Explorer Walter Snetterton and his party travel to the Andes to prove his theory that frogs are able to climb mountains. Due to the Cup Final the only person willing to act as guide is an ...
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Explorer Walter Snetterton and his party travel to the Andes to prove his theory that frogs are able to climb mountains. Due to the Cup Final the only person willing to act as guide is an elderly - but extremely agile - old lady and as Snetterton prepares to strike camp all his men desert him for the charms of the local ladies. Snetterton is never found but the frogs manage to escape and make it to Mexico City,thus proving his theory to be right. Written by
don @ minifie-1
I was at school in 1977 when the first season of 'Ripping Yarns' went out. Each new episode was a major talking-point on the bus next day. Opinions rarely coincided; two exceptions were 'Tomkinson's Scholdays' ( everyone loved it) and 'Across The Andes By Frog' ( everyone hated it ). In fact no-one dared mention the latter episode until the school gates were almost in view. Peter Finnemore, one of my friends, chirped: "Ripping Yarns last night was trash!". No-one rushed to disagree. Set in 1927, it tells the story of 'Captain Walter Snetterton' ( Palin ) who leads an expedition to the Andes to see if frogs can survive at high altitudes. The Peruvian natives ( among them Louis Mansi, later to appear in 'Allo, Allo' and Terry Gilliam associate Charles McKeown ) are far more interested in listening to English soccer matches on the radio. 'Mr.Gregory' ( Denholm Elliott ) on the British Embassy spends his time sleeping with the local women, and eventually so do most of Snetterton's expeditionary force. Tragedy looms...
If this had been a two-minute sketch for 'Monty Python', fine. But at almost thirty minutes, it is a real chore to sit through. The main sources of humour are Snetterton's failure to realise the utter pointlessness of his expedition, the natives misunderstanding the English language, and endless frog references.
The 1977 screening lacked a laugh-track ( as had 'Escape From Stalag Luft 221B' ), something that would be changed in time for repeats, but it still did not improve the episode. Elliott is as ever first-rate, as is Don Henderson as a sex-mad 'Sergeant-Major'.
Fortunately, a superb climax was a week away in the form of 'Curse Of The Claw'.
Funniest moment - the opening sequence in which a scientist dissects a frog, and pops its leg into his mouth!
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