The greatest moment in cane history was on the Senate floor in 1856, when House of Representatives member Preston Brooks beat Senator Charles Summer unconsciousness with a metal-topped cane. Sci-fi has a bunch of great cane moments too, but here are the 10 greatest.

Above Image: Tron Legacy (2010) Castor (Michael Sheen)

The idea of using a cane as a fashion accessory to go with top hat and tails was popularized by Fred Astaire in several of his films and in the song "Top Hat, White Tie and Tails." Nowadays, people don't use canes much, but they're still a great fashion accessory.  Here are the 10 guys that made them work.

Jim Carrey's Groin-Whacking Riddler Cane
It's hard to imagine anyone else that had more fun with his cane than Jim Carrey as "The Riddler" in BatmanForever. One thing Jim Carrey had going for him was his amazing question mark cane. He twirled it, flipped it and spun it with gusto. Plus, he got to hit Tommy Lee Jones in the crotch with it. The first night on the set he says, "I whacked Tommy Lee in the groin. 'Tommy, nice to see you!' and thunk!" Jones was nice about it though. At least, as nice as you can be when someone whacks you in the crotch.

Doctor Who's Sonic Cane
Doctor Who has his famous sonic screwdriver and we all know not to "dis' the sonic!" In the episode "Let's Kill Hitler" he showed us a very different cane. This cane had a sonic screwdriver in the top! It went great with the top hat.

Castor's Glowing Cane
Pretty much everything glowed in
Tron Legacy, but we got to see an amazing glowing cane too. In the tallest tower in "Tron City" was the "End Of Line" club.  The owner was the flamboyant Castor, played with infectious enthusiasm by Michael Sheen. The owner of the End Of Line club had an awesome glowing cane which he used with panache. Not only that, but it was also a hidden gun! Sheen said his hair and air guitar was inspired by David Bowie.

The Goblin King's Impressive Cane
Speaking of David Bowie, he had a pretty cool cane moment himself. In the dazzling 1986 film Labyrinth he played the glam-rock Goblin King, who wielded a large object that intimidated his enemies. I'm talking, of course, about his codpiece. But he also had a pretty sweet cane. We only saw it a couple of times, but he used it so well it was like a natural part of his outfit. He poked Hoggle and started singing "Dance, Magic Dance" with it. The riding crop end probably silenced more than one goblin.

Mr. Hyde's Old Man Whacking Cane
Back in the day, you weren't considered a gentleman if you didn't carry a cane with you. Even a monster like Edward Hyde carried a cane. In the book The Strange Case of Doctor Jeykll and Mr. Hyde Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, there was a very distinctive cane. In fact, it was the cane that led to the discovery of Jekyll's evil alter-ego. When Hyde got into an argument, he savagely beat a poor old man to death. His attack was so violent that he broke the handle off and left it behind as he fled the scene. They didn't have CSI back then, but the cops didn't need them to identify him as the fierce Mr. Hyde.

"The stick with which the deed had been done, although it was of some rare and very tough and heavy wood, had broken in the middle under the stress of this insensate cruelty; and one splintered half had rolled in the neighbouring gutter -- the other, without doubt, had been carried away by the murderer"

Mr. Hyde's Sword Cane
Many have played Mr. Hyde, including the short lived series Do No Harm, but none have played him with the gusto of Jack Palance. Frankly, Palance is pretty scary looking without make up, so the Hyde make up just makes him even freakier-looking. In the 1968 telemovie
The Strange Case of Doctor Jeykll and Mr. Hyde Hyde starring Jack Palance, Mr. Hyde had a different type of cane. While it had the same weight as the novel, it also had a sword hidden inside, making him even more fierce. Swordsticks, or cane-swords, were pretty popular in the 18th and 19th century, but are illegal in the United Kingdom and United States as a concealed weapon. Too bad. But I guess you wouldn't want to bring a knife to a gun fight anyway.

Penguin's Helicopter Cane
Penguins are famous for using umbrellas. The last time I went to the zoo, the penguins couldn't stop using their umbrellas. So, it’s no surprise that the Batman villain The Penguin has a variety of trick umbrellas. Penguin uses his umbrella as a cane for walking, but it also turns into a helicopter in Batman Returns. Forget a hidden sword. Penguin can fly with his cane! For some reason I couldn't find a decent video clip of Penguin, so this image will have to do for now.

Daredevil's Grappling Hook Cane
Seeing a blind man with a cane is a familiar sight. The "Hoover Cane" was actually invented 
in 1944 by army sergeant Dr. Richard Edwin Hoover while treating blinded soldiers at Valley Forge Army Hospital. In the comics, Daredevil has a cane that turns into a grappling hook, which is pretty awesome. In the underrated 2003 movie Daredevil with Ben Affleck the cane took on a new life. My favorite part is when the coroner Jack Kirby, played by Kevin Smith, shows off it's trick buttons. With all the spinning, flipping and swinging made me wish I had a cool cane too.

Ruby Rhod's Microphone Cane
The most flamboyant user of a cane is the radio host Ruby Rhod in The Fifth Element played by Chris Tucker. Leopard skin leotards. A bizarre hairdo and a voice that could peal paint all would have made Liberace proud. Plus, his cane doubled as a microphone.

Jurassic Park's Hammond Dinosaur Cane
Most of the people on this list didn't need a cane, but Hammond was different. Unlike the others, he actually needed the cane to walk. But what makes his cane even more special is that he had a dinosaur inside. Admittedly it was a mosquito, but a dinosaur mosquito nonetheless. How cool is it to have a cane with an ancient bug inside?

Which is the coolest cane you've ever seen? Have you ever used a cane?

[Image Source: Collider]

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Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Ruby Rhod wins for me!

Pat Dilloway said...

I haven't had much use for canes myself, though one that could turn into a helicopter or gun would be pretty awesome.

Liesel Hill said...

OMG! David Bowie as the Goblin King! I didn't think anyone outside of my family still remembered that movie. Although Dr. Hammond in Jurassic Park is a close second. People in my family still walk around saying, "People. Are. Dying." Ah, movie nerds. :D Great post!

Lamar The Revenger said...

The cane used by Mr. Sebastian (aka a slighty long lived Jack the Ripper) on the one episode of Bablyon 5

jeremy [retro] said...

what about a staff, from lord of the rings? is that the same thing?

Tony Laplume said...

I was drawing a blank on canes, and then you mentioned all the ones that I know! Except the Little Tramp. But he's not sci-fi. Yet.

Maurice Mitchell said...

A sci-fi version Chaplin could work. Technically Jar Jar is a Chaplin clone, but...

Maurice Mitchell said...

That would be a good one Jeremy!

Maurice Mitchell said...

There are still a few of us around Liesel! Ah movie nerds...

Maurice Mitchell said...

Start a fashion statement Pat. Anyone that laughs gets the cream pie gun cane to the fac.

Maurice Mitchell said...

"Corbin my man... Corbin my man..." LOL


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