Italians on Italians
Beyond Toscano
Il Sigaro della Sera
Glamor, sophistication and the spirit of adventure, over the years, Hollywood has come to stand for many things. And while fashions come and go, just like an enduring movie star, there are some on-screen icons stand the test of time.

Like the gentle purr of a classic car or brilliant sparkle of a diamond necklace, the role of cigars in the movies has changed little over the last 100 years. A movie director puts a lot of careful thought into how characters are portrayed on screen. Every costume, set, prop and line of dialogue is created to tell a story and reveal to the audience the nature of a character.

When a character smokes a cigar on screen, it reveals a lot about the kind of person they are. From the way they hold and light the cigar and the occasion in which they’re smoking, to the way they exhale, the actor conveys so much, without saying a word. Power, intelligence, status - even simply having a taste for the finer things in life, much can be inferred from a character enjoying a cigar on-screen.

The popularity of cigars from the 1920s to 1940s ensured they appeared in many movies, simply enjoyed by everyday characters as a part of life. In fact, it’s hard to imagine many icons of the era, like Groucho Marx, without a cigar.

Smoking a cigar on screen gives an actor time to perfect their non-verbal communication. From Clint Eastwood or John Wayne starring as cowboys looking like they mean business in a Wild West saloon, to James Bond putting on a poker face in the casino, smoking a cigar can help create a captivating performance.

Today, when a character smokes a cigar on screen, it says something completely different – expressing a hint of rebellion and independence, instead of the general conformity smoking would have represented in the Golden Age of Cinema.

And of course, there are the actors and directors themselves who enjoy a relaxing smoke off-screen to help gather their thoughts or ease some of the stresses of the shoot. From Alfred Hitchcock and Paul Newman to Robert De Niro and Steven Spielberg, there’s a long list of Hollywood big hitters known to appreciate a fine cigar – Arnold Schwarzenegger is even a founding member of the “Havana Room”, a private club for cigar aficionados in Beverly Hills. (We’re pretty sure you’ll find a Toscano or two in there.)