Cigars have long been a staple in movies and television, adding that little bit of drama, character depth, or status to a scene. Cigar culture has been a part of the film industry since the dawn of Hollywood. This article aims to delve into some of the most iconic on-screen cigar moments, the symbolism behind them, and their lasting impact on cinema and television.
Cigar Culture in the Golden Age of Hollywood
Cigars have been appearing on-screen in films across the United States since the golden age of Hollywood. They have dominated the scenes of movies for decades, contributing to the allure and mystique of main characters. In fact, there were seldom scenes where the main characters weren’t smoking.
Winston Churchill: The Cigar Aficionado
No conversation about cigars in films can bypass the mention of Winston Churchill, who was not just a great leader, but also a great cigar lover. He was often seen enjoying a cigar on-screen, his favorite cigar always in hand, making him one of the most iconic cigar smokers in film history.
Tony Montana: The Cuban Refugee with a Cigar
The Cuban refugee Tony Montana in the movie ‘Scarface’ is another character known for his cigar scenes. The sight of Tony Montana with a cigar in his mouth has become one of the best cigar moments in movie history.
The Impact of On-Screen Cigar Moments
Cigar moments have a profound impact on the audience, creating memorable scenes and contributing to the overall narrative of the film or TV show. They even brought rise to cigar bars and lounges.
The Man with No Name: Clint Eastwood’s Cheroot
In the Spaghetti Western genre, Clint Eastwood as the ‘Man with no Name’ was often spotted with a cigar, or rather a ‘cheroot’. His character wouldn’t be the same without the cigar resting in his mouth, contributing to his stoic and rugged image.
Wolverine and His Stout Cigar
In the world of superheroes, Wolverine from the X-Men series is often seen with a short, stout cigar. His cigar-smoking habit adds a layer of gruff charm to his character, making him all the more memorable.
Hellboy: The Cigar-Smoking Hero
Hellboy is another comic book hero who is often seen with a cigar. Based on the graphic novel of the same name, Hellboy, raised to be a defender of the world from an alien threat, is saved by the allies during WWII. His love for cigars is as much a part of his character as his right hand of doom. His on-screen cigar moments became as much a part of his identity as his red skin and filed-down horns.
Cigars and Their Symbolism in Films
The use of cigars in films goes beyond just being a prop. They often symbolize power, status, and personality traits, giving depth to the characters and the story. Look at Clint Eastwood’s iconic cigar stare. Those images are imbedded in the head of anyone who watched his movies.
Tony Soprano: The Cigar Smoker
Tony Soprano from the critically acclaimed TV series ‘The Sopranos’ is another character known for his penchant for cigars. The sight of Tony puffing away at a cigar became a character-defining trait, symbolizing his power and control in the mafia world.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: Adding that Little Bit of Drama
Another famous actor seen enjoying a cigar on-screen is Arnold Schwarzenegger. In ‘True Lies’, Arnold is seen enjoying a cigar during a meeting with General Garrison. This adds a bit of drama and emphasizes his character’s cool and composed nature even in tense situations.
Cigar Scenes that Dominated the Movies
Cigars have played pivotal roles in some of the most iconic scenes in movie history, enhancing the narrative and making the scenes memorable.
The U.S Victory Celebration with a Bering Imperial Cigar
One such scene comes from the film ‘Independence Day’ where Captain Steven Hiller (Will Smith) and David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) each smoke a cigar to celebrate their victory against the alien invasion. The sight of Hiller and David each smoke a cigar, specifically a Bering Imperial cigar, marks the victory with a distinct touch of triumph and camaraderie.
The Tense Scene with a Cigar Resting in James Bond’s Mouth
Another unforgettable cigar moment comes from the James Bond series. In ‘Die Another Day’, Pierce Brosnan’s James Bond visits a Cuban cigar factory. The scene with a cigar resting in his mouth as he uncovers the truth about the sleeper agent adds a layer of tension and intrigue, making it one of the best cigar scenes in the franchise.
The Famous Actors and their Favorite Cigar
From Clint Eastwood’s cheroot in the spaghetti westerns to Hellboy’s short, stout cigar, and from Tony Soprano’s stogie to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s cigar in ‘True Lies’, these famous actors have given us some of the most iconic cigar moments in cinema history.
From the golden age of Hollywood to the present day, cigars have been a significant part of movie and television culture. They have been used to define characters, to add layers to the narrative, and to create memorable scenes that continue to be talked about and celebrated. Every cigar, from the cheroot to the Bering Imperial, has told a story, creating an indelible part of our cinematic and television history.
Cigars in Movies and TV FAQs
- Why are cigars often used in movies and TV shows? Cigars in movies and TV shows often symbolize power, status, or a certain personality trait. They add depth to the characters and the story.
- Who are some famous on-screen cigar smokers? Some famous on-screen cigar smokers include Winston Churchill, Tony Montana, Clint Eastwood’s ‘Man with No Name’, Wolverine, Hellboy, Tony Soprano, and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character in ‘True Lies’.
- What are some iconic cigar scenes in movies? Some iconic cigar scenes include Tony Montana in ‘Scarface’, Wolverine in the X-Men series, Hellboy in ‘Hellboy’, Tony Soprano in ‘The Sopranos’, Arnold Schwarzenegger in ‘True Lies’, Captain Steven Hiller and David Levinson in ‘Independence Day’, and James Bond in ‘Die Another Day’.
- What does a cigar symbolize in a film? In films, a cigar often symbolizes power, status, wealth, or masculinity. It can also be used to add a certain charm or character depth, contribute to the narrative, or create dramatic effect.
- How have cigars contributed to the film industry? Cigars have contributed to the film industry by being a significant prop in character development and narrative enhancement. They have helped create some of the most memorable and iconic scenes in movie history, shaping character personas and adding a layer of depth to the story.