The Big Lebowski

The Big Lebowski (1998)

TOBACCO INCIDENTS 150
AVG PER MINUTE 1.34
EDITION Polygram DVD released October 27, 1998
MOVIE SUMMARY A pothead slacker goes bowling and becomes peripherally involved in a kidnapping scheme with a millionaire who shares his name.
TOBACCO IN SHORT Jeff Bridges smokes wacky-tobacky, John Goodman smokes Marlboro reds, one bowler is named Smokey, a man in an iron lung, etc.
POSSIBLE SMOKESCREENS (?) The amazing music, the dream sequences, the strange cowboy’s narration and brief appearances, Jesus the pedophile, the sudden death of young Donny.

TOBACCO INCIDENTS: 150

AVG PER MINUTE: 1.34

First visual frame at 0:13
Last visual frame at 112:13
Total visual running time: 112:00

# TIME ANGLE DESCRIPTION
* 2:00 ES/Dolly in A Ralphs supermarket is shown during the first appearance of Jeff Bridges.
* 2:35 Dolly in Continued from previous shot: Many brand name dairy products are clearly visible in the grocery store.
* 3:08 CU A small Panasonic television is visible.
* 5:35 Various Many Brunswick brand bowling products are visible in the opening credits montage.
* 5:35 CU A bottle of Miller Lite & a bottle of Miller Genuine Draft are visible.
1-2 5:35 CU Two ashtrays built into the scoring desk are visible.
3-4 6:00 ECU An anonymous hand ashes a cigarette into a similar built in ashtray; presented as texture during the opening credits montage.
* 7:19 FS Two Miller Beer neon signs are visible in the background.
5 7:27 MD John Goodman taps an unlit cigarette in the background.
6-7 7:34 3S John Goodman is holding an unlit cigarette, a Zippo lighter & a plastic Miller Lite beer cup. An ashtray built into the chairs is also visible.
John Goodman holds a cigarette between his fingers in exact copy of Steve Buscemi seated next to him who holds a white scoring pen instead.
8 8:25 3S Continued from previous shot: The big black man in the background takes a drag from a cigarette.
John Goodman gestures with his cigarette so much in this scene it is impossible to miss.
9-10 9:01 2S John Goodman still holding an unlit cigarette & same ashtray built into the chairs.
* 9:01 2S Two Miller Genuine Draft beer bottles are visible in the background.
* 9:13 MD Jeff Bridges picks up a plastic Miller Lite beer cup and holds it at center screen timed precisely with the signature sound of a Zippo lighter.
11-12 9:15 2S John Goodman talks with an unlit cigarette in his mouth; he prepares to light it with a Zippo lighter & same ashtray built into the chairs.
12-13 9:20 2S John Goodman lights his cigarette with a Zippo lighter & same ashtray built into the chairs.
14 9:27 2S Smoke is seen rising from John Goodman’s implied cigarette.
15 9:36 2S Smoke is seen rising from John Goodman’s implied cigarette.
16 9:41 2S John Goodman exhales a puff of smoke.
All of the beer cups in this scene have a Miller Lite logo while Steve Buscemi drinks an unbranded can of soda pop.
17 11:30 MD Jeff Bridges mentions “…smoking alot of Thai stick…” which is actually wacky tobacky.
18-20 11:51 ES/Dolly in Two unlit cigars & a large ashtray are visible on Big Lebowski’s desk.
There may actually be two ashtrays on Big Lebowski’s desk next to the two cigars however one is just a plain black square dish so I won’t count it as such.
21-23 12:09 MD Same two cigars & large ashtray on Big Lebowski’s desk.
24-26 12:26 MD Same two cigars & large ashtray on Big Lebowski’s desk.
27-29 12:38 MD Same two cigars & large ashtray on Big Lebowski’s desk.
30-32 13:08 MD Same two cigars & large ashtray on Big Lebowski’s desk.
33-35 13:19 MD Same two cigars & large ashtray on Big Lebowski’s desk.
36-38 13:39 MD Same two cigars & large ashtray on Big Lebowski’s desk.
39-41 13:44 MD Same two cigars & large ashtray on Big Lebowski’s desk.
42-44 14:03 MD Same two cigars & large ashtray on Big Lebowski’s desk.
45-47 14:16 MD Same two cigars & large ashtray on Big Lebowski’s desk.
48 16:19 HH A built in ashtray is seen on the scoring desk at the bowling alley.
49 16:21 HH A man taking a drag from a cigarette as John Goodman arrives.
* 16:26 3S Continued from previous shot: A Miller Lite beer bottle on the scoring desk in front of Jeff Bridges.
* 16:32 3S Jeff Bridges holds a white marker between his fingers which looks like a cigarette.
* 17:15 Various A bowler named “Smokey” is mentioned five times & also seen embroidered on his bowling shirt ten times within about one minute.
Of all the names to choose from… Are the Coens so desperate to put the idea of smoking into your head that they would name a character Smokey? Well yes, obviously.
* 18:35 HH The name “Smokey” is mentioned again outside the bowling alley by Jeff Bridges as he & John Goodman walk to the car.
* 19:47 HH Jeff Bridges receives a phone message from character named Smokey.
* 20:01 HH Continued from previous shot: Two bottles of Kalua & two bottles of Smirnoff vodka are visible on Jeff Bridges’ bar.
50 21:19 BE An ashtray is visible on Jeff Bridges coffee table.
51 22:55 MD Jeff Bridges pulls out a wacky tobacky cigarette and asks “Mind if I do a J?”
52 23:00 MD Jeff Bridges with a wacky tobacky cigarette in his mouth as he prepares to light it with a Zippo lighter.
53 23:12 MD Jeff Bridges with a wacky tobacky cigarette.
54 23:29 MD Jeff Bridges with a wacky tobacky cigarette.
55 23:40 CU Smoke is seen next to the closeup of the ransom note.
56 23:43 MD Jeff Bridges with a wacky tobacky cigarette in his mouth.
57 23:50 CU Smoke is seen next to the closeup of the ransom note.
58 23:53 MD Jeff Bridges takes a drag from a wacky tobacky cigarette.
59 24:35 2S Jeff Bridges takes a drag from a wacky tobacky cigarette.
60-61 25:47 Dolly in Two built in ashtrays on the scoring desk at the bowling alley.
* 25:47 Dolly in Two bottles of Miller Genuine Draft & a new plastic Miller beer cup are visible.
62-63 26:17 Dolly in Two built in ashtrays are visible on the scoring desks.
* 26:17 Dolly in Several bottles of Miller Genuine Draft are visible on the scoring desks.
* 26:17 Dolly in Two cans of Pepsi are visible on the scoring desks.
64 27:58 FS A built in ashtray is visible on the scoring desk.
* 28:34 2S A bottle of Miller Genuine Draft is visible between Jeff Bridges & John Goodman.
65 29:04 2S A built in ashtray is seen in the background.
* 29:20 CU A Sony Walkman cassette player is visible.
66 31:09 Crane An ashtray is partially visible on Jeff Bridges’ coffee table.
* 31:56 Car A liquor store appears next door to John Goodman’s security office storefront.
67 34:28 MD John Goodman smokes a cigarette whilst driving the car.
68-71 37:08 HA/Dolly in John Goodman with a lit cigarette in his mouth, two built in ashtrays, a pack of Marlboro reds & a new glass ashtray are all visible on the scoring desk.
On the scoring desk are three items representing the guys: a pack of Marlboros for John Goodman, a beer bottle for Jeff Bridges, a can of soda for Steve Buscemi.
72 38:18 MD Rising smoke from John Goodman’s implied cigarette.
73 38:31 MD Rising smoke from John Goodman’s implied cigarette.
74 38:47 MD Rising smoke from John Goodman’s implied cigarette.
75-79 39:19 Dolly Four ashtrays are visible on tables & a man smoking at the bar as the three guys are walking out.
80 39:48 Dolly Continued from previous shot: A big red NO SMOKING sign appears inside the entrance to the bowling alley.
Really, are you sure?! A big red NO SMOKING sign at the entrance while several built in ashtrays are located on every single lane. Interesting!!!
81-82 40:43 2S An ashtray appears on the coffee table containing a pipe shaped like a bowling pin.
83-84 40:52 WS Same ashtray on coffee table & bowling pin pipe.
* 40:52 WS An empty bag of Fritos corn chips is visible in the background.
85-86 41:03 2S Same ashtray on coffee table & one of the police officers picks up the bowling pin pipe.
87-88 41:19 2S Same ashtray on coffee table & police officer sifting through it with the bowling pin pipe.
89-90 41:37 2S Same ashtray on coffee table & police officer holding the bowling pin pipe.
91-92 41:48 2S Same ashtray on coffee table & police officer holding the bowling pin pipe.
93-94 42:00 2S Same ashtray on coffee table & police officer holding the bowling pin pipe.
95-96 42:17 2S Same ashtray on coffee table & bowling pin pipe.
* 44:07 MD Several liquor bottles & a bottle of Smirnoff vodka are visible on the bar in Julianne Moore’s loft.
* 45:13 MD Jeff Bridges dialog: “Do you have any Kalua?”
* 48:38 OTS Dialog: “Who’s your friend in the Volkswagen?”
* 48:41 ES First appearance of the blue Volkswagen Beetle.
* 53:30 MD A Pepsi sign is visible in the background at the diner.
97 53:51 2S Jeff Bridges drops a wacky tobacky cigarette on the counter when leaving some coins.
* 54:08 WS A Pepsi clock and another Pepsi sign are visible at the diner.
98 54:20 MD Jeff Bridges smokes the “roach” of a wacky tobacky cigarette clamped with hemostats while soaking in the bathtub.
99 54:29 MD Jeff Bridges smokes the “roach” of a wacky tobacky cigarette clamped with hemostats while soaking in the bathtub.
100 54:53 MD Jeff Bridges holding the “roach” of a wacky tobacky cigarette clamped with hemostats while soaking in the bathtub.
* 54:59 MD A bottle of Mr. Bubble is visible behind Jeff Bridges on the bathtub shelf.
101 55:00 MD Jeff Bridges holding the “roach” of a wacky tobacky cigarette clamped with hemostats while soaking in the bathtub.
102 55:18 MD Jeff Bridges holding the “roach” of a wacky tobacky cigarette clamped with hemostats while soaking in the bathtub.
* 55:20 MD A Scrubbing Bubble toy or scrub brush is visible on the bathtub.
103-108 57:20 ES John Goodman holding a lit cigarette, two glass ashtrays, a pack of Marlboro reds & Zippo ligher on the bar, two ashtrays on tables in background.
* 57:20 ES A can of Slice soda pop sits in front of Steve Buscemi on the bar.
Sam Elliott, the narrator, appears suddenly after a slow & subtle zoom in / zoom out. Did I mention he’s dressed like the Marlboro Man?
109-111 60:53 2S Same glass ashtray partially visible on the bar & two ashtrays on background tables.
112 65:04 MD Jeff Bridges smokes the “roach” of a wacky tobacky cigarette whilst drinking a beer and driving.
* 65:12 CU Second appearance of the blue Volkswagen Beetle.
113 65:18 MD Jeff Bridges holding the “roach” & a beer whilst driving.
114 65:30 MD Jeff Bridges takes a drag from the “roach” whilst driving.
115 65:37 MD Jeff Bridges flicks the “roach” at a closed window & it bounces back.
116 65:38 CU Closeup of the “roach” landing in Jeff Bridges’ lap.
* 65:44 WS A Ford brand truck rolls toward the screen then drives past.
* 67:29 3S In-N-Out Burger is mentioned several times.
117 69:38 ES An ashtray is visible on the coffee table.
* 69:38 ES Ironically, a man with “health problems” appears inside of an iron lung.
118 69:50 ES Same ashtray is visible on the coffee table.
119 73:26 CU Closeup of a small copper ashtray on the floor.
120-121 74:08 MD Same small copper ashtray on the floor & Jeff Bridges removes a wacky tobacky cigarette from it.
122 74:24 MD Jeff Bridges with a wacky tobacky cigarette in his mouth.
123 74:31 MD Jeff Bridges with a wacky tobacky cigarette in his mouth.
* 78:49 MD In-N-Out Burger is mentioned again by Jeff Bridges.
* 84:49 CU A Ralphs grocery store “value club card” is shown.
* 86:12 Truck A Ford brand automobile (Crown-Victoria) is shown as the taxi.
* 86:33 HH A red Jaguar automobile is shown.
124 87:46 CU/2S Jeff Bridges strikes a match on the bedpost & lights up a “roach” clamped with hemostats.
125 89:10 HH An aqua colored ashtray filled with junk is visible on a ledge.
126 89:17 FS Same aqua colored ashtray filled with junk is visible.
127 89:39 WS Same aqua colored ashtray filled with junk is clearly visible in the foreground.
128 89:43 FS Same aqua colored ashtray filled with junk is visible.
129 89:57 FS Same aqua colored ashtray filled with junk is visible.
130 90:09 FS Same aqua colored ashtray filled with junk is visible.
131 90:18 FS Same aqua colored ashtray filled with junk is visible.
132 90:26 FS Same aqua colored ashtray filled with junk is visible.
133 90:45 FS Same aqua colored ashtray filled with junk is visible.
134 90:56 FS Same aqua colored ashtray filled with junk is visible.
135 91:19 WS Same aqua colored ashtray filled with junk is clearly visible in the foreground.
* 92:02 WS Same blue Volkswagen Beetle is shown several times.
* 94:11 ES John Goodman arrives to pick up Jeff Bridges in a Chevy van.
* 96:39 ES Same red Jaguar automobile is show again.
* 96:42 MD Same Chevy van rolls into frame.
136 99:11 ES John Goodman has just lit up a cigarette in the background.
137 99:28 MD John Goodman holding a cigarette in the background.
138-140 99:30 2S/Dolly in John Goodman with a lit cigarette & two built in ashtrays on scoring desk.
This is a strange scene where Jeff Bridges paints his nails and John Goodman smokes a cigarette. Perhaps some kind of husband & wife dynamic?
* 99:30 2S Two bottles of MGD on scoring desk & same two Miller beer neon signs in background.
141-143 100:18 3S John Goodman with a lit cigarette & two built in ashtrays on scoring desk.
144-146 100:43 3S John Goodman with a lit cigarette & two built in ashtrays on scoring desk.
* 106:45 2S John Goodman dialog: “Is there a Ralphs around here?”
* 107:23 MD A big red Foldgers coffee can is seen (containing young Donny’s ashes).
147 109:48 ES/Dolly An ashtray with a resting cigarette is visible on an empty table.
148 110:07 2S Continued from previous shot: an ashtray is visible on the bar in front of Jeff Bridges.
* 110:15 2S Two bottles of MGD are placed on the bar in front of Jeff Bridges.
Sam Elliott, the narrator / cowboy / Marlboro Man wraps up the story talking directly into the camera during this scene.
149-150 112:07 HH/ES Two built in ashtrays are visible on the scoring desk.

Additional Thoughts…

In one of the most popular films in the Coen brothers’ canon, The Big Lebowski (1998) turns the traditional detective story on its ear. After worldwide recognition for their last feature film Fargo (1996), audiences were thirsty for more of that wacky Coen brothers flavor. When younger audiences saw The Big Lebowski (1998) it was an instant hit.

Nearly twenty years later, The Big Lebowski (1998) has truly become a cult phenomuna of sorts. The film has definitely been seen by a shitload of teens and is quoted daily around the world. Trust me, this movie is celebrated in dorm rooms and man caves everywhere.

Becoming a cult sensation even bigger than The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), the film has spawned a cult following so enormous that there are even “Lewbowski Fests” which are traveling fan festivals held at bowling alleys all around the country. Heck, I’ve even been to two of the Lebowski Fests myself.

In The Big Lebowski (1998), the Coen brothers actually wrote a bowler named “Smokey” into the original screenplay. Of all the names in the world they could have possibly chosen, they landed on Smokey. Do you still think it’s all a tremendous coincidence or are the Coens so eager to put the idea of smoking into viewers’ heads that they would actually name a character Smokey? Well, yes, obviously. In the final film, not only is the name “Smokey” seen clearly on the man’s bowling shirt at least ten times, the name itself is mentioned over a dozen times in only a few short minutes. Smokey’s scene is actually a funny turning point in the movie, so in some ways you never really even think about the name “Smokey” as ever being related to cigarette smoking per se… At least, I never did. You never think too deeply about his name after you hear it the first time. And that’s probably exactly the point, isn’t it? Like all character actors in each and every Coen picture, this guy really did light up the screen for the short time he was on it.

Ultimately the Coen brothers are able to make tobacco-related shit like this seem so commonplace that a subtle & even somewhat unsubtle reference to tobacco can go by all the time and we the viewers never even think twice. With something like this, it’s as if the Coen brothers really are playing a big joke on everyone. For a moment, I even debated counting the occurrences of the name “Smokey” as actual tobacco incidents since the name itself is kind of smoking related but not in this particular context. After all, it’s just a name right? Yeah right. At the very least I wanted to mention curious references such as this in my detailed spreadsheets because these kinds of subtle tobacco-related “coincidences” are everywhere in the Coen brothers’ movies.

The Big Lebowski (1998) is also bookended with another interesting character, this time with slightly more depth than ol’ Smokey but not too much. I’d say the Coens got this one just right, considering people mock dialog and dress up like characters from this movie at festivals several times a year. This other fella I’m talking about is often referred to as “The Cowboy” and is played by the infamous actor Sam Elliott. With his cowboy hat & handlebar mustache however, the cowboy character also resembles the Marlboro Man in a way. Coincidentally, actor Sam Elliott even played a retired Marlboro Man in the film Thank You for Smoking (2005) so obviously he embodies the character, so to speak.

In The Big Lebowski (1998), Elliott’s raspy yet totally familiar voice narrates the film’s opening by warmly and masculinely introducing audiences to “The Dude” and also closes the movie with “that about wraps her up.” Besides the bookends, I think you only see this friendly cowboy character one other short time during the movie so it is definitely a strange digression of sorts. Just as odd & peculiar (like all things Coen) this cowboy character doesn’t smoke cigarettes though, he prefers ‘a good sasparilla’ instead. To me, it’s like the Coens know exactly where to draw the line with this one. Had they made the cowboy character smoke cigarettes, well, that would have been far too obvious, right? Sasparilla… Come on, who drinks that shit?! I’m sure it’a all an inside joke to the Coen brothers now. And after all the stoners and college kids around the world saw this film, it was an inside joke to them as well.

Supposedly fans of The Big Lebowski movie actually started the Lebowski Fest traveling festival but I wouldn’t be surprised if these were just more double agents funded by Big Tobacco in order to keep the candle burning on tobacco awareness. For those that don’t know, the Lebowski Fest is an “unofficial” tribute to the Coens’ film The Big Lebowski (1998) where fans come together and celebrate everything about the movie. I’ve been to two of them myself although I didn’t dress up in costumes either time but I will admit, it was a pretty fun time meeting & hanging out with other fans of the movie. But now that I think about it, at the bowling events of the festivals that I attended, smoking was totally allowed inside the bowling alleys and people obviously didn’t hesitate to light up. At the deepest end of the rabbit hole, this whole operation is probably just a traveling roadshow for Big Tobacco all done under the umbrella of one wacky movie by the Coen brothers.

