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4.6 out of 5 stars77
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 6 September 2010
When it comes to choosing, from a handful of greats, the greatest Carry On film of all time, opinion divides. Many people seem to go for "Carry On Cleo" and its well-known "Infamy, infamy" scene. But for my money the finest film of the Carry On oeuvre is this thrilling yarn of derring-do and Her Majesty's 3rd Foot and Mouth Regiment (the "Devils in Skirts") set in 1895, at the very gateway to India, high up in the foothills of the Khyber Pass.

From the opening montage in which an elephant breaks wind and Sir Sidney Ruff-Diamond looks accusingly at his wife (Joan Sims), the tone is set for a tale of the Great Game and the glory days of the Raj, related through the, some would say, completely inappropriate medium of Panto. All the regulars are here, the classic triumvirate of James, Williams and Hawtrey, ably abetted by a fine supporting cast; Bernard Bresslaw is a gleefully plausible border chieftain; Terry Scott as Sergeant-Major McNutt is an NCO straight out of George McDonald Fraser; Angela Douglas makes an alluring Princess Jelhi ("an appropriate name," as Sir Sidney gallantly informs her, "for one cast in so perfect a mould,") while Roy Castle as the dashing and resolute Captain Keene is quite plainly on the verge of corpsing in every take. All this accompanied by kilt gags, wince-inducing puns, gratuitous cross-dressing and "it's all we had in the studio" sound effects.

Anyone seeking to understand the history of British involvement on the North-West Frontier should watch this film, not because it is remotely accurate, but because it willl cheer them up.
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on 16 May 2006
Carry On Up The Kyber is undoubtedly one of the very best of the series, if not THE best. Whilst most Carry on films suffered an onslaught of criticism from critics, they actually joined in praise for this entry, and rightly so.

The Khaszi of Kalabar finds information that proves that the men of The Third Foot And Mouth regiment are not "the devil in skirts" as they claim to be, so he decides to bring their presence in India to an end. With Sir Sidney Ruff Diamond's (head of "the devil in skirts") cushy job threatened to come to an end, he decides to take action against it.

The irreplacable Hattie Jaques and Barbara Windsor are missing from this entry but most of the other regulars are here such as Sid James, Joan Sims, Kenneth Williams, Charles Hawtrey, Terry Scott and Bernard Bresslaw as well as featuring the talents of Roy Castle, in his only Carry On role and Angela Douglas who previously had appeared in Carry On Cowboy (1965), Screaming (1966) and Follow That Camel (1967). The best players in this historical romp are Sid James and Joan Sims as the hilarious Ruff Diamonds. Joan Sims delivery is priceless as her delicatley, well spoken voice occasionally slides into a broad cockney accent - amusing stuff!

Carry On Up The Kyber is consistently funny throughout with Talbot Rothwell's script bubbling with inventive repartee and sparkling razor sharp wit. The film boasts the best ending in a Carry On film, where the gang are all keeping a stiff British upper lip and deciding to ignore the attack that's taking place outside the building, proceed to continue with their supper whilst the building is collapsing around their ears.

Classic British comedy at its very best and fans of the series will be delighted.
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on 29 November 2001
Many words have been written about what makes a great film, but here you have it all - the quintessence of the English sense of humour. Stunning locations, world-class acting, great direction and a superb script. Admittedly the best scene in British cinema was the "nice pear" scene in Carry on Doctor, but Khyber endures as the definitive classic. Must go, time for tiffin!
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Disaster strikes in the Raj when it's revealed that the famed British Devils In Skirts who occupy India, wear underpants under their kilts. The absence of which was something that kept the natives living in fear.

Awards and high praise for the "Carry On" franchise is like a dog that speaks Irdu, extremely rare. Granted, few of them rise above "titter me this madame" like comedy, and some are not fit to be used as coasters. But look inside this 31 film run and you find a handful of gems, a couple of which are fit to be on any list of Great British comedies from the 60s. One such film is Carry On Up The Kyber, which arguably is the best of the bunch. Directed and written by the usual Thomas/Rothwell team, Up The Kyber is a genuinely funny, knowing and original comedy.

It's pretty much a given that the best "Carry On's" were the costume spoofers. So here we be in India in 1895, in the company of The Third Foot And Mouth Regiment {snicker snicker} and Emma Walker's fabulous costumes. Innuendo is kept to a bashful level as opposed to smutty overkill, the humour more concerned with taking pot shots out Imperialism and upper crust ignorance and snobbery. Officer's chain of command and the stiff upper lip in the face of certain death, oh yes the band really will play on. There's also smart jokes such as the one in my title, and watch out for a sly Rank Organisation gag. All dealt with cunningly and sharply by the likes of Sid James, Joan Sims, Kenneth Williams and Peter Butterworth. Character names remain ridiculously charming, Rhandi Lal, Private Jimmy Widdle, Bungit Din {leader of the Burpas} and Brother Belcher. While the set pieces, crowned by the now famous dinner party finale, are excellently constructed.

