Churchill Biopic Features Warning Against Second Hard Smoke

C6Many of us are excited to see the new biopic “Darkest Hour” on the towering historical figure of Winston Churchill.  What is less welcomed is a truly ridiculous warning added to the move that “the depictions of tobacco smoking are based solely on artistic consideration.”   It is not even clear what smoking “based solely on artistic consideration” means but is clearly meant as a gesture to those who would immediately run from the film in shock at the scene of a twentieth century leader smoking.  It turns out that while, “History is written by the victors,” it is rewritten by cringing Hollywood producers.

Churchill of course was known worldwide for his cigar, which Gary Oldman properly displays.  Churchill of course apologized to no one from Hitler to Stalin but his film kowtows to social warriors.

91kWTNQAmEL._SY445_The full warning reads: “The depictions of tobacco smoking contained in this film are based solely on artistic consideration and are not intended to promote tobacco consumption. The surgeon general has determined that there are serious health risks associated with smoking and with secondhand smoke.”

Of course, Churchill lived to be 90 — well above the average for his generation.  The warning is a case of the greatest generation meeting the snowflake generation.  A film about a man who demanded resolute toughness was augmented with clinging warning about secondhand smoke.

They should at least give Churchill equal time with his statement that “Perhaps it is better to be irresponsible and right, than to be responsible and wrong.”

Universal Pictures has reminded silent despite worldwide ridicule.  

111 thoughts on “Churchill Biopic Features Warning Against Second Hard Smoke”

  1. Stories about pornography and ‘hard smoke’? Just what the hell kind of site is this anyways?

    1. Darrin Rychlak – the child pornography thingie is a real legal issue over which great or lesser minds can disagree. The disclaimer is also a legal issue which actually started with the movie Scarface, so the lead actor would not be killed by Al Capone.

  2. OK, cigarettes suck, and they smell bad. The same for cigars. I read somewhere that vaping is bad for you, and obviously chewing tobacco is a filthy habit. That leaves PIPES!

    Because even the American Cancer Society doesn’t say bad things about pipe smoking. Doubt me??? Then:

    Sooo, if you have to smoke, I suggest smoke a pipe. I sometimes smoke a corncob pipe, and it is very relaxing. I know it isn’t ladylike, so I always do it in secret when nobody is looking. Cherry cavendish tobacco is very good smelling. A four ounce packet last me over 6 months. I was a sometimes cigarette smoker for a few years in high school and college, but I stopped because I got tired of my clothes smelling like cigarettes.

    But a pipe is relaxing. I just wish it was ok for girls.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    1. Squeeky – smoking a pipe is alright for girls, they just don’t know it. My great grandmother from Ireland smoked a porcelain pipe every evening on her porch with her husband. I worked with a woman who smoked cigars with her husband at least once a week. However, I would suggest doing it outside since the smell infects the house. 🙂

      Of all people, Squeeky, why would you be so timid? I can see you marching right into the courthouse with your corncob pipe at full blast. 😉

      1. Oh no, I would never! It is a secret vice, and I only do it outside, usually on the uncovered patio, so the wicker furniture doesn’t start to smell weird. But it is very relaxing, to just sit their with a sudoku or cryptogram, blowing little rings into the air. . .

        Plus, they need some pipe tobacco that has a girlish smell to it, like J’adore, or some Oh De Parfum. . .

        There is another thing I am only going to do in private. One of my aunts gave me this Cozelle zippered wrap in Tart Red. It swallows me up, and I look like Little Red Riding Whore in it, but it is warm. I wore it in yesterday, when I came home from my Mom’s, and immediately my special kitten jumped on me and started nursing on it, and making biscuits.

        I swear, the thing just screams “Old Maid Cat Lady” (Can you be an old maid at 33???) but it is comfortable and warm. I guess I am lucky she didn’t give me a plaid Snuggie and a tool belt. But it is warm and comfortable.

        Squeeky Fromm
        Girl Reporter

        1. Squeeky – at your age and living alone either gift seems suitable unless they know you well. And if you are home alone, who the hell cares what you look like. Besides, your entire family knows you are a Depressed Lesbian and nothing screams Depressed Lesbian like a Cozelle. 😉

          Enjoy your secret vices now because the day may come when you will have to hide them from someone. That is when it gets dicey. 🙁 Just enjoy life in the open or in secret. 🙂 Nobody else is the boss of us!!!!

