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Cheroots Cigars in Hollywood

Celebrating The History of Cigars in Cinema

February 25, 2022

Happy National Cigar Day! To celebrate our favorite holiday, we’re looking back at the role that cigars played in the cinema. Avanti cigars and the film industry in America have both been around since the early 1900s, and the use of cigars in films helped Avanti grow into the company we are today.

Cigars have been appearing on-screen in films across the United States since the dawn of Hollywood. Famous actors such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Clint Eastwood, and Sylvester Stallone are known for smoking cigars on (and off) screen. Cigars often represent status and power in film. The character spotted with a cigar can be viewed as powerful and somewhat mysterious. Sometimes, cigars represent success. Sometimes, they represent rebellion. And sometimes, it’s a little bit of both. That’s the power of the cigar in the cinema. 

Although a wide variety of characters can be spotted smoking stogies, our dry-cured cigars can typically be spotted in spaghetti western films or in the mouth of an Italian gangster. 

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Spaghetti Westerns and Cheroots 

Cowboys are often spotted riding horses across the American West while smoking cheroots. Oftentimes, cigars in a Spaghetti Western add an air of mystery to the character smoking them. Who are they? Where did they come from? What’s their motive? 

Actor Clint Eastwood is famous for his cigar smoking character in the Dollars Trilogy. He set the precedent for smoking cigars in Spaghetti Western films. After the success of the trilogy, you could find many old west characters lighting up a cheroot style cigar. Spaghetti westerns and the actors in them helped to popularize cigar smoking in America.

Actor Clint Eastwood smoking a cheroot style cigar in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

Gangsters and Cigars

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Unlike the mysterious good guys that cheroots style cigars often portrayed, Italian style cigars were popularized by depiction of gangsters in the cinema. Cigars made it easy to spot these characters: mobsters could almost always be spotted smoking their cigars. It’s quite possible that the association of the mob with cigars can be traced back to Al Capone, one of the most notorious gangsters in the United States, who was often spotted smoking a stogie.

There was a certain appeal to the mobsters in the movies. The lives they led were often glamorous. They wore expensive clothes and shoes, drove the finest cars and went to the fanciest clubs. The desire to lead these exquisite, rich lives led to a boost in popularity for cigars. Smoking cigars during this time allowed people to feel like they were living the part. 

Cigar Slinging Action Heroes

In the 80s and 90s, heroes in action films could be found with a cigar in hand while battling the bad guys. These heroes were often just normal folks who were fighting for what’s right. Unlike their wealthy counterparts in mob movies, these relatable characters placed cigars in the hands of the working class. Now, anyone could smoke cigars. Actor George Peppard’s character in the A-Team was frequently smoking cigars during the action.

Actor George Peppard smoking a cigar in the A-Team.

We’re getting ready to celebrate National Cigar Day with a movie marathon! Shop the cigars from your favorite films