Usually the two-day events feature a screening of The Big Lebowski along with open bowling at a bowling alley with “White Russian” alcoholic beverages served (the Dude’s signature drink from the movie) and a ‘come as your favorite character from the movie’ costume contest which I find to be the most brilliant part of the whole operation. After all, when people dress up like “The Dude” (who was played by actor Jeff Bridges) the costume just isn’t complete without the Pendleton sweater and that hand-rolled wacky-tobacky cigarette. And when people dress up like “Walter Sobchek” (played by actor John Goodman) the costume just isn’t complete without the yellow safety glasses, hunting vest & cargo shorts, and that pack of Marlboro cigarettes with a Zippo lighter. If you’ve ever seen the photos from past Lebowski Fests you will see that multiples of each character’s costume often show up to these events, and sometimes even the celebrity actors themselves will make appearances. As I mentioned, the movie has reached a universal cult status unlike any other. The characters have become almost legendary.

For instance, when lead actor Jeff Bridges (who plays “The Dude” in The Big Lebowski) went to throw out the first pitch at a Cub’s baseball game in Chicago, instead of throwing the ball towasrd home plate, Jeff Bridges actually rolled it on the ground like a bowling ball–obviously as a nod to his most famous character.

There’s a very strange character arc in the Coens’ film The Big Lebowski that no one ever talks about… The Dude (played by actor Jeff Bridges) was a pothead. Walter (played by actor John Goodman) was a chainsmoker. Donny (played by actor Steve Buscemi) was a healthy young man. All three men loved bowling. Both Walter & The Dude always drank beer or liquor while young Donny only drank soda. And yet at the end of the movie, young Donny dies suddenly from heart failure!!!!! What kind of fucked up message is this sending? Too much soda pop’ll kill ya… Better switch to cigarettes & beer.

The gang loves to spend their free time bowling. Apparently, they sit around the bowling alley for hours just shooting the shit. Donny drinks a can of soda. The Dude enjoys White Russians. Walter loves to drink beer and smoke cigarettes. The funniest part of the whole thing is, when the gang finally exits the bowling alley, you can see a big red NO SMOKING sign on the front door. Ha! After smoking dozens of cigarettes inside over a period of several days — a big red NO SMOKING sign on the front door. Another tongue-in-cheek nod from the Coens, no doubt.

A colorful bowling alley was chosen for its “aesthetic qualities/visual beauty/etc” according to Joel/Ethan. [citation needed why Coens chose bowling over baseball] As you know, many classic bowling alleys (including this one) feature that attractive art deco design in many different elements. For instance, the sleek, shiny scoring desks that appear on every lane come complete with ashtrays and drink holders. And believe me, these ashtrays definitely get used in the movie. Is it starting to make sense why the Coens might actually be on the lookout for these kinds of locations?

The Coens also brought back their old pal John Goodman to smoke a bunch of cigarettes and clink a Zippo lighter. Since he acts like an irrational gun crazed Vietnam vet in the movie, Goodman’s drinking and chain-smoking doesn’t seem the least bit odd… especially around your average college dorm.

At the very end, the cowboy puts his final spin on the movie whilst talking directly into the camera… “I guess that about wraps her up” Elliott’s cowboy says but he might as well have said: “Lasso some flavor, kids!”

Along with all of the tobacco, this movie contains quite alot of marijuana and alcohol as well. Marijuana appears in the form of joints and alcohol usually appears as Miller and Miller Lite cups of beer, Miller Genuine Draft glass beer bottles, or as the Dude’s “White Russian” drink. In all honesty, The Big Lebowski (1998) is another Coen brothers’ film which contains just as many alcohol incidents as tobacco incidents. Obviously the Coens brothers made some kind of product placement deal for Miller & Miller Lite beer products to appear in the film. But my primary focus was on the pack of Marlboro Reds carried by Walter Sobchek (played by John Goodman) during a couple of scenes. While watching the film, viewers can easily recognize the white box with the red design. The character of Walter actually handles of several product appearances: in several scenes he can be seen holding a pack of Marlboros, a Zippo lighter, and a cup of Miller beer.

Making jokes of someone in an iron lung? Everyone knew the Coen brothers had kind of a sick sense of humor. Another sick theme/arc/plotline/whathaveyou is the story of young Donny. You remember young Donny; always being told to “shut the fuck up!” by Walter… That poor kid could just never get a word in. The most fascinating part is how, Young Donny, who appears happy and healthy throughout the entire film and never once touches a cigarette or a beer, ends up dying suddenly from a heart attack. The kid drank soda, for pete’s sake. Donny, the one healthy kid who exercises and doesn’t smoke or drink dies suddenly of heart failure! Oh well… I guess he should have smoked cigarettes then maybe he could have lived a long fruitful life like the man in the iron lung. What the fuck kind of influence does all this have on children?

The science behind the three primary characters:
Young Donny = the child
Walter = the everyman
Dude = the enlightened

More insights coming soon…

Fargo

Fargo (1996)

TOBACCO INCIDENTS 107
AVG PER MINUTE 1.14
EDITION MGM DVD released August 15, 2000
MOVIE SUMMARY A dimwitted car salesman hires two guys to kidnap his wife so he can collect the ransom and buy a parking lot.
TOBACCO IN SHORT One of the kidnappers is a chainsmoker; a woman even refers to him as the Marlboro Man.
POSSIBLE SMOKESCREENS (?) The “true story” banner at the start, the extreme violence & stupidity, the famous woodchipper scene at the end.

TOBACCO INCIDENTS: 107

AVG PER MINUTE: 1.14

First visual frame at 0:17
Last visual frame at 94:14
Total visual running time: 93.57

# TIME ANGLE DESCRIPTION
* 3:20 ES Many name brand beer signs are visible such as Bud Light, Miller Lite, Busweiser, and Michelob.
1-3 3:20 ES Inside the bar Peter Stormare sits comatose with a lit cigarette in his mouth, an orange glass ashtray & cigarette machine are visible.
4-5 3:31 Dolly in/MD/2S Closer view of Peter Stormate with a lit cigarette in his mouth, an ashtray & Zippo ligher are visible.
* 3:31 2S Many Grain Belt brand beer bottles are visible in this scene.
6-7 3:40 OTS Repeat of Peter Stormate with a lit cigarette in his mouth, same ashtray & Zippo ligher are visible.
8-9 3:49 OTS Repeat of Peter Stormate with a lit cigarette in his mouth, same ashtray & Zippo ligher are visible.
10-11 3:55 OTS Repeat of Peter Stormate with a lit cigarette in his mouth, same ashtray & Zippo ligher are visible.
12-13 4:03 OTS Repeat of Peter Stormate with a lit cigarette in his mouth, same ashtray & Zippo ligher are visible.
14 4:14 OTS/2S Repeat of Peter Stormate with a lit cigarette in his mouth however a seated William H. Macy is now blocking the ashtray.
15 4:21 OTS Smoke rises in front of William H. Macy from Peter Stormare’s implied cigarette offscreen.
16 4:24 OTS/2S Peter Stormare exhales a puff of smoke & Zippo lighter on the table.
17 4:27 OTS Smoke rises in front of William H. Macy from Peter Stormare’s implied cigarette offscreen.
18 4:32 OTS/2S Smoke rises in front of Peter Stormare from his implied cigarette.
19 4:37 OTS Smoke rises in front of William H. Macy from Peter Stormare’s implied cigarette offscreen.
20 4:42 OTS/2S Peter Stormare leans forward and takes a drag from his cigarette.
21 4:57 OTS Peter Stormare holds a lit cigarette inside his hand.
22 5:00 OTS/2S/Dolly in Peter Stormare ashes into the unseen ashtray then takes a drag from his cigarette & Zippo lighter on the table.
23 5:14 OTS/2S/Dolly in Peter Stormare still holding his cigarette & Zippo lighter on the table.
24 5:31 CU Smoke rises in front of William H. Macy from Peter Stormare’s implied cigarette offscreen.
25 5:47 OTS/2S Peter Stormare holds a lit cigarette inside his hand.
26 5:53 CU Smoke rises in front of William H. Macy from Peter Stormare’s implied cigarette offscreen.
27 6:05 OTS/2S Peter Stormare holds a lit cigarette inside his hand.
28 6:11 OTS/2S Smoke rising in front of Steve Buscemi & Peter Stormare from his implied cigarette offscreen.
29 6:18 OTS/2S Repeat of smoke rising in front of Steve Buscemi & Peter Stormare from his implied cigarette offscreen.
* 7:17 ES Name brand dialog: McDonalds is mentioned three times.
30 8:39 CU Peter Stormare holds a lit cigarette with the car window up. Funny dialog: “Where is pancakes house?”
31 8:47 CU Repeat of Peter Stormare with a lit cigarette.
32 8:53 CU Peter Stormare exhales a big puff of smoke.
33 9:01 CU Peter Stormare holds a lit cigarette.
34 9:14 CU Repeat of Peter Stormare holding a lit cigarette.
35 9:20 CU Repeat of Peter Stormare holding a lit cigarette.
* 9:25 ES Many Oldsmobile cars are visible at the dealership.
36-37 11:38 ES A pack of cigarettes & a clear glass ashtray are visible on the nightstand.
38-40 11:53 ES Peter Stormare with a lit cigarette in his mouth, same pack of cigarettes & ashtray on nightstand.
* 12:26 MD A Sunny Delight brand juice bottle is visible on the table.
* 13:20 ES Many Oldsmobile cars are visible inside the dealership’s mechanic garage.
* 14:24 CU Back in the car, Steve Buscemi lets out a little cough.
41 14:28 CU Peter Stormare has just lit up a cigarette and closes his Zippo lighter.
42 14:30 CU Steve Buscemi dialog: “Can you crack a fuckin window open man? You know it’s proven that second hand smoke… is uh carcino… you know, cancerated.”
43 14:40 CU Peter Stormare with a lit cigarette in his mouth.
44 14:56 CU Peter Stormare holds up a lit cigarette.
45 15:03 CU Repeat of Peter Stormare holding up a lit cigarette.
46 15:15 CU Peter Stormare with a lit cigarette in his mouth.
47 15:36 CU Repeat of Peter Stormare with a lit cigarette in his mouth.
* 19:21 MD A Playboy magazine is partially visible in the bathroom.
48 20:17 Dolly in A big gold ashtray with a pack of cigarettes laying inside & a fancy lighter are visible on the desk.
49 21:03 OTS/MD Same gold ashtray with pack of cigarettes inside & lighter are clearly visible on the desk.
* 22:55 OTS William H. Macy sits down in his frozen car and exhales a puff of smoke (from the extreme cold).
50 25:50 OTS Peter Stormare with a lit cigarette in his mouth.
51 26:00 OTS Repeat of Peter Stormare with a lit cigarette in his mouth.
52 26:12 OTS Repeat of Peter Stormare with a lit cigarette in his mouth.
53 26:28 OTS Repeat of Peter Stormare with a lit cigarette in his mouth.
54 27:02 CU Closeup of Peter Stormare with a lit cigarette in his mouth.
55 27:08 CU Repeat of Peter Stormare as he takes a drag from his cigarette.
56 27:35 CU Peter Stormare with a lit cigarette in his mouth as a cop shines a flashlight in his face.
* 27:42 CU Steve Buscemi opens his mouth and exhales smoke (from the extreme cold).
57 27:59 2S Peter Stormare holds a lit cigarette in his hand & exhales a puff of smoke.
58 28:22 CU Smoke rises in front of Peter Stormare from his implied cigarette offscreen.
59 28:44 2S Peter Stormare with a lit cigarette in his mouth.
60 28:50 CU Closeup of Peter Stormare with a lit cigarette in his mouth.
61 28:53 CU Repeat of Peter Stormare with a lit cigarette in his mouth as he leans toward the camera.
62 28:54 OTS Repeat of Peter Stormare with a lit cigarette in his mouth as he bangs a cop’s head into the door.
63 28:55 ECU Extreme closeup of Peter Stormare with a lit cigarette in his mouth.
* 28:57 CU An Oldsmobile logo is clearly visible on the dashboard as a gun is pulled from the glovebox.
64 28:58 WS Peter Stormare with a lit cigarette in his mouth as he shoots a cop in the head.
65 29:05 CU Peter Stormare with a lit cigarette in his mouth and pointing a gun.
66 29:16 ECU Peter Stormare with a lit cigarette in his mouth.
67 29:39 ECU Repeat of Peter Stormare with a lit cigarette in his mouth.
68 29:47 ECU Repeat of Peter Stormare with a lit cigarette in his mouth.
69 30:10 ECU Repeat of Peter Stormare with a lit cigarette in his mouth.
70 30:22 CU Closeup of Peter Stormare with a lit cigarette in his mouth.
71 30:32 CU Repeat of Peter Stormare with a lit cigarette in his mouth.
72 30:45 TS Tracking by Peter Stormare with a lit cigarette in his mouth.
73 30:48 CU Peter Stormare with a lit cigarette in his mouth jumps behind the wheel of the car.
74 30:52 CU Peter Stormare with a lit cigarette in his mouth as he drives with a gun in his hand.
75 31:01 CU Peter Stormare takes a drag then flicks his cigarette out the window.
* 45:00 MD/2S Dialog by Frances McDormand: “What do we got here, Arby’s?”
76-77 46:00 ES At least two ashtrays are seen on hightop tables & three ashtrays on the bar.
* 46:00 ES A Michelob neon sign is clearly visible on the wall.
* 46:08 2S A Pabst neon sign is partially visible in the background.
78-79 46:50 2S Woman’s dialog: “He looked like the Marlboro Man… but maybe I’m saying that because he smoked a lot of Marlboros…”
* 47:16 Dolly in Peter Stormare exhales several puffs of smoke (from the extreme cold).
This is where the whole tobacco thing becomes diabolical in a way. Here you have the chainsmoker exhaling smoke from being outside in the cold — and the smoke is being captured by light just as brilliantly as the tobacco smoke was. But it all blends together so nicely… I guess smoking really is like breathing for some people.
* 47:28 FS The kidnapped woman exhales puffs of smoke through her hood (from the extreme cold).
* 47:28 FS A Pringles potato chip can is visible on the counter.
* 49:56 ES Many Oldsmobile cars are visible at the dealership.
80 53:06 2S A glass ashtray is clearly visible on the table in front of Frances McDormand.
81 53:22 2S Repeat of same glass ashtray on the table in front of Frances McDormand.
82 53:29 2S Repeat of same glass ashtray on the table in front of Frances McDormand.
83 53:35 2S Repeat of same glass ashtray on the table in front of Frances McDormand.
84 53:42 2S Repeat of same glass ashtray on the table in front of Frances McDormand.
85 53:50 2S Repeat of same glass ashtray on the table in front of Frances McDormand.
86-89 61:27 ES At least four glass ashtrays are visible on tables in the lounge.
90-91 61:51 WS Two glass ashtrays are visible on tables in the lounge.
* 62:00 OTS Frances McDormand dialog: “Just a Diet Coke please.”
92 67:25 Dolly in A large ashtray on a black stand is visible in the background.
* 67:50 ES A Beck’s beer neon sign is visible in the bar.
93 67:50 ES A glass ashtray is visible on a table in the background.
94 68:07 ES Repeat of same glass ashtray on table in the background.
* 79:16 ES Frances McDormand stops at a Hardee’s drive-thru.
* 79:21 ES A Miller Genuine Draft billboard is clearly visible in the background.
95 83:23 ES A glass ashtray full of cigarette butts sits atop a jar in front of Peter Stormare.
96 83:34 ES Repeat of same glass ashtray in front of Peter Stormare.
97 83:48 ES Repeat of same glass ashtray in front of Peter Stormare.
98 83:54 MD/LA Alternate angle of same glass ashtray in front of Peter Stormare.
99 84:01 MD/LA Repeat of same glass ashtray in front of Peter Stormare.
* 84:07 ES A cardboard box/case of Grain Belt beer is clearly visible.
100 84:10 MD/LA Same glass ashtray in front of Peter Stormare.
101 84:28 OTS/LA Same glass ashtray is partially visible in front of Peter Stormare.
102 84:37 OTS/LA Same glass ashtray is clearly visible in front of Peter Stormare.
103 84:55 OTS/LA Repeat of same glass ashtray in front of Peter Stormare.
104 85:16 MD/LA Repeat of same glass ashtray in front of Peter Stormare.
105 85:22 MD/LA Repeat of same glass ashtray in front of Peter Stormare.
106 85:34 MD/LA Repeat of same glass ashtray in front of Peter Stormare.
107 92:32 HH A glass ashtray is briefly visible on the nightstand.

Additional Thoughts…

Fargo (1996) is one of the most widely seen pictures in the Coen brothers canon and is often reviewed by critics as the best film ever made by the Coens. Fargo (1996) has also won several prestigious awards including the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival.

Strangely, a title card saying “THIS IS A TRUE STORY” appears at the very beginning of Fargo (1996). I remember there was even a big stir about the film being based on a true story, you know: kidnapping, murder, the woodchipper and all. It was only much later discovered to be, in fact, not a true story at all. Did the Coen brothers just decide to include that card to make their tale seem much more believable? Or perhaps maybe just another cheeky gag on the public by those zany fun-loving filmmakers. How in the fuck were they allowed to label a work of fiction as a “true story” in the first place? To me, that in itself is remarkable.

Everyone seems to remember Fargo (1996) for the silly Minnesota accents and the grizzly cold-blooded killings… But does anyone really remember all of the cigarettes & alcohol that also helped to fuel the movie? Probably not, because the Coen brothers are the absolute masters of tobacco product placement, in my opinion.

For example, the Coen brothers actually wrote “the ashtray is full” directly into the screenplay for Fargo as a means of telegraphing to the audience that these bar patrons have been here awhile… But ultimately it is just another obviously blatant use of tobacco. However subtle an overflowing ashtray may appear to the audience, this prop achieves something far more than the passage of time… And aren’t there always a multitude of ways to achieve the same effect of time passing inside a film without the use of cigarettes? Well, yeah… Duh.

And who can forget the chainsmoking psychopath played by actor Peter Stormare? His brutish behaviour was disgusting and yet somehow oddly amusing, but why? This coldblooded killer was almost never seen without a cigarette hanging from his lip. I would say that most of the tobacco incidents contained in this movie were portrayed by this character.

[ insert still image of Steve Buscemi & Peter Stormare ]

“Can you crack a fuckin window open man? You know it’s proven that second hand smoke… is uh carcino… you know, cancerated.”

Steve Buscemi’s confused dialog from Fargo (1996). Buscemi plays a kind of everyman turned to crime who sort of knows the health-related tobacco dialog, but not enough to quote it accurately.

FUN FACT – BROTHERS
Actors Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare were so memorable in their roles in Fargo (1996) that they even appeared in another small film together, perhaps you’ve heard of it… The global blockbuster known as Armageddon (1998).

Fargo (1996) has even inspired a television series which appears on the FX channel, now in its third or fourth season. The Coen brothers actually serve as executive producers on the show. It just never ends.