          1. I am way too vain to go out in public in that. I would have to sex it up some, with some black leggings and matching red boots and purse. But the darn thing is size “OS”, which must be Chinese for “Obese Sucker”, and it just swallows me up.

            And it is not my entire family that thinks I am a Depressed Lesbian (isn’t that redundant???), just my aunts. Geeesh, it is bad enough waking up beside some stupid man, and I hate to imagine how horrible it would be to wake up next to some maudlin, weepy, Nelly little chick, or some 200 pound Butchy McButch Face dyke with a mohawk haircut.

            No thank you. I will just continue to remain celibate and chased. (No, I didn’t misspell it! 🙂 )

            Squeeky Fromm
            Girl Reporter

            1. Squeeky – well, you know the guys don’t have to spend the whole night. You can kick them out when you are done with them. 🙂 Use and abuse. And unless you are expecting to inherit from the aunts, don’t worry about their opinion. They are just a minor annoyance you have to deal with at holidays.

  3. “Worldwide ridicule”, really? My definition of worldwide must be way too literal. Also, the comment by Turley noting Churchhill lived to be 90 suggests the dangers of smoking is, “Fake News.”

  4. Lady Nancy Astor: “Winston, if you were my husband, I’d poison your tea.”

    Churchill: “Nancy, if I were your husband, I’d drink it.”

      1. Darren Smith – I think it is clear that Lady Astor and Winston either were life-long enemies or had been former lovers and had some unresolved issues they were working out. 😉 Or both. They both seem to have had sharp tongues.

        1.,_Viscountess_Astor She was also a Christian Scientist who prayed illness away.

          “She disliked Jews and discouraged the hiring of Jews or Catholics to positions at The Observer.[13] This regime persisted at The Observer into the 1960s and 70s. When Kenneth Tynan resigned from the Observer in 1963 to take the post of Literary Manager of the National Theatre, he proposed the Irish playwright Dominic Behan as his preferred replacement. Behan, a well-known atheist, was interviewed for the post. When he told the interview board that he was a Catholic, the offer was withdrawn. Behan later said to Tynan, “I would hope if a Nazi ever asked me my religion I would have the courage to defend my right to be a Jew, Bush Baptist or even a damn Catholic!””

          She was divorced herself but in Parliament opposed divorce reform that would grant other women that avenue. She was against suffrage, but she capitalized on their success by succeeding her husband’s seat in the House of Commons. She supported banning most alcohol. Anti-Semitic and anti-Catholic and showed that bias in hiring decisions. She was also known for her cruel streak.

          Sounds like a very trying person.

        1. Karen S – It looks like a John Singer Sargent. He was the leading portrait painter of that period.

    1. Cause, nothing says, I LOVE YOU, like blowing smoke in another’s face. . .cancer. . .it’s sooo sexy!

  5. The warning about cigars in a movie or video series is silly. Churchill not only smoked cigars, but he was overweight and also drank a lot. Yet he still lived to be 90 years old.

    And he wasn’t alone. George Burns was another celebrated cigar smoker and he lived to be 100 years old. Fidel Castro, who smoke cigars all of the time, even when he wasn’t doing standup comedy, lived to be 90 years old. Another famous cigar smoker, John F. Kennedy, however, died at the age of 46, so there are exceptions.

    And here’s some more appropriate Winston Churchill quotes:

    “No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism.”–Winston Churchill

    “It would be a great reform in politics if wisdom could be made to spread as easily and rapidly as folly.”–Winston Churchill

  6. Smoking is promoted by the television media. They show old movies and dorks like Churchill and his cigar.
    Some rich guy like Bill Gates ought to start a commercial series to oppose smoking. One thing to do is show the dorks in the old movies and then read the obits of them and their ages. The obit might say they died of “heart disease”. That is far from the truth. The “cause of death” is smoking. Let us try to educate the children of this country that maybe mom and dad are dumb as toast for smoking. Winston tastes good like a cigarette should. So said Edward R. Murrow on live tv news hour. Millions are dead because of him.

  7. Remind me again who the snowflakes are? There is a 10 second warning in a movie and everyone here is freaking out instead of ignoring it.

    Is it silly? Sure. But who cares?

  8. A not well publicized fact, smoking increases your chance of mouth, esophageal, and lung cancers by 5%.
    Overall increase in cancer by smoking is 8%.

    The sampled statistics of those who get cancer are proportionately skewed, resulting in a much larger proportion of cancers caused by smoking.

