Carry On…Don’t Lose Your Head (1966)

 

“I don’t care about Equalities and Fraternities, but I’m not having the Liberties.”

carry-onCarry On Don’t Lose Your Head is one of the funniest entries in this popular British comedy film series. Two English dandies, Sir Rodney Ffing (Sid James) and Lord Darcy Pue (Jim Dale) are so appalled by the brutality of the French Revolution, they decide to hop over to France and start saving the aristocrats. Donning various disguises, Ffing and Pue engineer a series of daring rescues–conducted by the mysterious “Black Fingernail.” Soon the dreaded Head of The Secret Police–Camembert (Kenneth Williams) and his sidekick, Citizen Bidet (Peter Butterworth) are on the scent of the Black Fingernail. When the Duc de Pommfrit (Charles Hawtrey) is boldly rescued from the guillotine’s blade, Robespierre (Peter Gilmore) is furious, and Camembert knows he must stop at nothing to get the Fingernail …

Camembert, Bidet, and Desiree Dubarry (Joan Sims) head to England to uncover the identity of the mysterious Black Fingernail. In their possession is a set of false teeth that will lead to the man they seek. Camembert and Desiree pose as the Duke and Duchess de la Plume de Ma Tante, and of course, they fail horribly to blend into the exiled French community in England.

The main reason this is one of the funniest Carry On films is that such great comedic roles are created for Sid James, Charles Hawtrey, Kenneth Williams, and Joan Sims, and these four characters integrate incredibly well together. There’s a bizarre relationship between Bidet and Camembert that gives a lot of laughs, and their relationship is in contrast to the relationship between the two society dandies–Ffing and Pue. The script is packed with some of the best lines from Carry On–“I come from a poor family, Miss, and we couldn’t afford luxuries like you.” “When you undress, it’s like emptying a dustbin.” “No, you cannot have a bit of a prod.” “Why can’t they eat frog’s legs and snails like normal people?” At times the lines lapse into a very funny blend of French and English and this creates a great comic effect

For those who aren’t familiar with the Carry On series, these films were highly successful lowbrow British comedies that were made for a period of several decades. The Carry On team was composed of ‘regulars’ who represented the best talent in the business, and new faces were added for each film.

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Filed under British, Carry On Films, Comedy

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