Carry on Up The Khyber (1968)

January 23, 2009

When I was bigging up ‘Carry On Camping‘ recently I said “it is neither the best scripted nor the most inventive of the Carry On series”.  This one might be.  The regulars are given characters which suit them beautifully and the occasional players integrate beautifully- especially Roy Castle (or Roy Fucking Castle as I will always remember him since hearing it on ‘Bottom‘ when I was far more impressionable than I am now) who is a straight-laced foil for the others to bounce off.

The plot, which acts as little more than a device to move from one gag to another, concerns the 3rd Foot in Mouth  regiment in India and their reputation as ‘devils in skirts’- which is debunked when Bernard Bresslaw as Bungdit Din, leader of the Burpahs, steals the woollen underwear that Charles Hawtry wore beneath his kilt.  This causes a battle at the Khyber Pass (a mountain path in Wales in reality) leading the Burpahs to attack the Ambassadorial residence of Lord Sidney Ruff-Diamond, causing the famous closing battle scene.  The puns are delicious and delivered with camp perfection:  When the Fakir fails to entertain Kenneth Williams (the Khasi of Kalabar Rhandi Lal) he commands “Bring on the dancing girls. Get rid of this idiot!” leading to Bernard Bresslaw instructing “Fakir! Off!”; When Roy Castle instructs his men “Fire at will!” Peter Butterworth counters “Poor old Will, why do they always fire at him” and so on.

carry-on-up-the-khyber

It’s obvious, cheaply made, unsubtle, childish and camper than a row of tents, but it entertains me immensely. 8/10.

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Carry On Camping (1969)

December 28, 2008

It’s almost certain that I’ve seen ‘Carry On Camping’ more often than any other film.  It’s a comedic comfort blanket.  I can recite the dialogue along with the actors with my eyes closed.

Quite why it holds such interest for me I don’t know.  It is neither the best scripted nor the most inventive of the Carry On series.  But it is the funniest.  All of the best Carry On regulars (barring Kenneth Connor and Jack Douglas) are present and in fine form.  The gags are usually on target and often laugh-out-loud funny.  8/10.