  9. Hmmmm, to be fair, the studios should also post warnings against all of the harmful actions depicted in its movies for entertainment, artistic expression, and historical accuracy, including but not limited to:

    general meanness
    chewing tobacco
    bareknuckle boxing (think of the arthritis!)
    bronco riding
    bull riding
    fighting alien invasions
    domestic violence

    Got to be responsible to make up for all the rapes, sexual harassment, and unfair advantages taken on that casting couch!

  10. FWIW One of my fav Churchill quotes: “The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet”

  11. This is not new. For a number of years, there have been similar statements at the end of movies where smoking has been depicted. One might consider it infantilization of the audience, and one might also question the effectiveness of placing it near the very end of the credits (at which point, theaters are usually close to empty). To be fair, the movies depiction of smoking from the ’60’s or ’70’s on back, often showed it as an activity that was sophisticated or manly or representative of some other desirable trait. Adults might not be affected, but adolescents were to some extent. I am pleased that adolescents are generally discouraged from smoking, but I don’t think that a movie disclaimer does much to help with that.

  12. Well, at least they did not sanitize the film by omitting the cigar!

    I get BB’s point about the tobacco industry and their product placement – hell, how many military folks got hooked as cigarettes were distributed in C-rations and sold at discount – aside from Hollywood. And people used to smoke everywhere including in hospitals!

    BUT – the public has since been educated about the health issues associated with smoking so I think the disclaimer is a typical PC absurdity.

    1. Agreed. I think the lawyers made them insert the warning to cover their legal a$$es. For years now, smokers have been treated like the red-headed stepchild at everyone’s family reunion. At this point in time, it’s ridiculous to think people are unaware of the risks.

  13. “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent vice of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.” Winston Churchill

  14. Churchill was perhaps the greatest man of the twentieth century and pissy Hollywood demonstrates its total lack of vision and understanding of the world they produce movies about. In fact, too many of their movies lack content and too many distort the truth creating history meant for mental midgets.

    This movie was excellent.

    1. I beg to differ.The individual of greatest impact in the 20th century was Joseph Stalin who,along with the Red Army,staved off the Nazi hordes until such time as the Western allies reluctantly initiated a second front on D Day.Otherwise,we would all be speaking German and doing the goose step.

      1. Hi Drifter, we are talking about two different things. I said “Churchill was perhaps the greatest man of the twentieth century” You were referring to the “individual of greatest impact”. They are two different things. It’s hard to choose the greatest man and much harder to choose the individual with the greatest impact. I don’t have a pick for that other choice for one could also have chosen Stalin’s mother without who Stalin would never have been born.

      2. The Drifter – Stalin was fighting on one front and when he was first attacked by Germany went into shock for several days. The Germans didn’t start to get bested until the winter and Stalingrad. Britain or the UK was fighting both Germany and Japan. Plus they were fighting a naval battle. Stalin just had a land war and, as Napoleon learned, never attack Russia in the winter.

  15. And they didn’t have a warning that consuming the amount of booze the Churchill did could be injurious to your health? I am personally offended. No warnings that firing guns at the enemy might actually kill or maim them? Or that the of firing guns at you could actually kill or maim you?

    I saw The Last Jedi (in 3-D IMAX) on Christmas Eve. What warnings should that movie carry? The list is longer than the list of the crew at the end of the credits for the movie. And will we have to sit through them, like we do the previews? BTW, what happened to movie cartoons before the movie? They need to come back.

    1. “I saw The Last Jedi (in 3-D IMAX) on Christmas Eve. What warnings should that movie carry?”

      You mean like excessive plot and continuity holes? Liked Rogue One the best so far. This episode was weak in my opinion. Hoping to catch the Churchill flick soon. Did you like it, Paul? Did it seem to be a faithful portrayal from what you have read over the years? By the way, I bet if they brought back the Warner Bros. Bugs Bunny ‘tunes, they would be a hit–despite not being PC!

      1. slohrss29 – I admit to not being a fanboy. George Lucas killed all that for me with Episodes 1, 2, and 3. However, I do think in wider context it connects to the Star Wars multi-verse. I thought it was an intelligent script and it left some things to be solved or puzzled over by the viewer. It almost had a European feel to it. I think it fits with 7 and it sets us up for 9. There are already several plot points that fanboys are hotly discussing. I read some of the fanboy reviews trashing the show and their biggest problems seem to ones that cannot be solved by Disney. 7 was adequate to its task. It reset the Star Wars multi-verse. Rogue One was interesting as a set apart film, but it didn’t really fit in the multi-verse.

