repeat of watching a fight.
203 82:47 3S The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – watching with Tom Hanks & character Lump.
204 82:51 3S The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – repeat with Tom Hanks & Lump.
205 83:00 LA/3S The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – walks over with Tom Hanks & Lump.
206 83:17 LA/3S The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – watching with Tom Hanks & Lump.
207 83:20 LA/3S The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – repeat with Tom Hanks & Lump.
208 83:28 LA/3S The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – repeat with Tom Hanks & Lump.
The General gets alot of haloed light in these scenes.
209 83:40 ES The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – sneaking upstairs with group.
210 85:11 LA The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – on the bridge with Lump.
211 85:16 LA The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – repeat on bridge Lump.
* 85:58   Lots of Mother Jones magazines are visible (one with Bush & the CIA on cover)
212 86:02 ES The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – comes down the stairs.
213 86:42 MD The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – face comes into view.
214 86:48 LA The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – on the bridge with Lump.
215 87:00 LA The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – repeat on bridge with Lump.
216 87:07 LA The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – repeat on bridge with Lump.
217 87:13 LA The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – repeat on bridge with Lump.
218 87:32 CU/DA The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – close view while picking straws.
219 87:46 Dolly in The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – opens the door from the basement.
220 88:05 FS/DA The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – climbs the stairs at night.
221 88:20 MD The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – closer view of illuminated face.
223 88:25 MD The General with a lit cigarette in his mouth – repeat of close view as cigarette is retracted inside.
224 88:31 ES The General with an implied cigarette inside his mouth – entering the room.
225 88:36 MD/DA The General with an implied cigarette inside his mouth – much closer view.
226 88:47 MD/DA The General with an implied cigarette inside his mouth – closer view continues.
227 88:51 OTS The General with an implied cigarette inside his mouth – looking over the old woman.
228 88:55 CU The General with an implied cigarette inside his mouth – face getting closer to camera.
229 89:00 ECU The General with an implied cigarette inside his mouth – face getting even closer.
230 89:06 CU The General with an implied cigarette inside his mouth – scared by cuckoo clock and begins choking.
231 94:37 ES A silver ashtray with stand sits between two chairs as old woman enters the police station.
232 94:39 ES Repeat of deputy from earlier shows the same green glass ashtray in background.
233 94:41 ES Repeat of silver ashtray between two chairs.
234 94:43 ES A pipe & ashtray are visible on the sheriff’s desk.
235 94:50 ES Repeat of deputy & same green glass ashtray in background.
236 95:05 ES Repeat of deputy & same green glass ashtray in background.
237 95:11 ES Repeat of deputy & same green glass ashtray in background.
238 95:15 ES Repeat of deputy & same green glass ashtray in background.
239 96:01 ES Repeat of deputy & same green glass ashtray in background.
240 96:29 ES Repeat of deputy & same green glass ashtray in background.

Additional Thoughts…

Definitely one of their silliest films to date, the Coen brothers leave the graceful period films behind for this modern day heist movie, well sort of. The Coens’ version of The Ladykillers (2004) follows a gang of idiots (led by globally infamous actor Tom Hanks) as they rent an old woman’s basement and secretly tunnel into an old-timey riverboat casino’s vault. Needless to say, each gang member receives the Coen brothers’ harsh treatment; mostly death and dismemberment.

A remake of the 1955 film, the Coen brothers version of The Ladykillers keeps a lot of the same themes around. The 1955 film featured a gang of bumbling criminals awkwardly scheming over a major score. The original film also centers around an oblivious old lady (the landlord) who ultimately triumphs in the end. Interestingly, the original picture did contain quite alot of smoking which may have been a possible reason why the Coens found it rather suitable for a modern remake.

The 1955 film starred Alec Guinness & Peter Sellers. The Ladykillers (2004) directed by the Coens obviously featured some big name celebrities as well. With actors like Tom Hanks, J.K. Simmons, and Marlon Wayans, this wacky Coen brothers’ flick was destined to deliver many laughs, but mostly people thought it was kind of stupid and ridiculous.


Tom Hanks: I am at a positive loss for words.

Marlon Wayans: Yeah, you still talking okay though.


In the original film, most of the gang members smoked as they sat around in a room plotting their heist and pretending to play beautiful music. Tobacco appears in The Ladykillers (2004) mainly in the form of cigarettes and ashtrays. Unfortunately in the Coen brothers’ remake, 100% of the cigarettes are depicted by one actor alone, and this actor even has a special skill he could exhibit onscreen..

When the oppressive homeowner lady always came creeping downstairs to check on the misfit gang, The General character would quickly retract his lit cigarette inside his mouth because he wasn’t supposed to smoke in the house. After a few minutes the lady would head back upstairs, The General character would return the cigarette back onto his lips and resume smoking. Holding a lit cigarette inside your mouth for several minutes? Phew!!! That’s a pretty flamboyant use of cigarettes by repeating this shallow gag throughout the film. Are the Coen brothers now resorting to circus tactics merely to bring attention to smoking? On a side note, this little circus gag did not appear in the original film The Ladykillers (1955).

FUN FACT – THE CAT
In The Ladykillers (2004), the house cat “Pickles” who is constantly escaping looks alot like the runaway cat in a later Coen brothers’ film called Inside Llewyn Davis (2013). In the end of this movie however, the cat runs down the road and turns left… Perhaps he is heading to NYC?

Overall, The General (played by actor Tzi Ma) was almost never seen without a cigarette in his mouth during the film… Even during his introduction at the donut shop. Actually, the only time he doesn’t have a cigarette is to give some sage advice: “Must float like a leaf on the river of life…. And kill old lady!” which is also a funny joke in the movie.

Ultimately, the arc of The General character is a funny and integral part of the movie. From the start, the old woman gave constant pleas like “There’s no smoking in this house!” and “I told you there was no smoking in this house!” but The General character just wouldn’t listen. She even asks Tom Hanks directly: “You been smoking?!” But Tom Hanks just brought more attention to tobacco by saying “…The General here violated the cardinal rule of this house and lit himself a cigarette…”

In the end, this funny little gag actually got The General character in a heap of trouble. Once while hiding his lit cigarette inside his mouth, the battle-hardened General got frightened by a cuckoo clock, done swallowed his cigarette suddenly & burned hisself, done drank a glass of water with the old woman’s dentures in it, done choked on the dentures and then done fell down the stairs, done broke his neck and done died. And that was the end of The General character. I guess he shouldn’t have been smoking at all.

Trust me, it was hilarious when I first saw the movie. Now I just see the whole act of inserting cigarettes into jokes and ultimately into films seen by millions of people as an act of somehow trying to keep cigarettes relevant in mainstream consciousness and conversation. And also to lure children and young adults into smoking. It’s not a way to keep films timeless or add any kind of texture.


Helen, thy beauty is to me
like those nicean barks of yore
that gently o’er a perfumed sea
the weary wayworn wanderer bore
to his own native shore
on desperate seas long wont to roam
thy hyacinth hair, thy classic face
the naiad airs have brought me home
to the glory that was greece
and the grandeur that was rome

Intolerable Cruelty

Intolerable Cruelty (2003)

TOBACCO INCIDENTS 32
AVG PER MINUTE 0.34
EDITION Universal Studios Home Entertainment DVD released February 10, 2004
MOVIE SUMMARY A divorce attorney falls for a woman on the hunt for wealthy husbands.
TOBACCO IN SHORT An emcee lights up after introducing George Clooney as a keynote speaker plus occasional ashtrays.
POSSIBLE SMOKESCREENS (?) The colorful lovey dovey story, the death of Weezy Joe, the tv gameshow ending.

TOBACCO INCIDENTS: 32

AVG PER MINUTE: 0.34

First visual frame at 0:55
Last visual frame at 94:51
Total visual running time: 93:56

