Justin Bower

Justin Bower

Cigars in Cinema

Cigars in Cinema Independence Day

For this installment I've decided to go with INDEPENDENCE DAY. I know what you are thinking, “why did he pick that crappy movie for the prestigious NGCS magazine?”

Now hear me out, I personally don’t see all the hate this movie gets. Is it in the same category as best picture movies? Absolutely not. It’s just a fun action movie with a great cast, a great score and awesome special effects (for the time; 1996). With an amazing cast of up and comer Will Smith, the ALWAYS AMAZING Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Judd Hirsch, Robert Loggia and Randy Quaid to name a few, this movie promised to be a good time. I call these kind of movies bubblegum movies, films that might not be in the running for best picture but are just simply fun to watch. 

This movie is the story of aliens attacking Earth and a group of survivors that must unite together to defeat the invading aliens. Sure, it’s a story that’s been done before and it will be done again. Don’t think too much into this movie when you watch it, grab a cocktail and a good cigar, turn up the surround sound and have fun!!!

Now let’s get to the cigar aspect of this movie. Throughout the movie Captain Steven Hiller (Will Smith) is seen talking about his victory smoke he keeps in his pocket. Now, cigars and winning have gone hand in hand for as long as I can remember and looking back at various photos of military, sports and other various celebrations, nine times out of ten you will see one or more people with a cigar. SPOILER ALERT: Captain Hiller gets his victory smoke. In the iconic scene, Captain Hiller safely lands in his parachute after shooting down the alien craft, walks over to it when the hatch opens to reveal the alien inside is still alive and begins hissing at him. He then proceeds to PUNCH THE ALIEN IN THE FACE, knocking it out! Hiller sits down exhausted and pulls out a Bering Imperial 5×42, says “Now that’s what I call a close encounter!” and lights his stick. An awesome line paired with an awesome smoke.

 At the end of the movie, after defeating the mothership, Hiller and Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) are both seen with a victory smoke. Levinson’s dad even commenting “Oh, so this is healthy?” (pointing at his cigar) Levinson replies, “Oh, I could get used to it!”

Fun Facts:
1.) most of the dialogue in the scenes Jeff Goldblum shared with Judd Hirsch and Will Smith was improvised.
2.) The highest-grossing movie of 1996.
3.) The alien spacecraft in Area 51 was a full-scale model measuring 65 feet wide.
4.) It was shot in 72 days, an unusually short period of time for such a big blockbuster.
5.) Filming at the Los Angeles International Airport was delayed several days due to a threat from Ted Kaczynski (Unabomber).