        Did I like The Last Jedi? Yes, I did. It did a lot more than I expected it to do and it did those things well. After 1,2, and 3 I was rooting for the Empire to win. Now, I have several heroes I can get behind on the rebels again. I do not how well Daisy Ridley can act, or care, like the fanboys, I remember Jane Fonda in Barbarella before she learned to act and Mark Hamill in 4,5, and 6 where he could barely stay on stage with anyone he was acting with. I just want Rey to win. May the Force be with you. 😉

          1. Allan – taste is personal. We each bring our background to each film and how I look at a film (since I taught film) is far different than most people. I am usually the one that doesn’t like the film. 🙂

            1. Paul, I don’t consider myself any sort of expert regarding films, but I view them based on what they bring to the table. What did Jedi bring? Nothing new, lousy dialogue, triteness, etc. There is a market for revivals and follow up films so this film was made. I think if it had to stand out there by itself it would have been an amazing flop.

              1. Allan – unlike Rogue One, The Last Jedi is not designed as a stand-alone film. It is the 2nd act of a trilogy. The third and final act is coming. Standing alone it would not make a bit of sense because it has no conclusion, no catharsis for the audience. If Disney handles 9 correctly we should all get the pay-off we have been waiting for since 1977. We can but wait and see. Maybe Disney will screw the pooch like George Lucas did. However, I think they are hoping for a lot of spin-off films like Rogue One. I understand there is a lot of good fan fiction out there they can use as source material. That would make a lot of fanboys happy. 🙂

                Allan, actually The Last Jedi could be a stand-alone if you look at it as a European film, not an American film. The ending would fit with French New Wave. Did you every see Jean de Florette? It ends much like this. Luckily we only had to wait 18 months for Juliette of the Springs to come out to get a conclusion to our story. How long under 9?

                1. Paul, just because it is a part of a trilogy doesn’t mean it has to be made. It was awful.

                  1. Allan – that is your opinion and you have every right to it and I will fight for your right to that opinion. You are certainly not alone. 🙂

                    1. Of course, it is my opinion, Paul and I hold you responsible for wasting my time and my $10 since you “taught film”. -)

                    2. Allan – if you had taken my class you would not have “wasted your $10” and you would have enjoyed the film. 🙂 Of course, that is assuming you paid attention and passed the class. 😉

                    3. I probably would have failed your class. My initial grade on my final in organic chemistry test was a 40. Was that because I didn’t know organic chemistry or was that because the Ph.D. student grading the exam didn’t know it? It became a 100+ when the head of the department went over the paper. The answers they had for grading the test were inferior answers and no one expected the better much more difficult and sophisticated answer to be provided in a lower level course.

                      Therefore, if I took your class (“assuming you paid attention and passed the class.”) and took the exam I likely would have failed the class. However, that would not change the facts on the ground. That movie stank. 😉

                      I love the sciences but am not as impressed with liberal arts. In liberal arts, someone produces something and based upon some queer measurement system it is considered great until some kid yells out the emperor has no clothes. In science, one doesn’t need the kid. If one builds a bridge and the first car falls into the river you know the bridge is a dud.

                    4. Allan – the nice thing about the Humanities (my area [history, theatre, and film]) is that everyone can make their own list of their favorite 100 films and it is theirs. I do not have to agree with all their choices, but I will probably agree with some of their choices. You learn to take the good with the bad. I happen to like B movies as well as great art films. I don’t think the original Star War was a great film, but it was good. Number 5 rises to a great film, number 6, not so much. Numbers 1-3 don’t bear mentioning.

                      Other than Citizen Kane, which is brilliant and at the top of my list, the rest of my list splits between American, European and Japanese and Korean. Still, I love the Godzilla films and I have all of them. I also love Roger Corman films. Death Race 2000 is a classic. The original Little Shop of Horrors is a masterpiece. I also have all the Frankenstein films, including the one with Abbott and Costello. 🙂 I love the Hammer horror films. So, as you can see, I have eclectic tastes.

                    5. Paul, as you know I love art and collect it so I have regard for that part of the brain. However, we would be a lot better off if at least half of the humanities were removed from the university curriculum. They are not educating people to survive in the world we live in.

                      You can keep your Godzilla films. If I never see one again my life will be that much better. I prefer my small reading room absent a TV with its large surround vision to the outside, books, Mozart and the most comfortable reading chair.

