"I was sad, but it was either that or...the movie wouldn't have been made, literally."

Over at his Liquidity Preference blog, Reason.com contributor Jacob Grier brings word that Watchmen director Zack Snyder snatched the demon tobacco from the hands of character Laurie Juspeczyk, also known as the Silk Spectre:

Where were Laurie's smokes, Zack?

"Yeah, Alan hates smoking. Alan Horn—the head of the studio—that's his biggest, biggest thing. The Comedian can smoke, because he might be a bad guy, he's the bad guy, but that's it. That was the line that he drew."

But aren't those kind of a small plot device for the character to watch her go on and off the wagon?

"I was sad, but it was either that or...the movie wouldn't have been made, literally."

Read the rest here.

In November 2005, Matt Welch denounced HarperCollins for airbrushing the cigarette out of the hands of illustrator Clement Hurd for the 60th anniversary edition of Goodnight Moon. In 2003, Jacob Sullum looked at whether eliminating cigarettes from movies actually slashes smoking rates.

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  • Naga Sadow||

    So realistic violence and gratuitous sex scenes okay, but smoking not okay?

  • SpongePaul||

    Its for the kids, lol. only evil men and sluts smoke or use drugs! don't you know that. And if you smoke or use drugs you are evil and must be punished, THe children can ot see such things with thier tender eyes, LOL LOL LOL

  • Warty||

    The world is silly in all the wrong ways.

  • ||

    Remember kids, only smokers are rapists and only rapists are smokers. So if you see someone who's ripped, kinda shady, and in a domino mask, but he HASN'T fired up a stogie, go ahead and let your guard down.

  • Nihixul||

    The makers of Futurama (specifically Groening and Cohen) talk in their DVD commentaries about how the censors let them get away with so much more,... so long as it was Bender (a robot, for those who don't know) that was doing it. In fact, Bender *had* to consume alcohol to function properly. He regularly gambled, drank heavily, and smoke. In one episode he could even be seen pimping. In another, experimenting with "jacking on", i.e. using electricity to get high.

    There was no way Futurama would have passed the censors had Fry or the Professor been doing those things. But, hey, Bender's a robot! That makes sense,... right?

  • Abdul||

    When Hollywood inevitably makes a slobbering Fidel Castro bio-pic, will he smoke cigars or will he drink organic free trade camomille tea instead?

  • ChrisO||

    Evidently the studio behind "Mad Men" has no problem with everyone smoking. And drinking all day at work. Great show!

    I don't like cigarette smoke, but I dislike the anti-smoking zealots at least as much.

    Puritanism in America never really disappears, it just takes on newer and weirder forms.

  • ||

    See, this is all bullshit. Snyder is just making this up so that when the movie sucks, he can blame the studio. It's called the "Heaven's Gate Gambit".

  • ||

    Zack Snyder: The Comedian might be a bad guy, he is the bad guy.

    What was that? He sort of gives it away, but then tries to re-misdirect the audience?

    Nice move, dick.

  • Ska||

    Mad Men makes me crave cigarettes, and wish for the day it was acceptable to drink all the time while hitting on hawt secretaries without fear of a sexual misconduct case. Those must've been some good times to be a cube monkey.

  • ||

    Burn, Hollywood.

    Burn.

  • Mister DNA||

    Does watching people smoke in movies cause retinal cancer?

    I'm curious... what's the smokiest movie ever made? Fritz Lang's M comes to mind; virtually every scene is filled with a thick cloud of cigar smoke.

  • Brandi||

    "I'm curious... what's the smokiest movie ever made? Fritz Lang's M comes to mind; virtually every scene is filled with a thick cloud of cigar smoke."

    I'm guessing The Towering Inferno.

  • Jeff P||

    DNA: For most number of cigarettes in a movie my vote would be Casablanca or the 1980's Doctor Caligari movie.

  • ||

    Some entertainment show yesterday described The Watchmen as "a movie about a group of superheroes trying to save the world from nuclear destruction." I lolled.

  • Jeff P||

    Hollywood will not be able to produce anything of quality or integrity until it experiences a severe production rollback, on the order of 70-80%. This is why I support movie piracy as a moral act.
    Any evil madmen planning on sinking California into the ocean can sign me up as a henchman.

  • BakedPenguin||

    When Hollywood inevitably makes a slobbering Fidel Castro bio-pic, will he smoke cigars or will he drink organic free trade camomille tea instead?

    He'll have them in his mouth, but they won't be lit, unlike the halo around his head.

    They should get Sean Penn to play that dumbass reporter from the NYT who helped him out so much...