More insights coming soon…

The Hudsucker Proxy

The Hudsucker Proxy (1994)

TOBACCO INCIDENTS 751
AVG PER MINUTE 7.15
EDITION Warner Home Video DVD released May 18, 1999
MOVIE SUMMARY A dimwitted do-gooder is made president of a large company in order to drive down stock prices.
TOBACCO IN SHORT Many of the primary actors smoke including Tim Robbins, Paul Newman, and Jennifer Jason Leigh. Paul Newman is rarely seen without a cigar. Also, hundreds of ashtrays appear.
POSSIBLE SMOKESCREENS (?) Tim Robbins tries to kill hisself, god & the devil fight to stop time… and angel Hudsucker flies down from heaven for a chat.

TOBACCO INCIDENTS: 751

AVG PER MINUTE: 7.15

First visual frame at 0:30
Last visual frame at 105:52
Total visual running time: 105:22

# TIME ANGLE DESCRIPTION
1 4:12 ES A sign for “Tobacconist” is visible on the rotating job board.
2 4:23 MD A sign for “Tobacconist” is briefly visible on the rotating job board.
3 4:26 MD A sign for “Tobacconist” is briefly visible on the rotating job board.
4-7 5:21 Dolly in Four large glass ashtrays are visible as the camera rolls along the conference table toward the windows.
8-12 5:33 Dolly in Four large glass ashtrays & a giant black ashtray with cigar are visible as the camera rolls along the conference table toward Hudsucker.
After these two shots, your brain is somewhat aware that this long conference table holds at least six of the exact same large clear glass ashtrays however henceforth I will only count the ones you can clearly see.
13-14 6:01 ES/Dolly out Two small glass ashtrays are seen on the luncheon counter where Tim Robbins is having coffee.
15 6:08 ES/Dolly out Shot continued from previous: A man in the background takes a drag from his cigarette.
16-17 6:10 CU Same two glass ashtrays are clearly visible as Tim Robbins reclaims a penny from the counter.
18-19 6:25 CU/Pan Same two glass ashtrays are seen again as the newspapers blow off the counter.
20-23 6:29 Dolly in Four glass ashtrays are visible as the camera rolls along the conference table toward the windows.
24-26 6:35 Dolly in Same giant black ashtray with lit cigar & two cannister ashtrays are visible behind Hudsucker.
27-29 7:35 Dolly in Same giant black ashtray with lit cigar & two cannister ashtrays in repeat of Hudsucker.
30-32 7:46 Dolly in Same giant black ashtray with lit cigar & two cannister ashtrays in repeat of Hudsucker.
33-34 7:54 WS At least two glass ashtrays are visible on the conference table (the other four are implied but not seen).
35-37 8:00 WS At least two glass ashtrays on conference table & one cannister ashtray against the right side wall of the boardroom.
38 8:05 CU Hudsucker stands and takes a drag from his cigar at center screen in a nice big closeup.
39-40 8:11 WS Two cannister ashtrays are visible against the side walls of the boardroom.
41 8:15 CU Smoke rises beside Hudsucker from his implied cigar offscreen.
42-44 8:26 CU/Pan Same giant black ashtray with lit cigar & two glass ashtrays are visible as Hudsucker steps up onto the conference table.
45-47 8:31 WS At least two glass ashtrays on conference table & giant black ashtray is briefly visible as Hudsucker twinkles his foot.
It’s like the Coens are already toying with you here… The ashtray was hidden until Hudsucker twinkled his left foot to expose it for a nanosecond — right where your mind knew it would be.
48-49 8:37 WS A glass ashtray visible on conference table & one cannister ashtray in background.
50-53 8:39 FS Three glass ashtrays on conference table & giant black ashtray with lit cigar are visible.
54-56 8:44 WS Two glass ashtrays on conference table & one cannister ashtray partially visible in background.
57-59 8:58 WS Two glass ashtrays on conference table & giant black ashtray with cigar are visible as Hudsucker runs up the table.
60-64 9:03 WS At least two glass ashtrays on conference table, giant black ashtray with cigar & two cannister ashtrays against the side walls.
65 9:18 ES A porcelain ashtray is visible on the desk of a woman typing.
66-68 10:13 WS At least two glass ashtrays on conference table & giant black ashtray with cigar are visible.
69-73 10:16 WS At least two glass ashtrays on conference table, two cannister ashtrays in background & smoke rises from the implied cigar offscreen.
74-75 10:20 Crane/CU Shot continued from previous: camera moves in for a closeup of the giant black ashtray as a lit cigar is lifted out. [Crane/CU]
There is no physical cut here, but the camera goes from stationary into a closeup of the ashtray & cigar — the Coens are using clever and subtle tricks indeed. This is diabolical shit here.
76-77 10:30   Paul Newman holds up a lit cigar & says: “It’s a pity to waste a whole Monte Cristo.” (bonus point for dialog!)
78 10:35 MD A glass ashtray is partially visible on the conference table.
79 10:38 MD A glass ashtray is partially visible on the conference table.
80-84 10:41 MD Paul Newman holds a lit cigar; a glass ashtray & giant black ashtray on the conference table, a cannister ashtray in background.
85 10:52 MD A glass ashtray is partially visible on the conference table.
86-92 11:01 WS Paul Newman walks to center screen and takes a lit cigar out of his mouth; four ashtrays on conference table & two cannister ashtrays in background.
93-95 11:07 MD Paul Newman sits down holding a cigar; same giant black ashtray on conference & cannister ashtray in background.
96 11:10 MD First appearance of Mezzanine guy with a tobacco pipe in his hand.
I’ve seen this movie dozens of times, but I never noticed Mezzanine guy had a pipe in his hand until now.
97-102 11:12 WS Paul Newman holds a lit cigar; same giant black ashtray, two glass ashtrays partially visible, two cannister ashtrays in background.
*** One of the defining images of the film: six tobacco incidents with disctinct lines that are all directed at you the viewer ***
103-108 11:15 WS Four glass ashtrays on conference table & two cannister ashtrays in background.
109 11:17 MD A glass ashtray is partially visible on the conference table.
110-112 11:18 MD Paul Newman holds a lit cigar; same giant black ashtray on conference table & a cannister ashtray in background.
113 11:22 MD A glass ashtray is partially visible on the conference table.
114-116 11:35 MD Paul Newman holds a lit cigar; same giant black ashtray on conference table & a cannister ashtray in background.
117 11:38 MD A glass ashtray is partially visible on the conference table.
118 11:45 CU Paul Newman stands up into the frame holding a cigar.
119 11:52 MD A glass ashtray is partially visible on the conference table.
120 11:55 MD A glass ashtray is partially visible on the conference table.
121 12:01 MD Same Mezzanine guy with a tobacco pipe in his hand.
122 12:03 CU Paul Newman holds a lit cigar at center screen in a nice closeup.
123 12:05   A cannister ashtray is clearly visible behind some of the board members.
124 12:07 CU Paul Newman with a lit cigar in his mouth talking.
125 12:10 MD Same Mezzanine guy with a tobacco pipe in his hand.
126 12:15 CU Paul Newman takes the lit cigar out of his mouth.
127 12:23 MD A cannister ashtray is visible in the background.
128-129 12:26 ES Paul Newman holds the lit cigar and walks over to a tickertape machine; a cannister ashtray is briefly visible in the background.
130 12:30 MD Same Mezzanine guy with a tobacco pipe in his hand.
131-136 12:33 WS Four ashtrays on conference table & two cannister ashtrays in background.
137-138 12:39 MD Same Mezzanine guy with a tobacco pipe in his hand leans forward to reveal a cannister ashtray in the background.
139 12:40 MD A glass ashtray is partially visible on the conference table.
140 12:42 MD A glass ashtray is partially visible on the conference table.
141 12:43 MD Paul Newman holds a lit cigar while standing near the tickertape machine.
142 12:45 LA Paul Newman uses a lit cigar to motion to Hudsucker’s empty chair.
143-146 12:55 Zoom Camera moves into a closeup of Paul Newman holding a lit cigar; same giant black ashtray & two cannister ashtrays are visible.
147-148 13:27 Dolly At least two mailroom workers in the background are smoking cigarettes.
149-150 15:37 HA At least two mailroom workers can be seen taking a drag from their cigarette.
151-152 17:49 ES Two matching cannister ashtrays are clearly visible beside the elevator doors.
153-154 19:04 HH Two matching ashtrays are clearly visible beside the door to Hudsucker’s office.
What no one ever talks about is how fucking stupid Tim Robbins actually has to be for this scene to work!!! He steps off the elevator into a lobby with only two doors & the names are actually painted right on the doors and yet he still does not know where to go? If you isolate this scene it really feels like an extravagant way to show the matching ashtrays that flank both doorways.
155-156 19:23   Two matching ashtrays are clearly visible beside the office door.
157 19:42 Dolly in A silver ashtray is visible on the secretary’s desk.
158-162 19:44 HH/ES Two matching ashtrays inside the door, same silver ashtray on desk, two glass ashtrays between each set of chairs.
163 20:01 Pan/Dolly Same silver ashtray is clearly visible on the secretary’s desk.
164 20:31 HA Same glass ashtray is briefly visible between a set of chairs.
165 20:33 Zoom Same glass ashtray is briefly visible between a set of chairs.
* 20:36 MD Same silver ashtray is visible on the secretary’s desk but shown out of focus.
166-167 20:40 ES Two ashtrays are visible on the arms of the two couches in Paul Newman’s office.
168-171 21:02 ES A glass ashtray & a wooden cigar box are visible on Paul Newman’s desk, same two ashtrays on couch arms.
172-173 21:08 ES Same two ashtrays are visible on the arms of the two couches in Paul Newman’s office.
174-177 21:12 ES Same glass ashtray & wooden cigar box are visible on Paul Newman’s desk, same two ashtrays on couch arms.
178-180 21:15 FS Paul Newman stands up with a lit cigar & places it into the same glass ashtray, same wooden cigar box is visible.
181-184 21:26 ES Same glass ashtray & wooden cigar box are visible on Paul Newman’s desk, same two ashtrays on couch arms.
185-186 21:31 FS Same glass ashtray & wooden cigar box are visible as Paul Newman stands behind his desk.
187-190 21:36 ES Same glass ashtray & wooden cigar box are visible on Paul Newman’s desk, same two ashtrays on couch arms.
191-192 21:39 FS Same glass ashtray & wooden cigar box are visible as Paul Newman stands behind his desk.
193-194 21:45 WS Same glass ashtray & wooden cigar box are visible as Paul Newman stands behind his desk.
195 21:51 MD Closer view of Paul Newman as he picks up a lit cigar and sits down in his chair.
196-199 21:56 ES Same glass ashtray & wooden cigar box are visible on Paul Newman’s desk, same two ashtrays on couch arms.
200 22:02 MD Paul Newman with a lit cigar in his mouth sitting in his chair.
201 22:08 MD Paul Newman with a lit cigar in his mouth sitting in his chair.
202-203 22:11 MD Same two ashtrays are visible on the couch arms behind Tim Robbins.
204 22:16 MD Paul Newman with a lit cigar in his mouth sitting in his chair.
205-206 22:20 MD Same two ashtrays are visible on the couch arms behind Tim Robbins.
207 22:25 MD Paul Newman with a lit cigar in his mouth sitting in his chair.
208-209 22:29 MD Same two ashtrays are visible on the couch arms behind Tim Robbins.
210 22:30 CU Paul Newman with a lit cigar in his mouth stands up into the frame.
211-212 22:33 MD Same two ashtrays are visible on the couch arms behind Tim Robbins.
213-214 22:35 MD/Dolly Paul Newman with a lit cigar in his mouth walks over to Tim Robbins, wooden cigar box is partially visible on desk.
215 23:00 OTS Shot continued from previous: Paul Newman pulls an unlit cigar from his pocket and jams it into Tim Robbins’ mouth.
216-219 23:06 2S Paul Newman with a lit cigar in his mouth talks to Tim Robbins with an unlit cigar in his mouth, same two ashtrays on couch arms.
220 23:26 MD Tim Robbins with an unlit cigar in his mouth sits down in Paul Newman’s chair.
221-222 23:33 MD Same two ashtrays are visible on the couch arms behind Paul Newman.
223 23:35 MD Tim Robbins with an unlit cigar in his mouth sitting in Paul Newman’s chair.
224-225 23:37 MD Same two ashtrays are visible on the couch arms behind Paul Newman.
226 23:40 MD Tim Robbins with an unlit cigar in his mouth puts his feet up on the desk.
227 23:46 OTS Tim Robbins with an unlit cigar in his mouth as Paul Newman steps around the desk & grabs a lighter.
228 23:52 MD Paul Newman helps Tim Robbins light his cigar then slams the ligher down.
229 24:00 OTS Tim Robbins with a lit cigar in his mouth as he listens to Paul Newman.
230 24:02 CU Tim Robbins with a lit cigar in his mouth sitting in Paul Newman’s chair.
231 24:04 CU Smoke rises beside Paul Newman from Tim Robbins’ implied cigar offscreen.
232 24:08 CU Tim Robbins removes a lit cigar from his mouth to answer Paul Newman.
233 24:11 CU Smoke rises beside Paul Newman from Tim Robbins’ implied cigar offscreen.
234 24:14 CU Tim Robbins holding a lit cigar & talking.
235 24:16 CU Smoke rises beside Paul Newman from Tim Robbins’ implied cigar offscreen.
236 24:17 CU Tim Robbins holding a lit cigar & talking.
237 24:19 OTS Tim Robbins with a lit cigar in his mouth as he listens to Paul Newman.
238 24:24 CU Tim Robbins with a lit cigar in his mouth sitting in Paul Newman’s chair.
239 24:28 CU Tim Robbins with a lit cigar in his mouth sitting in Paul Newman’s chair.
240 24:31 CU Tim Robbins removes a lit cigar from his mouth to talk.
241 24:33 CU Smoke rises beside Paul Newman from Tim Robbins’ implied cigar offscreen.
242 24:34 CU Paul Newman tries to grab the lit cigar out of Tim Robbins’s mouth.
243 24:34 CU Paul Newman still pulling on the implied cigar.
244 24:35 CU Tim Robbins finally lets go of the cigar with his teeth.
245 24:40 CU The abused cigar rests on a stack of documents and begins to flame up.
246-249 24:42 MD Tim Robbins removes the flaming cigar from the documents; same glass ashtray & wooden cigar box on desk, an ashtray on couch arm.
250-253 24:51 ES Same glass ashtray & wooden cigar box on desk, same two ashtrays on couch arms.
254 25:05 MD Same ashtray is visible on the couch arm behind Tim Robbins.
255 25:06 MD Same ashtray is visible on the couch arm behind Paul Newman.
256-258 25:10 MD Same wooden cigar box is partially visible on desk & same two ashtrays are visible on the couch arms.
259-261 25:21 MD Same wooden cigar box is partially visible on desk & same two ashtrays are visible on the couch arms.
262-265 25:25 ES Same glass ashtray & wooden cigar box on desk, same two ashtrays on couch arms.
266 25:30 BE Same glass ashtray is visible on Paul Newman’s desk from a bird’s eye view.
267 25:42 FS Same ashtray is clearly visible on the arm of the couch behind Tim Robbins.
268-271 25:46 Dolly in Same glass ashtray & wooden cigar box are partially visible on desk, same two ashtrays on couch arms.
272 25:50 FS Same wooden cigar box is partially visible on desk.
273-274 25:58 MD Same glass ashtray & wooden cigar box are partially visible on desk.
275-276 26:02 ES A porcelain ashtray on the coffee table & a brass ashtray on the lamp table inside of another office.
277 26:20 ES/Dolly Paul Newman holds a lit cigar in a flashback of his suit tailor.
278 26:32 LA/POV Paul Newman holds a cigar in a flashback of his suit tailor.
279 26:36 LA/POV Paul Newman holds a cigar in a flashback of his suit tailor.
280 26:50 MD A cigar is partially visible in Paul Newman’s pocket as he hangs upside down out the window.
* 26:58 Dolly in A Singer brand sewing machine is visible in another flashback of the suit tailor.
281 27:13 MD Same cigar is partially visible in Paul Newman’s pocket as he hangs upside down out the window.
282 27:18 MD Paul Newman pulls the cigar from his pocket and sticks it in his mouth as he hangs upside down out the window.
283 27:25 ES/Dolly out Paul Newman with a lit cigar in his mouth walks into view at the start of the laughing montage.
284 27:33 CU Paul Newman with a lit cigar in his mouth laughing with the other board members.
285-288 28:11 HH At least three glass ashtrays are visible on the conference table & one cannister ashtray in background.
289-290 28:22 Dolly in Paul Newman with a lit cigar in his mouth laughing & same glass ashtray on his desk.
Strangely, the wooden cigar box has been removed from Paul Newman’s desk for this particular shot.
291-292 28:46 ES/Dolly out A large gold ashtray on the coffee table & small yellow glass ashtray on lamp table in Tim Robbins’ office.
You find out later in #375 that the other silver item seen here on the coffee table is actually a large cigarette case.
293 28:58 ES/Dolly out John Mahoney holds a lit cigar & a wooden cigar box is partially visible on the desk.
294-298 29:12 ES At least five men are smoking cigarettes at the staff meeting.
299-304 29:14 ES/HH John Mahoney with a lit cigar, same wooden cigar box & gold ashtray on desk, man smoking a cigarette, man with cigarette over his ear, smoke rising from an implied cigarette.
305 29:30 2S Smoke rises from an implied cigarette below the frame.
306-308 29:32 TS/OTS John Mahoney with a lit cigar, man smoking a cigarette & man with cigarette over his ear.
309 29:42 OTS A man at the staff meeting is smoking a cigarette.
310-312 29:44 ES/HH John Mahoney with a lit cigar, man with cigarette over his ear, same gold ashtray & wooden cigar box on desk, smoke rising from an implied cigarette.
313 29:50 CU Man with cigarette over his ear.
314-316 29:52 MD John Mahoney with a lit cigar, same gold ashtray & wooden cigar box are clearly visible on the desk and he nearly slams the lid shut on someone’s finger.
317 29:56 MD Reversal shot shows the same wooden cigar box in the foreground.
318-320 29:58 MD John Mahoney with a lit cigar, same gold ashtray & wooden cigar box are clearly visible on the desk.
321 30:03 MD A man in the background is holding a lit cigarette.
322-324 30:06 MD John Mahoney with a lit cigar, same gold ashtray & wooden cigar box are clearly visible on the desk.
325 30:08 MD Same man in background holding a lit cigarette.
326-328 30:09 MD John Mahoney with a lit cigar, same gold ashtray & wooden cigar box are clearly visible on the desk.
329-331 30:17 MD/Dolly in John Mahoney with a lit cigar, same gold ashtray & wooden cigar box are clearly visible on the desk.
332-335 30:34 ES Same gold ashtray & wooden cigar box on desk, Bruce Campbell with a lit cigarette, a man smoking a cigar.
336 30:36 CU John Mahoney with a lit cigar.
337-339 30:47 HH Bruce Campbell with a lit cigarette, a man smoking a cigar, a man in the background holding a lit cigarette.
340-341 31:03 OTS John Mahoney with a lit cigar & Bruce Campbell with a lit cigarette.
342 31:05 CU Smoke rises from John Mahoney’s implied cigar below the frame.
343 31:08 CU Bruce Campbell with a lit cigarette sits behind Jennifer Jason Leigh.
344-345 31:10 CU Bruce Campbell with a lit cigarette sits behind Jennifer Jason Leigh who holds up an unlit cigar then tosses it over her shoulder.
346 31:12 CU John Mahoney with a lit cigar.
347-350 31:14 WS John Mahoney with a lit cigar, same gold ashtray & wooden cigar box on desk, Bruce Campbell with a lit cigarette.
351 31:18 CU John Mahoney looks at his lit cigar.
352-357 31:21 WS/OTS John Mahoney with a lit cigar, same gold ashtray & wooden cigar box on desk, a man smoking a cigar, Jennifer Jason Leigh with a lit cigarette, man in background with a lit cigarette.
358-359 31:25 MD Jennifer Jason Leigh sits on the desk holding a lit cigarette & John Mahoney with a lit cigar.
360-361 31:30 MD Smoke rises beside Jennifer Jason Leigh from her implied cigarette, a man stands up and puts an unlit cigar in his mouth.
362-364 31:33 FS A man with a lit cigarette in his mouth, a man with an unlit cigar in his mouth, another man with a lit cigarette in his mouth.
365 31:48 MD Same ashtray outside of Paul Newman’s office is seen in the background.
366 31:55 MD Same ashtray outside of Paul Newman’s office is seen in the background.
367 31:59 MD Paul Newman with a lit cigar steps off the elevator.
368 32:03 Dolly Paul Newman with a lit cigar walks through the lobby, a cannister ashtray is briefly visible beside the elevator door.
369 32:33 2S/Dolly Paul Newman with a lit cigar exits the revolving door.
370 32:49 HA Paul Newman with a lit cigar gets into his limo.
371 32:59 2S A glass ashtray is visible on the luncheon counter.
372-373 33:17 Crane Two glass ashtrays are visible at the edges of the counters.
374 35:10 Dolly in Same ashtray beside the elevator is visible in the background.
375-377 35:12 Dolly in A silver ashtray & a little gold cup filled with loose cigarettes on Tim Robbins’ desk, a gold astray on the lamp table in background.
The silver ashtray seen here which now sits open had previously resembled a small rolodex back when it was closed in #291.
378-379 35:22 Pan Shot continued from previous: same yellow glass ashtray on lamp table & gold ashtray on coffee table.
380 35:30 MD Same yellow glass ashtray is clearly visible on the lamp table.
381 35:47 MD Same yellow glass ashtray is partially visible on the lamp table.
382 35:58 MD Same yellow glass ashtray is clearly visible on the lamp table.
383-384 36:08 WS Same yellow glass ashtray on lamp table & gold ashtray on coffee table.
385-386 36:17   Tim Robbins offers Jennifer Jason Leigh a “cigareet” as he clumsily spills them out of the case. She declines. (Bonus point for dialog!)
387-390 36:38 ES Same yellow glass ashtray on lamp table & gold ashtray on coffee table, same silver cigarette case & some loose cigarettes are visible.
391-392 36:43 Dolly in Same silver ashtray & little gold cup of loose cigarettes on the desk as Jennifer Jason Leigh walks behind.
393 36:50 CU Jennifer Jason Leigh lights up a cigarette while hovering over the desk.
394-395 37:00 CU Jennifer Jason Leigh tosses the cigarette into the implied ashtray below the frame then waves away the remaining smoke.
396-398 37:04 FS A yellow glass ashtray on nearest lamp table, same ashtray partially visible on far lamp table & some loose cigarettes on the floor.
399-400 37:06 MD Same yellow glass ashtray on lamp table & Jennifer Jason Leigh lets out a puff of smoke.
401 37:12 MD Same yellow glass ashtray on far lamp table behind Jennifer Jason Leigh.
402 37:22 MD Same yellow glass ashtray on far lamp table behind Jennifer Jason Leigh.
403-404 37:30 HH Same silver ashtray & little gold cup of loose cigarettes on the desk behind Tim Robbins.
The silver ashtray on the desk has now been closed back up, probably by Jennifer Jason Leigh after her secret cigarette.
405-407 38:05 WS Same two yellow glass ashtrays on lamp tables & same gold ashtray on coffee table.
408 38:34 CU Same yellow glass ashtray on lamp table behind Jennifer Jason Leigh.
409 38:43 CU Same yellow glass ashtray on lamp table behind Jennifer Jason Leigh.
410-411 38:51 FS/HH Same yellow glass ashtray on lamp tables & same gold ashtray on coffee table.
412-414 39:07 ES/Dolly out An orange ashtray with cigar on man’s desk, large clear glass ashtray on Jennifer Jason Leigh’s desk, man smoking a cigar in background.
* 39:14   Jennifer Jason Leigh types her story on a vintage Royal brand typewriter.