                      While partaking in the discussion on this list I was busy hiring and supervising the people remodeling of this side of my house (My wife got the much larger share which includes her new kitchen. I had to “fire” the contractor and take his place, but I got hands-on experience in the building trade.)

                    6. Allan – well, my brother does not have a TV either if that makes you feel any better. I have a 60″ screen in the bedroom and a 70″ screen in the living room. Too bad you are not a licensed contractor, I could use one. I have work that needs to be done in the house since it is now 15 years old and some things need to be repaired and touched up.

                      BTW, what are you reading? I am 1/3 of the way through Isabel Allende’s The House of the Spirits and about to start Hero of the Empire (about young Winston Churchill). I am also listening to a book on the History of the Kings and Queens of England. Plus I am taking classes in Greek Philosophy, Understanding Art, and History of England – Tudor and Stuarts. And I watch movies or TV shows in-between. I have a collection of close to 5000 movies and a goodly collection of TV shows.

                    7. Paul, I have loads of TV sets, but not in that room. Too much junk distracts from the view. My reading habits are eclectic and books on Churchill are always great. Since you are reading Churchill you might find volume 1 (of 4) of Churchill’s History of the English people of interest. We have read a lot about the latter three volumes, but probably not as much about The Birth of Britain (Volume 1). Presently I am reading several books one that has been lost for awhile, The Origins of War by Donald Kagan, and just started Horowitz’s The Black Book of the Left which might fascinate you since you will undoubtedly recognize many of the well known ‘characters’ whose hateful ideas have been mindlessly and poorly copied on this blog.

                      Doing construction? I just finished remodeling one wing of the house. Kitchen, dinette, walk-in pantry, bathroom for my wife and my reading room. I did the general design but hired a contractor. As stated earlier I had to “fire” him and complete it by myself. The hardest thing is getting good people like electricians. I think 3 different ones worked on this project. The contractor fired one and I fired the second one he hired. Being a contractor isn’t that difficult. It’s a matter of keeping the eye on the ball and in one’s mind running backward and forward the construction project so all the things are in the right place at the right time. After firing the contractor I reopened walls and replaced interior structures to prevent difficulties in the future. When I say I, I mean I had the people I hired to do the actual physical work. The computer and manufacturers were very helpful in providing the needed technical information I am unfamiliar with. I was able to keep the project within a reasonable budget and I think got more for the dollar than I would have with the contractor.

                      You don’t need a contractor for touch-ups. You need skilled individuals that are reliable.

                    8. Allan – I have read Churchill’s books on WWII, I will keep that in mind. You might consider The Military History of the Western World by J. F. C. Fuller. It comes in 3 volumes, only two are available on Amazon right now. Fuller was a pioneer in tank warfare during WWI and considered a brilliant strategist himself. His analysis of battles is very complete. He goes from major battle to major battle. Each volume is thick, so you are in for a long ride. 🙂 There is also a new book out on Rasputin with new research, about 600 pages, but 100 of those are footnotes. Rasputin is not the person I taught him to be. I would have to take back some statements.

                      Thanks for the building tips.

                    9. Paul, since you have such interest in Churchill think about reading his official biography. It started to be written in the 60’s by his son Randolph who was replaced by Martin Gilbert when Randolph passed away. Today since the passing of Martin Gilbert the documents are being edited by Larry Arnn. This entire project should be able to fill your days for the rest of your life. It’s huge.

                    10. Allan – I was given the WWII books of Churchill for free and this one is for my non-fiction group. I find Churchill a very flawed leader, but I am not interested in devoting the rest of my life reading about him. 🙂

                2. Paul, J’adore La Nouvelle Vogue!

                  “A Man and A Woman” is one of my favs

                  I’ve seen all of the films starring Daniel Auteuil too.

                  Right now I am binging a Spanish series about a philosophy teacher “Merli”

                  1. Autumn – is the series on Netflix? Daniel Autiel is a brilliant actor and does not get enough acclaim in this country.

