Keep an eye out for fictional characters that carry canes. There is usually a reason an author or screenwriter gives a character a cane. Something is sure to happen with that walking stick – whether for fashion, status or self–defense. Let’s take a look at a few notable examples.
The Riddler, one of Batman’s archenemies, carries a cane with a question-mark-shaped handle. Jim Carey turned the Riddler’s cane into a supporting actor in itself, twirling and spinning it around with maniacal glee.
Hugh Laurie’s irascible diagnostician, Dr. Gregory House, used a cane because of a leg infarction. Perhaps that’s why he was so grumpy. Laurie switched the leg he limped with, which would have required switching the cane to the other side of his body, but no one seems to have noticed. The actor also says he developed a genuine limp after many seasons of portraying Dr. House.
In the book by Robert Louis Stephenson, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, a cane plays an important part in solving the mystery of Dr. Jekyll’s evil other-self. In 1968, producers of a TV movie adaptation starring Jack Palance gave Hyde a cane with a sword hidden inside. These sword canes still exist but may be classed as illegal concealed weapons in your jurisdiction.
Back to Batman again! The Penguin, another evildoer in Gotham City, waddles along with an umbrella that he uses as a cane. The curved handle style of his umbrella is also a common shape for a walking cane handle.
The misguided creator of Jurassic Park walked with a cane made from a dinosaur bone, topped with a piece of amber shaped like an egg. Trapped within the amber was an ancient mosquito that had provided the dinosaur DNA that allowed Hammond to clone his huge, and eventually uncontrollable, creations.
As portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio in the most recent film adaptation of The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby carried a silver-topped cane with a daisy pattern engraved on the handle. Gatsby was the sort of fellow who would have had a different cane for every outfit to complement his impressive collection of silk shirts.
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