415 39:14 WS Same large clear glass ashtray on Jennifer Jason Leigh’s desk.
416 39:17 WS Same large clear glass ashtray on Jennifer Jason Leigh’s desk.
417 39:23 WS/Dolly in Same large clear glass ashtray on Jennifer Jason Leigh’s desk & same orange ashtray with cigar on man’s desk.
418 39:38   Shot continued from previous: Bruce Campbell pulls out a pack of Lucky Strike cigarettes and sticks one in his mouth.
419 39:44 MD/OTS Bruce Campbell with an unlit cigarette in his mouth.
420-422 39:47 WS Same orange ashtray with cigar on man’s desk, Bruce Campbell lights his cigarette & smoke rises behind the crossword board from an implied smoker.
423 39:58 MD Bruce Campbell smoking a cigarette.
424-425 40:01   Same orange ashtray with cigar on man’s desk & Bruce Campbell smoking a cigarette.
426-428 40:18 2S Jennifer Jason Leigh takes Bruce Campbell’s cigarette for a drag then he takes it back & same orange ashtray partially visible in background.
429-431 40:47 Dolly in Bruce Campbell with a cigarette in his mouth, a man in background smoking & smoke rising from an implied smoker.
432 41:15 CU A small headline on the newspaper front page reads “Cigarettes, Gas Taxes May Go Up”
433-434 41:21 OTS Same silver ashtray is visible on Tim Robbins’ desk (albeit closed this time) & same gold astray on the lamp table in background.
435 41:34 MD Same silver ashtray is visible on Tim Robbins’ desk.
436 41:40 MD Same silver ashtray is visible on Tim Robbins’ desk.
437 41:49 MD Same silver ashtray is visible on Tim Robbins’ desk.
438 41:58 MD Same silver ashtray is visible on Tim Robbins’ desk.
439 42:08 MD Same silver ashtray is visible on Tim Robbins’ desk.
440 42:22 MD Same silver ashtray is visible on Tim Robbins’ desk.
441 42:32 MD Same silver ashtray is visible on Tim Robbins’ desk.
442 42:40 MD Same silver ashtray is visible on Tim Robbins’ desk.
443 42:47 MD Same silver ashtray is visible on Tim Robbins’ desk.
444 42:51 MD Same silver ashtray is visible on Tim Robbins’ desk.
445 43:00 MD Same silver ashtray is visible on Tim Robbins’ desk.
446 43:08 MD Same silver ashtray is visible on Tim Robbins’ desk.
447 43:16 MD Same silver ashtray is visible on Tim Robbins’ desk.
448 43:20 FS Same gold ashtray is visible on the lamp table.
449 43:40 FS Same gold ashtray is visible on the lamp table.
450 43:49 FS Same gold ashtray is visible on the lamp table.
451 44:02 WS Same silver ashtray is visible on Tim Robbins’ desk.
452 44:10 WS Same silver ashtray is visible on Tim Robbins’ desk.
453 44:20 Dolly/Pan Same yellow glass ashtray on the lamp table as Tim Robbins walks by.
454 44:39 WS Same silver ashtray is visible on Tim Robbins’ desk.
455-456 44:57 ES Same two ashtrays can be seen outside an office door as a security guard wanders around.
457 45:28 FS Same silver ashtray is visible on the desk as Jennifer Jason Leigh snoops around.
458 45:46 FS Same yellow glass ashtray on the lamp table as Jennifer Jason Leigh walks by.
* 46:03   Jennifer Jason Leigh enters the Hudsucker building’s smokey clockworks room.
459 46:49 POV Same glass ashtray holding a lit cigar is visible on Paul Newman’s desk through a keyhole.
460 47:19 LA/POV Character named Moses with a cigarette over his ear.
461 47:26 LA/POV Moses with a cigarette over his ear.
462 47:38 HA/POV Jennifer Jason Leigh taps on a pack of cigarettes then extends it toward the camera as a peace offering to Moses.
463 47:45 LA/POV Moses pulls the cigarette from over his ear then reaches for his pocket.
464 47:50 HA/POV Jennifer Jason Leigh puts the pack of cigarettes back in her purse.
465 47:58 LA/POV Moses with a lit cigarette in his hand.
466 48:08 LA/POV Moses with a lit cigarette in his hand.
467 48:16 MD Closer view of Moses with a lit cigarette in his hand.
468 48:24 LA/POV Moses with a lit cigarette in his hand.
469 48:40 LA/POV Moses with a lit cigarette in his hand.
470 48:47 LA/POV Moses with a lit cigarette in his hand.
471 48:56 LA/POV Moses with a lit cigarette in his hand as he throws a towel down.
472 49:07 MD Closer view of Moses with a lit cigarette in his hand.
473 49:18 LA/POV Moses with a lit cigarette in his hand.
474 49:23 LA/POV Moses with a lit cigarette in his hand.
475 49:42 CU/Dolly out John Mahoney crumples up a piece of paper to reveal a lit cigar in his mouth.
This scene is an exact mirror of #649 / 84:01.
476 49:48 MD John Mahoney with a lit cigar in his hand.
477 49:50 MD Bruce Campbell with a lit cigarette in his mouth.
478-480 49:53 OTS Bruce Campbell with a lit cigarette in his mouth, John Mahoney with a lit cigar in his hand & same wooden cigar box on the desk.
481-482 49:57 MD Bruce Campbell with a lit cigarette in his mouth & a man smoking in the background.
483 50:00 CU/OTS Closer view of Bruce Campbell’s mouth & cigarette as he works on his cartoon drawing.
This one is especially subtle — it’s a very quick flash and your eyes probably focus on the cartoon art rather than Bruce Campbell’s cigarette but it’s hard to miss it being silhouetted over the cartoon like that.
484-486 50:02 OTS Bruce Campbell with a lit cigarette in his mouth, John Mahoney with a lit cigar in his hand & same wooden cigar box on the desk.
487 50:16 MD Bruce Campbell with a lit cigarette in his mouth.
488 50:19 MD John Mahoney with a lit cigar in his hand.
489-490 50:26 MD/Pan John Mahoney with a lit cigar in his hand & same wooden cigar box on the desk.
491 50:34 MD Bruce Campbell with a lit cigarette in his mouth.
492-494 50:41 OTS Bruce Campbell with a lit cigarette in his mouth, John Mahoney with a lit cigar in his hand & same wooden cigar box on the desk.
Bruce Campbell, despite being forcefully slapped across the face, has somehow managed to keep the cigarette in his mouth.
495 50:45 MD Bruce Campbell with a lit cigarette in his mouth.
496-498 50:48 OTS Bruce Campbell with a lit cigarette in his mouth, John Mahoney with a lit cigar in his hand & same wooden cigar box on the desk.
* 51:01 ES Lots of champagne, wine, and martinis appear at the Christmas gala.
499 51:58 LA/POV Paul Newman with a lit cigar in his mouth walks into view in a tuxedo.
500 52:02 LA/POV Paul Newman takes the lit cigar out of his mouth.
501 52:07 LA/POV Paul Newman with a lit cigar in his mouth.
502 52:11 HH Paul Newman with a lit cigar walks with Tim Robbins.
503 52:38 OTS/2S Paul Newman with a lit cigar as Tim Robbins speaks to an investor.
504 53:09 OTS/2S Paul Newman with a lit cigar returns to keep Tim Robbins out of trouble.
505 53:13 HH Paul Newman with a lit cigar walks with Tim Robbins.
506 53:22 2S Paul Newman with a lit cigar stands next to Tim Robbins.
507 53:30 2S Paul Newman with a lit cigar stands next to Tim Robbins.
508 53:50 FS/Dolly in Peter Gallagher with an alcoholic drink & a lit cigarette both in one hand comes to the stage and sings “Memories are made of this…”
What more do you need? Memories are made of this… A drink in one hand and a smoke in the other. I guess the Coens have two sponsors.
509 54:07 MD/LA Closer view of Peter Gallagher singing with a drink & lit cigarette in the same hand.
510 60:00 Dolly out Same cannister ashtray is clearly visible as Tim Robbins hulas — this is the first appearance of the bright red hula hoop.
Beginning on Tim Robbins’ smiling face & bobblin head, the camera pulls back to reveal him hula-hooping at the end of the conference table where it all began. Also, the first mirror trick of the missing cannister ashtray.
511-514 60:17 WS Same four glass ashtrays are clearly visible on the conference table.
The water glasses & pitchers seen earlier on the conference table have all been strangely removed for this board meeting but why?
515 60:23 Dolly in Same cannister ashtray is clearly visible as Tim Robbins hula-hoops.
516 60:53 Dolly in/MD Paul Newman takes a cigar out of his mouth whilst wearing a fancy new pinstripe suit.
517 61:02 LA Paul Newman with a cigar as Tim Robbins’ waist is hula-hooping in the foreground.
518 61:14 LA Paul Newman with a cigar as Tim Robbins’ waist is hula-hooping in the foreground.
519-522 61:26 MD/HH Paul Newman with a cigar sits on the end of the conference table & same four ashtrays are seen.
523-525 61:52 Dolly At least three men can be seen with cigarettes in their mouths.
526 61:54 RA/Dolly A man with a cigarette in his mouth.
527 62:27 ES One of the silhouetted guys has a cigarette in his hand.
* 62:27 ES A liquor bottle is visible through the window beside the other silhouettes.
To see the liquor bottle so crystal clear through the window when everything else is an empty silhouette — this shot is responsible for triggering my assumption about alcohol playing as big a role as tobacco in many Coens’ films.
528 63:08 ES One of the silhouetted guys has a cigarette in his hand.
529-530 63:54 ES One of the silhouetted guys has a cigarette in his hand & the other is clearly smoking a cigarette.
531 64:21 ES/Dolly in Same two silhouetted guys with cigarettes in their hands.
532 65:03 Dolly in The toy store owner is smoking a cigarette.
This toy store owner who you just saw innocently whistling only seconds earlier in the same location & who also looks like Walt Disney is now smoking a cigarette as he waits for customers. See what I mean, it’s diabolical shit that normal humans would never notice, but then later might be unexpectedly craving a cigarette.
533-534 65:16 WS Same silver ashtray & little gold cup of loose cigarettes on the desk as Tim Robbins paces nervously.
535 65:22 WS Same gold ashtray is visible on the lamp table.
* 65:52   An old Pepsi machine is clearly visible on the street as the red hula hoop rolls by.
* 66:00   The young boy that hula hoops is wearing bright red Chuck Taylor shoes.
536 67:34 MD Same gold ashtray is briefly visible on the lamp table.
537-538 67:39 Dolly in Same silver ashtray & little gold cup of loose cigarettes on the desk.
539 68:25 ES A man smokes a tobacco pipe whilst hula-hooping in the “Tidbits of Time” segment. A large ashtray is also visible on the coffee table.
* 68:46 ES NBC, ABC, and CBS microphones are clearly visible as Tim Robbins receives a call from President Eisenhower.
540-541 70:09 ES A man removes a tobacco pipe from his mouth & a woman puts a cigarette in hers at the hula-hoop party in another b&w segment.
542 70:14 FS A man holds a pack of cigarettes whilst hula-hooping and one seems to wiggle out.
* 71:04 Crane Copies of Life, Time, Look, and Esquire magazine are visible on the rack behind Anna Nicole Smith.
543 71:57 Dolly out Same glass ashtray is clearly visible next to a water glass on the conference table.
544 72:00 CU Paul Newman with a lit cigar in his mouth through the face hole of the massage table.
545 72:07 CU Paul Newman with a lit cigar raises up from the massage table.
546 72:22 MD Paul Newman with a lit cigar as the body massage continues.
547-550 72:29 WS/Pan Paul Newman with a lit cigar in his mouth in background & at least three glass ashtrays are visible on the conference table.
551 72:50 MD Paul Newman with a lit cigar in his mouth as the body massage continues.
552-555 72:52 Dolly Same four glass ashtrays are visible on the conference table.
556-558 72:54 WS Same three glass ashtrays are visible on the conference table.
559 72:57 MD Paul Newman with a lit cigar as the body massage continues.
560-563 73:06 WS At least two glass ashtrays are briefly visible on the conference table after Myron slides down the window.
564-569 73:09 WS At least six glass ashtrays are visible on the conference table.
570-572 73:15 FS Paul Newman with a lit cigar stands up to reveal a glass ashtray on the massage table & a cannister ashtray in the background.
573-574 74:19 ES/Dolly in Tim Robbins smokes a cigar & a yellow glass ashtray is visible on the desk.
575 74:25 WS Same yellow glass ashtray is visible on the desk as Jennifer Jason Leigh enters the room.
576-577 74:31 Dolly in Tim Robbins smokes a cigar & same yellow glass ashtray visible on the desk.
578 74:39 MD Close view of Tim Robbins holding a lit cigar.
579 74:44 MD Close view of Tim Robbins holding a lit cigar.
580 74:49 MD Close view of Tim Robbins as he conducts the music with his lit cigar — basically waving it right into the camera.
581 74:57 MD Close view of Tim Robbins holding a lit cigar.
582 75:06 MD Close view of Tim Robbins as he conducts the music with his lit cigar — basically waving it right into the camera.
583 75:12 OTS Jennifer Jason Leigh snatches the cigar out of Tim Robbins’s hand.
584 75:14 MD Jennifer Jason Leigh waves smoke out of the air.
585-586 75:17 MD/Dolly out Jennifer Jason Leigh puts the cigar out in the same yellow glass ashtray on the desk then carries it across the room.
587 75:22 WS Jennifer Jason Leigh with a cigar in hand throws the musicians out of the room.
588 75:27 WS Jennifer Jason Leigh with a cigar in hand standing in the middle of the room.
589 75:35 WS Jennifer Jason Leigh with a cigar in hand standing in the middle of the room.
590 75:43 MD Smoke rises in front of Jennifer Jason Leigh from the implied cigar.
591 76:06 MD Same yellow glass ashtray with cigar is clearly visible on the desk.
592 78:38 MD Same glass ashtray is visible on the lamp table in the background.
593 78:45 OTS Same silver ashtray is visible on the desk in front of Tim Robbins.
594 79:04 OTS Same silver ashtray is visible on the desk in front of Tim Robbins.
Buzz holds a yellow drink with a bendy red straw in the exact space over Tim Robbins’s desk where the other yellow ashtray & (red) cigar sat previously. Are the Coen brother’s really this decietful on purpose? They seem to be experts at getting your brain to associate cigarettes with fun things based on visual stimuli — that’s probably not an accident.
595 79:35 MD Same silver ashtray is visible on the desk beside Tim Robbins.
596 79:44 MD Same silver ashtray is visible on the desk beside Tim Robbins.
597 79:50 MD Same silver ashtray is visible on the desk beside Tim Robbins.
598 79:55 MD Same silver ashtray is visible on the desk beside Tim Robbins.
599 79:57 MD Same silver ashtray is visible on the desk beside Tim Robbins.
600-601 80:29 Dolly/Pan Same gold ashtray is visible on the coffee table as Buzz crawls away & another ashtray on the coffee table out in the lobby.
602 81:07 OTS Paul Newman with a lit cigar in his mouth as he looks out the window.
603-605 81:22 OTS Paul Newman with a lit cigar, a glass ashtray on the conference table & a cannister ashtray briefly visible behind Tim Robbins’ golf bag.
606-607 81:32 MD Both cannister ashtrays are briefly visible as Tim Robbins sits down at the conference table.
608-609 81:34 WS Paul Newman with a lit cigar & same glass ashtray on the conference table.
This glass ashtray glows extremely bright even when Paul Newman steps in front of the window to block all natural light from it. A spotlight from above perhaps? That’s how you know the Coens are in the tobacco business. There’s no reason for this highlight otherwise.
610 81:36 MD Same cannister ashtray is visible beside Tim Robbins in his chair.
The other cannister ashtray is now hidden behind Tim Robbins’ golf bag… Perhaps another way the Coens are helping you to associate smoking with fun!
611-613 81:42 WS Paul Newman with a lit cigar walks toward the camera, same glowing glass ashtray on conference table & same cannister ashtray in background.
614 81:51 MD Same cannister ashtray is visible beside Tim Robbins in his chair.
615-617 81:53 WS Paul Newman with a lit cigar walks toward the camera, same glowing glass ashtray on conference table & same cannister ashtray in background.
618 82:08 MD Closer view of Paul Newman with a lit cigar.
619-622 82:18 TS Paul Newman with a lit cigar, same glowing glass ashtray on conference table & two cannister ashtrays are visible.
623-624 82:26 FS Paul Newman with a lit cigar & same cannister ashtray is visible beside Tim Robbins in his chair.
625-626 82:42 MD Both cannister ashtrays are visible beside Tim Robbins in his chair.
627-629 82:49 FS Paul Newman with a lit cigar walks away to reveal the same glowing glass ashtray on conference table & same cannister ashtray in background.
630-631 82:55 MD Both cannister ashtrays are visible beside Tim Robbins in his chair.
632-633 82:59 FS Closer view of Paul Newman with a lit cigar & same glowing glass ashtray on conference table.
634-635 83:04 MD Both cannister ashtrays are visible beside Tim Robbins in his chair.
636-637 83:05 FS Closer view of Paul Newman with a lit cigar & same glowing glass ashtray on conference table.
Paul Newman does actually block out the glowing light of the ashtray when stepping in front of the window this time. In a closer shot such as this, it might just be another way for the Coens to bring attention to it.
638-639 83:09 MD Both cannister ashtrays are visible beside Tim Robbins in his chair.
640-642 83:13 WS Paul Newman with a lit cigar, same glowing glass ashtray & same cannister ashtray is briefly visible.
643-644 83:25 MD Both cannister ashtrays are visible beside Tim Robbins in his chair.
645-647 83:30 WS/Pan Paul Newman with a lit cigar walks toward the camera, same glowing ashtray on conference table & same cannister ashtray in background.
648 83:38 Dolly in Paul Newman with a lit cigar as he walks behind Tim Robbins.
649 84:01 CU/Dolly in Jennifer Jason Leigh lowers a newspaper to reveal John Mahoney with a lit cigar.
This scene is a mirror of #475 / 49:42.
650 84:07 Dolly in Shot continued from previous: whip pan around to Bruce Campbell who lights up a cigarette with a Zippo lighter.
651-653 84:16 MD John Mahoney with a lit cigar, same yellow glass ashtray & wooden cigar box on the desk.
654-657 84:20 OTS/FS John Mahoney with a lit cigar, same yellow glass ashtray & wooden cigar box on the desk, Bruce Campbell with a lit cigarette.
658-660 84:24 MD John Mahoney with a lit cigar, same yellow glass ashtray & wooden cigar box on the desk.
661 84:26 MD Jennifer Jason Leigh strikes a match and almost lights a cigarette.
662 84:28 MD Bruce Campbell with a lit cigarette.
663 84:32 MD Jennifer Jason Leigh with a lit cigarette.
664 84:38 CU Smoke rises beside Jennifer Jason Leigh from her implied cigarette below the frame.
665 84:54 MD Bruce Campbell with a lit cigarette.
666-668 84:58 MD John Mahoney looks at his cigar then puts it out in the same yellow glass ashtray. Same wooden cigar box on the desk.
669 85:00 MD Bruce Campbell with a lit cigarette.
670-671 85:04 MD Jennifer Jason Leigh nearly slams the wooden cigar box shut on John Mahoney’s finger. Same yellow glass ashtray on the desk.
672 85:08 Dolly in/CU Bruce Campbell with a lit cigarette in his mouth.
Bruce Campbell get smacked upside the head by Jennifer Jason Leigh but again he manages to keep the cigarette in his mouth.
673-679 85:35 ES Three men at the conference table are smoking & at least four glass ashtrays are visible.
No more water glasses & pitchers for these board members — all they care about today is smoking up the boardroom!
680-684 86:17 ES A man the conference table is smoking & at least four glass ashtrays are visible.
685 86:25 MD Paul Newman with a lit cigar sitting near the movie projector.
686-693 86:29 WS At least eight glass ashtrays are clearly visible on the conference table.
694 86:31 MD Paul Newman with a lit cigar sitting near the movie projector.
695-702 86:44 WS At least eight glass ashtrays are clearly visible on the conference table.
703-704 87:11 HH A glass ashtray is visible on the corner of the bar & another on the balloon table in the background.
* 87:15   Tim Robbins keeps asking for a martini despite the fact he’s in a juice & coffee bar.
This scene where intoxicated Tim Robbins keeps asking for a martini begins a huge shift in the movie which now leans toward alcoholic drinks instead of tobacco products. Do the Coens switch to alcohol in the third act merely as a way of shifting your perspective from the heavy smoking overload your brain has just seen to something more mind-numbing like alcohol??
705 87:18 OTS Same glass ashtray on the balloon table in the background.
706 87:28 OTS Same glass ashtray on the balloon table in the background.
707 87:34 OTS Same glass ashtray on the balloon table in the background.
708 87:45 OTS Same glass ashtray on the balloon table in the background.
709 89:56 HH Same glass ashtray on the corner of the bar as Tim Robbins stampedes away.
710 89:58 MD Same glass ashtray is partially visible on the table.
711 90:15 Pan Same glass ashtray on the balloon as Tim Robbins climbs the spiral staircase.
* 91:15 ES The board members celebrate in spooky lighting by drinking martinis and wearing little pointy hats. “The barred window boys are out looking for him now.”
* 91:25 MD Even Paul Newman has shed his cigar for a martini.
* 91:49   Tim Robbins runs into Buzz outside of a new year’s eve party where alot of partygoers drinking alcohlic beverages turn into an angry mob.
* 93:08   The angry mob chases Tim Robbins down an alley where a man sits drinking & several empty liquor bottles around… He sings: “Ring out the old, ring in the new!”
712-713 94:15 ES/Dolly in Paul Newman smoking a cigar & same glass ashtray is clearly visible on the desk.
714-715 94:31 OTS/Dolly in/CU Paul Newman smoking a cigar & same glass ashtray is clearly visible on the desk.
716 95:20 Dolly in Same silver ashtray is visible on Tim Robbins’ desk.
717-719 97:00 Dolly in Paul Newman smoking a cigar doing the evil laugh & same glass ashtray is clearly visible on the desk. (Bonus point for the mirror reflection!)
720-721 97:15 Dolly in Paul Newman smoking a cigar doing the evil laugh & same glass ashtray is clearly visible on the desk.
722 98:15 MD Paul Newman with a cigar in his mouth appears frozen in time.
723 99:18 MD Angel Hudsucker reaches into his wizard sleeve and pulls out a white cigar shaped tube.
724 99:20 MD Angel Hudsucker holding a lit cigar.
725 99:24 FS Angel Hudsucker holding a lit cigar.
726 99:34 FS Angel Hudsucker holding a lit cigar.
727 99:42 FS Angel Hudsucker holding a lit cigar.
728 99:50 FS Angel Hudsucker holding a lit cigar.
729 99:56 MD Angel Hudsucker holding a lit cigar.
730 100:12 MD Angel Hudsucker takes a drag from his cigar.
731 100:20 MD Angel Hudsucker holding a lit cigar.
732 100:39 MD Angel Hudsucker holding a lit cigar.
733 103:27 MD Paul Newman with cigar in his mouth as he becomes unfrozen again.
734-735 104:01 ES A man smoking a cigarette wanders across the screen at the juice bar & a glass ashtray is seen on the bar.
It should be noted that many people hold & blow party favors which all look like cigarettes at different points of the scene. Perhaps another instance of the Coens trying to equate smoking with fun?
736 104:40 CU Closeup of same big black ashtray with cigar, however this time it sits next to the blue letter, a key & a watch.
737-742 104:42 Pan Shot continued from previous: camera moves out to reveal six glass ashtrays on the conference table.
This scene is a perfect mirror of #74-75 above.
743 105:02 ES Paul Newman with a cigar in his mouth as he is hauled off to the booby hatch in a straight jacket.
744-747 105:06 ES At least three glass ashtrays are visible on the conference table & same cannister ashtray in background.
748-751 105:25 Crane At least four glass ashtrays are visible on the conference table.