        1. PCS, I’ve read your responses to Allan above, but I feel the need to share my POV anyway (it’s been that kind of Christmas), so here goes. The movie is bad, very very bad. Rey is a Mary Sue, and there is no getting around the fact that Rian Johnson was not up to the task of writing or directing that 2.5-hour butt-buster of a film. If I could have walked out at 30 minutes (cause I was bored out of my mind) and walked home in freezing weather, I would have. The plot holes were big enough to drive a truck through, but more than that, the simplistic, cornball dialogue and SJW characters and memes (Laura Dern with a purple coif, really?, Asian chick who’s a mechanic falls in love with AA dude and saves the love of her life and the Resistance? WTF?) were applied in such a heavy-handed manner as to be laughable. The best actor they had in the film was Benicio del Toro and they wasted him on a stupid, unnecessary role that added nothing to the narrative arc and only confused the audience further. The Force Awakens was similarly insipid in plot, but at least then we had tight directing from Abrams, the mythology of the Skywalker clan to unpack, and the potential that Rey was related to the clan in some way (which Johnson promptly destroys with his ridiculous script). Disney clearly has been paying off the professional movie critics, who have devolved into nothing but yes men & women for the studios. Fans have largely given this movie a big thumbs down. This film was clearly only made to sell merchandise to an increasingly dumbed-down audience, both here and in Asia. The best deconstruction I’ve read or watched is provided by Sargon.

          1. CCS – taste is personal. Bernico mumbles and I never understood what he said in The Usual Suspects, and I had a hard time understanding him here and I saw it at a 3-D IMAX with a great sound system. The Star Wars multi-verse has changed. Disney has moved the goal posts. If you don’t accept that, you will never understand what is going on. One of the things Disney is known for is casting ethnic actors, that is something you have to get used to, they have been doing it for years. Daisy Ridley’s acting is no better or worse than Mark Hamill’s in Episodes 4-6. Princess Leia was ODing on Botox and Laura Dern still looked hot regardless of what she was wearing. 😉 My personal opinion is that it is a more intelligent script, left a lot for the audience to deal with rather than solve itself. As I said before it is almost French New Wave. Although I will support anyone who says Adam Driver needs to be replaced. He is insipid and a terrible Supreme Commander.

            Besides, there is plenty for the fanboys to argue about until the last film comes out. And since they got rid of Mark Hamill and Princess Leia died, they may have enough money in the budget to pay JJ Abrams to direct the last one. This one is making money but the fanboys are killing the box office. Don’t they want to see Episode 9? If this one doesn’t make enough money, Episode 9 does not get made.

    2. “What warnings should that movie carry?”

      The Last Jedi should have carried a warning that it was a waste of money and worse than that a waste of time. Thank goodness for the reclining seats that permitted one to go asleep.

  16. JT, it was added, not because viewers would “run from the film in shock” upon witnessing the incessant smoking. . .it was, most likely, added because, for decades and decades, Hollywood was, undoubtedly, largely responsible for influencing, encouraging and, thus, increasing, the vast numbers of individuals deciding to smoke. Influencing, encouraging and increasing the vast numbers of theater-goers, who would begin a life-long and deadly habit. . .one which would turn out to be more addictive than heroin. Hollywood, now, knows that. . .we all know know that. The studios were known for consistently spewing out and producing films in which smoking was depicted as alluring, glamorous, macho and sexy, where scenes often featured lovers, simultaneously, blowing cigarette smoke at one another. Remember that infamous scene with Bette Davis? The industry, to a large extent, heavily influenced the public with regard to the use of cigarettes, where untold numbers, for generations, got hooked on a deadly habit which would either shorten their lives or kill them. Producers and/or directors are fully aware of the impact of films. . .the power of films. While, contrary to decades ago, today’s public doesn’t just have the movie theater as the only avenue of escape. . .the only opportunity to view the outside world. . .nonetheless, movies and films still exert great influence over us. The producers and/or directors, by adding, what you consider to be, a ridiculous warning, are, in actuality, making an attempt–however, feeble, however, useless–at being, responsible. Conscientious. Diligent. Yes. I know. Not terms usually associated with Hollywood, but, in this particular case, I suspect that is what we have–a small, and, perhaps, ineffective, indication of a conscience. A peek at an attempt to portray the character, and those around him, in the most realistic manner, without, unintentionally, supporting the use of tobacco products. Do you laugh and scoff at the warnings found on the side of cigarette packs, even though you know that smokers aren’t dropping the packs, from their hands, because of the dire and frightening warnings? In a time where we are hearing, on a daily basis, about the irresponsibility of Hollywood–where actresses and actors were abused, in various ways, and Hollywood turned a blind eye–here, we have an attempt at being responsible. Forthright. Transparent. Cautionary. I say that it’s a good thing. A positive step in the right direction. Unfortunately, in this situation, it’s one of, damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

    1. bam bam – I think we need a certification at the end of each film say “No one is this film was sexually abused in any manner. No one in this film was sexually harassed outside the confines of the script.” And it needs the signature of each of the actors. That is what Hollywood needs if it wants to have a conscience.

