The Coen Brothers Must Die
January 20, 2018 8:04 AM   Subscribe

The Coen Brothers Must Die
Do the Joel & Ethan actually work for Big Tobacco?

I've personally counted every single cigarette & tobacco item appearing within all 17 films created by the infamous Coen Brothers. Visit to view the raw spreadsheet data and read about my alarming conclusions. Joel & Ethan Coen seem to have an overwhelming allegiance to Big Tobacco that goes way beyond simple product placement deals. Like everyone else, the films by the Coen brothers hold a special place in my heart, but what I've found during this study will shock you.
Role: Overlord & Savior
posted by dope_feeny (3 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

Wow! I am bookmarking for when I have time for a longer read. That is a delightful, impressive thing you've made.
posted by queensissy at 9:55 AM on January 30, 2018

This is awesome. I must note that it feels to me that the Coen Brothers have plenty of company. Call Me By Your Name and virtually every other movie I've seen for quite a while has been filled with smoking. I just don't get it, unless so many actors are smokers it is just easier to include that in scenes. Seriously, WTF?
posted by Bella Donna at 12:10 AM on February 9, 2018

It's way more jarring how many films go out of their way to avoid showing people smoking. Smoking is a common thing people do and something you will often see when in public, doubly so if you're in a bar or what have you.

Also, smoking cigarettes is a comforting and pleasurable activity, the only reason I can think of to depict it otherwise would be if someone was stress smoking and the scene was tense, or you had some anti-smoking PSA element woven into your heart for some reason.

" Unfortunately audiences may never truly figure out if the tremendous amounts of smoking are being purposely inserted into all of these works by the Coen brothers simply in exchange for money or as an attempt to bring realism to a historical period being depicted, or for other reasons entirely. But when it actually comes right down to it, does it really matter anyway?"

Naw, it doesn't really matter. The thing I'm confused about is why it bothers you at first. For the first four pages I was thinking this an overwrought onion-esque joke taken to an extreme, but in the end you seemed sincere. Maybe I missed the joke or levity somewhere but the boycotting future Coen films seems funny over depicting a thing people really do seems odd. How do you react when you see someone smoking in real life?

Anyway, that's a ton of effort you put into this endeavor and I can appreciate that much at least. I know this post is months old but I just now saw it and felt like chatting about it.
posted by GoblinHoney at 2:20 PM on June 21, 2018

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