Additional Thoughts…

The flagship of the Coen brothers’ tobacco-ridden fleet, The Hudsucker Proxy (1994) contains the most tobacco incidents ever crammed into a single Coen brothers’ film. It’s almost hard to believe, but The Hudsucker Proxy (1994) contains over 750 tobacco incidents by my count — that’s an average of around 7 tobacco incidents for every minute of film.

Hudsucker was also the most crafty in regard to subtle technique, placement, and focus of tobacco products & related paraphernalia. Trust me, you might leave the theater after this picture and crave a cigarette or cigar, not even knowing why. The attention paid to the placement and continuity of tobacco in this film is truly overwhelming, if you’re paying close attention, that is.

I’m dead serious… The Hudsucker Proxy (1994) is totally and completely littered with cigars, cigarettes, and literally dozens upon dozens of ashtrays large & small. Many of the cigarettes & cigars are often displayed in famous celebrity actor hands & mouths while being closeup at center screen. However, due to the Coen brothers’ amazing storytelling & filmmaking abilities, the first two dozen or so times I watched The Hudsucker Proxy (1994) it never felt like a tobacco product placement commercial to me despite the fact it is completely littered with literally hundreds upon hundreds of tobacco incidents.

Joel & Ethan Coen actually wrote The Hudsucker Proxy (1994) with the help of their filmmaker pal Sam Raimi. Sam Raimi went on to direct many Hollywood blockbusters himself including Spider-Man (2002), Spider-Man 2 (2004), and Spider-Man 3 (2007). Perhaps Hollywood gives you the key to the city when you’re able to cram this much tobacco into a single film.

If you look at the first few individual tobacco incidents listed above, you might notice some awful strange coincidences. Near the very beginning of The Hudsucker Proxy (1994) as Norville Barnes (played by actor Tim Robbins) is scanning the employment agency job boards, viewers may notice that a “Tobacconist” sign appears along with all of the others. Could this be another parallel of the Coen brothers coming to Hollywood and looking for work in the film business?

More insights coming soon…

Barton Fink

Barton Fink (1991)

TOBACCO INCIDENTS 104
AVG PER MINUTE 0.93
EDITION 20th Century Fox DVD released May 20, 2003
MOVIE SUMMARY A nervous playwrite moves to Hollywood to write for motion pictures and stays in an evil hotel.
TOBACCO IN SHORT Many random actors smoke, the police detectives smoke, etc.
POSSIBLE SMOKESCREENS (?) The strange hotel, the crazy neighbor, the woman’s sudden murder.

TOBACCO INCIDENTS: 104

AVG PER MINUTE: 0.93

First visual frame at 0:25
Last visual frame at 112:44
Total visual running time: 112:19

# TIME ANGLE DESCRIPTION
1 2:00 ES A seated man sits smoking a cigarette & reading the newspaper in the wings of a stage play.
* 2:04 ES Shot continued from previous: A “NO SMOKING” sign is clearly seen and bathed in red light.
2-3 2:23 ES Shot continued from previous: Same seated man walks to the foreground with a lit cigarette between his fingers (displayed at center screen) and another cigarette over his ear.
* 2:44 WS What appears to be a small green and gold ashtray on the foreground table which is part of the play’s living room set.
4 3:03 ES Shot continued from previous: Two gentlemen join the title character Barton Fink (played by actor John Torturro) and one is smoking a cigar next to the same red light.
* 3:10 WS Repeat of little green and gold ashtray on the foreground table as John Torturro is summoned to the stage by a roaring audience.
5 3:13 2S Repeat of the two producers standing on the side of the stage and same one is smoking a cigar next to the same red light.
6 3:29 HH Steadicam shot through a nightclub/restaurant: A woman in black gloves holds a cigarette up and exhales a puff of smoke into the air as the camera passes by.
* 3:29 HH Dozens of people are sipping alcohol beverages at the same time during this scene.
7 3:35   Continued from previous shot: Man in background of restaurant is smoking a cigarette.
8 3:51   Puffs of blue smoke rise from a nearby table.
9 3:52   Woman in booth next to Barton has a lit cigarette in her hand (seen only for a split second).
10 4:05   Repeat of same. Blue smoke is seen rising from her same position.
11 4:26 TS Tracking/Dolly shot around Barton reveals another background smoker.
12 4:30   Repeat of background booth smoke rising.
13 4:48   Repeat of same.
14 5:02   Repeat of same.
15-17 5:34   Several ashtrays appear on the bar.
18 5:40   Man at bar in the background is smoking a cigarette.
19-20 6:10   Both men in background appear to be smoking (one takes a puff, one holds it in his fingers with a martini).
21-22 6:25   Repeat of same.
23-24 6:44   Repeat of same.
25 7:03   New man in background at opposite end of the bar is smoking a cigarette.
26-27 7:10   Repeat of two smoking men from #19-20.
28-29 7:30   Repeat of same.
30-34 7:45   Lots of ashtrays and spittoons are seen in the lobby (one next to each and every chair).
35 8:49   What appears to be a very nice ahstray on the hotel front desk.
36-37 10:14   Two matching cannister ashtrays are seen beside the elevator that Barton enters.
38 11:32   A brass ashtray is seen on Barton’s hotel room desk.
39 11:41   Repeat of same.
40 12:05   Close up of ashtray on the desk as Barton sets down his Underwood brand typewriter.
41 21:05   Another view of Barton’s writing desk, the brass ashtray is visible.
42 21:19   Repeat of same.
* 22:33   John Goodman has a bottle of alcohol — brand not recognized.
43 24:53   Same ashtray is seen in the background as Barton sits.
44 25:16   Repeat of small brass ashtray in background on Barton’s writing desk.
45 25:31   Repeat of same.
46 26:04   Repeat of same.
47 26:25   Repeat of same.
48 26:39   Ashtray in background is getting closer as camera tightens on Barton.
49 26:55   Repeat of same.
50 27:04   Repeat of same.
51 27:16   Repeat of same.
52 27:22   Repeat of same.
53 27.28   Repeat of same.
54 37:46   Moving even closer to the brass ashtray seen over Barton’s shoulder.
55 38:39   Same ashtray is seen at the closest distance yet.
56 38:50   Repeat of same.
The Coens chose the strangest, most curious looking ashtray with a handle & red matchbook holder on top.
57 38:57   Repeat of same.
58 39:05   Repeat of same.
59 39:17   Repeat of same.
60 39:21   Repeat of same.
61 39:45   Repeat of same.
62 41:17   Repeat of same.
63 41:21   Repeat of same.
64 41:34   Repeat of same.
65 41:46   Repeat of same.
66 41:53   Repeat of same.
67 42:19   Repeat of same.
* 44:22   A different alcohol bottle with a horse label is seen — brand not recognized.
68 49:36   Shot of Barton’s desk, same ashtray is present.
69 51:15   John Goodman with a smaller alcohol bottle — brand not recognized.
70 53:43   Barton sits down at his desk, same ashtray is seen.
* 60:20   Ashtray is now missing from the desk in this particular shot. A pink Pepto Bismol type bottle is seen — brand not recognized.
71 60:50   Ashtray is back on Barton’s desk now in full view.
* 67:27   Mouthwash & Pepto Bismol type bottle seen in bathroom — brands not recognized.
72 70:32   Ashtray appears on Barton’s desk again.
73-75 86:08   Barton walks between two big cannister ashtrays in the hotel lobby. At the last second, a third ashtray is visible.
76-80 86:12   At least five ashtrays and/or spittoons are seen in the hotel lobby.
81-83 86:20   Two LAPD detectives are waiting in the hotel lobby, smoking cigarettes. One puts his cigarette out in an ashtray.
84 86:38 2S One of the police detectives is still smoking a cigarette.
85 86:43   Repeat of same.
86 86:52   Repeat of same.
87 87:01   Repeat of same.
88 87:27   Repeat of same.
89 87:46   Repeat of same.
90 88:03   Repeat of same.
91 88:25   Repeat of same.
92 88:31   Repeat of same.
93 88:37   Repeat of same.
94 88:45   Repeat of same.
95 89:00   Repeat of same.
96 89:08   Repeat of same.
97 96:55   The two detectives wait inside Barton’s hotel room, one is smoking a cigarette.
98 97:18   Repeat of same.
99 97:32   Repeat of same.
100 97:41   Repeat of same.
101 97:47   Repeat of same.
102 97:58   Repeat of same.
103 98:09   Repeat of same.
104 106:54   Deep in the background, a man stands smoking in the hallway.
Don’t give up too soon! Even at the very last possible second there is a tobacco incident!

Additional Thoughts…

This is just one of those movies that has never made that much sense to me… I’ve seen Barton Fink (1991) several times and I still can’t seem to make heads or tails of it… But maybe that’s the point.

“I will show you the life of the mind.”

In many ways, Barton Fink (1991) really helped to fuel my theory about the Coen brothers & Big Tobacco because this film makes very little sense but is always so well regarded by critics. I think it even won the Palme D’Or award at Cannes Film Festival.

At the surface, Barton Fink (1991) is a film about a playwrite who goes to Hollywood to write for motion pictures after finding some small success on Broadway. Along the way, Barton encounters many interesting characters such as the big Hollywood producer, the drunken writer, and the strange neighbor played by actor John Goodman. People always say that Barton actually meets the devil, or maybe that the hotel is the devil, but who the fuck really knows what this movie is actually about. If it matters, I remember reading somewhere that the Coen brothers churned this script out rather quickly. [citation needed]

Perhaps this film is some kind of representation of the Coen brothers visit to Hollywood and how one must sell their soul to the devil to “make it” in the industry. Renowned film critic Roger Ebert even mentions the way that Barton Fink (played by actor John Torturro) sits across the desk from a big whig Hollywood studio head and essentially makes a deal with the devil. Funny… What seems to be a recurring theme in the Coen brothers’ films — essentially agreeing to make a deal with the devil or searching for redemption — might actually be a subtle echo of the dark deal that the Coen brothers maybe agreed to with Big Tobacco.

