Here is a look at some iconic movie scenes featuring cigars and how they were used for dramatic effect in popular films throughout history.
Due to the stigma of tobacco, Hollywood has made it taboo to glamorize smoking in film and television. However, there are many recent instances of smoking portrayed by memorable characters, such as Tony Soprano, the cigar-wielding mobster in “The Sopranos”.
The sixties advertising business wouldn’t be the same if cigarette smoking wasn’t depicted in the hit television show ‘Mad Men” when it was socially acceptable. There is also quite a bit of cigar smoking going on in this series…. probably Cubans!
Depending on the context, smoking cigars can suggest wealth, power and/or status. Or, as psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud (an avid cigar smoker himself) might have said: a stogie is a powerful suggestion of sexual role-playing and even a phallic symbol. Though there is no proof, the quote “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar” has been attributed to Freud.
Here is a look at some iconic movie scenes featuring cigars...
Actor-director Charlie Chaplin used the cigar with great effect in his films. In “City Lights” Chaplin used a large cigar as a symbol of the upper class, wealth and power.
In Martin Scorsese’s remake of ‘Cape Fear” Robert Deniro’s character, Max Cady smokes a massive intimidating cigar. As the villain, smoking a strong powerhouse of a cigar promotes the idea that Cady has physical strength and a certain evilness.
Francis Ford Coppola is a cigar enthusiast. So it’s no surprise there several cigar smoking scenes in his classic 1972 movie “The Godfather”. One that stands out is the meeting of the five families in which the Dons smoke cigars around the table. The Gordo seems to be the choice vitola for the mafia.
In “Scarface”, Tony Montana, played by Al Pacino, is of Cuban heritage so he obviously smokes Cubans. the smoking of cigars, in many movies, depicts images of power, wealth and strength. Again, gangsters seem to prefer long, fat parejos.
In “American Psycho”, serial killer Patrick Bateman calmly lights up a cigar after bludgeoning a man to death with an axe while listening to Huey Lewis and the News’ ‘Hip to be Square’. An iconic, if not comical, cigar scene for a new millennia.
Sergio Leone’s “The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly” features several prominent cigar scenes. Clint Eastwood’s The Man with no Name is rarely without a cigarillo dangling from his mouth. While Tuco, portrayed by Eli Wallach, who is searching for The Man with no Name says in one scene:“I’m looking for the owner of that horse. He's tall, blonde, he smokes a cigar, and he's a pig!” Classic!
In “Independence Day” cigars appear in about 12 scenes, or once every 12.5 minutes. Will Smith’s and Jeff Goldblum’s character savor a celebratory cigar after conquering the aliens. After the victory puff, the newly cigar convert Goldblum states:"Oh, I could get used to this."
The posters for 1996’s "The First Wives Club” features stars Bette Midler, Diane Keaton and Goldie Hawn powerfully holding fat cigars. However, the characters never actually smoked in the movie. The ads were controversial at the time.
The James Bond franchise film “Goldeneye” features character Xenia Onatopp, an assassin, played by Famke Janssen, holding a cigar while gambling in a casino and wearing a low cut black dress. The cigar signifies sexual power…….. as well does Miss Onatopp!
Though these films portray cigar smokers in a certain light, you don’t need to be wealthy, powerful or a hero to light up your favorite cigar. People of all types enjoy the experience of smoking cigars every day for a myriad of reasons, but mainly it’s all about the pleasure and relaxation that is imbued to the smoker from this timeless past time that counts.