  • ||

    Mad Men makes me crave cigarettes, and wish for the day it was acceptable to drink all the time while hitting on hawt secretaries without fear of a sexual misconduct case. Those must've been some good times to be a cube monkey.

    And play Mozart on your zipper. Great f*cking show.

  • ||

    DNA: For most number of cigarettes in a movie my vote would be Casablanca or the 1980's Doctor Caligari movie.

    Nope. The Day of the Jackal. It was like a smoking lounge.

  • affenkopf||

    Who cares about the smoke, the squid is much more important.

  • ¢||

    It's called the "Heaven's Gate Gambit".

    Ouch. So not fair to Watchmen. Heaven's Gate isn't bad. It's just really long. Watchmen is going to be both. Don't steal its thunder.

    I'm curious... what's the smokiest movie ever made?

    I don't know, but I know this: I feel twinges of the law now every time someone in an old movie smokes in a bar. If I ever snap and go on a shooting spree, that's why I did it.

  • Xanthippas||

    So you guys are pro-smoking? Because I don't see how libertarian ideology applies to a guy cutting smoking out of a privately-financed movie.

  • DarkKnightJRK||

    Meh. Stupid decision, but, as a fan of the comic, I found whether they were going to change the ending to be more pressing then a small detail like that.

  • ChrisO||

    So you guys are pro-smoking? Because I don't see how libertarian ideology applies to a guy cutting smoking out of a privately-financed movie.

    No, the Alan the Studio Head has every right to cut a movie any way he wishes. And I have every right to call him a self-righteous prig for doing so. That's what is going on here.

  • Syd||

    The Comedian smoked and now he's dead. Let this be a lesson to you.

  • ed||

    Grand Hotel is pretty smoky. At one point Garbo and Barrymore appear to have caught fire. Smokiest scene in movie history, a metaphor gone mad.

  • strat||

    Xanthippias - it has been well documented that the nannies intent on adjusting individual behavior have spent quite a bit of our tax money on frivolous "research" in support of tortured arguments conflating correlation and causation.

    Think of it more along the lines of criticizing "collaborators" during wartime,

  • ||

    Maxwell Smart smokes in almost every episode of Get Smart. I watched that show all the time as a kid, yet this surprised me when watching the show again over the past couple months. I can't believe my parents let me watch that sort of R rated material back then.

  • ||

    I thought this was the norm.

    I was seriously surprised when New Line allowed Gandalf and Bilbo to not only smoke but make shapes out of their smoke in FOTR.

    I was doubly surprised when they let child-sized Merry and Pippin smoke in TTT.

  • ||

    I meant ROTK, not TTT. Iluvatar forgive me!

  • ||

    Abdul @ 3:58 wins the thread.

  • ||

    So you guys are pro-smoking?

    New here? We're pretty much pro-do-whatever the-fuck-you-want, with the standard disclaimers: don't initiate force, don't hurt anyone else doing it, yadda, yadda...

    Anti-smoking revisionists can fuck off. And what ChrisO said.

  • MNG||

    This "airbrush the guns and smokes out of movies/books/etc" is the height of bullshit imo.

  • ||

    This "airbrush the guns and smokes out of movies/books/etc" is the height of bullshit imo.

    Like Spielberg editing out the guns in E.T.?

    "Having become a father, Spielberg was more sensitive about the scene where gun-wielding federal agents threaten Elliott and his escaping friends; he digitally replaced the guns with walkie-talkies."

    I just wonder if he edited out when Eliot says "penis-breath".

  • .||

    HOWARD: You bought a pack of cigarettes.
    BAYLISS: Yeah. But I threw 'em away as soon as I opened the pack.
    HOWARD: Ayah, but you bought a pack of cigarettes. How'd it feel?
    BAYLISS: Great. And I said real calm, I said, "A Pack of Winstons,
    please."
    HOWARD: Ohhh, Winstons! Good choice.
    BAYLISS: Yeah, so I paid for 'em, you know, and I walked out, my heart
    is just (beats chest:) pounding away, and, you know, my hands are all
    sweaty, and I, I opened the pack.
    HOWARD: Oh, yeah! That little red band on the Winstons that (mimes:)
    opens the cellophane.
    BAYLISS: Mm hm. Threw away the pack since I opened it though.
    HOWARD: Ya see? That's willpower.
    BAYLISS: Absolutely. Then I, you know, I walked over and I picked 'em up
    again, cause that package just felt so good in my hands, you know? You
    know how a new pack of cigarettes, you know, how it, how it just lies in
    the palm of the hand so lightly yet so solidly.
    HOWARD: Huh, you say what you want about America, (gesturing with
    pretzel:) but we still make a damn fine pack of cigarettes.

