HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Equalizer 2, The
1985
Mowgli
Ski School
Ant-Man and the Wasp
Age of Shadows, The
Mission: Impossible - Fallout
Othello
First Reformed
Red White and Zero
Death Wish
Cry Wilderness
Heiresses, The
Millhouse: A White Comedy
Skyscraper
Born of Fire
Teen Titans Go! To the Movies
Lucia
Yanks
Sweet November
Ballad of Buster Scruggs, The
Real Men
Shoplifters
Redeemer
Incredibles 2
Big House, The
Night Eats the World, The
War Bus
Back to Berlin
Leave No Trace
   
 
Newest Articles
A Name to Conjure With: David Nixon's Magic Box on DVD
Which 1950s Sci-Fi was Scariest? Invaders from Mars vs The Blob
The Empire Strikes Back: Khartoum vs Carry On Up the Khyber
Stan and Ollie's Final Folly: Atoll K on Blu-ray
The Big Grapple: Escape from New York and Its Influence
The Conquest of Everett: The Kenny Everett Video Show on DVD
Bout for the Count: Hammer's Dracula in the 1970s
Nopes from a Small Island: Mistreatment of American Stars in British Films
You Know, For Kids: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box
If He Were a Carpenter and It Was the 80s: The Fog, Prince of Darkness and They Live
Tee-Hee, It's 80s Sci-Fi Horror: Night of the Comet, The Stuff and Night of the Creeps
Chance of a Ghost: The Uninvited and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
3 Simian Slashers: Phenomena, Link and Monkey Shines
When is a Jackie Chan Movie Not a Jackie Chan Movie? Armour of God and City Hunter
Anytime Anywhere: The Complete Goodies at the BBC Episode Guide Part 2
   
 
  Carry On Don't Lose Your Head A Pain In The NeckBuy this film here.
Year: 1966
Director: Gerald Thomas
Stars: Sid James, Kenneth Williams, Jim Dale, Charles Hawtrey, Peter Butterworth, Dany Robin, Peter Gilmore, Marianne Stone
Genre: Comedy, Historical
Rating:  7 (from 3 votes)
Review: The French aristocrats are quaking in their rather plush boots for Madame Guillotine is steadily reducing their numbers. However The Black Fingernail – in reality foppish Sir Rodney Ffing – and his sidekick Lord Darcy are on hand to thwart the revolutionary schemes of Citizen Camembert & a daring rescue of the Duc de Pommfrit is only the start.

Carry On Don’t Lose Your Head was the first film in the series to be released by the Rank Organisation, originally without the Carry On prefix hence the rather unwieldy moniker. Opening with a jolly sing-along title theme it’s a fun pastiche of the Scarlet Pimpernel tale with a handful of the usual suspects along for the ride.

You know exactly what to expect from a Carry On film and this 1966 offering doesn’t disappoint. Kenneth Williams sneers and enunciates as only he can in the role of Citizen Camembert with Peter Butterworth on hand as his much put upon flunky Citizen Bidet. Sid James brings his cackling lothario persona to Sir Rodney Ffing/The Blackfingernail and Jim Dale seems to be enjoying the chance to play a more old-fashioned heroic character, Lord Darcy, throwing in some physical comedy along the way. Joan Sims and Charles Hawtrey (with arguably his finest performance) round out the regulars in a relatively small selection of performers from the Carry On company.

Talbot Rothwell’s script is full of great one-liners but one of the best was a rare addition from one of the cast (Jim Dale). Hawtrey, head in the guillotine, receives an urgent message – “pop it in the basket I’ll read it later!” is his droll response. The setting is a welcome excuse for some puns on the French language – “. . . by this time tomorrow, the Duc de Pommfrit will definitely have had his chips!" - but as well as the usual double entendres and saucy postcard humour Rothwell’s script has a relatively strong action adventure plot. Messrs James, Dale and Hawtrey apply their own unique style of swordplay in the prolonged swash and buckle finale that would not be too out of place in an old Errol Flynn movie.

The historical Carry Ons always looked more cinematic than the contemporary set films and never more so than in Don’t Lose Your Head. It is one of the most lavish of the series with some excellent production values; the sets and costumes belie the low budget. More plot heavy than most the story drives the narrative rather than the gags. In this sense it is a more specific parody rather than the broader joke led scripts of many of the other films. One of the best of the series and a good opener from Rank Productions it is an ideal starting point for those that have yet to be won over by this most uniquely British of film franchises.

Aka: Don’t Lose Your Head, Carry On Pimpernel
Reviewer: Jason Cook

 

This review has been viewed 8303 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Gerald Thomas  (1920 - 1993)

British director responsible for every film in the Carry On series. Started as an assistant editor before debuting with the childrens' film Circus Friends. Thriller Timelock followed, but the success of 1958’s bawdy Carry On Sergeant launched one of the most successful series in British cinema. Thomas directed 30 Carry On films up until 1978’s Carry On Emmannuelle, returning in 1992 to deliver his final film, Carry On Columbus. Other films include the Carry On-esque Nurse on Wheels and The Big Job, plus the big screen version of Bless this House.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Stately Wayne Manor
Graeme Clark
George White
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Aseels Almasi
Rashed Ali
   

 

Last Updated: