How big tobacco bought the big screen

Paul Roquet proquet at
Fri Sep 26 12:43:36 EDT 2008

I have been thinking about cigarettes in Japanese film as well, after  
watching Shina no Yoru (China Nights, 1940) earlier this week. Every  
time Hasegawa and Ri Koran look all ready to kiss, out comes the box  
of cigarettes instead, with Ri seductively striking a match and  
lighting her man's tobacco. I'm not sure if they were sponsored to  
light up, but it certainly seems like an effective way to add to add  
to the allure...

Come to think of it, Yamaguchi/Ri Koran's character slides into femme  
fatale mode for at least the middle part of the film - perhaps that's  
where she picked up the habit.


On Sep 26, 2008, at 1:47 AM, Roger Macy wrote:

> Does anyone know if there is any smoking gun connecting the tobacco  
> industry with Japanese cinema?
> I noticed this report about Hollywood in the Guardian on-line
> and it is, doubtless, reported elsewhere.
> I've been watching as many films as I can of the 'Japan in Black'  
> season here at San Sebastian.  The 'noir' elements of many of the  
> films are debatable (as the organisers readily admit).  Femmes  
> fatales are passing rare, along with private detectives, etc. etc.   
> Train scenes figure strongly and memorably, but all the films share  
> two elements: they were popular films that featured well- 
> photographed scenes of stars, smoking (or was it " stars' smoking ").
> Roger

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