In spite of the nanny movement in recent years to keep tobacco out of the movies, there is undeniably still a place for fine stogies in film. Ever since I really got into cigar smoking, I’ve found myself frantically searching Google trying to figure out what cigars the characters in movies are smoking. Here are a few of my favorites (or at least ones that had me scouring the internet for a while):
Robert DeNiro’s imposing character smokes an equally imposing Casa Blanca Half Jeroboam in Scorsese’s 1991 remake of Cape Fear. Scorsese wanted his character to constantly smoke a huge cigar, and the Jeroboam is one of the mellowest ones they could find, so naturally it was the way to go. It may have made more sense if he was smoking some kind of shady, all-ligero powerhouse since he’s such a maniac in that movie, but few can stomach such a massive amount of nicotine. These cigars measure five inches by a massive 66 ring gauge.
Ron Perlman smokes Joya de Nicaragua cigars in the Hellboy movies, which makes sense since they are some tough as nails smokes. A few weeks ago I had the Machito, which measures a trim 4 7/8 inches by 42 ring gauge, and found it to be more of a head rush than a lot of much heftier stogies. During an interview with New York Magazine, Perlman was asked how he could handle smoking so many cigars for a shoot, to which he replied, “Dude, I smoke so many cigars in the course of a day that it’s not dramatically different.”
In HBO’s The Sopranos, there is rarely a scene where a cigar isn’t being smoked. In fact, C.A.O. made a line of full-bodied cigars specifically for the show. Each box of Sopranos cigars is made to look like the trunk of a mafia sentinel—you really can’t get much more badass (or fitting) than that.
There are a whole bunch of minor instances that even my search engine prowess couldn’t help me dig up. In American Psycho, Patrick Bateman sparks up a stogie after killing Paul Allen with an axe to Huey Lewis and the News. I’m not sure what kind of cigar it was, but I do remember seeing the name “Gurkha” somewhere in the credits of that movie.
Then there’s Tony Montana of Scarface, smoking cigar after cigar between bouts of blowing tons of coke, screaming in Spanglish, and firing assault rifles. I couldn’t figure out what brand he’s smoking, but I can only assume they’re some top shelf Cubans.
Gurkha cigars supposedly also made an appearance at Mike Tyson’s mansion in The Hangover, though I haven’t been able to find anything that confirms that.
It’s unfortunate that tobacco is becoming such a taboo in film, but thankfully there are still a ton of movies and TV shows that still use them freely. This isn’t to say that I think a cigar should be shoved into every shot of every movie, because sometimes it just doesn’t work. But sometimes it just does, and you probably shouldn’t argue with Patrick Bateman, Tony Soprano, Hellboy, and Scarface.