HBO Max is finally cutting something it can feel good about: Smoking, as in cigars and cigarettes, which have been mysteriously removed from movie posters displayed on streamer title cards.
Luckily for us, it was done to unintentionally hilarious effect.
Twitter Users First Noticed Photoshopped Coffin Nails This Week, Then Vulture verified their authenticity and found more examples – although he also discovered many posters with smoking materials still present. HBO Max had no comment, so no, no explanation will be given.
But the endangered lung darts have certainly created some pretty hilarious “after” images of movie stars of yesteryear who now seem to be…twirling their mustaches? Give awkward peace signs? Make the letter K in sign language?
There’s Warren Beatty, who once enjoyed a Black & Mild in “McCabe & Mrs. Miller,” now explaining the use of a properly sized wagon wheel hub. Or Paul Newman in “The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean,” once quietly puffing on a cigarillo, now signaling to the chef that the sauce is… perfect !
Vulture too Noted tobacco-free posters for Wong Kar-wai’s 1995 film “Fallen Engels” and Kirk Douglas’ 1960 film “There Was a Crooked Man”. But he found fumes still burning on several other title cards, like the one held by Jack Nicholson in “The Two Jakes” (1990), or Glenn Ford’s cigarillo in “Cimmaron” (1960).
Why some smokes get censored and some don’t doesn’t seem to have a clear reason behind it – but many of the cuts at Warner Bros. Discovery, which recently launched a $90 million “Batgirl” movie, and neither did HBO Max’s dozens. series in the ashtray.
Maybe it was a project that was on-going – then halted when someone figured out that while health awareness is important, as part of cost-cutting measures, erase lit cancer sticks from posters movies for our amusement was an ineffective strategy.