Anyways, let’s look at the very first scene of Barton Fink (1991)…

Exactly two minutes into the film, a stagehand who has just finished his sole duty passes in front of a man sitting reading the newspaper with a cigarette hanging off his lip. “The sun’s coming up, kid” says the offscreen dialogue as you first see the cigarette smoking man.

Cigarette man lingers in the background as the camera pulls back to include the onscreen play’s director who is also the film’s protagonist, Barton Fink. Next, the cigarette man suddenly drops his newspaper, rushes to the foreground, and performs his sole duty for the play: yelling out a single line of dialogue, his cigarette in hand and shown at center screen.

Without spending too much time looking at or thinking too deeply about this particular scene, my initial Kubrick perception powers tell me that the Coens might be trying to tell you that it is your sole duty to smoke cigarettes… Not only that, the sun will rise if you do. And above all, if you have any downtime onstage, why not spend it smoking a nice juicy cigarette.

And don’t worry — the rest of this film is littered with cigarettes too.

Of course you might be saying that I’m searching for hidden meaning that really isn’t there, but what would be the point of writing this book otherwise? And why did I choose this particular scene? Actually, I just happened to be cataloging the tobacco use in this particular movie in between writing (more on that later).

But back to embedding two blatant cigarettes within the first two minutes of the movie by lowly stagehands who are never seen again… Honestly, what on earth does this bring to the overall film? Can you really argue that all of these little itty bitty uses of tobacco are done solely for adding realistic texture to the film? Would the film seem any less genuine to the time period if these particular stagehands didn’t smoke?

When a stagehand smokes while doing his stagehand duty (however obvious that may seem to people in showbusiness) in a film viewed by millions of people it is just contrived, ugly and pointless.

More insights coming soon…

Miller’s Crossing

Miller’s Crossing (1990)

TOBACCO INCIDENTS 278
AVG PER MINUTE 2.53
EDITION 20th Century Fox DVD released May 20, 2003
MOVIE SUMMARY A gangster falls for his boss’s girlfriend and plays everyone against each other.
TOBACCO IN SHORT The three primary actors all smoke: Gabriel Byrne & Marcia Gay Harden smoke cigarettes while Albert Finney smokes cigars.
POSSIBLE SMOKESCREENS (?) Lots of gun violence, the machine gun dance.

TOBACCO INCIDENTS: 278

AVG PER MINUTE: 2.53

First visual frame at 0:22
Last visual frame at 110:51
Total visual running time: 110:29

# TIME ANGLE DESCRIPTION
1-2 0:33 Zoom A cigar and a small green ashtray are seen on a desk before falling out of frame.
3-4 2:30 ES The same cigar is seen again much closer & another ashtray with a handle can be seen. Albert Finney sits behind the desk.
5-6 2:35 ES Repeat of same.
7-8 2:45 ES Repeat of same.
9-10 3:30 ES Repeat of same.
11-12 4:15 ES Repeat of same.
13 4:37 HA Only the cigar can be seen on Albert Finney’s desk this time.
14-15 5:06 ES Repeat of earlier wider shot with both cigar & ashtray.
16-17 5:12 ES Repeat of same.
18-19 5:30 ES Repeat of same.
20-21 6:12   Part of the cigar and the small green ashtray can be seen only momentarily.
22 10:41 Zoom out Zoom out from the hat shows Gabriel Byrne in the mirror smoking a cigarette.
23 10:45 Zoom in Zoom into Gabriel Byrne’s face smoking a cigarette (this time without the mirror).
24 15:53 MD Gabriel Byrne pulls a cigarette from his robe pocket.
25 16:02   Gabriel Byrne sticks the unfiltered cigarette into his mouth and lights it 18 seconds later.
26 16:53 MD From a different angle, Gabriel Byrne continues to smoke the cigarette.
27 17:55 MD An ashtray containing a crumpled pack of cigarettes. An old Hunt’s brand ketchup bottle is visible.
28 18:11 2S/HH/SC Steve Buscemi walks and talks to Gabriel Byrne with a drink in one hand and cigarette in the other.
29-32 18:21 MD Steve Buscemi gestures with his cigarette; in the background a lady walks by with a cigarette, a cigarette vendor girl is seen, & a fatcat smokes.
33 18:29 OTS Real subtle smoke rises between/beside the two men talking.
35-37 18:33   Repeat of earlier: Steve Buscemi gestures, two vendor girls are seen, and the fatcat smokes a cigar.
38-40 18:44   Repeat of previous: Steve Buscemi still has a lit cigarette, two vendor girls are seen, and background fatcat is still smoking.
41 18:47 OTS Steve Buscemi takes a drag of his cigarette.
42-43 18:50 MD Repeat of earlier but tighter on Mink now as he smokes, one vendor girl is seen.
44 18:53 OTS Repeat of earlier subtle smoke rises between the two men talking.
45-47 18:58 MD Repeat of earlier closer shot of Mink gesturing. Also fatcat and vendor girl seen for a split second.
48 21:00   The small green ashtray is visible as Albert Finney gets up from his desk.
49 21:21   Repeat of same.
50-53 21:40 MD At least two background cigar smokers and at least two vendor girls walking around.
54-55 22:11 Steadicam In the powder room, two woman walk by carrying their cigarettes by the holders and pointed straight upward.
56-57 22:17 OTS In the mirror, at least two woman can be seen carrying cigarettes with holders as they walk by.
58-59 22:54 OTS Marcia Gay Harden is about to smoke an unfiltered cigarette in the mirror (bonus incident, way to go!)
60-61 23:01 OTS Repeat of same.
62-63 23:07 OTS Repeat of same however now the cigarette has been lit.
64 23:17 OTS Smoke rises from below the frame in between Marcia Gay Harden and her mirrored self.
65 23:41 MD Marcia Gay Harden’s cigarette can be seen for a split second.
66 23:46 MD Smoke rises from below the frame in front of Marcia Gay Harden.
67 24:23 OTS A silver ashtray can be seen on the vanity counter.
68 24:31 Steadicam A gold standing ashtray can be seen between two chairs.
69-70 24:34 Dolly out Two silver ashtrays can be seen on two separate vanity counters.
71 24:40 Dolly in A nice decorative ashtray with a wooden stand in Gabriel Byrne’s apartment.
72 25:40   Same ashtray seen from a different angle as before, Bernie (played by John Torturro) sits in a chair next to it.
73 25:54   Repeat of same.
74 26:28   Repeat of same.
75 26:34   Repeat of same.
76 26:51   Repeat of same.
77 27:04   Repeat of same.
78 27:13   Repeat of same.
79 27:22   Repeat of same.
80 27:33   Repeat of same.
81 27:39 OTS We see Gabriel Byrne walking away as a puff of smoke rolls over his shoulder.
82 27:43 Dolly Now Gabriel Byrne is walking toward the camera and smoking a cigarette.
83 29:30 ES What appears to be an upside down gold ashtray with a pack of smokes on top.
84 29:37 ES Repeat of same.
85 29:45 ES Repeat of same.
86 30:06 ES Repeat of same.
87 30:42 ES Repeat of same.
88 30:45 ES Man siting on couch lights a cigarette.
89 30:48   Repeat of earlier gold ashtray & pack of smokes.
90 30:55   Repeat of same.
91 31:00   Repeat of man on couch smoking hands free.
92 31:07   Repeat of earlier gold ashtray & pack of smokes.
93 31:14   The guy on the couch can be seen smoking over Gabriel Byrne’s shoulder.
94 31:20   Repeat of earlier gold ashtray & pack of smokes.
95 31:22   Couch man gets up and leaves with his cigarette.
96 31:24   Repeat of earlier gold ashtray & pack of smokes.
97 34:17 OTS Gabriel Byrne suddenly has a cigarette in his mouth while talking to the police chief.
98 34:25 OTS Repeat of Gabriel Byrne with a cigarette in his mouth.
99 34:35 OTS Repeat of same however this time Gabriel Byrne takes the police chief’s match and ignites it on his badge before lighting his own cigarette.
100 34:43 OTS Repeat of Gabriel Byrne smoking his cigarette.
101 35:02   Gabriel Byrne’s cigarette is seen again but for only a split second.
102-103 35:35 FS Marcia Gay Harden taps a cigarette on her hand and an ashtray is visible.
104-105 35:42 FS Marcia Gay Harden is now smoking the cigarette and ashtray still visible.
106 35:52 MD Marcia Gay Harden exhales a puff of smoke.
107 35:58 MD Marcia Gay Harden takes a drag of her cigarette.
108 36:12 MD Marcia Gay Harden stands with the cigarette in her hand.
109 36:14 FS Marcia Gay Harden seen from another angle with her cigarette.
110 36:20 MD Repeat of Marcia Gay Harden standing with her cigarette.
111 36:25 MD Repeat of Marcia Gay Harden standing with her cigarette.
112 36:33 MD Repeat of Marcia Gay Harden standing with her cigarette.
113 36:39 MD Repeat of Marcia Gay Harden standing with her cigarette.
114 36:46 MD Repeat of Marcia Gay Harden standing with her cigarette.
115 37:00 MD Repeat of Marcia Gay Harden standing with her cigarette.
116 37:05 MD Repeat of Marcia Gay Harden standing with her cigarette.
117 38:30 ES On an end table, a pack of cigarettes, an ashtray, a lighter, and a pistol can be seen.
118 38:48   A man who was just murdered holds his lit cigarette onto a newspaper which ignites.
119-120 39:13 ES Albert Finney lays back in bed smoking a cigar hands free, an ashtray is on the nightstand.
121 39:23 MD Tighter shot on Albert Finney in bed happily smoking his cigar.
122 39:45 CU A closeup of the ashtray, revolver, and stopwatch on Albert Finney’s nightstand.
123 39:54 MD Albert Finney gets out of bed with the lit cigar in his mouth.
124-125 39:59 MD Albert Finney places his cigar into the ashtray on the nightstand.
126 40:01 CU Closeup of Albert Finney’s hand putting out the cigar in the ashtray then he puts it his robe pocket.
127 41:53 LA Albert Finney pulls the cigar out of his robe pocket and puts it into his mouth as his tommy gun is still smoking.
128-133 42:03 Dolly A man walking with Gabriel Byrne smokes hands free, at least five other men on the sides are smoking cigarettes.
134 42:27 ES Albert Finney smokes a cigar behind his desk while talking to Gabriel Byrne.
135-136 42:44 MD Tighter shot of Albert Finney at his desk with a cigar, the green & gold ashtray is also seen.
137-138 42:52 MD Repeat of same.
139-140 43:00 MD Repeat of same.
141 43:06 CU Closeup shot of Albert Finney gesturing with his cigar, he places it in the implied ashtray out of frame.
142 44:50   Another shot of Albert Finney behind his desk with a cigar inside a small ashtray.
143 44:55   Repeat of Albert Finney behind his desk with a cigar inside a small ashtray.
144-147 47:07 Dolly Back in the long hallway, at least three men smoke and one has a cigarette tucked over his ear.
148 47:21   Other end of the hallway, at least one guy is smoking behind Gabriel Byrne.
149 47:24 HH Repeat of same reversal shows another background smoker as Albert Finney punches Gabriel Byrne in the face.
150 47:26   Repeat of earlier shot with Gabriel Byrne; as he falls back a smoker is seen to his side.
151 48:00 Steadicam A man in the background behind Albert Finney has a cigarette in his black gloved hand.
152 48:05   The woman in the purple dress at right behind Gabriel Byrne has a cigarette with a holder.
153-154 48:07   A woman to the right and a man to the left of Albert Finney are each smoking cigarettes.
155 48:24   A man on the left behind Albert Finney is smoking a cigarette.
156 48:36   Smoke rises near Albert Finney (implied from man smoking in earlier shot).
157-159 48:48   Smoke billows around Gabriel Byrne seated in a chair and a pack of cigarettes & ashtray can be seen on the table (and what appears to be the giant old lighters).
160 50:38 Dolly in Gabriel Byrne sits on the edge of his bed smoking a cigarette.
161 51:08 ES Now a different angle of Gabriel Byrne smoking with Marcia Gay Harden laying in bed behind him.
162 52:16 ES Marcia Gay Harden sits down and grabs a cigarette while talking to Gabriel Byrne.
163 52:27 CU Closeup shot of Verna as she brings her unlit cigarette to center screen and basically holds it there the rest of the scene.
164 52:32 CU Marcia Gay Harden now lights her cigarette whilst still talking to Gabriel Byrne.
165 52:48 CU Marcia Gay Harden smoking a cigarette whilst talking to Gabriel Byrne.
166 52:54 CU Marcia Gay Harden smoking a cigarette whilst talking to Gabriel Byrne.
167 53:03 CU Marcia Gay Harden smoking a cigarette whilst talking to Gabriel Byrne.
168 53:13 CU Marcia Gay Harden smoking a cigarette whilst talking to Gabriel Byrne.
169 53:23 CU Marcia Gay Harden smoking a cigarette whilst talking to Gabriel Byrne.
170 53:57 ES Couch man from earlier sits smoking a cigarette on a different couch and essentially in the same exact position behind Gabriel Byrne as before.
171 54:24 ES Repeat of same.
172 54:38 ES Repeat of same however this shot you only see the smoke rising behind Gabriel Byrne.
173 54:50 MD Closer view of couch man taking a drag from his cigarette.
174 54:56 ES Repeat of earlier smoke rising from behind Gabriel Byrne’s back.
175 55:13 ES Repeat of earlier couch man takes another drag from his cigarette.
176 55:34 ES Repeat of earlier smoke rising from behind Gabriel Byrne’s back.
177 55:42 ES Repeat of same.
178 55:55 ES Repeat of same.
179 56:11 ES Repeat of same.
180 56:20 MD Repeat of earlier couch man closeup smoking a cigarette.
181 56:25 MD Repeat of same.
182 56:37 ES Repeat of earlier smoke rising from behind Gabriel Byrne’s back.
183 62:58 CU A man smokes a cigarette hands free whilst pointing a gun at Gabriel Byrne.
184 63:04 MD Same man continues to smoke.
185 63:25 MD Repeat of same.
186 63:34 MD Repeat of same.
187 64:03 ES A black ashtray is visible on the desk for a split second.
188 64:04 MD Gabriel Byrne smokes a cigarette in the dialog reversal shots.
189 64:08   Repeat of black ashtray. (The tool on desk is also for cigars?!)
190 64:16   Repeat of Gabriel Byrne smoking a cigarette.
191 64:21   Repeat of black ashtray on desk.
192 64:30   Repeat of Gabriel Byrne smoking a cigarette.
193 64:34   Repeat of black ashtray on desk.
194 64:49   Repeat of Gabriel Byrne smoking a cigarette.
195 65:00   Repeat of Gabriel Byrne smoking a cigarette.
196 65:10   Repeat of Gabriel Byrne smoking a cigarette.
197 65:22   Repeat of black ashtray on desk.
198 65:26   Repeat of Gabriel Byrne smoking a cigarette.
199 65:29   Repeat of black ashtray on desk.
200 65:40   Repeat of Gabriel Byrne smoking a cigarette.
201 65:54   Repeat of Gabriel Byrne smoking a cigarette.
202 66:05   Repeat of Gabriel Byrne smoking a cigarette.
203 66:22   Repeat of Gabriel Byrne smoking a cigarette.
204 66:27 MD Gabriel Byrne put his cigarette down but is still surrounded by smoke.
205 66:37 MD Cigarette smoke rising around Gabriel Byrne from just below the frame.
206 66:44   Repeat of black ashtray on desk.
207 66:49   Repeat of smoke rising around Gabriel Byrne.
208 66:54   Repeat of black ashtray on desk.
209 67:07   Repeat of smoke rising around Gabriel Byrne.
210 67:09   Repeat of black ashtray on desk.
211 67:13   Repeat of smoke rising around Gabriel Byrne.
212 70:36 Dolly Gabriel Byrne lays in bed smoking a cigarette.
213 71:15   Gabriel Byrne walks over to the doorway with the cigarette in his mouth.
214 71:18 MD A closer view of Gabriel Byrne from the front smoking hands free.
215 71:25 MD Repeat of Gabriel Byrne smoking a cigarette.
216 71:31 ES Bernie turns on the light and a pack of cigarettes are visible on the table.
217 71:33   Gabriel Byrne walks into the room with his lit cigarette.
218 71:37   Repeat of Bernie with cigarette pack on the table.
219-220 71:41 MD Gabriel Byrne sits in a chair and ashes his cigarette in the big fancy ashtray with wooden stand.
221 71:48   Repeat of Bernie with cigarette pack on the table.
222-223 71:51   Repeat of Gabriel Byrne in the chair smoking next to fancy ashtray.
224 71:56   Repeat of Bernie with cigarette pack on the table.
225-226 72:10   Repeat of Gabriel Byrne in the chair smoking next to fancy ashtray.
227 72:13   Repeat of Bernie with cigarette pack on the table.
228-229 72:27   Repeat of Gabriel Byrne in the chair smoking next to fancy ashtray.
230 72:30   Repeat of Bernie with cigarette pack on the table.
231-232 72:35   Repeat of Gabriel Byrne in the chair smoking next to fancy ashtray.
233-234 72:51   Repeat of Gabriel Byrne in the chair smoking next to fancy ashtray.
235-236 72:56   Repeat of Gabriel Byrne in the chair smoking next to fancy ashtray.
237-238 73:17   Repeat of Gabriel Byrne in the chair smoking next to fancy ashtray.
239-240 73:42   Repeat of Gabriel Byrne in the chair smoking next to fancy ashtray.
241-242 73:46   Repeat of Gabriel Byrne in the chair smoking next to fancy ashtray.
243-244 74:03   Repeat of Gabriel Byrne in the chair smoking next to fancy ashtray.
245 74:06   Repeat of Bernie shot with cigarette pack on the table.
246-247 74:20   Repeat of Gabriel Byrne in the chair smoking next to fancy ashtray.
248-249 74:25   Repeat of Gabriel Byrne in the chair smoking next to fancy ashtray.
250-252 75:15 ES Back at the club, at least three smokers and one vendor girl can be seen in the background behind Gabriel Byrne.
* 75:19 Dolly On the bar is what appears to be a silver ashtray.
253 75:26   One cigarette vendor girl can be seen in the background.
254 75:37   A man deep in the background behind Gabriel Byrne lights a cigarette.
255-256 75:45   Background man continues to smoke, another smoker walks by behind Gabriel Byrne.
257 78:54 ES/Dolly The man walking on the right is smoking a cigarette.
258 79:18 MD The same man from the previous shot exhales a big puff of smoke.
259 79:31 MD Repeat of same.
260 80:04 OTS Repeat of same.
261 90:10 CU A decorative metal ashtray full of cigarette butts appears next to a ringing phone.
262 90:58 MD Smoke rolls into frame from the nearby ashtray as Gabriel Byrne speaks on the phone.
263 91:23 OTS Repeat of previous from a different angle.
264 91:38 ES A well dressed man in the hallway is holding a cigarette below the frame & smoke is seen rising.
265 91:40 ES Repeat of same but this time he takes a drag from his cigarette.
266 91:53 CU Very close view of the same man smoking his cigarette.
267 92:11 CU Repeat of same.
270 92:39 CU The same man drops his cigarette on the floor and smashes it out with the toe of his leather shoe.
271 96:48 CU A glass ashtray full of cigarette butts on a counter next to a cup of coffee and a hat.
272-274 96:52 ES Three glass ashtrays are seen along the luncheon counter as well as waitress smoking.
275 105:54 ES Gabriel Byrne arrives home, the fancy ashtray with the decorative wooden stand is visible.
276 107:16 ES/Dolly in The undertaker in the background is seen smoking a cigarette.
277 107:37 Dolly out Repeat of same.
278 107:43 Dolly out Repeat of same.

