Cigarettes are censored from classic movies

HBO Max edits cigarettes from classic movie posters on the streaming app.

By James Brizuela | Published

In a strange campaign to choke the tobacco companies once again, classic movies are being edited on HBO Max to remove all forms of cigarettes, cigars and cigarillos from prominent stars. Two of the greatest instances of this happening are from two old Western movies called McCabe and Mrs. Miller and The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean, which you can see in the images above. We know the war on smoking has been raging for many years, but we’d guess that little kids haven’t been actively looking for old Westerns to watch since the 70s.

HBO Max Sex and the City

More Twitter users have also started sharing more movie posters that are being changed to remove cigarettes, though not all of them. One user stated that there was “no rhyme or reason” to how the movie posters were changed. Although the old westerns mentioned above have been changed, there are a few others that have not been touched, such as The two Jakeys which clearly shows star Jack Nicholson smoking on the poster.

Naturally, if HBO Max was trying to edit out all the smoking images, there wouldn’t be that many other posters left untouched. However, it is possible that the streaming platform is slowly working its way to remove every single poster that shows cigarettes in any way. We’d say it’s an odd turn of events, but there were a lot of odd choices made at Warner Bros. Discovery, so this may just be another in a long list of choices made by current CEO David Zaslav.

HBO Max will disappear in less than a year and join Discovery+, becoming the new super-streaming app. This is one of those weird choices that Warner Bros. makes. Discovery. Based on this choice to combine apps, WBD may want to display a more family-friendly image, so removing cigarettes will be one of those steps in creating that image.

We are just speculating about this and have no idea if HBO Max edited the cigarettes to show a more family friendly image or not. Honestly, quitting smoking should be the last thing you worry about as there are plenty of programs on the streaming app that offer some very adult themes. However, smoking has become a taboo subject for most of the world, as people now do not want to die or see others die from ingesting the harmful effects of smoking.

The editing of cigarettes, cigars and cigarillos looks rather odd in many of the posters, as the stars’ fingers are already closed, not gripping anything. It’s not as bad as Henry Cavill’s edited mustache, but it still looks pretty bad.

We’d say we’re looking for more movies that have cigarettes edited out of movie posters, but how many are there actually? Smoking was widely accepted in classic movies, of course, but we don’t think there will be a huge number of classic movies on HBO Max where the star also smokes.