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  Carry On up the Khyber It was a cold place for the privates...Buy this film here.
Year: 1968
Director: Gerald Thomas
Stars: Sid James, Joan Sims, Roy Castle, Terry Scott, Kenneth Williams, Peter Butterworth, Bernard Bresslaw, Angela Douglas, Cardew Robinson, Peter Gilmore, Julian Holloway, Leon Thau
Genre: Comedy, Historical
Rating:  7 (from 4 votes)
Review: It's the golden Age for the British in India. Queen Victoria is on the throne, Her Majesty's governors are living the life of luxury, and all is well..... well, maybe not all.

In the northern Province of Kalabar, things are stirring. Randi Lal, the Karsi of Kalabar, is desperate to throw the British out of India. But since his province is policed by HM 3rd Foot & Mouth (nicknamed "The Devils In Skirts") this seems impossible. Their reputation for being fearless and invincible is fueled by their reputation for wearing nothing under their kilts - however cold it gets. And so the Karsi waits - until he gets evidence that all is not what it appears. One of his neighbouring tribal leaders, Bungdit Din, brings him a pair of woolen underpants, taken from a particularly ineffective guard at the infamous Khyber Pass. If all of the local tribes see this, they will rise up!

It's down to the British to kill the rumour quickly. The Governor, Sir Sidney Ruff-Diamond, Captain Keene, and Sgt. Maj. MacNutt sound out the Karsi, but he's not giving in. Their one hope may lie in the Karsi's daughter, the lovely Princess Jelhi, who instantly falls for Capt. Keene. And she does help, because she tells Keene that Lady Ruff-Diamond has gone to the Karsi, offering herself, and also a photograph of soldiers wearing far too much......

With the help of a local missionary, Brother Belcher, and the hapless guard, Private Widdle, Keene and MacNutt break into Bundgit Din's palace, and ultimately escape with their lives, the Princess, and Lady Ruff-Diamond, but unfortunately not the damning photograph.

This is all the locals need to attack the governor's mansion, and a fierce battle rages, but they made one key error - they launched their attack at dinner time. And no true Englishman likes being disturbed at dinner.....

* * *

This movie is named as many people's all-time favourites. The performances, especially by Kenneth Williams and Bernard Bresslaw as the local chiefs, is superb. Roy Castle as Capt. Keene is very, very good - especially when you realise that he was only bought in when Jim Dale decided to honour his other work commitments instead of doing the movie. Peter Butterworth, Terry Scott, Sid James, Joan Sims, and Charles Hawtrey are all wonderful, and Angela Douglas is suitably beautiful and innocent as the Princess. All the lines are here, all the laughs, and then there's the truly unforgettable dining-room scene at the end.

Jolly well done, say I!
Reviewer: Paul Shrimpton


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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.

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