# TIME ANGLE DESCRIPTION
* 1:03 ES First appearance of a blue Jaguar convertible automobile.
1 2:53 HH A small green ashtray is briefly visible on the nightstand where the gun is kept.
2 4:29 MD Same small green ashtray is briefly visible on the nightstand.
* 5:45   Geoffrey Rush dialog: “That’s my bloody Jag!”
* 7:09 Various The opening credits animated sequence feature lots of humans & birds exhaling little hearts almost like bubbles underwater or smoke.
When I think back on this animated opening credit sequence, I specifically remember one of the characters smoking or exhaling smoke but upon closer viewing they don’t! They are actually just “exhaling” lots of little hearts that billow up like smoke rings. Ain’t that some shit?!
* 13:00   George Clooney dialog: “I have a tab at the Mercedes dealership.”
* 15:20 ES First appearance of a silver Mercedes convertible.
3 16:34 ES An ashtray is visible on the motel room nightstand.
4 16:41 HH Same ashtray visible on the motel room nightstand.
* 16:59 CU *** Evidence of brand awareness: a television with the brand label obviously blacked out. ***
5 17:01 Dolly in A silver pedestal ashtray is visible behind Catherine Zeta Jones.
* 19:48 ES What appears to be a large glass ashtray on the coffee table in George Clooney’s office.
* 23:54 CU A Panasonic brand pencil sharpener is clearly visible.
* 26:19 CU A Sony brand television is visible.
* 26:29 ES Some Ruffles brand potato chips and Budweiser & Bud Light bottles are visible.
* 29:38 CU A pair of Reebok brand sneakers is clearly visible.
* 31:50 ES/Dolly An Enterprise Car Rental sign is visible in the background outside the diner.
* 39:00   Milkbone brand dog bones are mentioned by name.
* 42:18 MD The stone cherub in background plays a flute but it looks like a pipe.
6 44:20 ES A green glass ashtray is visible on the lamp table next to George Clooney.
7 44:31 CU Same green glass ashtray is clearly visible in this closeup.
8 45:10 ES/Dolly in What appears to be a brass ashtray on some kind of animal hoof is visible on the desk.
* 46:22 CU Some Scope brand mouthwash is clearly visible inside George Clooney’s medicine cabinet.
* 52:40 ES Some Wilson brand tennis racquets are clearly visible.
* 53:00 MD George Clooney wears an Izod brand polo shirt for tennis practice.
* 54:30 ES/Crane A Gibson brand acoustic guitar is visible.
* 59:11 OTS Man heard singing in background: “Wish I was a Kelloggs corn flake…”
Interestingly enough, this Kelloggs songs comes right after Catherine Zeta Jones’ dialog: “Surely you’ve addressed enough juries to understand the power of suggestion.”
* 59:50 ES An American Airlines jet is clearly visible.
* 60:00 ES Caesars Palace, The Mirage, and Treasure Island casinos are all visible.
9 60:32 ES/Dolly An old man lights up a cigarette as he walks behind George Clooney.
10 60:49 WS Continued from previous: a man walks behind George Clooney holding a cigarette.
11 61:00 WS Another man smoking a cigarette is visible for a split second behind George Clooney.
12 61:30 ES/Dolly in A large planter ashtray full of sand & cigarette butts sits beside the elevator as Catherine Zeta Jones & George Clooney enter.
13-14 69:33 ES/Dolly in Matching glass ashtrays are visible on the matching nightstands in the honeymoon suite.
15 71:30 MD The emcee of the matrimonial attorneys conference sits down for a cigarette after introducing George Clooney.
16 71:56 MD Repeat of emcee holding his lit cigarette near his mouth.
17 72:07 MD Repeat of emcee as smoke rises from his implied cigarette held offscreen.
18 72:26 MD Repeat of emcee as smoke rises from his implied cigarette held offscreen.
19 73:13 MD Repeat of emcee holding his lit cigarette near his mouth.
This isolated but blatant cigarette smoking by the conference emcee comes precisely during George Clooney’s climatic heartfelt speech about how love is good…
20 74:04 MD Repeat of host – smoke rises from his implied cigarette held offscreen.
21 75:17 MD Repeat of host – smoke rises from his implied cigarette held offscreen.
22 75:33 MD Repeat of host – smoke rises from his implied cigarette held offscreen.
23 75:40 WS The host’s ashtray & lit cigarette are visible as George Clooney leaves the stage.
24 76:56 ES An ashtray is briefly visible on the bar next to George Clooney.
* 77:14 Zoom/CU A Sony brand television is visible.
25 78:12 Dolly in Same glass ashtray seen earlier is visible on nightstand in the honeymoon suite.
26-27 78:21 Dolly in Same glass ashtrays are both visible on the matching nightstands.
28 78:39 OTS Same glass ashtray is visible on the nightstand behind George Clooney.
29 78:50 OTS Same glass ashtray is visible on the nightstand behind George Clooney.
30 79:04 HH Same glass ashtray is visible on the nightstand behind George Clooney.
31 81:00 ES Same brass ashtray on an animal hoof is briefly visible on the desk.
32 81:02 ES Same brass ashtray on an animal hoof is briefly visible on the desk.
* 83:52 ES A California Pizza Kitchen box & some Heineken beer bottles are visible in front of George Clooney.
* 86:21 CU A Vtech brand telephone is clearly visible.

Additional Thoughts…

Intolerable Cruelty (2003) is a real departure from the typical Coen brothers’ fare. Supposedly the Coens wrote the movie for Barry Sonnenfeld to direct but when it came time, Sonnenfeld dropped out or had other engagements so the Coen brothers decided to make it themselves. [citation needed]

“Dismiss your vows, your feigned tears, your flattery, for where a heart is hard they make no battery.”

The film Intolerable Cruelty (2003) actually registers the fewest number of tobacco incidents of any Coen brothers’ movie on my spreadsheet, for some strange reason. Cigarettes seem almost oddly missing from certain scenes of this film, and coincidentally (or not) it is often reviewed as one of the least favorite of all the Coen brother’s flicks. Do you really think that’s a coincidence? The fewest number of tobacco incidents of any Coen movie but always reviewed as the worst film in their film arsenal. Really makes ya think, doesn’t it!


George Clooney: You promised to have dinner with me once you were free.

Catherine Zeta Jones: I said I wouldn’t whilst I wasn’t which implies no promise once I am.


Though the film does contain the fewest number of tobacco incidents overall, you do see alot of other brand names instead so perhaps some kind of budget funding must have been needed in the absence of tobacco products. However, unlike the tobacco or alcohol in most Coen brothers’ films, most of these brand names are only seen or heard once.

But unfortunately the Coen brothers didn’t want to release a movie without any tobacco whatsoever… So surprisingly there is one particular moment during Intolerable Cruelty (2003) that the Coens felt just wouldn’t be complete without a cigarette break: After introducing George Clooney at a conference in Las Vegas, the emcee sits down beside the podium and enjoys a smoke while Clooney gives his difficult speech. This is essentially the only smoker in the film, but the Coen brothers were still able to carefully illustrate how smoking a cigarette might help to relieve stress at a crucial moment in your life — especially since most average viewers will identify with the humdrum emcee character rather than the devastatingly handsome keynote speaker played by George Clooney.

On another note, I noticed something very curious on the DVD bonus features for Intolerable Cruelty (2003). Interestingly, there is a series of over 30 outtakes of the guy saying “Everyone eats berries.” from the film which reminds of a Stanley Kubrick -like tendency to capture a moment perfectly. Even a mundane moment such as this which really wouldn’t make or break the film.

Also on the DVD bonus features, there is a short interview with the Coen brothers’ which happens to take place in the little wedding chapel. How priestly. I’m guessing that this is the same wedding chapel that George Clooney and Catherine Zeta-Jones get married in the film. If you think about it deeply (like I have), it’s little tricks like this that help to make the Coen brothers look like they are actually maybe doing some kind of philanthropic work rather than simply making stupid films that advertise cigarettes to the viewer.

The Man Who Wasn’t There

The Man Who Wasn’t There (2001)

TOBACCO INCIDENTS 315
AVG PER MINUTE 2.86
EDITION USA Entertainment DVD released April 16, 2002
MOVIE SUMMARY A barber blackmails his wife’s lover so he can invest in a dry cleaning business.
TOBACCO IN SHORT The barber is a chainsmoker and the wife’s lover smoke cigars.
POSSIBLE SMOKESCREENS (?) The blowjob & car accident, the strange UFO stuff, Billy Bob getting the electric chair.
TOBACCO INCIDENTS: 315

AVG PER MINUTE: 2.86

First visual frame at 0:31
Last visual frame at 110:15
Total visual running time: 109:44

