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carry on up the khyber 1968

rating

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cast
 

Sir Sidney Sidney James
The Khasi Kenneth Williams
Pte Jimmy Widdle Charles Hawtrey
Captain Keene Roy Castle
Lady Ruff-Diamond Joan Sims
Bunghit Din Bernard Bresslaw
Brother Belcher Peter Butterworth
Sgt Maj MacNutt Terry Scott
Princess Jelhi Angela Douglas
Fakir Cardew Robinson
Pte. Ginger Hale Peter Gilmore
Major Shorthouse Julian Holloway
Stinghi Leon Thau
Chindi Michael Mellinger
Busti Alexandra Dane
MacNutt's Lure Dominique Don
Major Domo Derek Sydney
Bunghit's Servant David Spenser
Sporran Soldier Johnny Briggs
Bagpipe Soldier Simon Cain
Burpa Guard Steven Scott
Burpa at Door Larry Taylor
Burpa in Crowd Patrick Westwood
Burpa on Rooftop John Hallam
Khasi's Wife Wanda Ventham
Khasi's Wife Liz Gold
Khasi's Wife Vicki Woolf
Khasi's Wife Anne Scott
Khasi's Wife Barbara Evans
Khasi's Wife Lisa Noble
Khasi's Wife Eve Eden
Khasi's Wife Tamsin McDonald
Khasi's Wife Katherina Holden
Hospitality Girl Valerie Leon
Hospitality Girl Carmen Dene
Hospitality Girl June Cooper
Hospitality Girl Josephine Blain
Hospitality Girl Vicki Murden
Hospitality Girl Karen Young
Hospitality Girl Angie Grant
Hospitality Girl Sue Vaughan
Narrator Patrick Allen
   
Screenplay Talbot Rothwell
Producer Peter Rogers
Director Gerald Thomas

promotional material


'larry' cartoon      'larry' cartoon

'larry' cartoon      'larry' cartoon

colour in scene





 

plot

India, 1895. In the North-West Frontier Province, an atmosphere of calm pervades. For the Governor, Sir Sidney Ruff-Diamond, the most important thing is that the British should beat the Indians - at polo. He and his wife, Lady Joan, are attending a match against the local side, the Kalabar Rovers.

Also at the match are Rhandi Lal, the Khasi of Kalabar, and his beautiful daughter Princess Jelhi. The Governor and the Khasi smile graciously at each other, but behind the Indian Rajahís smile lies a fervent desire to be rid of the British. Rebellion is always on his mind but he knows that so long as the famous Highland Regiment, the Third Foot and Mouth, is present, victory is out of the question.

The fearless Scottish Regiment strikes terror into the hearts of the natives, who refer to them as the Devils in Skirts. But the regimentís hard-won reputation is about to be lost, as the result of one man....

At the famous Khyber Pass, a soldier of the Third Foot and Mouth is doing extra Guard duty. He is Private Widdle, who wears a hot water bottle in his sporran. Two Indians approach and try to persuade Widdle to let them through. One of them Bungdit Din, pulls out his scimitar and offers it as a bribe. Widdle takes one look at the flashing blade - and faints. With natural curiosity, Bungdit Din raises the hem of Widdles kilt, and an awful secret is revealed....

The Khasi is overjoyed. Here is his chance to discredit the Devils in Skirts and throw the British out of India! Sir Sidney Ruff-Diamond, however, is most upset - this could mean the end of his cushy job as Governor. He goes to see the Khasi, taking with him Captain Keene and Sergeant-Major MacNutt.

Sir Sidney explains that the whole affair was a terrible mistake. The Khasi asks for proof and Keene and MacNutt are ordered to raise their kilts. They refuse. For they, like Widdle, are wearing drawers, and to the Khasis delight, all is concealed where it should be revealed. The Third Foot and Mouths reputation is in tatters.

Back at the residency, Sir Sidney orders a surprise inspection of his troops. Much to his horror, they are ALL wearing drawers. Worse, Lady Joan secretly takes a photograph of the display. She has taken a strong fancy to the Khasi, and thinks that if she gives him what he wants, he will give her what she wants.

She takes the photo to the Khasi, who is delighted. Show this to the Burpa tribesmen, and they will have no fear off attacking the British, he thinks. But Lady Joan will only let him have the picture on one condition, which doesn't appeal to him, claiming that he has servants to do everything for him, including making love. Her Ladyship decides to wait for him to change his mind.

Princess Jelhi is a witness to Lady Joanís betrayal. She hurries with the news to Captain Keene. Although they have only met once, the couple are in love, and fearing for his safety, she tells him to leave India immediately, before the uprising.

Keene reports it to Sir Sidney. The photo must be recovered before the Khasi can show it to the Tribesman. Keene and MacNutt volunteer to try to get it back. Private Widdle is told that he has 'volunteered' as well, and so is Brother Belcher, a missionary with an eye for the ladies.

