Smoking On Screen

Smoking is cool. Not universally so, there’s nothing cool about chain smoking a ten deck of Mayfair outside of a Wetherspoon’s in the rain, or part-timers shamelessly poncing from strangers when three sheets to the wind (guilty). Equally, it is hard to look like a chap whilst puffing on a wonky roll up.

However, on screen – both the silver and the small – there are numerous examples of stars that exude effortless style with a Marlboro in their mouth or a B&H in hand. From Clint Eastwood as ‘The Man With No Name’ in The Good, The Bad & The Ugly, to The Wire’s Omar Little skulking in the shadows sucking on a Newport, film and television history is littered with characters with smoking at the very essence of their ‘cool’. Whether cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos or even pipes, some smokers just have it.

Furthermore there is the paraphernalia. Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s and her cigarette holder, the innumerable Bonds with their silver cigarette cases and velvet smoking jackets, the flickering Zippos of the film noir heroes on the 30s and 40s.

Obviously there is nothing attractive about cancer, heart disease or a laryngectomy but the moral issues surrounding smoking on camera is a debate for another time. Here is a look at some of the screens most suave smokers. Anyone got a spare fag?

By Callum West


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