Additional Thoughts…

A big city gangster tale, but in some anonymous location. Miller’s Crossing (1990) is quite the alcohol movie on top of the hundreds of tobacco incidents.

“There’s nothing more foolish than a man chasing his hat”

More insights coming soon…

Raising Arizona

Raising Arizona (1987)

TOBACCO INCIDENTS 97
AVG PER MINUTE 1.08
EDITION Fox Home Entertainment DVD released May 12, 2009
MOVIE SUMMARY An ex-convict marries a policewoman and they steal a baby. Two other ex-cons visit and they steal the baby. A bounty hunter also tries to steal the baby.
TOBACCO IN SHORT Many of the prison convicts smoke cigarettes, the bounty hunter smokes cigars.
POSSIBLE SMOKESCREENS (?) The baby stealing, the strange dirty evil bounty hunter guy.

TOBACCO INCIDENTS: 97

AVG PER MINUTE: 1.08

First frame at 0:24
Last frame at 90:47
Total visual running time: 90:23

# TIME ANGLE DESCRIPTION
1 1:10 TS A big sweaty inmate is mopping up with a lit cigarette in his hand and brings it right to the center of the frame.
2 1:14 Pan Reveal of John Goodman & another inmate smoking a cigarette at the prison therapy circle.
3 1:32 MD Smoke rises into view from an implied cigarette as the therapy director is talking.
4 3:00 TS Repeat of earlier big sweaty inmate mopping with a lit cigarette in his hand.
5 3:05 ES Repeat of therapy circle with disembodied hand holding a lit cigarette.
6 3:11 ES Repeat of therapy circle with disembodied hand holding a lit cigarette.
7-8 4:45 WS Repeat of same big sweaty inmate mopping and holding cigarette & another prisoner’s hand extending from a cell holding a cigarette.
9-10 6:58 CU Payroll woman’s hand holding a lit cigarette as she rings the bell & ashtray full of cigarette butts sits nearby.
11 7:06 MD Payroll woman holding a lit cigarette right up near her face then almost takes a drag. Funny dialog: “Gubmint do take a bite, don’t she?”
12-13 8:12 MD A doctor motions toward a diagram of a womb with an unlit cigar & a nearby ashtray appears to be a kid’s colorful paint pallette.
* 8:37 WS A man in the background at the adoption agency appears to be holding a cigarette but it was a pencil in the earlier shot.
* 11:37 ES First appearance of the Dr Spocks baby book.
* 14:15 CU Closeup of the Dr Spocks baby book.
* 18:39 MD Nicolas Cage looks at a Playboy magazine.
* 18:49 CU A couple packs of Crayola crayons can be seen next to the kid’s record player.
* 21:27 Dolly in/CU On the tripod is a Nikon brand camera.
14 30:44 ES Some cigarette butts are smashed into a piece of bundt cake on the fingerprinting table.
15 30:46 MD Repeat of cigarette butts smashed into a piece of bundt cake on the fingerprinting table.
16-17 32:22 ES A large ashtray full of cigarette butts & a saucer containing discarded butts are visible on the coffee table.
18 33:08 MD Randall Tex Cobb with a lit cigar in his mouth.
19 33:14 ECU Randall Tex Cobb grabs a lit cigar from his mouth and tosses it while exhaling some smoke.
20 33:37 2S A black ashtray on the counter in front of John Goodman & a can of Coca-Cola in front of William Forsythe.
21 33:48 2S Same black ashtray on counter in front of John Goodman & a can of Coca-Cola in front of William Forsythe.
* 33:49 2S William Forsythe reaches his hand off screen and brings it back with a box of Kelloggs Corn Flakes.
22-23 33:52 2S John Goodman reaches his hand off screen and brings it back with a lit cigarette, takes a drag & same black ashtray is visible.
24-25 34:03 2S John Goodman holding a lit cigarette & same black ashtray.
26-27 34:09 WS A wider shot of the room as John Goodman lifts a lit cigarette from the same black ashtray.
* 34:15 WS Continued from previous: Nicolas Cage carries the box of Kelloggs Corn Flakes to center screen.
28-29 34:28 WS John Goodman holding a lit cigarette & same black ashtray are visible behind Nicolas Cage.
30-31 34:41 WS Repeat of John Goodman holding a lit cigarette & black ashtray.
32-33 34:55 2S Repeat of closer shot as John Goodman takes a drag from a cigarette & same black ashtray is visible.
34-35 35:04 WS Repeat of wider shot as John Goodman holding a lit cigarette & same black ashtray are visible behind Nicolas Cage.
36-37 35:17 WS Repeat of John Goodman holding a lit cigarette & same black ashtray.
38-39 35:26 WS Repeat of John Goodman holding a lit cigarette & same black ashtray.
* 36:43 HH Two packages of Oreo cookies & two Chips Ahoy cookies are visible on the counters.
* 37:23 MD Nicolas Cage and Glenn both drink cans of Budweiser beer.
* 43:52 ES/LA Budweiser & Coors neon signs are clearly visible above the doors at the convenience store.
* 43:59 CU Closeup of a rack of Silks brand panty hose.
* 44:01 CU Closeup of several packages of Huggies diapers.
40-41 44:03 ES A Doral cigarette ad is partially visible in foreground. Cigarette rolling papers & Bic lighter display in background.
* 44:09 WS A Coors beer ad is visible along with many beer/beverage coolers in the background.
* 44:38 2S Nicolas Cage holds a package of Huggies as he holds the clerk at gunpoint.
* 44:58 Zoom in Same Budweiser & a Coors neon sign are clearly visible above the doors at the convenience store.
* 45:16 MD Nicolas Cage holds a package of Huggies whilst running down the street.
* 48:30 TS At the grocery store Luvs, Pampers, Huggies & Coca-Cola brands are all visible.
* 49:13 MD Nicolas Cage throws a package of Huggies diapers at a cop & dozens more are visible on the high shelf.
* 50:22 CU A package of Huggies is scooped up by Nicolas Cage from a moving car.
* 50:32 ES At least 20 empty cans of Budweiser are visible throughout this scene.
42-43 50:32 ES An ashtray on the coffee table & a bright yellow ashtray on the armrest beside John Goodman.
44-45 50:50 ES Repeat of same ashtray on coffee table & bright yellow ashtray on armrest beside John Goodman.
46-47 50:54 ES Repeat of same ashtray on coffee table & bright yellow ashtray on armrest beside John Goodman.
48 51:08 2S Same bright yellow ashtray on the armrest beside John Goodman.
49 51:20 OTS/2S Repeat of yellow ashtray on the armrest beside John Goodman.
50 51:35 OTS/2S Repeat of yellow ashtray on the armrest beside John Goodman.
51 52:01 OTS/2S Repeat of yellow ashtray on the armrest beside John Goodman.
52 52:12 2S Repeat of yellow ashtray on the armrest beside John Goodman.
53 52:24 2S Repeat of yellow ashtray on the armrest beside John Goodman.
54 52:40 OTS/2S Repeat of bright yellow ashtray on the armrest as John Goodman stands up.
55 52:43 WS Same bright yellow ashtray is visible as John Goodman heads toward the kitchen.
56 53:05 OTS/2S Same bright yellow ashtray is visible on the armrest next to William Forsythe.
57 53:39 2S Repeat of same bright yellow ashtray on the armrest next to William Forsythe.
58 54:02 2S Repeat of same bright yellow ashtray on the armrest next to William Forsythe.
59 54:12 2S Repeat of same bright yellow ashtray on the armrest next to William Forsythe.
60 54:38 2S Repeat of same bright yellow ashtray on the armrest next to William Forsythe.
61-63 55:47 Dolly in Two cigarette ads (Carlton & Lucky) in foreground and same cigarette rolling papers & Bic lighter display in background.
64 57:36 ES/CU Closeup shot of a lit cigar being dropped onto a floor mat & then stepped on.
65 57:50 CU Randall Tex Cobb flips a cigar into his open hand using some sleight of hand magic.
66 57:54 ECU Randall Tex Cobb puts an unlit cigar in his yucky disgusting mouth.
* 57:57 CU Randall Tex Cobb pulls a new match into his right hand using some sleight of hand magic.
* 57:59 CU Randall Tex Cobb lights his wooden match on some furniture.
67 58:03 MD Randall Tex Cobb walks along with a lit cigar in his mouth & exhaling smoke.
68-69 58:13 ES Randall Tex Cobb sits with his feet up and holding a lit cigar & a gold ashtray is visible on the desk.
70-71 58:27 MD Randall Tex Cobb seen from the front now holding a lit cigar & same gold ashtray visible at center screen.
72-73 58:47 MD Repeat of Randall Tex Cobb holding a lit cigar & same gold ashtray at center screen.
74-75 59:57 MD Repeat of Randall Tex Cobb as he takes a drag & same gold ashtray at center screen.
76-77 60:09 MD Repeat of Randall Tex Cobb as he exhales smoke & same gold ashtray at center screen.
78-79 60:20 MD Repeat of Randall Tex Cobb as he exhales smoke & same gold ashtray at center screen.
80 60:39 CU Smoke rises in front of Randall Tex Cobb from his implied cigar offscreen.
81 60:49 WS Randall Tex Cobb Same gold ashtray is visible on the desk as Randall Tex Cobb jumps up from his chair.
82 61:35 MD Randall Tex Cobb has slipped out the door without a sound but his lit cigar rest in the ashtray at center screen.
* 65:00 Various Many empty cans of Budweiser are visible throughout the fight scene.
* 65:53 CU A hand picks up the Dr Spocks baby book.
* 67:58 CU A hand sets a package of Huggies on the counter & Bazooka gum visible.
* 68:02 MD Lots of Ruffles & Lays brand potato chips are clearly visible behind the clerk.
* 68:27 MD Some Whoppers, Bazooka gum, and bottles of Gatorade are visible in the store.
83 68:33 MD An ad for Red Man tobacco is revealed when the clerk steps backward.
* 76:50 CU A hand picks up the Dr. Spock’s baby book which is now covered in blue paint.
84 80:45 MD/LA Randall Tex Cobb lights up a cigar whilst walking.
85 81:05 HH Randall Tex Cobb with a lit cigar in his mouth whilst bear-hugging Nicolas Cage.
86 81:12 OTS Repeat of Randall Tex Cobb with a lit cigar in his mouth whilst bear-hugging Nicolas Cage.
87 81:14 CU A quick flash of Randall Tex Cobb’s face with a lit cigar in his mouth.
88 81:15 OTS Randall Tex Cobb with a lit cigar in his mouth whilst bear-hugging Nicolas Cage.
89 81:18 OTS Repeat of Randall Tex Cobb with a lit cigar in his mouth whilst bear-hugging Nicolas Cage.
90 81:21 OTS Repeat of Randall Tex Cobb with a lit cigar in his mouth whilst bear-hugging Nicolas Cage.
91 81:25 OTS Repeat of Randall Tex Cobb with a lit cigar in his mouth whilst bear-hugging Nicolas Cage.
92 81:27 CU Closeup of Randall Tex Cobb face with a lit cigar in his mouth.
93 81:29 HH Randall Tex Cobb with a lit cigar in his mouth as he slaps Nicolas Cage.
94 81:31 HH Randall Tex Cobb with a lit cigar in his mouth as he punches Nicolas Cage.
95 81:41 LA Randall Tex Cobb with a lit cigar in his mouth as he pulls out matching double-barrell shotguns.
96 81:46 ECU Randall Tex Cobb with a lit cigar in his mouth as he lets out a puff of smoke.
97 81:53 Zoom in Quick zoom into Randall Tex Cobb’s face as the lit cigar drops from his mouth.
* 82:46 CU A hand sets down the Dr Spocks baby book now all charred up.
* 83:04 WS Three packages of Huggies are visible throughout the scene.

Additional Thoughts…

The Coen brothers’ second film Raising Arizona (1987) is a wacky romp full of fun characters infused with hilarious accents and strange plot twists. The negligent baby handling and the pithy dialog all help to make this film a classic comedy that stands out from every other Coen brothers film in a very weird way. Raising Arizona contains only subtle uses of tobacco, but many of these tobacco instances are still worth mentioning.

Firstly and obviously, there’s the dirty disgusting dream figure bounty hunter biker character who chain-smokes cigars whilst talking or murdering friendly little animals on the desert prairies. His evil villain character is kind of portrayed like villains in old western films but the whole tone of Raising Arizona is obviously comical. His filthiness and ugliness is almost beyond comical, but this character’s use of match-lighting and smoking cigars is highly emphasized for effect in many scenes. The ultimate effect of the character being a much bigger and tougher biker-man than the other wimpy idiotic little men surrounding him throughout the film.

Let’s look at actor John Goodman’s use of tobacco in this movie… His character is a prison inmate slash escape convict but also as a chain-smoker seen around therapy circles and smoking during breakfast time for example. Even though Raising Arizona came out shortly before John Goodman’s explosion of popularity surrounding the Roseanne television series, millions of people would have later viewed John Goodman’s character as a redeeming or influential character despite the chain-smoking and the going back to prison.

Although legendary actor Nicolarse Cage is not seen smoking during Raising Arizona, I want to mention his unique tattoo which is also mirrored by the dirty biker bounty hunter’s matching tattoo. The Coen brothers’ choice of tattoo here is curious because this bird or “road runner” logo is actually famous in some ways — however the famous version of this logo is usually seen with a cigar in its mouth — an item which is curiously missing from the tattoos seen on the actors in Raising Arizona. Now, why would the Coen brothers choose to overlook that one little cigar from these unique and cartoonish tattoos which are highlighted several times within the movie. Hmmm.

Anyhoo, the slow dead-pan dialogue about home life with or without babies in Arizona accents is absolutely genius and also hilarious when compared to the dry motionless environment outside the walls of these sleepy Arizona homes. The wackiness of the shotgun blasts inside the grocery store and other silly elements gives Raising Arizona a real Bug Bunny Looney Tunes kind of feel, so in that regard it’s more alarming that tobacco would be embedded in a film that could be not only viewed but also enjoyed by young adults or impressionable children.

Personally, I fondly remember watching Raising Arizona as a kid — long before the “Coen brothers” were a household name. Watching the movie, I remember thinking what a weird twisted sense of humor this movie has compared to all of our other favorite comedy flicks from this era. My siblings and I were watching Raising Arizona probably long before we even understood all of the jokes. The film is a truly unique picture of America life, especially for its time of release in the 1980s.

More insights coming soon…

Blood Simple

Blood Simple (1984)

TOBACCO INCIDENTS 193
AVG PER MINUTE 2.14
EDITION Universal Studios DVD released September 18, 2001
MOVIE SUMMARY A bar owner hires a seedy private eye to confirm his wife is cheating with another man.
TOBACCO IN SHORT Private eye man rolls & smokes cigarettes and owns a custom-engraved Zippo lighter which becomes a pivotal prop in the movie. Ray the bartender smokes Camel brand cigarettes throughout.
POSSIBLE SMOKESCREENS (?) All of the flashy neon and beer signs, the Chuck Taylor shoes, several grizzly murders, all with a twist!

