This film is part of a much-loved British institution which made us all "Carry On Laughing"
, 09 Nov 2011
I just had to write a review about a 'Carry On' film --- they are a great British institution and so I thought I'd pick what I think is the best of the long-running and much-loved series of Birtish 1960s/70s screen comedy.
This is my highest rated one of the series, with 4 deserved Stars (it cannot in my view fall into the 4.5 Star definition of 'great' but there is no question that it is very very good).
A number of the other 'Carry On' films definitely fall into the 3.5 Star category and a couple may actually, within my own rating system, equal 'Carry On Up The Khyber' with a 4 Star rating, most notably 'Carry On Don't Lose Your Head', 'Carry On Behind', 'Carry On Nurse', 'Carry On Cowboy' and 'Carry On Camping' (who could ever forget the busting bikini top scene?).
Having said all that, however, I have to say that most offerings from the early 70s onwards might, in my view, fall as low as 1 Star --- sadly they really did go downhill in a sorry way after that time, and that includes the very much later come-back attempt with 'Carry On Columbus'.
But let's get back to the wonderfully entertaining 'Carry On Up The Khyber', which I have chosen to review as the only 'Carry On' film in my review list, rather than writing separate entries for all the individual films.
It has all the very best ingredients that are associated with the 'Carry On' team (but it is a great shame that Barbara Windsor is missing from this one when she was so much a BIG part of virtually all the others in the series).
Sid James, who along with Kenneth Williams and Barbara Windsor is the epitome of the series, probably 'steals the show' in this particular film (just as Kenneth Williams 'steals the show' in others such as 'Don't Lose Your Head'. But, as usual the whole thing is a joint effort of everyone concerned both infront and behind the camera.
There are so many memorable moments and jokes and scenes in this film that I could mention dozens more than the farm gate to the Khyber Pass, the 'kilts-up' scene, Sid's afternoon tifffins, his marvellous one liner of 'and up yours' to Williams in one of the early scenes and the truly marvellous finale of the Great British Empire carrying on with dinner whilst all about them crumbles.
A series of very many films which do for 1960s' british comedy what Ealing did as the british comedy frontrunner of the 1950s. It is sad that the 'Carry On' films overstayed their welcome with those pretty awful offerings around the mid 70s. But those latter ones are really not worth mentioning in any detail. Let us instead just savour the wonderful memories of the overall compendium of films which comprise a great british institution.
Everyone has seen them all more than once and I believe that they will continue to be watched when they are antiques.
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