*. Back with the Carry On gang for the fourteenth film in the series, distinguished, alongside Don’t Lose Your Head, for not having Carry On in the title. This time we’re off to North Africa (I think) as Bo West (get it?) joins the French Foreign Legion after a falling out with a friend over a cricket game.
*. The costumes and setting have changed but the company are back in their stock roles performing the same sort of ribald humour. The only change-up here is that Sid James wasn’t available to play Segeant Nocker so the role went to Phil Silvers, who was the object of some resentment because he came at a price.
*. While I wouldn’t say Silvers steals the show, he doesn’t seem out of place and his presence does give the proceedings a breath of fresh air. Otherwise the story is the usual sexy nonsense, climaxing with a trek across the desert from the Oasis El Nooki to Fort Zuassantneuf. Ho-ho! And don’t miss that gag at the end either. That was actually supposed to be Silvers in the carriage but I guess the monocle played better.
*. As usual, the big action scenes aren’t very funny or well planned out. They’re just harmless noise. In a more politically correct age the humour of Shiekh Abdul Abulbul and the perils encountered by Lady Jane “traveling alone” may lead to some feelings of discomfort but some allowance has to be made for the times. The fact is, I enjoyed watching this one fifty years later. There’s something about these movies — something base and primitive maybe, but something — that holds up pretty well. Is that surprising? I find the sexcapades of Restoration comedy still play well on stage too, and at the end of the day it’s the same sort of thing.