# TIME ANGLE DESCRIPTION
1 1:55 HH A customer passes in front of a decorative pedistal ashtray inside the barber shop.
It’s nearly invisible the way this ashtray is revealed… The motion of the actor combined with camera movement… These boys are getting so smooth you’ll never notice!
2 2:20 Dolly in The base of the previous ashtray is visible behind some falling hair clippings.
3 2:50 CU First view of Billy Bob Thornton with a lit cigarette in his mouth.
4-6 3:00 ES Wide view inside the barber shop: Billy Bob Thornton sits in a barber chair smoking a cigarette; same ashtray from earlier is visible plus a new silver pedistal ashtray by the front door.
7 3:27 CU Billy Bob Thornton lights up a cigarette with a Zippo lighter then camera pans down to begin the hairstyle montage.
Interesting here that the narration mentions the key to being a barber but the segment begins by Billy Bob lighting a cigarette in closeup before panning down to the actual hairstyle montage.
8 3:42 CU In an exact mirror, the camera pans back up to Billy Bob Thornton smoking a cigarette directly after the hairstyles montage.
9 4:00 Dolly in A glass ashtray is visible next to the telephone as Frances McDormand gets dressed in the bedroom.
10 4:44 CU Close view of Billy Bob Thornton as he lets out a puff of smoke.
11-14 4:47 OTS Frances McDormand plays bingo beside a cigarette case & smoking ashtray, Billy Bob Thornton holds a lit cigarette & a background smoker is also visible.
Basically Doris’s cig & ashtray are invisible here because you don’t yet know she smokes… You never see Doris smoking except to take a single drag from Billy Bob’s cigarette whilst she’s in the bathtub later on.
15-19 4:51 MD Billy Bob Thornton smokes his cigarette with a pack of cigarettes & same ashtray nearby, two background smokers are visible.
20-21 4:57 CU Smoke rises in front of Frances McDormand from Billy Bob Thornton’s implied cigarette offscreen, a background smoker is also visible.
22-24 5:01 CU “Bingo!” Smoke rises behind Frances McDormand from Billy Bob Thornton’s implied cigarette offscreen, two background smokers are visible.
25-26 5:17 HH/ES Billy Bob Thornton sits on the couch smoking a cigarette; an ashtray is seen on the coffee table.
27 5:42 MD Billy Bob Thornton sits at the dinner table smoking a cigarette.
There appears to be a collection of different ashtrays in the cabinet behind Doris during the dinner sequence with James Gandolfini.
28 6:16 MD Repeat of Billy Bob Thornton sits at the dinner table smoking a cigarette.
29 6:26 MD Repeat of Billy Bob Thornton sits at the dinner table smoking a cigarette.
30 6:32 MD Repeat of Billy Bob Thornton sits at the dinner table smoking a cigarette.
31 6:38 ES Wide view of dinner table; Billy Bob Thornton is smoking a cigarette.
32 6:47 OTS Billy Bob Thornton smoking a cigarette on the front porch; the smoke glows brightly in the light.
33 7:04 OTS/Dolly out Repeat of Billy Bob Thornton smoking on the front porch.
34 7:26 OTS Smoke rises in front of James Gandolfini from Billy Bob Thornton’s implied cigarette offscreen.
35 7:38 OTS Repeat of Billy Bob Thornton as smoke rises from his implied cigarette offscreen.
36 7:41 OTS Repeat of James Gandolfini as smoke rises from Billy Bob Thornton’s implied cigarette offscreen.
37 7:49 OTS Repeat of Billy Bob Thornton as smoke rises from his implied cigarette offscreen.
38 7:54 OTS Repeat of James Gandolfini as smoke rises from Billy Bob Thornton’s implied cigarette offscreen.
39 8:00 OTS Repeat of James Gandolfini as smoke rises from Billy Bob Thornton’s implied cigarette offscreen.
40 8:05 OTS Repeat of Billy Bob Thornton as smoke rises from his implied cigarette offscreen.
41 8:07 OTS Repeat of James Gandolfini as smoke rises from Billy Bob Thornton’s implied cigarette offscreen.
42 8:12 OTS Repeat of James Gandolfini as smoke rises from Billy Bob Thornton’s implied cigarette offscreen.
43 8:18 ES Wide view of the front of the house; Billy Bob Thornton lets out a puff of smoke.
44-45 8:35 ES Repeat of wide view inside barber shop: same two ashtrays are visible from before.
46 9:09 MD An ashtray full of butts is visible on a table with the magazines.
47 9:17 MD Repeat of ashtray full of butts on a table with the magazines.
48 12:15 Zoom Billy Bob Thornton stands in the doorway smoking a cigarette.
49 12:18 ES Silhouette view of Billy Bob Thornton standing in the doorway smoking a cigarette while Frances McDormand bathes in the background.
This dramatic silhouette is one of the most iconic shots from the movie.
50 12:51 HH Continued from previous: Billy Bob Thornton moves out of silhouette & appears in a vanity mirror with a cigarette in his mouth. (bonus point!)
51 13:13 CU Closeup of Billy Bob Thornton smoking a cigarette while shaving Frances McDormand’s legs offscreen.
52 13:33 CU Frances McDormand in bathtub dialog: “Gimme a drag.”
53 13:36 CU Repeat of Billy Bob Thornton closeup as he removes the cigarette from his mouth.
54 13:39 CU Frances McDormand takes a long drag from the cigarette and hands it back to Billy Bob Thornton.
55 13:46 CU Repeat of Billy Bob Thornton closeup as he puts the cigarette back in his mouth.
56 13:51 CU Repeat of Billy Bob Thornton closeup as smoke rises from his implied cigarette offscreen.
57 13:54 ES A bright shiny ashtray appears on a table in the hotel hallway behind Billy Bob Thornton.
58 14:00 HH A small glass ashtray is revealed behind Billy Bob Thornton’s head as he steps into Dry Cleaner man’s hotel room.
59 14:08 ES Repeat of Dry Cleaner man’s hotel room; same small glass ashtray is visible on nightstand.
60 14:18 ES Repeat of Dry Cleaner man’s hotel room; same small glass ashtray is visible on nightstand.
61 14:31 ES Closer view of Dry Cleaner man’s hotel room; same small glass ashtray is visible on nightstand.
62 14:40 ES Repeat of closer view of hotel room; same small glass ashtray is visible on nightstand.
63 15:12 ES Alternate view of hotel room; same small glass ashtray is visible on nightstand.
64 15:22 ES Repeat of alternate view of hotel room; same small glass ashtray is visible on nightstand.
65 16:19 ES Repeat of alternate view of hotel room; same small glass ashtray is visible on nightstand.
66 17:05 HH Billy Bob Thornton grabs his cigarette and takes a drag after finishing a young boy’s flattop haircut.
67 17:15 MD Smoke rises in front of Billy Bob Thornton from his implied cigarette held offscreen.
68 17:27 MD Repeat of smoke rising in front of Billy Bob Thornton from his implied cigarette offscreen.
69 17:42 HA Repeat of Billy Bob Thornton smoking behind the same young boy reading a comic book.
70 17:56 HA Repeat of Billy Bob Thornton smoking behind the same young boy reading a comic book.
71-72 18:07 ES The silver pedistal ashtray & ashtray near the magazines are both visible as the boy exits the barber shop.
73 18:10 HA Repeat of Billy Bob Thornton smoking behind the now empty barber chair.
74 18:18 MD Smoke rises in front of Billy Bob Thornton from his implied cigarette held offscreen.
75 18:26 MD Repeat of smoke rising in front of Billy Bob Thornton from his implied cigarette offscreen.
76 18:35 MD Repeat of Billy Bob Thornton smoking behind the barber chair.
77-78 19:04 Dolly in Billy Bob Thornton grabs a cigarette from Frances McDormand’s vanity counter & takes a drag in the mirror.
79 19:16 Dolly in Billy Bob Thornton lights a cigarette at the Nirdlinger’s department store dance.
80 19:43 MD Billy Bob Thornton smokes his cigarette while other Nirdlinger’s guests visit him.
81-83 20:06 HH James Gandolfini removes two cigars from a cigar box, pokes holes in the ends, and hands one to Billy Bob Thornton.
84 20:30 HH Continued from previous: an ashtray is visible between profile of Billy Bob Thornton & James Gandolfini as they light their cigars.
* ??:??   [Fix this gap in time!]
85 21:16 MD Billy Bob Thornton grabs James Gandolfini’s cigar to keep him from burning himself.
86 21:26 OTS Smoke rises in front of James Gandolfini from Billy Bob Thornton’s implied cigars offscreen.
87-88 21:36 MD Billy Bob Thornton holds a cigar in each hand now.
89 21:46 OTS Smoke rises in front of James Gandolfini from Billy Bob Thornton’s implied cigars offscreen.
90-91 21:53 MD Repeat of Billy Bob Thornton holding a cigar in each hand; he puts one down in the implied ashtray offscreen.
92 22:15 MD Repeat of Billy Bob Thornton now holding only one cigar.
93 22:24 MD Repeat of Billy Bob Thornton holding a cigar.
94 22:39 MD Repeat of Billy Bob Thornton holding a cigar.
95 23:10 MD Repeat of Billy Bob Thornton holding a cigar.
96 23:18 OTS In the reversal shot toward James Gandolfini, the tip of Billy Bob Thornton’s cigar is visible.
97 23:35 MD Repeat of Billy Bob Thornton holding a cigar.
