Image Union, episode 0524: Death In The West

Image Union program featuring the documentary "Death in the West," a British anti-tobacco film. The film focuses on the then-controversial issue of whether smoking is harmful to a person's health and features interviews with people on both sides of the issue. It is framed by the stories of several real cowboys with lung cancer, in order to counteract the image of smoking as a masculine activity.

0:04Copy video clip URL Slate

0:18Copy video clip URL Image Union opening with introduction by Tom Weinberg.

0:47Copy video clip URL “Death in the West” (Peter Taylor, reporter) begins with bits of “The Marlboro Story,” a promotional film about the Philip Morris tobacco company.

2:09Copy video clip URL We see shots of the “Marlboro Men,” “rugged symbols of virility, health and independence,” followed by an introduction to Bob Julian, a real cowboy who is dying of lung cancer.

2:58Copy video clip URL Bob Julian, 51, tells us he thought he had to smoke to be a man, but knows now that all you get from it is lung cancer.

3:36Copy video clip URL Interview with Bob’s physician. He tells us he’s sure Bob got lung cancer from smoking.

3:54Copy video clip URL James Bowling, V.P. Philip Morris Inc., says he’s “not in the business of killing people”; if he knew cigarettes were life-threatening, he wouldn’t smoke himself or be in the business at all.

4:43Copy video clip URL Dr. Daniel Horn, Director of the U.S. Office of Smoking and Health, talks about how the cigarette companies rationalize killing people by refusing to acknowledge the evidence of it.

5:43Copy video clip URL Great Marlboro Man-looking long shots of John Holmes, 64, on his horse. As he gets closer we see he has an oxygen tank hooked on his saddle. He talks about having emphysema.

7:14Copy video clip URL John’s physician tells us what it’s like to have emphysema. Slow death…

7:48Copy video clip URL A Philip Morris promotional film.

8:36Copy video clip URL A segment about the awful physical effects of smoking cigarettes, based on the first big report that came out saying they’re bad. Interviews with both Bowling and Dr. Helmut Wakeham, V.P. of Science and Technology for Philip Morris, reveal a ridiculous unwillingness to admit that cigarettes kill people. Dr. Wakeham brings up the fact that people die from eating applesauce, too, and nobody’s talking about that, after all.

11:44Copy video clip URL John Harlin, a man who is dying of lung cancer, says he didn’t know how bad they were when he started as a young man.

12:36Copy video clip URL John Harlin’s physician tells us John is dying because of cigarettes.

12:50Copy video clip URL Bowling calls cigarettes a “convenient target” for scientists who need to blame cancer on something.

13:57Copy video clip URL Dr. Wakeham doubts the danger of smoking and calls Philip Morris a “very moral company.”

14: 44 Dr. Horn on the rationalizations and responsibilities of tobacco companies.

15:58Copy video clip URL Ray Madison, 47, tells us he wouldn’t smoke if he had a second chance. He has lung cancer.

17:06Copy video clip URL Ray Madison’s physician says Ray has no chance of survival and blames it on cigarettes.

18:03Copy video clip URL Statistics on smoking-related diseases and deaths.

19:00Copy video clip URL Junior Farris, 62, talks about having a heart attack and getting lung cancer because of smoking.

19:57Copy video clip URL Junior’s doctor tells us he died because of smoking.

20:43Copy video clip URL Dr. Wakeman slips up and admits that his research has also shown the presence of carcinogenic components.

23:50Copy video clip URL Harold Lee will die in a matter of weeks from lung cancer. He and his wife talk about it.

25:25Copy video clip URL Harold’s physician blames it on smoking.

27:46Copy video clip URL Image Union closing with “Media Burn” footage by Ant Farm.

29:04Copy video clip URL End of tape.



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