Disguised as Burpas, the fearless four infiltrate the Burpa tribesmen just in time to hear the Khasi inciting them to revolt. Keene is relieved to learn that the Khasi hasn't yet got the photo, and that, as yet, the Burpas are unwilling to fight.

Trying to break into the Burpa stronghold, the four find themselves in a roomful of beautiful girls, all generous with their charms. In the 'passionate' moments that follow, all four men fall in an ornamental fountain. This washes the disguise from their faces and they are captured.

They are sentenced to death, and so is Lady Joan. Hearing of this, Jelhi goes to the rescue. She and Joan go into the prison, and, with the aid of a couple of most un-ladylike right-handers from her Ladyship, they knock out the guard and free the men, who disguise themselves as nautch dancers.

Unfortunately, Bungdit Din, who, mistaking them for real dancers, orders them to perform before the Khasi, spots them. Their attempts are chaotic. But in the confusion they manage to escape.

With the help of a fakir, the six get over the wall of the Burp Stronghold and return to the residency. They are followed by the Khasi, who gives Sir Sidney an ultimatum: the British must leave India at once, or be wiped out by the Burpas.

Faced with this dastardly threat, Sir Sid shows the Khasi that the British are made of stern stuff. He tells Major Shorthouse to order the residency staff to join him for dinner - black tie of course.

The Burpas launch a fierce attack, and while all about them are losing their heads, the residency residents keep theirs and enjoy their meal.

Eventually, when the building has almost been razed to the ground, Sir Sidney takes action. He walks into the middle of the battle, orders what's left of his men to line up facing the enemy and its 'Up kilts, and at 'em.'

The Burpas take one look - and flee in horror. The Third Foot and Mouth have lost their drawers - and regained their reputation. The British Raj is safe once more!

review

Many people consider Carry On Up The Khyber to be the crowning glory of the series. It's certainly brilliant. This one even has a fairly strong plot! No doubt to the chagrin of many a pompous film critic, it even managed to be placed in the BFI's top 100 films of all time, coming in at 99.

All the characters are firmly established in their roles. Sid is Sid, Charlie is Charlie and Kenneth Williams gives the performance of his life as The Khasi of Kalibar, neatly slipping out of character and into his 'Snide' persona when circumstance allows. Roy Castle does a sterling job of stepping into Jim Dales vacant shoes as the stiff upper lipped Captain Keene, Terry Scott marks his return to the Carry Ons (he was in Carry On Sergeant) as the bombastic Sgt Major MacNutt who hates Private Widdle with a passion, Bernard Bresslaw excels as the native Bungdit Din and Joan Sims is fantastic as Lady Ruff Diamond.

Top marks go to Peter Butterworth as compromised evangelist Brother Belcher, who shines in every scene he's in, especially the climatic dinner party where he completely fails to maintain the renowned British stiff upper lip. He takes the role of the audience, wandering round in the madness, wondering how he got himself into the chaos. Strangely, considering his top notch performance, he was criminally underused in the rest of the series, with the possible exception of Carry On Abroad.

The whole film is gloriously patriotic, delighting in British eccentricities and nodding its head to such films as Zulu. Of course the highlight is the dining room sequence at the end of the film, where the British sit down to a formal meal whilst still managing to keep a stiff-upper lip despite the carnage inflicted by the Khasi on the building. This, along with Barbara Windsors bra popping incident in Carry On Camping, remain the most memorable scenes in the series.

The final image is of a British Flag with the phrase 'I'm backing Britain'. This was tied in with the Harold Wilson campaign, whereby people were encouraged to buy British products and to sport t-shirts and badges emblazoned with "I'm backing Britain" over a union jack.

If ever you find yourself in the company of someone who has never seen a Carry On, this is definitely one to show them.

other information

Kenneth Williams' moment of unbridled passion with Joan Sims in the film was somewhat marred by Williams' persistent flatulence.

Location filming took place in May 1968 in Snowdonia, North Wales standing in for India, the furthest the Carry On team ever travelled.

The distributors wanted to call this film, Carry On In The Regiment. Great title guys.

Bernard Bresslaw was thanked by an Indian living in England for showing them the 'old country', India. The Indian said he recognised the place at once. Bernard didn't reveal it was really Wales.

bloopers

During the bombardment of the British Consulate, there are several continuity errors, including a self-repairing window and blind situated behind the piano. Also, when everybody sits down to dinner, the ceiling collapses and the dust falls on Sids right shoulder. The dust mark changes sizes throughout the scene.

About 15 minutes before the film finishes - A bullet makes Peter Butterworths hat fly off his head. When the whole of the brown fence, the large white wall and the floor are visible, there is no white hat visible.

After Captain Keene asks if he can 'Have a bash'. A man in a turban approaches Sid. As he approaches him Sid's lips are moving but we can't hear anything. He says "Do you wish". Then in the next shot we hear him say to him, "Do you wish to see me?"

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