98 23:43 OTS Repeat of the reversal toward James Gandolfini, the tip of Billy Bob Thornton’s cigar is visible.
99 23:52 MD Repeat of Billy Bob Thornton holding a cigar.
100 24:00 MD Repeat of Billy Bob Thornton holding a cigar.
101 24:10 MD Repeat of Billy Bob Thornton holding a cigar.
102-103 24:22   Repeat of profile of Billy Bob Thornton & James Gandolfini: Billy Bob Thornton holds a cigar & same ashtray is visible in between.
104 24:36 FS Billy Bob Thornton lights & smokes a cigarette as he walks through empty parts of Nirdlinger’s department store.
105 25:13 MD/Dolly Billy Bob Thornton continues to smoke a cigarette as he seeks out a piano melody.
106 26:30 MD Smoke rises in front of Billy Bob Thornton from his implied cigarette offscreen.
107 26:38 MD Repeat of smoke rising in front of Billy Bob Thornton from his implied cigarette offscreen.
108 26:48 MD Repeat of smoke rising in front of Billy Bob Thornton from his implied cigarette offscreen.
109 27:03 MD Repeat of smoke rising in front of Billy Bob Thornton from his implied cigarette offscreen.
110 27:51 ES A man smoking a cigarette stands next to the hotel entrance but is ultimately covered up by James Gandolfini.
111 27:57 MD Billy Bob Thornton holds a lit cigarette as he watches from inside his car.
112 28:02 ES Repeat of smoking man standing near the hotel entrance.
113 28:06 WS First floor hallway: Billy Bob Thornton lifts the top from a cannister ashtray to grab something underneath.
114-115 28:29 Crane Second floor hallway: camera quickly raises one story to reveal similar cannister ashtray & bright shiny ashtray on table.
116 29:21 OTS Billy Bob Thornton pops out a cigarette from his pack and grabs it with his lips.
117 29:29 OTS Billy Bob Thornton is now smoking the cigarette.
118 29:41 MD Billy Bob Thornton sits down holding the lit cigarette.
119 30:02 MD Repeat of Billy Bob Thornton holding a lit cigarette.
120 30:21 MD Repeat of Billy Bob Thornton holding a lit cigarette.
121 30:25 MD Repeat of Billy Bob Thornton holding a lit cigarette.
122 30:36 MD Repeat of Billy Bob Thornton holding a lit cigarette.
123 30:51 MD Repeat of Billy Bob Thornton holding a lit cigarette.
124 30:57 MD Repeat of Billy Bob Thornton holding a lit cigarette.
125 31:55 CU Billy Bob Thornton’s hand & lit cigarette pass through the frame quickly right in front of a young boy’s face.
126 31:57 CU Closeup of Billy Bob Thornton taking a drag from his cigarette.
127 32:06 HH A man with a cigar in his mouth walks behind Billy Bob Thornton.
128 32:15 CU Repeat of Billy Bob Thornton closeup as he smokes a cigarette.
129-130 32:19 ES At least two men can be seen with cigars.
131 32:26 OTS Billy Bob Thornton walks over with a lit cigarette in his hand.
132 33:05 HH Wide view of walking Frances McDormand & Billy Bob Thornton with a cigarette in his hand.
133 33:07 OTS Closer view of talking Frances McDormand & Billy Bob Thornton as he exhales a puff of smoke.
134 34:30 Zoom in Same glass ashtray next to phone as Billy Bob Thornton carries Frances McDormand to bed (seen previously in #9 – getting dressed).
135 35:18 HH Same glass ashtray is seen again as the phone rings & Billy Bob Thornton answers.
136 39:12 HH A large decorative ashtray is seen on James Gandolfini’s desk as he throws Billy Bob Thornton around.
* 38:05 Dolly in What appears to be a leather cigar case that would hold two cigars is visible on James Gandolfini’s desk.
* 38:05 Dolly in What appears to be a cigarette case with a Zippo lighter on top is also visible on James Gandolfini’s desk.
* 39:46 OTS Billy Bob Thornton stabs James Gandolfini in the neck with the small cigar tool (seen previously in #81-83).
137 40:10 Pan Camera pans up to show the same decorative ashtray & cigar case on the messy desk.
138 43:51 HH Billy Bob Thornton with cigarette in hand as he exits the barber shop with the two police detectives.
139-140 43:55 ES Billy Bob Thornton with cigarette in hand & one of the detectives has a cigarette in his mouth outside the barber shop.
141-142 44:02 2S In a closer view, one detective takes a drag & the other pulls out his pack of cigarettes.
143-145 44:10 2S Repeat of two detectives; one smokes & the other offers Billy Bob Thornton a cigarette with dialog: “Cigarette?”
Would the Coen brothers really go to this much trouble to illustrate how stupid this police detective is by offering a cigarette to someone who’s already holding one? Obviously, these are not the world’s brightest detectives, but this really just seems like one more way to flash some cigarettes across the screen — virtually offering one to the audience.
146 44:17 MD Billy Bob Thornton gives a look and raises his hand into frame holding a lit cigarette.
147-148 44:19 2S Repeat of two detectives; one smokes and the other lights his cigarette with a Zippo lighter.
149-150 44:45 2S Repeat of two detectives; both continue smoking their cigarette.
151-152 44:52 2S Repeat of two detectives; both continue smoking their cigarette.
153-154 45:09 2S Repeat of two detectives; both continue smoking their cigarette.
155-156 45:15 2S Repeat of two detectives; both continue smoking their cigarette.
157-158 45:27 2S Repeat of two detectives; both continue smoking their cigarette.
* 46:30 MD A whiskey bottle with a Rosewood brand label is seen on Walter Abundis’ porch table.
159 48:12 MD Billy Bob Thornton licks his lips and pulls an unlit cigarette from the pack with his mouth.
160 48:26 MD Repeat of Billy Bob Thornton as he exhales a very small puff of smoke.
161 48:42 MD Repeat of Billy Bob Thornton as he exhales another puff of smoke.
162 48:48 MD Repeat of Billy Bob Thornton as he exhales another puff of smoke.
163 48:56 MD Repeat of Billy Bob Thornton as he exhales another puff of smoke.
164-165 49:10 Dolly out Camera pulls back to reveal Billy Bob Thornton’s hand holding a lit cigarette & a pack of cigarettes with Zippo on top.
166 49:17 MD Bust view of Billy Bob Thornton as he smokes his cigarette while waiting in the prison visiting room.
167-168 49:30 MD Wider view of Billy Bob Thornton holding a lit cigarette while same pack is visible on table.
169-170 49:34 ES Perpendicular view of prison visiting room shows Billy Bob Thornton with cigarette & same pack on table as Frances McDormand arrives.
171-172 49:44 OTS Repeat of wider Billy Bob Thornton with lit cigarette & pack on table, Frances McDormand now sitting in foreground.
173 49:48 OTS Reversal shot toward Frances McDormand shows smoke rising from Billy Bob Thornton’s cigarette held just offscreen.
174-175 49:51 OTS Repeat of wider Billy Bob Thornton with lit cigarette & pack on table.
176 50:00 OTS Repeat of Frances McDormand reversal as Billy Bob Thornton’s cigarette hand slides Frances McDormand her glasses.
177-178 50:03 OTS Repeat of wider Billy Bob Thornton with lit cigarette & pack on table.
179 50:08 OTS Repeat of Frances McDormand reversal with smoke rising from Billy Bob Thornton’s implied cigarette.
180-181 50:13 OTS Repeat of wider Billy Bob Thornton with lit cigarette & pack on table.
182 50:15 OTS Repeat of Frances McDormand reversal with smoke rising from Billy Bob Thornton’s implied cigarette.
183-184 50:20 OTS Repeat of wider Billy Bob Thornton with lit cigarette & pack on table.
185 50:25 MD Closer view of Frances McDormand with smoke rising from Billy Bob Thornton’s implied cigarette.
186 50:27 MD Closer view of Billy Bob Thornton with smoke rising from the implied cigarette.
187 50:30 MD Repeat of Frances McDormand close view with smoke rolling across the screen.
188 50:41 MD Repeat of Billy Bob Thornton close view with smoke rising from his implied cigarette.
189 50:45 OTS Repeat of Frances McDormand wider view with smoke rising from Billy Bob Thornton’s implied cigarette.
190 50:52 ES Repeat of perpendicular view of visiting room shows Billy Bob Thornton smoking a cigarette.
191 50:57 MD Repeat of Frances McDormand close view with smoke rolling across the screen.
192 51:03 MD Repeat of Billy Bob Thornton close view as he exhales some smoke.
193 51:09 MD Repeat of Frances McDormand close view with smoke rolling across the screen.
194 51:13 MD Repeat of Billy Bob Thornton close view as smoke rises from his implied cigarette.
195 51:15 MD Repeat of Frances McDormand close view with smoke rolling across the screen.
196-197 51:21 ES Billy Bob Thornton sitting in barber chair with a lit cigarette in hand, same pedistal ashtray is visible in background.
198-199 51:40 ES Billy Bob Thornton attempts to light a cigarette while waiting in the bank lobby, another pedistal ashtray is clearly visible.
200-201 52:10 ES/Pan up Repeat of Billy Bob Thornton with an unlit cigarette and pedistal ashtray is visible as Frank stands up.
