swagger cane

Operation Snatch

Operation Snatch (1962) is a British comedy film starring Terry-Thomas and George Sanders and directed by Robert Day. The story takes place in Gibraltar, and is based on a local legend: if the resident Barbary Apes were ever to leave, the British Empire would collapse. This wartime comedy has Terry-Thomas as the keeper of the apes. When one of the apes goes missing, he is required to go behind enemy lines to capture another one, or be personally responsible for the loss of the Empire.

The film includes an hilarious scene in which Terry Thomas unknowingly picks up a feather duster instead of his swagger cane as he goes in for a briefing by his CO. With the cane below the desk across his knees his nervous fingers discover his swagger cane has apparently sprouted feathers. Thomas's facial expressions run a gamut of emotions from puzzlement to fear (this has to be a court martial offense) and the scene ends with the CO gazing at a neat pile of feathers under Thomas's vacant chair.

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Actually, the ape doesn't 'go missing', it is the only male and it dies from reproductive exhaustion.

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