To many, the right persona holding a cigar and smoking it embodies strength, power and charisma in Western movies. Whether male or female, cigar smoking conveys a certain character type, a certain toughness and the message that this is someone you don’t want to mess with.
Clint Eastwood did it best in the Italian spaghetti westerns “The Man With No Name,” “A Fist Full of Dollars,” and “For a Few Dollars More,” Clint Eastwood’s character was constantly seen with a skinny Italian cigar hanging from his mouth. Although he didn’t talk much, he had an easy grace, the swagger of walking and looked good getting on and off his horse. Although created in Italian cinema, this character became the epitome of the American cowboy.
Sharon Stone adopts the persona in the movie “The Quick and the Dead,” as she embodied the character of Lady, a gun slinging woman entered into a shoot out contest. She is a tough and fast as the leading character in this movie and proves that she can handle a gun better then the men expected. Like Clint Eastwood, she smokes a skinny cigar, says very little and does her talking with her gun. Her swagger is also a sexy toughness. This movie would have probably been banned in the early 20th century when women were not allowed to smoke cigarettes. How would a cigar smoking women be regarded during those times?
Kurt Russell also get a nod in the movie “Tombstone” as sheriff Wyatt Earp, giving slow answers and blowing cigar smoke. The mustaches and cigars added more manly qualities to the persona of the retired lawman searching for peace and tranquility but finding that a good man’s work is never done. The rough gruff exterior of the western cowboy was enhanced by a strong cigar and it added to the power and mystic of the lawless era. Now, in modern society, the same characteristics displayed by this particular breed glamorized in Western movies are transferred to all cigar smoker.
Strength, power, charisma and a certain sexiness are part of the persona brought forward by the presence of a cigar. Whether the cigar is skinny or fat, short or long, Western movies adds dimensions to how cigar smokers are regarded by those who observe them.
Do you agree that a cigar sends a powerful message to all who observes a cigar smokers?