202 52:14 ES Repeat of Billy Bob Thornton with an unlit cigarette in his mouth.
203 52:24 ES Repeat of Billy Bob Thornton with an unlit cigarette in his mouth.
204 52:43 HA Alternate view of Billy Bob Thornton with an unlit cigarette in his mouth.
205-209 52:52 WS Wide view of bank lobby show Billy Bob Thornton with cigarette, a pack sitting atop his hat & three matching pedistal ashtrays nearby.
Billy Bob Thornton is literally surrounded by ashtrays in this shot and yet he was unable to light his cigarette before, getting only sparks from his lighter.
210-212 53:09 Zoom in Closer view of Billy Bob Thornton in bank lobby, same pack sitting atop his hat & one pedistal ashtray are clearly visible, Billy Bob Thornton finally lights up.
213 53:34 ES Billy Bob Thornton takes a drag and flicks his cigarette before walking across the street.
214 55:25 CU Closeup of Billy Bob Thornton taking a drag from his cigarette whilst driving.
215 55:40 TS At least one man can be seen smoking in the sidewalk crowd.
* 60:17 HH Freddy Reidenschneider mentions James Gandolfini’s little cigar trimmer tool / murder weapon.
216-218 63:25 Dolly in Inside the hotel lobby Billy Bob Thornton with a cigarette in his mouth & a man in background ashes into a pedistal ashtray.
219 64:47 Crane A large glass ashtray is momentarily visible on the counter behind the guy in the barber chair.
220 65:10 Dolly in Billy Bob Thornton takes a drag from his cigarette in the middle of barbering someone.
221-222 65:58 ES Billy Bob Thornton takes a drag from his cigarette & the same pedistal ashtray is visible in background.
223 66:17 CU Repeat of closeup Billy Bob Thornton taking a drag from his cigarette whilst driving.
224 66:25 CU Alternate closeup of Billy Bob Thornton taking a drag from his cigarette whilst driving.
225 75:24 TS Billy Bob Thornton steps out of a deep shadow and walks toward camera with a lit cigarette in his mouth.
226 75:35 OTS Reversal shows smoke rising over Billy Bob Thornton’s shoulder.
227 75:42 MD Closer view of Billy Bob Thornton smoking a cigarette as he talks to young Scarlett Johansson.
228 76:00 2S Smoke is seen rising from Billy Bob Thornton’s implied cigarette held offscreen.
229 76:05 MD Repeat of Billy Bob Thornton with smoke rising from his implied cigarette.
230 76:10 MD Repeat of Billy Bob Thornton as he takes a drag from his cigarette.
231 76:21 MD Repeat of Billy Bob Thornton as he exhales a puff of smoke.
232 76:43 WS Billy Bob Thornton walks away with a lit cigarette in his hand.
233 79:30 ES The pedistal ashtray is visible next to Billy Bob Thornton sitting in the barber shop.
234-235 80:05 Zoom out Billy Bob Thornton with a cigarette in his mouth whilst cutting someone’s hair, his personal ashtray is finally visible.
236 80:37 MD/TS Billy Bob Thornton with a cigarette in his mouth, lights up whilst walking down the street.
237 80:57 MD/TS Billy Bob Thornton with a cigarette in his mouth however the cig is much shorter now as continues walking home.
A girl jumpropes in her front yard in the background of Billy Bob Thornton’s head & cigarette as he arrives home.
238 81:04 HH/Dolly in Two ashtrays are visible on tables as Billy Bob Thornton sits on the couch.
* 81:50 CU The Life magazine article on dry cleaning titled “Next to Godliness” appears here.
239-240 82:30 ES/FS An ashtray & pack of cigarettes is visible next to Billy Bob Thornton on the magazine table.
241-242 82:36 OTS Repeat of ashtray & pack of cigarettes next to Billy Bob Thornton on the magazine table.
243-245 82:53 ES EAST-Three glass ashtrays are spaced out down the smoke-filled bar in this perspective shot.
246 83:07 ES Continued from previous: Billy Bob Thornton pulls a cigarette from the pack and lights up with a Zippo lighter.
247-250 83:42 WS WEST-Reversal looking down the bar; smoke from Billy Bob Thornton’s cigarette, another patron smokes & two glass ashtrays are clearly visible.
251-254 83:45 WS EAST-Repeat of earlier shot looking down the bar; Billy Bob Thornton holds a lit cigarette & same three glass ashtrays are visible.
255-257 84:10 WS WEST-Repeat of reversal; Billy Bob Thornton & bar patron smoke however one of the two glass ashtrays is obscured by Billy Bob Thornton’s coffee mug.
258-260 84:44 WS EAST-Repeat of earlier bar short; Billy Bob Thornton smokes however one of the three glass ashtrays is obscured by the detective’s glass of rye whiskey.
261 85:33 ES Billy Bob Thornton knocks on a numbered door with a lit cigarette in his mouth.
262 86:43 ES/HA Billy Bob Thornton prepares to exit the decroative arched doorway of a building and lights a cigarette before walking down the stairs.
This beautiful scene made of hard shadows & silhouettes marks one of the most iconic shots in the movie & is seen in all the trailers etc.
263 87:57 MD Billy Bob Thornton pulls out a pack of cigarettes and pops up two from the pack’s opening.
264 88:07 MD Repeat of Billy Bob Thornton as he almost puts a cigarette in his mouth.
265 88:10 FS Sitting on her bed, Scarlett Johansson dialog: “Pop doesn’t like people smoking in here.”
266-267 88:13 MD Repeat of Billy Bob Thornton with a cigarette in his mouth and holding a pack of cigarettes.
268 88:20   Repeat of Scarlett Johansson & additional dialog: “Sometimes I have a cigarette when he’s away… but never when he’s home, he can smell it a mile off.”
269 90:46 ES/MD Billy Bob Thornton sits with a lit cigarette in his hand.
270 90:55 ES/MD Repeat of Billy Bob Thornton with a lit cigarette in his hand.
271 90:57 MD Alternate view of Billy Bob Thornton as smoke rises quickly from his implied cigarette offscreen.
272-273 91:05 ES Billy Bob Thornton walks into the room smoking & takes a drag at center screen, then the piano teacher grabs a cigarette.
274-275 91:35 HH Billy Bob Thornton stands holding a lit cigarette, then the piano teacher walks over with his lit cigarette in a holder.
276 91:44 MD Alternate view of Billy Bob Thornton as he stands holding a lit cigarette.
277 91:47 MD Closer view of piano teacher smoking & talking.
278 92:00 MD Repeat of Billy Bob Thornton as he stands holding a lit cigarette.
279 92:02 MD Repeat of piano teacher smoking & talking.
280 92:05 TS Repeat of Billy Bob Thornton as he stands holding a lit cigarette.
281-283 92:09 WS Wider view of Billy Bob Thornton & piano teacher smoking cigarettes, a pedistal ashtray is clearly visible.
284 92:12 MD Closer view of Billy Bob Thornton as smoke rises from his implied cigarette.
285 92:15 MD Closer view of piano teacher as smoke rises from his cigarette.
286 92:23 MD Repeat of Billy Bob Thornton holding a lit cigarette.
287 92:29 MD Repeat of piano teacher holding a lit cigarette.
288 92:34 MD Repeat of Billy Bob Thornton as smoke rises from his implied cigarette.
289-290 92:36 WS Repeat of wider view; Billy Bob Thornton holds a lit cigarette & piano teacher’s cigarette now rests in the same pedistal ashtray.
291-292 92:40 HH Continued from previous: Another pedistal ashtray sits near the piano & teacher’s cigarette case is also visible.
293 92:48 MD Repeat of Billy Bob Thornton as he stands holding a lit cigarette.
294 93:14 OTS Closer view of Billy Bob Thornton as smoke rises from his implied cigarette offscreen.
295 93:20 HH The piano teacher returns to the couch next to the same pedistal ashtray.
296 93:33 Dolly in Closer view of piano teacher relaxing with his cigarette in hand.
297 93:45 MD Repeat of piano teacher gesturing with a cigarette in his hand.
298 96:37 MD Billy Bob Thornton sits with a lit cigarette in his hand and checks his watch.
299 96:45 MD Repeat of Billy Bob Thornton as he takes a drag from his cigarette.
300 97:02 MD Repeat of Billy Bob Thornton holding a lit cigarette.
301 97:26 MD Repeat of Billy Bob Thornton holding a lit cigarette.
302 97:42 MD Repeat of Billy Bob Thornton holding a lit cigarette.
303 98:08 MD Repeat of Billy Bob Thornton holding a lit cigarette.
304 98:28 FS/LA Alternate view of Billy Bob Thornton holding a lit cigarette.
305-308 98:55 ES/HH Frances McDormand with a spirited drink walks over & sits on the couch; at least four ashtrays are visible.
309-312 99:01 Dolly in Billy Bob Thornton with cigarette in hand walks over & sits on the couch; at least three ashtrays are visible.
313 102:36 Dolly in Billy Bob Thornton sits in his cell smoking a cigarette with his left arm broken.
Almost every shot of Ed holding a cigarette until now used his left hand with wedding band clearly visible, as if Ed was instead married to his cigarettes rather than his real wife.
314 106:04 Dolly in Billy Bob Thornton writes on paper in his prison cell while smoking a cigarette.
315 106:22 MD/LA Closer view of Billy Bob Thornton smoking a cigarette in his prison cell at lights out.