      1. Paul, do you find it offensive that some films include comments, usually, at the end of said films, that no animals were harmed in the production of the movie? What is that all about? It is simply a note to the viewer. . .a note that clarifies the film, to a certain extent. A note to relieve the viewer of any anxiety regarding the condition of the animals shown in the film or the manner in which they were treated. A clarification. An assurance. That’s it. Right? Well, I see this info, added to the film, in the same manner. I see it as a, clarification. I see it as an attempt to inform the public that the smoking, in the film, is depicted and shown in an effort to remain true to the character. An attempt to clarify that smoking is not to be viewed as glamorous or sexual–a practice in which Hollywood indulged, for years. A practice which was the impetus, for many, in beginning a deadly addiction. Pick up any assortment of products, found at your local store, and just read the warnings. Well, yes, films are a product, as well.

        1. bam bam – I started smoking because my models were my parents, who both smoked. It wasn’t the movies. Also, during that time a great proportion of the population smoked, so if the character smoked, they were true to the period.

          1. So, you emulated your parents. Very common; however, what influenced your parents? Surely, films, which would have been one of their only opportunities to view the outside world, including the glamorous world of Hollywood and starlets, impacted them. No doubt about it. Cigarettes were depicted everywhere in films and closely associated with those handsome, leading men or those alluring and sultry starlets. Hollywood, whether it officially states this or not, has a guilty conscience. Yes. A guilty conscience. Its films managed to convince, untold numbers of individuals, to pick up a cigarette and begin a deadly journey. To smoke. To fit in. To have a taste of glamour. A taste of the good life. While films may not have instigated your habit to begin smoking, I’d be willing to bet that those around you didn’t fare as well and started to smoke because it became the fashionable thing to do.

            1. BB – nowadays it is mostly criminal or a lower class depicted as being smokers.

              One thing I’ve noted though is that alcohol consumption has not changed – scotch / bourbon always present when depicting powerful people whether aristocrats, CEOs or politicians, etc.

              1. “One thing I’ve noted though is that alcohol consumption has not changed – scotch / bourbon always present when depicting powerful people whether aristocrats, CEOs or politicians, etc.”

                As long as they are top shelf brands.

                  1. I used to drink mostly Scotch and on a special occasion I had a party and a lot of people gave me presents of expensive Scotch. I would never spend that type of money on it for myself but they did. From then on frequently when I had a bunch of people over I would do Scotch tastings so my friends actually drank most of it (I don’t drink much). There was a lot so it lasted a number of years. When home alone I drank the less expensive Scotch that I always drank. If you are a Scotch girl then you know the types of Scotch my friends were drinking.

            2. bam bam – for my mother it was probably a rebellion against her father or peer-pressure. For my father, it was probably peer-pressure. They met at the Univ of North Dakota when my mother asked my father for a light for her cigarette.

    2. bam bam,
      I agree with your point that Hollywood has glamorized smoking and other toxic behaviors in their movies. The choice to do so in their movies of “fiction” is a conscious and often irresponsible decision. They have a responsibility however in their “non-fiction” work to be historically accurate. Put the disclaimer in their works of fiction and leave them out of the non-fiction movies.

      1. Olly, in the world of film, the line between fantasy and reality is blurred. Movies–the good ones–transport us. That is especially true for films viewed in an actual theater, on the big screen, in a dark environment. Films influence us. Bottom line. Fictitious or true-to-life, movies shape us. Influence us. Mold us. I don’t see the bright line between fictitious tales or historic ones. The Marlboro Man was not a real person. He was an actor–one, who, if I am not mistaken, died from lung cancer. Despite the fact that he wasn’t a real person, his image, along with the image of various others, hawking the use of cigarettes, disappeared from view. The argument, that he wasn’t a real person. . .that the Marlboro Man didn’t exist, in reality, and, as such, didn’t affect society and lure others to smoke, doesn’t ring true.

        1. bam bam – I don’t ever remember seeing an ad for the Marlboro Man on the big screen. He was small screen advertising until they banned advertising cigarettes on TV. Yes, he did die of throat cancer, but I think he was a Lucky Strikes man. 😉

          1. Paul, you missed my point–Olly claimed that there was a distinction between fiction and non-fiction, where the latter need not have any sort of a disclaimer. My point was that the Marlboro Man, who wasn’t an actual person, disappeared due to the belief that he was, indeed, influencing individuals to smoke. His fictional character could, and did, influence people to smoke. The line, between fiction and non-fiction, is not as clear as some may think.