  • Dangerman||

    Every once in a while, I get an opportunity to thank my parents for having me in time for me to enjoy Homicide while I was still young and malleable.

    Mom, Dad, Thank You sooo much.

    Also, Andre Braugher was the shit. What happened to him?

  • Kolohe||

    The most far fetched thing about re-watching Blade Runner these days is not the AI, not the flying cars, but the fact that everyone can and does smoke in a late 21st century Los Angeles municipal building.

  • Dangerman||

    Well, I should have kown to go straight to www.andrebraugher.com, of course! Silly me..

  • alan||

    "Having become a father, Spielberg was more sensitive about the scene where gun-wielding federal agents threaten Elliott and his escaping friends; he digitally replaced the guns with walkie-talkies."

    You know those few movies he made that weren't complete schmaltz&shit, like Empire of the Sun? Is there any possible way that they were ghost directed by someone else and everyone contracted on the set still gives Spielberg credit for a lifetime supply of blow? The lameness of the man just so contradicts greatness that there has to be another explanation then, 'he directed Jaws.'

  • robc||

    Kolohe,

    I notice it reading Niven novels. Lots of his known space characters smoke. It just seems so unlikely now, unlike when I first read his stories.

  • Robert||

    Sure, Get Smart smoked all over the place, but it was also full of anti-smoking jokes, just done ironically. Like a cigaret case would stop a bullet, and then Don Adams says, "And they say smoking's BAD for you!"

  • economist||

    Shit, and I was really looking forward to this movie.

  • MNG||

    Epi
    Exactly. I couldn't believe he did that in E.T...Like the guns were somehow centrally focused on or something (seriously I didn't even remember that there were guns in that film until I heard about the stupid airbrushing them out).

    And what is the deal? That its best to never let children know that there are these things called guns in the world? That helps them how exactly?

    When I was a kid just about every toy I had had something to do with guns. And we had that cigarrette candy and big league chew to boot, and I grew up to own just a couple of guns in my life and don't smoke or chew.

  • MNG||

    "Shit, and I was really looking forward to this movie."

    Well, I wouldn't give up on the movie just for that econ.

    With Watchman I'm going from "looks awful" to "I think I'll give it a chance" more every day...

  • ||

    Evidently the studio behind "Mad Men" has no problem with everyone smoking. And drinking all day at work. Great show!

    I heard an interview with the creator and he basically stated the reason it ended up on A&E was that no other network would touch it unless they made it so the characters didn't smoke. He refused as he felt it integral to the show.

  • ||

    If it means anything to anybody, Wesley Crusher says Watchmen is ..er...frelling... awesome!

    Did anyone else think, before Horn's surname was mentioned, that the Alan being referred to was the one who has washed his hands of the movie from the start?

    Kevin

  • fanboy||

    SELLOUT!

  • ||

    So we STILL haven't gotten past the idea that if it's drawn= for kids?

  • economist||

    MNG,
    I was joking.

  • ||

    "DNA: For most number of cigarettes in a movie my vote would be Casablanca or the 1980's Doctor Caligari movie"

    Terry Gilliam's Fear and loathing in last vegas, I think Depp had a cigarette on the go for nearly every second he was in the film. Watched the film in the cinema, its a long film and man did I want to smoke a cigarette when it finished!

    looking forward to the new Gilliam film with keith ledger, Johhny Depp, Colin Farrel and jude Law more than the watchmen. One badass director and four great actors.

    Dark knight and In Bruges were the two best films of last year. Even when Gilliam fucks up its worth a watch

    Just to carry on ranting as its the oscars today. Man why o why do people keep remaking the concrete jungle (the film with sidney poitier) and thinking its original?
    The french film "The class" has been nominated for best foreign language film.Hey how original, another film about a dedicated teacher trying to inspire a multicultural class of dysfunctional kids. But this time it in Paris and there's no Sidney Poiter!. Gommarah the uber cool flick about Italian gangsters didnt get a mention. Well done oscar committee.

  • Stacy||

    Man.

    This pisses me off just a BIT.

  • ||

    I was seriously surprised when New Line allowed Gandalf and Bilbo to not only smoke but make shapes out of their smoke in FOTR.



    They were smoking pipeweed. And Merry and Pippin were obviously stoned in the ROTK scene. Hollywood is okay with you inhaling the smoke of burning leaves, so long as it's cannabis leaves instead of tobacco leaves. That's because cannabis is enlightened and progressive. Tobacco comes from the South, were there is racism, while cannabis comes from Northern California where there are spotted owls.

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