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Plays And Movies For Cigar Lovers

Jul 2, 2008
Since so many artists, writers, and other creative folks have been cigar smokers, it's perhaps no surprise that some wonderful - as well as not-so-wonderful - films and plays center on the world of cigars. Some of these works are already well-known, while others might require a little help reaching their audiences. A few of them may not even succeed with help. But for those who celebrate cigar smoking, these dramas (screen and stage) may be special treats.

Anna In the Tropics

The 2003 Pulitzer Prize winner for Drama, this play, set in 1929, gives viewers a rare opportunity to view the world through the eyes of those who make fine hand-rolled cigars. It concerns the daughters of a family of cigar workers, whose lives are forever marked when the factory's new lector - the person hired to read to the workers' reads Tolstoy's Anna Karenina to them. The book becomes part of the factory's life, inspiring love affairs, jealousies and fights. Hailed by critic Christine Dolen as "a passionate, explosive, tender play filled with poetic-evocative imagery, language that almost seems tactile," the play managed to beat out new works by the far-more-established Edward Albee and Richard Greenberg for the Pulitzer in Drama. For cigar smokers, it provides a glimpse of the industry's glory years before machine manufacture and the dominance of cigarettes, before Castro and the trade embargo.

The "lector," by the way, was a real position. Cigar manufacture is a laborious process requiring constant care, and for many years, for that reason, handmade cigar factories hired a lector (reader) to keep the rollers alert and entertained by reading books to them. Audio books have partly eliminated the need for lectors (at least in some factory owners' eyes), but other factories still use a lector - perhaps the best symbol of the mental attentiveness necessary to produce well-made premium cigars.

Smoke

This 1995 indie film rendered writer Paul Auster something like a household name - or as close to a household name as authors of existential detective stories get. It's also a virtual paean to cigar smoking, with its sprawling plot set at the Brooklyn Cigar Company, where owner Auggie Wren ponders the varied types of humanity who turn up therein. (His theory is that everyone in the world eventually shops at the Brooklyn Cigar Factory.) Within this framework, the movie ponders the random yet meaningful connections among disparate individuals - one of the themes of Auster's writing, and a theme of several important 1990s American art films, including Grand Canyon, Short Cuts and Magnolia. Auster's selection of a smoke shop as his setting renders the film, which is based on one of his own short stories, especially meaningful for diehard cigar smokers.

Smokin' Stogies

An entire movie about the search for some missing Cohibas? This 2002 low-budget crime film may not have won any awards, but with two of the stars of "The Sopranos" (whose swaggering, smoking mobsters have done their own bit to promote the smoking of stogies) and its cigar-oriented plot, the film ought to hold at least some interest for cigar lovers. It is described by Cigar Aficionado's David Savona as "B-level material, an R-rated, small-budget experience that nevertheless should appeal to cigar smokers." [it] serves up a subject matter palatable to aficionados. The movie includes the search for the mob's missing Cubans and a plot to put real Cohiba bands on a trove of horrendous counterfeit cigars. There's also a hilarious cigar-sniffing Doberman Pinscher who can tell a real Cuban from a fake." If only every cigar smoker in America had a dog like that...

Predator

OK, this eighties sci-fi opus is not about cigars at all - at least not on the surface. Rather, it concerns a scary invisible alien hunter-thing that crash-lands in a Central American jungle and cuts up an elite Arnold Schwarzenegger-led military unit after they're tricked into illegal Black Ops action by a corrupt major (Carl Weathers). (But what cigar smoker can forget the sight of Schwarzenegger's character, Dutch, lighting up the fattest imaginable stogie as he suits up?
About the Author
CigarFox provides you the opportunity to build your own sampler of the finest cigars that include cigar brands like Montecristo, Romeo & Julieta, H Upmann, Macanudo, Cohiba, Gurkha and many more. Choose from more than 1000 different brands! Other cigar products include cigar humidors, cigar boxes, and cigar accessories like Zippo Lighters.
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