Additional Thoughts…

The Coen brothers’ only venture into black & white, The Man Who Wasn’t There (2001) is about an everyman barber Ed Crane (played by actor Billy Bob Thornton) who blackmails his wife’s lover in order to be a silent partner in a Dry Cleaning business. As the Coen brothers have said: “It’s a movie about a barber who wants to be a dry-cleaner.” Good stuff. Kind of like that Fargo (1996) thing where a car dealer wants the ransom money to buy a parking lot. Real deep stuff here.

Either way you slice it, this noir style film set in 1950s America obviously provided the Coen brothers many opportunities to glamorize cigarettes in stunning black & white. And they sure didn’t hesitate to capture the magic… In The Man Who Wasn’t There (2001) you will find many beautiful shots of celebrity actors smoking in silhouette, in doorways and casting shadows, cigarette smoke glowing in the moonlight, etc, etc, etc.

In one scene, Billy Bob Thornton’s beautiful cigarette-smoking silhouette hugs a doorframe in contrast to his wife sitting in the background bathtub. The Coens paint a lovely picture of a husband and wife who aren’t really in love, who don’t speak much, but who still manage to share one small thing. Guess what that is… Cigarettes! From the bath tub she cries “Gimmie a drag, hun” and Thornton literally gives her a drag.

Despite not having the highest number of tobacco incidents, The Man Who Wasn’t There (2001) actually feels like the Coen brothers’ movie where cigarettes spend the most time onscreen. How is this possible? Since this movie takes place in a sleepy town around 1950, the film’s pacing is kind of like Mayberry. Many shots linger on so long that if Billy Bob is smoking a cigarette in the scene, that cigarette sure gets to spend a helluva time up onscreen… Usually just as much time as Billy Bob hisself.

“I smoked like a fiend throughout the movie; non-filtered Chesterfields.”
-Billy Bob on the DVD commentary for The Man Who Wasn’t There (2001)

Thankfully Billy Bob’s chainsmoking didn’t compete with his actual job as a barber in the film; if you look he was easily able to smoke cigarettes whilst giving children their classic haircuts.

[ insert still image of Billy Bob smoking over child haircut ]

Billy Bob also mentors a young girl whilst continuing his chainsmoking! One night sitting on her bed, Scarlett Johansson gives kids all the advice they need: “Pop doesn’t like people smoking in here. Sometimes I have a cigarette when he’s away… but never when he’s home, he can smell it a mile off.” After Billy Bob meets Scarlett Johansson in the film, he does his best to help advance her career as a piano player. In one scene, Scarlett Johansson even auditions for a French piano teacher who casually lights up a cigarette with Billy Bobs immediately after young Scarlett’s piano audition.

Later on in The Man Who Wasn’t There (2001), a small cigar knife also plays a dramatic role as a murder weapon and ultimately becomes a damning piece of evidence in court. The ransom aspect of this film might be an echo of the Jerry Lundegard thing back in Fargo (1996) where he needed money to buy a parking lot, but this cigar knife thing sounds more like an echo of the Zippo lighter as evidence thing from the Coens’ first feature Blood Simple (1984).

Besides being visually artistic, The Man Who Wasn’t There (2001) is actually one of the more spiritual films by the Coens with several moments of deep reflection that really take you out of the rest of the hum-drum life of Ed Crane Billy Bob the Barber… One of the more memorable narrations from Billy Bob: “Maybe Walter found something there in the old county courthouses, hospital file rooms, city archives, property rolls, registries… Something maybe like what I found listening to Birdie play. Some kind of escape. Some kind of peace.”

I absolutely love these moments from the film. The parts where Billy Bobs gives his inspiring narration over a few random moments in The Man Who Wasn’t There (2001) are my absolute favorites… But later on after my tobacco epiphany, these moments are ones where I felt the most cheated by the Coen brothers. All of my own hopes and dreams had been inexplicably crushed. I mean, how could someone so talented and so thought-provoking, so very well calculated simply use all of this energy and resource just to make a movie about cigarettes? In these moments, my starry-eyed view of Hollywood had died just a little. How could my biggest heroes in the world have a bigger allegiance to tobacco than they do to the magic of film?

The film’s ominous conclusion shows Thornton deeply contemplating the twists and turns as he pens his life story for a men’s magazine whilst sitting on death row… But alas the scene obviously wouldn’t be complete without Billy Bobs enjoying one last cigarette at “lights out”, the cherry tip and smoke still glowing bright in the darkness. Shortly after this moment, Thornton’s character gets the electric chair.

Narration from the penultimate scene: “Well, it’s like pulling away from the maze. While you’re in the maze, you go through willy nilly, turning where you think you have to turn, banging into the dead ends, one thing after another. But you get some distance on it, and all those twists and turns, why, they’re the shape of your life. It’s hard to explain, but seeing it whole gives you some peace.”

Billy Bob’s only “peace” seems to come from having a cigarette in his hand or in his mouth. The Coen brothers only real agenda in life seems to be depicting tobacco onscreen, not making a film that would truly inspire.

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)

TOBACCO INCIDENTS 209
AVG PER MINUTE 2.05
EDITION Touchstone DVD released June 12, 2001
MOVIE SUMMARY Three escape convicts travel around whilst overcoming obstacles and singing songs.
TOBACCO IN SHORT The governor of Mississippi & his cronies smoke cigars, many smokers in large crowds.
POSSIBLE SMOKESCREENS (?) The cyclops, the strange white devil man with sunglasses, the KKK, the sudden flood.

