Cigars are on one side of the movie screen almost as often as popcorn is on the other. And why not? They are a useful dramatic tool for heroes and villains in countless great films. Here are some of the best cigar movie scenes of all time.
Best Cigar Movie Scenes
1. “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.”
Sergio Leone’s spaghetti western masterpiece, “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly,” features several cigar-smoking characters. The most famous is the “Man with no Name,” played by Clint Eastwood. Many people who’ve seen “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” assume that Eastwood’s character must have a name. They think, “I must have just missed it,” but on second viewing, they notice that he does not.
The decision not to give Eastwood’s iconic character a name was a conscious one by Director Leone. Instead, the director sought to make “the man with no name” represent a Western archetype: the stoic, laconic anti-hero. It was the perfect part for Eastwood. And it was perfect in the movie’s famous scene where the three main characters (the “good” guy, the “bad” guy, and the “ugly” guy) stare each other down. While the others may appear nervous, Eastwood merely chews on his skinny cigar. Then, he stares down at his opponents until … Draw!
Eastwood also smokes a cigar in another of Leone’s famous Westerns, “A Few Dollars More.” While that is a great movie, “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” will forever remain our favorite, and that is why we chose it as one of the best cigar movie scenes.
J.K. Simmons played newspaper editor J. Jonah Jameson in the “Spiderman” movie starring Tobey Maguire. While history has not been kind to the Maguire, “Spiderman” remains unscathed. The cigar-munching actor, played by J.K. Simmons, was the perfect fast-talking editor. Simmons is the epitome of an old-fashion newsman who goes about his business with wit and aggression. Yet, in the end, he also proves he has the integrity to back it up. Moreover, he does all this without leaving the reach of one of his beloved cigars and a tumbler of whiskey.
5. “Wall Street.”
6. “American Psycho.”
7. “Independence Day.”
Although “Independence Day” dishes up a nice helping of cheese, there’s no denying the movie is enjoyable and contains one of the best cigar movie scenes. It also features one of the best cigar moments in cinematic history.
Will Smith’s character and Jeff Goldblum are on a mission to destroy an alien ship. Smith’s cigar-loving character turns to Goldblum and shares a victory cigar saying they will smoke together after completing their task and landing safely back on Earth. However, during their mission, things worsen (gasp). The two characters end up lighting their cigars in space! In the history of cigars, that was certainly a first.
Photo credit: “Eli Wallach and Antonio Casale in ‘The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly,’” by Produzioni Europee Associate, Wikimedia Commons Public Doman CC0 1.0