On the Harmfulness of Tobacco
Paul Newman, USA, 1962, 25m

Screening with:

The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds
Paul Newman, USA, 1972, 100m

Not seen publicly since 1962—on a program with Murder, She Said at the Baronet on Third Avenue—On the Harmfulness of Tobacco is the recently rediscovered short film directed by Paul Newman, a Chekhov adaptation starring Michael Strong as Ivan Ivanovich Nyukhin, a lifelong smoker giving a lecture on the dangers of tobacco that gradually unwinds into a lyrical soliloquy on marriage and loneliness. In addition to this exceedingly rare film, we are also screening Newman’s poignant feature adaptation of Paul Zindel’s Pulitzer Prize–winning play The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, starring Joanne Woodward. Followed by Q&A with director-producer Jack Garfein, actress Lee Grant, and composer David Amram.

Jack Garfein on Paul Newman’s lost masterpiece:
“In this film, Paul Newman wanted to and succeeded in capturing the revolutionary work The Actors Studio realized in Michael Strong’s development of Chekhov’s play, On the Harmfulness of Tobacco. It is a masterful creation. Paul Newman assembled a crew of artists who would go on to be top people in the industry: renowned composer, David Amram; Academy Award nominee, cameraman Arthur Ornitz; two-time Academy Award winner, editor Gene Milford, and six-time Academy Award winner, art director RIchard Sylbert. When the distributors of that day could not see the artistic achievement, Newman handed the film back to Strong whose original performance at the Actors Studio inspired the film. Today we have a chance to see this rare and extraordinary work.”

Please note that this program will now take place in the Walter Reade Theater.