TOBACCO INCIDENTS: 209

AVG PER MINUTE: 2.05

First frame at 0:58
Last frame at 102:30
Total visual running time: 101:32

# TIME ANGLE DESCRIPTION
1 2:31 ES Three men escaped from the chain gang are running through what appears to be a tobacco field.
It’s strange but somehow that “WHEAT FIELD” from the script magically changed into something else for the actual film.
2 3:00   Song lyrics: “…the sun shines every day on the birds & the bees & the cigarette trees…”
3 4:23 TS Closeup view of the three men’s legs as they run through the tobacco field.
4 4:44 ES Crane shot of the three men running through the tobacco field toward a moving train.
5 4:50 ES Alternate view of the three men as they exit the tobacco field.
6 4:59 TS View of the three mens’ legs running alongside the train; the tobacco field visible in background.
7 5:02   The three men run alongside the train with the tobacco field visible in background.
8 5:07 MD George Clooney hops onto the train and the tobacco field is visible in the background.
9 5:11 MD George Clooney stands up; the tobacco field is visible in the background.
10 5:18 MD Repeat of Clooney with the tobacco field visible in background.
11 5:20   Tim Blake Nelson hops onto the train with the tobacco field visible in background.
12 5:24 LA High shot looking down on the three men with the tobacco field visible in background.
13 5:30   George Clooney is pulled out of the train car; the tobacco field is visible in background.
14 5:34 ES George Clooney stands up near the edge of the tobacco field.
15 5:39 2S Reversal shows John Torturro & Tim Blake Nelson stand up near the edge of the tobacco field.
16 5:41 MD Repeat of George Clooney standing at the edge of the tobacco field.
17 5:43 2S Repeat of John John Torturro & Tim Blake Nelson at the edge of the tobacco field.
18 5:45 MD Repeat of George Clooney at the edge of the tobacco field.
19 5:51 2S Repeat of John Torturro & Tim Blake Nelson at the edge of the tobacco field.
20 5:54 MD Repeat of George Clooney at the edge of the tobacco field.
21 6:02 2S Repeat of John Torturro & Tim Blake Nelson at the edge of the tobacco field.
22 6:05 MD Repeat of George Clooney at the edge of the tobacco field.
23 6:06 2S Repeat of John Torturro & Tim Blake Nelson at the edge of the tobacco field.
24 6:08 MD Repeat of George Clooney at the edge of the tobacco field.
25 6:10 2S Repeat of John Torturro & Tim Blake Nelson at the edge of the tobacco field.
26 6:15 MD Repeat of George Clooney at the edge of the tobacco field.
27 6:17 ES An extremely wide view of the tobacco field & background landscape.
28 6:20 2S Repeat of John Torturro & Tim Blake Nelson at the edge of the tobacco field.
29 6:22 MD Repeat of George Clooney at the edge of the tobacco field.
30 6:26 2S Repeat of John Torturro & Tim Blake Nelson at the edge of the tobacco field.
31 6:33 MD Repeat of George Clooney at the edge of the tobacco field.
32 6:37 Crane Three men boarding the blind man’s handcar with the tobacco field visible in background.
33-34 6:47 TS Riding on the handcar and two tobacco fields are visible divided by the railroad tracks.
35 6:59 MD Closeup of George Clooney with the tobacco field in the background.
36 7:09 MD Repeat of George Clooney with the tobacco field in the background.
37 7:21 MD Closeup of John Torturro & Tim Blake Nelson with the tobacco field in the background.
38 7:26 MD Repeat of George Clooney with the tobacco field in the background.
39 7:46 MD Repeat of John Torturro & Tim Blake Nelson with the tobacco field in the background.
40 7:55 MD Repeat of George Clooney with the tobacco field in the background.
41 8:05 MD Behind the blind man pumping the handcar, the tobacco field is visible.
42-43 8:15 Crane Crane shot lifts up from the railroad tracks showing the tobacco fields on both sides.
* 10:15 CU The young boy is sitting on a stack of books; two Wards catalogs are visible.
* 14:00 CU
44 14:55 ES Another large tobacco field appears in the background.
* 15:15 MD Automobile brand name Ford is mentioned by the shopkeep.
* 15:15 Various Fictional brand names “Fop” and “Dapper Dan” are mentioned several times.
* 19:50 FS A “Piggly Wiggly” grocery store is mentioned by actor Tim Blake Nelson.
45-46 20:30   Similar looking fields of crops (possibly tobacco) are visible in the car’s window.
47-48 21:11 BE A bird’s eye view of Tommy’s crossroads; 2-3 fields (possibly tobacco) are visible.
49 21:18 ES Tommy approaches the car, a field of crops (possibly tobacco) is visible in the background.
50 21:21 ES Reversal of the three men in the car, a field of crops (possibly tobacco) is visible in the background.
51-52 21:23 BE Repeat of bird’s eye view of crossroads; 2-3 fields (possibly tobacco) are visible.
53 21:30 2S View of front seat; a field (possibly tobacco) is visible in the window.
54 21:37 2S View of back seat; a field (possibly tobacco) is visible in the window.
55 21:39 2S Repeat of front seat; a field (possibly tobacco) is visible in the window.
56 21:44 2S Repeat of back seat; a field (possibly tobacco) is visible in the window.
57 22:03 2S Repeat of front seat; a field (possibly tobacco) is visible in the window.
58 22:13 2S Repeat of back seat; a field (possibly tobacco) is visible in the window.
59 22:23 2S Repeat of front seat; a field (possibly tobacco) is visible in the window.
60 22:38 2S Repeat of back seat; a field (possibly tobacco) is visible in the window.
61 22:49 2S Repeat of front seat; a field (possibly tobacco) is visible in the window.
62 22:52 2S Repeat of back seat; a field (possibly tobacco) is visible in the window.
63 22:59 2S Repeat of front seat; a field (possibly tobacco) is visible in the window.
64 23:07 BE A bird’s eye view of the radio station which is surrounded by two fields (possibly tobacco).
65 23:21 ES A closer view of the radio station; a field (possibly tobacco) is visible in the background.
66-67 26:50 ES The men exit the radio station; several fields (possibly tobacco) are visible in the background.
68 27:05 TS Tracking away from the three men; a field (possibly tobacco) is visible in the background.
69 27:08 TS Tracking reversal of the political folks; a field (possibly tobacco) is visible in the background.
70 27:12 TS Continue of earlier tracking shot with same field (possibly tobacco) is visible in the background.
* 27:12   The Ford brand emblem can be seen on the car’s grill.
71 27:15 TS Continue of tracking reversal and field (possibly tobacco) is visible in the background.
72 27:23 WS Wide view of the car and all four men; a field (possibly tobacco) is visible in the background.
73-74 27:27 ES Repeat of political men in front of radio station; two fields (possibly tobacco) are visible in the background.
75 37:44 MD A farmer stands up on his tractor in the middle of a tobacco field.
76 37:46 WS Another wide view of the man plowing his tobacco field.
77 37:53 MD Repeat of farmer and tobacco field in background.
78 37:56   Closer view of truck coming down the road beside the tobacco field.
79 38:05 MD Repeat of farmer and tobacco field in background.
80 38:09   Repeat of truck driving beside the tobacco field.
81 51:15 2S One of Pappy O’Daniel’s political cronies has an unlit cigar in his mouth.
82 51:40 2S Repeat of political cronie with an unlit cigar.
83 51:46 OTS Repeat of political cronie with an unlit cigar.
84 51:50 OTS Repeat of political cronie with an unlit cigar.
85-86 56:24 Crane out George Clooney & Tim Blake Nelson ride in the back of a haytruck driving between two tobacco fields.
87 57:00 POV George Clooney’s POV of the chain gang working beside a tobacco field.
88 57:15 POV Repeat of George Clooney’s POV of the chain gang working beside a tobacco field.
89-90 57:28   View from the truck with tobacco fields on both sides of the road.
91-92 57:32   Repeat of view from truck with tobacco fields on both sides of the road.
93-94 59:51 WS In the background behind the singing girls, two men are seen smoking.
95 60:08 CS George Clooney passes by a man who is smoking a cigar.
96 60:10 CS Continuity: the same man with a cigar appears in the corner of the frame.
* 60:19   A man appears to be bringing a cigarette to his lips.
97 60:22 ES George Clooney shoves by a man smoking a cigarette.
98 60:32 MD Close view of George Clooney; a man in the background is seen smoking a cigarette.
99 60:41 MD Repeat of George Clooney; same man in background is seen holding a cigarette.
100 60:49 MD Repeat of George Clooney; same man in background is seen holding a cigarette.
101 60:57 MD Repeat of George Clooney; same man in background is seen holding a cigarette.
102 61:04 MD Repeat of George Clooney; same man in background is seen holding a cigarette.
103 61:14 MD Repeat of George Clooney; same man in background is seen holding a cigarette.
104 61:25 MD Repeat of George Clooney; same man in background is seen holding a cigarette.
105 61:31 MD Repeat of George Clooney; same man in background is seen holding a cigarette.
106 61:39 MD Repeat of George Clooney; same man in background is seen holding a cigarette.
107-108 64:43 ES View of the movie screen; two people are seen smoking inside the theater.
109-110 65:23 2S Closer view inside the movie theater; one smoker is visible & another is implied.
111 65:37 ES Alternate view inside the movie theater; a man in the background is seen smoking.
112 65:56 WS As the exit door is opened light shines on the theater smoker.
113 66:12 ES Repeat of alternate view and background man smoking.
114-115 66:50 ES Repeat of view toward screen; same two smokers are visible.
116-117 67:05 ES Repeat of view toward screen; same two smokers are visible.
118 67:18 MD Closer view of George Clooney & Tim Blake Nelson; same background smoker is visible.
119 67:49 MD Repeat of closer view; same background smoker is visible.
120 67:57 ES Pappy O’Daniel smokes a cigar on the plantation porch.
121 68:12 2S One of Pappy O’Daniel’s cronies also holds a lit cigar.
122 68:22 ES Repeat of Pappy O’Daniel holding a lit cigar on the plantation porch.
123 68:29 ES Alternate view of Pappy O’Daniel holding a lit cigar on the plantation porch.
124 68:34 ES Repeat of Pappy O’Daniel holding a lit cigar on the plantation porch.
125 68:39 2S Repeat of cronie holding a lit cigar on the plantation porch.
126 68:42 ES Repeat of Pappy O’Daniel holding a lit cigar on the plantation porch.
127 68:45 2S Repeat of cronie holding a lit cigar on the plantation porch.
128 68:54 ES Repeat of Pappy O’Daniel smoking a cigar on the plantation porch.
129 79:13 ES Pappy O’Daniel’s cronie is seen with a cigar in his breast pocket.
130-131 80:58 ES As Homer Stokes & midget enter the rally a man is seen holding a cigar, another man smoking a cigarette.
132 82:32 ES Pappy O’Daniel’s cronie is seen with a cigar in his mouth.
133 83:03 ES A man smokes a tobacco pipe front & center at the dinner table.
134 83:07 ES Repeat of Pappy O’Daniel’s cronie with a cigar in his mouth.
135 83:12 ES Repeat of Pappy O’Daniel’s cronie with a cigar in his mouth.
136 83:46 WS Tobacco pipe man is seen again as Homer Stokes & midget arrive at the stage.
137 83:50 WS Repeat of tobacco pipe man in the background.
138 83:55 WS Repeat of tobacco pipe man in the background.
139 84:08 WS Repeat of tobacco pipe man now pictured near the center of frame.
140 84:31 WS Repeat of tobacco pipe man as the audience stands to cheer.
141 84:59 WS A man in the audience lets out a puff of smoke.
142 85:00 WS Tobacco pipe man is seen just behind Homer Stokes.
143-145 85:21 WS Pappy O’Daniel’s cronie is seen holding a cigar & two tiny ashtrays are visible.
146 85:27 WS Repeat of tobacco pipe man seen behind a dancing George Clooney.
147-149 85:30 WS Repeat of cronie holding a cigar & two tiny ashtrays.
150 85:36 WS Repeat of tobacco pipe man visible behind Homer Stokes.
151 85:38   Closer view of Pappy O’Daniel & son; one of the tiny ashtrays is visible.
152 85:41   Repeat of tobacco pipe man visible behind Homer Stokes.
153 85:47   Repeat of tobacco pipe man visible behind Homer Stokes.
154 85:53 HH Repeat of tobacco pipe man visible behind Homer Stokes.
155 85:59 HH Repeat of tobacco pipe man visible behind Homer Stokes.
Another one of those loose camera-drifty moments that oddly has to keep including the background pipe man within the frame.
156 86:11 HH Repeat of tobacco pipe man visible behind Homer Stokes.
157 86:15 3S Alternate view of Pappy O’Daniel & son; crony is seen with a cigar in his mouth.
158-162 86:17 HH Tobacco pipe man is seen, two tiny ashtrays are visible, Vernon T Waldrip is smoking, and cronie with a cigar.
163 86:21 HH Repeat of tobacco pipe man visible behind Homer Stokes.
164-167 86:32 HH Repeat of tobacco pipe man, two tiny ashtrays, and cronie with a cigar.
168 86:43 HH Repeat of tobacco pipe man visible beside Homer Stokes.
169-172 86:45 HH Repeat of tobacco pipe man, two tiny ashtrays, and cronie with a cigar.
173 87:04 HH Repeat of tobacco pipe man visible just behind Homer Stokes.
174-177 87:07 HH Repeat of tobacco pipe man, two tiny ashtrays, and cronie with a cigar.
178 87:10 ES The radio broadcast man is seen with a smoking ashtray.
179 87:12 ES A husband with a cigar & wife listening to the radio broadcast at home.
180-183 87:16 HH Repeat of tobacco pipe man, two tiny ashtrays, and cronie with a cigar.
184-187 87:19 HH Repeat of tobacco pipe man, two tiny ashtrays, and cronie with a cigar.
188-191 87:23 HH Repeat of tobacco pipe man, two tiny ashtrays, and cronie with a cigar.
192 87:25 HH Repeat of tobacco pipe man seen beside Homer Stokes.
193-195 87:26 HH Repeat of two tiny ashtrays and cronie with a cigar.
196 87:35 HH Repeat of tobacco pipe man seen beside Homer Stokes.
197 87:42 BE Repeat of tobacco pipe man seen in the foreground.
198 87:59 WS Repeat of tobacco pipe man seen near the front of the audience.
199-200 88:29 4S View of Pappy O’Daniel’s crew; same cronie with a cigar & one tiny ashtray are seen.
201 88:50 WS Repeat of tobacco pipe man seen near the front of the audience.
202 89:08 WS Repeat of tobacco pipe man seen near the front of the audience.
203 89:27 WS Repeat of tobacco pipe man but now amongst the crowd.
204 89:53 WS Repeat of tobacco pipe man amongst the crowd.
205 90:24 WS Repeat of tobacco pipe man amongst the crowd.
206 91:21 WS Repeat of tobacco pipe getting deeper in background.
207 91:26 WS Another man is seen holding a tobacco pipe.
208 91:36 WS Repeat of tobacco pipe man but visible in the front row this time.
209 91:46 ES A man smoking a cigar exits the rally after the Soggy Bottom Boys (primary actors George Clooney, John Torturro & Tim Blake Nelson).