            1. My point was that the Marlboro Man, who wasn’t an actual person, disappeared due to the belief that he was, indeed, influencing individuals to smoke.

              Your point is valid in that the film industry, whether small or large screen, creates fictional characters that influence viewer’s behavior. That was the point of the Marlboro Man. The non-fiction world doesn’t need these characters created; they actually existed, warts and all. Putting in a disclaimer of real-world historical figures and their behavior is unnecessary as it is an accurate reflection of history. If any disclaimer is warranted, it’s when relevant historical facts are omitted. Tell the audience the film does not reflect the historical record to protect the audience from the truth of the times.

              1. I see no harm in adding the information. While I haven’t had an opportunity, as of yet, to see the film, I’m quite sure that the actor, portraying Churchill, was filmed chomping on his cigar throughout the movie. Perhaps it is precisely because Churchill–who is viewed by many, as one who was larger than life and unstoppable–was merely a human and suspectible to all things human, that adding that bit of info, which admonishes the viewer that smoking is dangerous, is useful? Many will see the film and believe that his years of smoking did no harm. Didn’t affect him. Perhaps, since the movie depicts the life of one considered so invincible, that the warning makes even more sense? There is a misconception that cigars, unlike cigarettes, are harmless. Nothing could be further from the truth.

            2. bam bam – I will agree with you that the Marlboro Man influenced people to smoke Marlboros. However, at the same time, just about every tobacco brand had an ad campaign on TV to get you to smoke their brand. And there have been some unsubstantiated rumors that Hollywood was paid to have smoking by the major actors. The industry was pushing it, not a particular brand.

        2. I don’t see the bright line between fictitious tales or historic ones.

          I do. Needing a disclaimer on a historical film is for weak-minded people that require others to do their critical-thinking for them. My father died of lung cancer. He blamed no one but himself for the choices he made.

          1. So, you believe that the movie-going public isn’t weak-minded? Lol! For those who are not, as you call it, weak-minded, then the disclaimer is useless. Ignore it. You are, allegedly, above it. You, obviously, don’t make your life choices by what you view on film. Not everyone, unfortunately, is Olly. For those who are, as you put it, weak-minded, perhaps that disclaimer serves a purpose? Perhaps it keeps some from beginning a habit, depicted on film by one of history’s greatest men, that will harm them? Many in society are quite susceptible to a variety of influences, especially, dangerous influences, with which they are inundated, and much of that comes from what they view on film. While I am truly sorry for the loss of your father, due to lung cancer–a man who blamed no one but himself for his choices in life–your father–like all of us–whether he admitted it or not, was susceptible to various pressures and habits portrayed in the media. One need not acknowledge that fact to make it so. Often, those gripped by an addiction believe that they control their lives and their choices, when, in fact, the addiction or addictions control their lives. I, too, lost my mother to lung cancer. . .unlike your father, however, she had never smoked a day in her life. Perhaps, that is why I see any attempt–yes, any attempt–however, weak or paltry–by Hollywood, to correct some of the wrongs of the past, where smoking was portrayed as cool or glamorous, as a positive step. An attempt to right the wrongs, of the past, where millions, through Hollywood’s films, decided to pick up a cigarette and felt as though they were, by that one, small gesture, a leading man or a starlet.

            1. bam bam,
              I too am sorry for the loss of your mother to lung cancer. Your activism is rational in the context of Hollywood glamorizing smoking in the fictional world’s they create. The same could be said for how they glamorize violence and sex. Depicting Winston Churchill with a cigar however is not glamorizing smoking any more than his bowler glamorized hats. Both were ubiquitous in his day and to omit them would an inaccurate reflection of the times. History doesn’t need a disclaimer except perhaps for the times where fiction has replaced the truth.

  17. Artistic consideration? Has our culture become so soft that it now needs disclaimers before being exposed to history?

    1. Today our cultural elites of the left would destroy Churchill because he came out of the shower naked when his secretary was in the area.

  18. Strange, but when I saw Baby Driver, I didn’t notice any warnings that conducting robberies is dangerous to your health.

    1. “What about the Cohiba Churchill cigar, branded by that Commie Pinko Cigar Making Country, Cuba. Perhaps that gripe is for tomorrow.”

      As Freud noted, “sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.” Also, “lived to 90” might be a stretch. I think the smoking did turn him into a Vogon though.

Comments are closed.