TOBACCO INCIDENTS: 193

AVG PER MINUTE: 2.14

First frame at 0:23
Last frame at 93:12
Total visual running time: 92:49

# TIME ANGLE DESCRIPTION
* 3:17 MD First appearance of the rusty blue Volkswagen Beetle.
* 6:21 MD First brand name product placement: Alka Seltzer.
1 6:46 MD Smoke is seen rising by some men in the background bar.
2 7:08 ES Another puff of smoke in the background bar. “Just doing my job,” says the disembodied voice.
3 7:12 MD M. Emmet Walsh prepares to smoke an unfiltered cigarette.
4 7:20 CU M. Emmet Walsh lights a cigarette with a Zippo lighter.
* 7:23 ECU An extremely close view of the custom engraved Zippo lighter on the desk.
5 7:27 CU Smoke rises into view from M. Emmet Walsh’s lit cigarette.
6 7:56 CU M. Emmet Walsh takes a drag from his cigarette in a big wide close up shot.
7 7:59 CU Three smoke rings roll into frame in front of Dan Hedaya then fade away.
8 8:10 CU M. Emmet Walsh exhales a puff of smoke.
* 8:16 MD M. Emmet Walsh sits back with his Zippo lighter out on the desk (foreshadowing later events).
* 8:20 FS A Quaker State logo on a cardboard box is clearly visible.
9 8:22 MD Repeat of M. Emmet Walsh and Zippo on desk but with smoke rising from his hand below the desk.
10 8:28 MD A puff of smoke is visible in the background bar.
11 8:34 CU M. Emmet Walsh exhaling some cigarette smoke.
12 8:40 CU Repeat of M. Emmet Walsh exhaling cigarette smoke.
13 8:44 OTS Actor Dan Hedaya stares down at M. Emmet Walsh who exhales more smoke.
* 9:17 CU M. Emmet Walsh picks up his Zippo lighter from the desk (a definite foreshadowing of later events).
14 9:22 CU M. Emmet Walsh takes a big drag of his cigarette and exhales before leaving.
15 9:30 FS M. Emmet Walsh exhales more smoke as he exits the room carrying his lit cigarette.
* 9:30 FS Several cases of Miller High Life & Miller Lite beer are visible.
16-18 9:42 Dolly in Two golden glass ashtrays & a pack of cigarettes are visible on the bar along with a jar of pickled eggs.
* 9:47 CU First appearance of the Chuck Taylor brand shoes hopping across the bar.
19 9:48 CU/HH A pack of cigarettes can be seen laying on the bar as the bartender walks across the bar.
* 9:53 CU A distinct outline in a man’s back pocket could be a pack of cigarettes.
* 10:00 Steadicam Glowing neon signs for Miller High Life & Heineken are clearly visible.
20-24 10:10 ES One hand holding a long cigarette in foreground, one hand holding a short cigarette halfway down the bar, two golden glass ashtrays on bar & many clouds of smoke.
* 10:10 ES A Miller High Life beer bottle is visible and the same logo appears on a man’s red cap.
* 10:12 ECU Many closeups of same Chuck Taylor brand shoes.
Someone must be getting paid for this product placement because these random shots of the Bartender’s feet in Chuck Taylors play just like a television commercial.
25-29 10:16 ES Repeat looking down the bar: same two cigarettes, two golden glass ashtrays on bar & same clouds of smoke are visible.
* 10:18 CU Closeup of same Chuck Taylor shoes stepping on a stool.
30-35 10:20 CU Closeup of same Chuck Taylors skip-stepping over the bar to reveal a soft pack of cigarettes. Two golden glass ashtrays are seen on the bar. One person begins to take a drag, another person has just took a drag. Many clouds of smoke.
36 10:23 CU Closeup of same Chuck Taylors landing on the floor; a cigarette butt is visible.
37-38 10:24 WS Another golden glass ashtray can be seen on the bar almost hiding a pack of cigarettes.
* 10:24 WS Glowing neon signs for Budweiser, Lowenbrau & Pabst are seen.
39-41 10:40 WS Repeat of same ashtray & pack of cigarettes on the bar. This time, a small box of matches has joined the group. Also, a man lets out a puff of smoke deep in the background.
* 10:40 WS A Squirt soda pop sign is visible above the bartender’s head.
42-44 11:13 WS Repeat of same ashtray & pack of cigarettes on the bar. A man in the background holds a lighter for a woman lighting a cigar.
45-48 11:17 ES Two people at the bar are smoking cigarettes, a pack of cigarettes & a golden glass ashtray are partially visible on the bar.
* 11:17 CU A bottle of Heineken beer appears at center screen so closely that you can actually read the label & an automobile photograph labeled Pontiac hangs on the back wall.
49 11:30 MD A man in a cowboy hat trying to light his cigarette hat passes behind/between the two actors talking.
50-51 11:49 WS Repeat of same golden glass ashtray & pack of cigarettes on bar.
52 12:09 MD A pack of cigarettes is partially visible in John Getz’s pocket.
53 12:16 MD Same pack of cigarettes partially visible in John Getz’s pocket.
* 12:30 CU A box of Winchester brand ammunition is visible.
54 13:20 ECU An extreme closeup of John Getz with an unlit cigarette in his mouth.
55 13:28 ECU Repeat of same; John Getz even turns his head & cigarette across the screen so you can’t miss it.
56 13:33 ES John Getz walks over to the intercom and talks on it with the unlit cigarette in his mouth.
57-58 14:03 TS The camera floats through the rising smoke of a lit cigarette resting in a golden glass ashtray beside a man passed out on the bar.
59 15:49 MD John Getz sticks an unlit cigarette in his mouth as an incinerator burns up a column of smoke over his shoulder.
60 15:58 MD Repeat of John Getz with an unlit cigarette in his mouth.
61 16:03 MD Repeat of John Getz as he pulls the unlit cigarette out of his mouth.
62 18:09 OTS John Getz sits in his parked car smoking a cigarette hands free.
63 18:13 CU Behind a ringing telephone sits a green porcelain ashtray containing a bunch of cigarette butts.
64 21:15 FS/TS Same green porcelain ashtray full of cigarette butts is visible by the phone.
65 22:29 MD/TS Same green porcelain ashtray full of cigarette butts is visible by the phone.
66 22:37 MD/TS Continued from previous shot: a small ashtray is visible on the table next to Frances McDormand’s purse.
* 22:54 ES A Yamaha 250 motorcycle is partially visible next to a German Shepherd dog.
67 23:09 WS Same green porcelain ashtray full of cigarette butts is visible by the phone.
68-69 25:13 ES/TS A group of teens drinking beer; one teen is smoking a cigarette & one teen has an unlit dark-colored cigarette in his mouth.
70 25:27 ES/TS M. Emmet Walsh is smoking a cigarette whilst talking to a teenage girl.
* 25:27 ES/TS A full size appearance of the rusty blue Volkswagen Beetle.
71 25:35 ES M. Emmet Walsh dialog: “She saw me rolling a cigarette and thought it was marijuana.”
72 25:54 OTS M. Emmet Walsh smoking a cigarette inside the car while talking to Marty.
73 26:13 MD Repeat of M. Emmet Walsh smoking a cigarette but this time facing the camera.
74 27:19 CU M. Emmet Walsh sticks an unlit cigarette in his mouth. “If the pay’s right, I’ll do it” he says.
This statement might be the only true thing the Coens ever said on film; basically a mantra for all of Hollywood.
75 27:25 CU M. Emmet Walsh has lit a cigarette and is now smoking it.
76 27:33 CU Smoke is rising into the frame from M. Emmet Walsh’s cigarette.
77 30:32 ES A squatter is woken up but the first thing he does after sitting up on his cot is stick a cigarette in his mouth & light it.
This particular scene feels like another universe compared to the rest of the film.
78 30:41 MD A closer view of just the squatter enjoying his cigarette.
79 30:49 CU Smoke rises into the squatter’s face from his implied cigarette held just offscreen.
80-85 30:51 ES A pack of Newports or menthols sits next to a pink plastic ashtray on the bar. At least four patrons are smoking cigarettes.
86-89 31:04 MD A lit cigarette rests atop a stack of three pink plastic ashtrays beside of the bar’s emcee.
90-97 31:11 ES Repeat of same pack of menthols & ashtray on bar, two ashtrays in background & at least four people smoking.
In the background are three smokers in a row. Jeesh!
98 31:29 OTS A pack of Camel cigarettes is visible on the headboard above John Getz’s head.
99 31:40 MD Same pack of Camel cigarettes above John Getz’s head from a slightly lower angle.
100 32:15 MD Repeat of same pack of Camel cigarettes above John Getz’s head.
101 33:24 Steadicam Same green porcelain ashtray is visible next to the phone.
* 34:50 CU M. Emmet Walsh uses the light from his Zippo lighter to check the bullets in the gun.
102 36:15 HH Same pack of Camel cigarettes above John Getz’s head but from outside the window.
103 36:54 MD M. Emmet Walsh lights a cigarette with his Zippo lighter.
* 36:57 CU Closeup of the custom engraved Zippo lighter as it is layed down on the desk.
104 36:59 MD Smoke rising into M. Emmet Walsh’s face from his implied cigarette held just below the frame.
105 37:02 OTS M. Emmet Walsh holds his lit cigarette as Marty places some dead fish down over his Zippo lighter.
106 37:32 ECU Same pack of Camel cigarettes above John Getz’s head in the doctored photograph.
107 37:48 MD Repeat of smoke rising into M. Emmet Walsh’s face from his implied cigarette offscreen.
The Coens bring heightened focus to the pack of cigarettes again because it is the first item visible when the photograph is removed from its envelope.
108 37:56 MD Repeat of smoke rising into M. Emmet Walsh’s face from his implied cigarette offscreen.
109 38:07 MD Repeat of smoke rising into M. Emmet Walsh’s face from his implied cigarette offscreen.
110 38:25 MD Repeat of smoke rising into M. Emmet Walsh’s face from his implied cigarette offscreen.
111 38:37 FS A golden glass ashtray is visible on the railing ledge next to a lamp post.
112 38:49 MD Repeat of smoke rising into M. Emmet Walsh’s face from his implied cigarette offscreen.
113 38:59 ECU M. Emmet Walsh puts his cigarette out on a brass bookend of a bull’s head.
114 39:03 MD Smoke rising beside M. Emmet Walsh from his recently-extinguished cigarette offscreen.
115 39:08 FS Repeat of golden glass ashtray on a ledge next to a lamp post.
116 39:18 MD A placard for Camel cigarettes & a Coke syrup tank is visible behind actor Dan Hedaya.
117 39:47 MD Same brass bookend of a bull’s head with the cigarette butt is visible on the desk.
118 40:06 MD Same brass bookend of a bull’s head with the cigarette butt is visible on the desk.
119 40:23 MD Same brass bookend of a bull’s head with the cigarette butt is visible on the desk.
* 41:00 MD Same brass bookend of a bull’s head is visible on the desk as M. Emmet Walsh shoots Dan Hedaya however the cigarette butt is covered by the money.
120 41:11 WS Same golden glass ashtray on the railing ledge & three cases of Miller Lite beer are visible.
121 41:43 MD Same brass bookend of a bull’s head with the cigarette butt is visible on the desk.
* 41:56 MD Same brass bookend of a bull’s head is visible on the desk however the cigarette butt is missing.
* 42:10 ECU Closeup of same Zippo lighter hidden beneath the dead fish.
* 42:20 Crane Camera lowers to beneath the desk to again reveal same Zippo lighter laying under the dead fish.
* 42:38 Crane Same brass bookend of a bull’s head is visible on the desk however the cigarette butt is missing.
* 42:58 ES A glowing neon sign for Miller Lite beer is visible on the wall.
122 44:03 ECU The cash register drawer is opened to reveal a Antonio y Cleopatra brand cigar box inside.
123-149 44:13 ES At least 27 golden glass ashtrays are stacked up together.
150-164 44:27 ES Same stacks of golden glass ashtrays but at least 15 are visible this time.
* 44:42 ES A case of Heineken and two cases of Miller Lite are seen in the foreground.
* 46:48 ECU Same Zippo lighter is visible under some dead fish as a silver revolver is laid on the desk.
165 48:10 ES Same golden glass ashtray on a ledge.
* 48:10 ES Same brass bookend of a bull’s head is partially visible.
* 48:10 ES Same case of Heineken and two cases of Miller Lite from earlier.
* 48:50 MD Same Zippo lighter is partially visible under the dead fish.
* 55:20 FS The Buick name is clearly visible on the back of John Getz’s car.
166 59:13 MD John Getz has smoked a cigarette down to the butt, then he gives it a strange look and flicks it away.
He looks relieved to be smoking after a long night of burying Marty in a cornfield.
* 60:50 Crane A Mobil gas station sign is shown.
167-168 62:37 CU Two photographs are laid in a pan to burn; same pack of cigarettes above John Getz’s head is visible in both.
169-171 62:45 ECU Another view of the photographs, at least three copies are seen and same pack of cigarettes visible in all three.
* 63:05 MD Photographs of various Volkswagen Beetles hanging on a clothesline in the background.
Photos of newer Beetles? Why? Who the fuck knows. The photos even come sharply into focus when Walsh leaves the room at 63:40
172 63:17 MD M. Emmet Walsh sticks a hand-rolled cigarette into his mouth but can’t find his lighter.
* 63:43 ECU A yellow Bic lighter is dropped onto a counter.
173-174 70:28 OTS Side view of John Getz as he pulls out a pack of cigarettes from his shirt pocket and puts a cigarette in his mouth.
175-176 70:32 OTS Front view of John Getz as the cigarette is snatched from his mouth by character Meurice & dialog: “These fuckin things are nothing but coffin nails.”
177 70:54 WS Character Meurice now has a cigarette in his mouth and lights it up.
The guy who snatches the cigarette away and calls them coffin nails also happens to have a lighter in his pocket to light the cigarette for himself. What a coincidence! I guess Muerice smokes when he’s angry.
178 71:02 WS A cigarette is visible in Muerice’s hand but only for a split second.
179 71:05 MD John Getz sticks another cigarette in his mouth.
180 71:08 MD Repeat of John Getz with a cigarette in his mouth & also putting the pack back in his shirt pocket.
* 71:42 CU Same Zippo lighter is visible under the dead fish.
* 71:53 CU Repeat of same Zippo lighter visible under the dead fish.
* 71:57 CU Repeat of same Zippo lighter visible under the dead fish.
* 72:09 MD A case of Chivas Regal liquor is visible.
* 72:24 CU A case of Michelob & a case of Heineken are visible beside two Budweiser bottles & a Coors bottle.
* 73:36 MD Same Quaker State oil box from earlier is visible on the floor.
* 74:51 MD *** An example of NO BRANDS –> All of the bottles & brand names are turned around. ***
* 77:50 ES A U-Haul cardboard box, a Rose’s lime juice box & Kamchatka Vodka box are visible.
181 78:05 MD What appears to be a pack of cigarettes is visible in John Getz’s shirt pocket.
182 78:11 MD Repeat of seated John Getz with a pack of cigarettes visible in his shirt pocket.
183 78:15 MD Repeat of seated John Getz with a pack of cigarettes visible in his shirt pocket.
184 78:44 MD John Getz now standing with a pack of cigarettes visible in his shirt pocket.
185 78:50 MD Repeat of John Getz standing with a pack of cigarettes visible in his shirt pocket.
What’s funny is that you are actually scanning John Getz’s face for answers in this scene, so it is likely that you never even look down to see the pack of smokes in his shirt pocket.
186 78:54 MD Repeat of John Getz standing with a pack of cigarettes visible in his shirt pocket.
* 80:35 MD Same Quaker State oil box from earlier is visible on the floor.
187 80:38 MD John Getz with a pack of cigarettes visible in his shirt pocket.
188 80:45 MD John Getz with a pack of cigarettes visible in his shirt pocket.
* 81:20 CU When John Getz looks at the doctored photo, the pack of cigarettes is cropped off the top of the screen.
Literally & metaphorically he’s unable to “see” his own smoking habit, especially when viewing such a disturbing photograph.
* 81:39 WS Same Zippo lighter visible under the dead fish is now reflecting bright light.
189 83:20 MD In a bright room, we see the pack of cigarettes in John Getz’s shirt pocket so clearly they are obviously Camel brand.
190 83:26 MD Same pack of Camel cigarettes is visible in John Getz’s shirt pocket.
191 83:33 MD Same pack of Camel cigarettes is visible in John Getz’s shirt pocket.
192 83:43 MD Same pack of Camel cigarettes is visible in John Getz’s shirt pocket but only for a split second.
193 83:47 MD Same pack of Camel cigarettes is visible but ironically he gets shot by a rifle through the opposite shirt pocket.
* 85:43 CU Still looking for his Zippo, M. Emmet Walsh searches through John Getz’s pockets & dialog: “You got some personal property of mine.”

Additional Thoughts…

The very first feature film by the Coen brothers, critics often refer to Blood Simple (1984) as a contemporary noir style and definitely showing lots of promise for future filmmaking. That “promise” was likely the ability to embed dozens of tobacco products with such subtle precision that no one in the audience really ever notices. As for future filmmaking deals, well, hey… If the Coen brothers have got a role for cigarettes then we’ve got their multi-million dollar budgets covered, a studio executive might say.

In my small opinion, Blood Simple (1984) is extremely eerie to me in so many ways… But for a first time effort, it is absolutely unbelievable. The Coen brothers really do possess some kind of superhuman talent for filmmaking that is unrivaled in the industry.

What is also interesting is that the Coen brothers chose to weave a strangely familiar object into the film’s core: a classic silver Zippo lighter. Early in Blood Simple, the private eye character sets his custom engraved Zippo lighter on the bar owner’s desk. Later on after committing a murder, the private eye accidentally leaves his Zippo behind on a desk and doesn’t realize it’s missing until much later. In some ways, this is rather unbecoming of any smoker I’ve ever met as I believe it is far more likely the guy would have noticed the lighter was missing the moment he stepped out the door or got back to his car and tried to light up his next cigarette. But I guess maybe he’s one of those I only smoke a single hand-rolled cigarette per day kinda guys. After all, he was named the Elk’s “Man of the Year” so he must be somewhat respectable.

Interestingly enough, this particular DVD edition by Universal Studios actually features a silly introduction by a bespectacled old man. But hey don’t worry, even the boring introduction doesn’t fail to deliver up a tobacco incident or two. I guess I forgot to mention he is a pipe-smoking old man.

In the short introduction, a so-called film historian named Mortimer Young quietly puts aside his tobacco pipe as he tells a story while an hourglass on the desk rains time away. It’s terribly convenient how Young’s introduction to Blood Simple (1984) also happens to have the youthful theme of “Forever Young” at the same time this old man is smoking a pipe and surrounded by antique volumes. See what I mean about works by the Coen brothers taking on all new meanings when filtered through a lens of tobacco? These guys really are diabolical at obfuscating the real meaning behind things.

Anyways, after finishing up his rather boring and nonsensical spiel about minor updates made to the movie Blood Simple (1984) strictly for this DVD edition, Young returns the tobacco pipe to his mouth and dives back into an antique book as the segment ends. Once again, it seems that this little unnecessary scene was merely added as another way to embed a couple of blatant tobacco incidents for the viewer and probably nothing more. For those that don’t know, the Coen brothers shot this phony introduction strictly for this special edition DVD.

At another point during the Coens’ first film Blood Simple (1984), a pack of Camel cigarettes makes a casual appearance on a bedroom headboard. Later in the movie, the same pack of cigarettes can also be easily spotted on that same headboard in several different “surveillance” photographs of the same couple in bed. Beyond that, the surveillance photos are even doctored with fake bullet holes & blood to show the main characters murdered — but guess what, you can still see that random pack of smokes lingering up there on the headboard.

The Coen brothers also add heightened focus to this particular pack of cigarettes by showing a closeup of the shocking surveillance photo as it is slowly removed from its manilla envelope. Finally, toward the end of the film, the series of the doctored photos is burned by the photographer however that random pack of Camel cigarettes can always be seen clearly in each individual photo. Do I need to say more? Trust me, I don’t think this kind of careful framing just happens by accident.

Throughout the film it becomes obvious that lead actor John Getz always carries around a pack of cigarettes in his left breast pocket. Ultimately by the third act, the pack of cigarettes is even clearly visible through the chest pocket of Getz’s thin white shirt; a pack of Camels to be exact which I’ve found is also the Coen brothers’ favorite brand. Sadly at the end of the film, Getz faces the camera and is shot by a rifle through the opposite breast pocket. What on earth could the Coen brothers possibly be trying to say by this random act? Choose between the two pockets… A pack of smokes on one side, a bullet on the other!

Blood Simple might be the Coen brothers’ very first film, but it also contains a lot of very obvious brand name products such as Miller Lite, Heineken and Chuck Taylor shoes of all things. Strangely, in a photo darkroom when the main character actually figures out that his Zippo lighter is gone, he leaves the darkroom however the camera remains and many photos of Volkswagen Beetles come clearly into focus. Say what you will but all of these brand name products do seem to add to the strange texture of the film.

Curiously, the Coen brothers chose to weave a strangely familiar object into Blood Simple: a classic silver Zippo lighter. Early in Blood Simple, the private eye man’s custom-engraved Zippo is placed non-chalantly on a desk and later retrieved. Later in the film, the same Zippo lighter is placed on the desk again but this time is covered up and left behind and therefore linking the man to a murder. As I mentioned, the Coens really do seem have a talent for slipping these elements into their films, sometimes even as major plot points.

So yeah the private eye man just happens to forget his custom Zippo brand lighter on the table under some dead fish. He realizes it the next time he goes to light up a cigarette which, even to me, seems like an unreasonable amount of time according to any smoker I’ve ever met — even if the movie happened in realtime. Many of the smokers I know would have realized they forgot their Zippo lighter the moment they stepped outside the door or got to their car to light up another cigarette.

The world is full of complainers…
The fact is nothing comes with a guarantee.
Now I don’t care if you’re the pope of Rome, president of the United States, or man of the year…
Something can always go wrong.
Go ahead, complain… Tell your problems to your neighbors, ask for help, and watch them fly.
In Russia, they got it mapped out so that everyone pulls for everyone else.
That’s the theory anyway.
But what I know about is Texas…
And down here, you’re on your own.

[The disembodied narration that precedes the film’s title card.]