Additional Thoughts…

One of the Coen brothers’ most notable films in terms of song, O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000) was hugely popular upon its release. This extremely inspired tale takes old timey music and weaves it through a reinvention of Homer’s classic mythology.

In this epic tale however, tobacco appears mainly in the form of cigarettes and cigars, and what appear to be miles and miles of tobacco fields present in the background of many scenes. Using high-tech digital effects, the Coen brothers were also able to give the landscapes a unique color temperature that really drops you into the dustbowl of the Mississippi delta along with the other goofy characters.

Even though the three primary actors (George Clooney, John Turturro, and Tim Blake Nelson) don’t light up in the film, cigarettes, cigars and tobacco pipes can basically be seen throughout. Cigars are smoked in several scenes such as the Governor and his cronies puffing away out on the plantation house porch. O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000) also plays on stereotypes like the fact that wealthier, more distinguished gentlemen actually smoke cigars rather than cigarettes.

In some scenes depicting large audiences, the Coen brothers (or their propmasters) always seem to make sure that a good percentage of the background extras are always smoking. If you’re looking for it with a careful eye, you can always see puffs of smoke going up in different areas of the crowds.

O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000), for one reason or another, was one of those films I specifically remember in my brain as being totally 100% free of tobacco. Personally, I just didn’t remember any smoking incidents in this movie whatsoever when I thought back on it. Like I said, the music was totally unforgettable and overall the movie was entertaining, so what more do you need? But when I went back and carefully watched O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000) just to scan the movie for tobacco, these products were everywhere. Some directors never hesitate to show a naked pair of woman titties in their film while the Coen brothers never hesitate to advertise tobacco products.

One thing I found especially intriguing while researching the film is, well, actually just one little itty bitty word. It is a single word that appears in the original script for O Brother, Where Art Thou? that actually caught my attention. While reading the original screenplay written by the Coen brothers, I noticed that one particular setting was written as “A WHEAT FIELD”, but what actually appears in the final film more closely resembles — you guessed it — “A TOBACCO FIELD” instead. I mean hey, there are a thousand different types of plantation fields the Coen brothers could have chosen for the opening scene of O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000) in which to have the three main characters run through as they are escaping the prison chain gang… But guess which one they landed on despite their own script suggesting otherwise.

But a tobacco field doesn’t even necessarily advertise cigarettes to viewers, does it? So why did they even bother? I’m not sure… Unless they wanted to visit a tobacco plantation first hand just to see what all of their hard work over the years is really about. Anyways, this same kind of thing happened in the Coens’ next film Raising Arizona (1987) as well. Remember when that doctor’s pencil magically morphed into a cigar? The addition of tobacco obviously happens during the production phase if not sooner. Whether it’s used as a joke or not, the Coen brothers always seem to lean toward tobacco-related items.

Another interesting theme within O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000) is that thing I mentioned about paying for sins, making a deal with the devil, searching for redemption, etc. While watching this movie you do get that strange notion on occasion… Listening to the music and lyrics especially. Either way, it’s hard to nail down what the real intended message is sometimes but the more I ponder it the more I think the Coen brothers might be trying to absolve themselves.

In some cases, the Coen brothers even reached into real life for some inspirational tales. It is well known that legendary blues artist Robert Johnson supposedly sold his soul to the devil at a crossroads, similar to what happens in O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000). When the fellas pick up the character Tommy Johnson at the crossroads, he tells them all about a similar agreement he made with the devil…


Tommy: You boys going past Tishamingo?

Delmar: Sure, hop in.

Tommy: Thanks for the lift, sir. My name’s Tommy. Tommy Johnson.

Everett: How ya doing, boy? Name’s Everett, and these two soggy sonsabitches are Pete and Delmar. Keep your fingers away from Pete’s mouth-he ain’t had nothing to eat for the last thirteen years but prison food, gopher, and a little greasy horse.

Delmar: How you doing, Tommy? Say, I haven’t seen a house out here for miles. What’re you doing out here in the middle of nowhere?

Tommy: I had to be at that there crossroads last midnight, sell my soul to the devil.

Everett: Well ain’t it a small world, spiritually speaking. Pete and Delmar just been baptized and saved, I guess I’m the only one here who remains unaffiliated.

Delmar: This ain’t no laughing matter, Everett.

Everett: What’d the devil give you for your soul, Tommy?

Tommy: He taught me to play this guitar real good.

Delmar: Oh, son! For that you traded your everlasting soul?

Tommy: Well, I wasn’t using it.


See what I mean? The Coen brothers even make a small joke out of it. Either way, it seems like every film after Forrest Gump (1998) takes random events from history and finds a way to weave them into a fictional story. Did Forrest Gump (1998) somehow make it acceptable to rewrite history? Errr, I guess this kind of thing has been going on since the beginning of Hollywood.

I think a slightly different version of this movie could have probably changed the world… For the better, I mean. And maybe this particular film still did change the world in terms of musical synergy. With the help of renowned producer T Bone Burnett, the Coen brothers chose old traditional folk songs that perfectly complimented their bleak storylines. Ultimately, the music from the movie was so well-received and so popular that a live concert of the songs was performed and released on a DVD called Down from the Mountain (2001). The soundtrack to O Brother Where Art Thou? (2000) is just one of those totally unmistakable and unforgettable things.

Say what you will about the tobacco thing, but I’ll be the first one to admit that the Coen brothers are some of the most talented directors in the business… And yet that’s part of the problem here. Were the Coens using their gifts for creating wholesome pictures that influenced young people to do good things rather than simply lighting up a cigarette, well, I would be praising them rather than condemning them.

From what I have read about the Coen brothers in interviews, I get the impression that, to Joel & Ethan, making a film is like creating a piece of art — they are essentially trying to paint some kind of abstract portrait that resembles real life very closely, but not quite. Many things seem quite familiar however something is always just a little off. On the other hand, the Coen brothers always seem super dodgey about their true intended messages behind each individual movie which ultimately leads me to believe that my big secret long-term tobacco agenda is actually alive and kicking. These guys are always the smartest motherfuckers in the room, trust me. Their passion and knowledge of literature (not to mention film & film history) is absolutely undeniable… As I said, I imagine that the Coen brothers have seen or heard of every trick in the book, so to speak. And that just makes them that much more diabolical when it comes to making films and embedding tobacco products.