SNOOKY’S TWIN TROUBLES
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Starring Snooky, “the tobacco-smoking Humanzee”
“The daughter of stage chimp Napoleon and his partner Sally, the child actor initially appeared on the screen with her parents. But under the tutelage of trainer Frank Rounan, who raised Snooky as his “adopted daughter,” she was destined for much more. Her big break came in 1920 when she donned overalls as the male Snooky for Chester Films. In a series of two-reel comedies released over the next few years, the cross-dressing chimp proved herself the equal of any situation.
“In Twin Troubles, Snooky comes to the rescue after Officer Casey’s twin daughters are kidnapped as part of a preposterous plot to enter them in a beauty contest and make off with the $1,000 prize. There is a lot of slapstick business along the way but the real comedy is rooted in the fact that the chimp passes as the Caseys’ next-door neighbor. As American Magazine reported in 1921, Snooky “can perform any ordinary act of a human being…fire a revolver or a rifle, shuffle cards, tie and untie a knot, build and light a fire, shake dice, sweep, and do many other things.” ...
“In 1923, Rounan broke with Chester Films, seeking a court action to stop the distribution of two films. By then, however, Snooky was at least eight, the age at which chimps reach adulthood and become too strong to control before the camera ...” - National Film Preservation Foundation, USA; www.filmpreservation.org/preserved-films/screening-room/snooky-s-twin-troubles-1921; retrieved 4/03/2016.
Preserved, by Library of Congress, as part of the National Film Preservation Foundation/ New Zealand Film Archive repatriation programme of 2009- 2013.