Subtitled "The British Position In India," this is not your standard saucy seaside postcard picture {try saying that fast three times}. Hugely entertaining for a myriad of reasons, it's actually something of a British treasure that's still delighting newcomers to it each decade. 8.5/10
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on 21 March 2007
director of the carry ons gerald thomas and producer peter rogers have stated that this is their favourite carry on,the british film institute ranks this film as number 99 of the top 100 british films and most people will rate this as a brilliant film in any walk of life so the fact that its a carry on film may surprise some but the fact remains this whether as a one off film or as part of the series,carry on up the khyber is a classic.

released in 1968,the films theme centres on britains colonisation of india in the 19th century,sid james plays a british governer in the province of khalabar,the british army keep the country from peace and life is grand for sid especially,his enemy is kenny williams who plays a burpa chief who resents the english rule,when an opportunity arises for the burpas to seize the country back then they take their chance but sid along with his army,whom include roy castle,terry scott,charles hawtrey and tour guide peter butterworth try and find a way to show that they are the real leaders of the country.

The film is an example of the notion of the stiff upper lip belief in england of the time when war cant weaken the brave english,the dinner table scene is priceless and is an example of that notion,the film has been deemed racist in some quarters but i would be hard pressed to believe that was the intention,carry on up the khyber is a real classic in the carry on series and a real classic film on its own legs as well.
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VINE VOICEon 3 September 2003
Carry On… movies are never likely to be thought of as comedy classics, and yet they are fondly remembered by those who have seen them on a wet bank holiday Monday through the years, and the regular cast remain household names (Sid James, Kenneth Williams, Barbara Windsor to name but a few). All to often they are nothing more than Bawdy sit-coms (Camping, Abroad in particular), yet every now and again they hit the mark, often when dealing with the past. Cleo, Dick, Henry and Don’t Lose Your Head (a film that was monikered Carry On very late on in it’s inception) are great examples of this, but it is Up the Khyber that truly stands the test of time, and is arguably the very best.
There is little point in talking about plot – the Carry On’s never score highly on that in any case – this is all to do with the pitch perfect casting of the regulars (with support from Roy Castle playing the Jim Dale type role) and great performances all round. Sid James once more plays Sid, this time Sir Sydney Ruff-Diamond, with his usual flair, but it is once more left to Kenneth Williams to claim the over-acting honours as his nemesis the Khasi of Khalabar. The cast is rounded out with most the regulars including a fine turn from the inestimable Charles Hawtry as the unfortunate Private Widdle, whose choice of underwear almost brings down British rule in India. Pinewood performs admirably in it’s own role as Imperial India, as does the Welsh Valley that stands in for the real Khyber Pass.
With the Carry On films being re-visited by Carry On London ( which will feature – shudder – soap actors in the major parts), this is a good time to see the original cast at their very best.
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on 1 June 2010
"Carry On Up The Khyber" is a wonderful film by the British, about the British, for the British, and is the high watermark of the entire Carry On series. It is all here: the GB sticker on the Governor's elephant; the running gag about "going for a spot of tiffin"; the whole "Devils In Skirts" thing; the villainous Khasi of Khalabar rationalising his decision to subject his British hostages to the death of a thousand cuts by explaining, "The British are used to cuts!"; the "Up Yours" routine; Charles Hawtrey as a belly dancer; a truly awful pun built around ginger ale; the infamous, the legendary, the IMMORTAL dinner party scene, and still more besides. This is Carry On with something still to offer, still with a sense of risque fun rather than the cruder fare that would eventually throttle the series. The cast are giving every impression of having as much of a hoot as we are, and the script, while lacking an "Infamy, Infamy" moment, arguably delivers more well-aimed hits than that of any other Carry On. My home town of Wolverhampton even gets a veiled nod, when, as the final rebel attack on the British Residency begins, the leader of the Burpas, Bungdit In (Bernard Bresslaw), cries, "That'll teach them to ban turbans on the buses!" It's a joke of the time (1968) that has faded with age, along with the visual gag based on the Union Flag at the very end of the film, but this is a film whose humour overall will endure as long as there is still something out there called "British".

If you really want to appreciate this film, watch is as a double-header with "Carry On Emmanuelle", if you can bear the tragedy of it.
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This is one of the better "Carry Ons". I am firmly of the opinion that the best films in the series are those spoofing historical events and this journey up the Khyber Pass (it was actually filmed at the foot of Snowdon) is no exception. All the regulars are here, with the exception of Hattie Jacques and Barbara Windsor, and all are on top form.

Charles Hawtrey is in his definitive role, Private Widdle, and the versatile Peter Butterworth has his finest "Carry On" moment as Brother Belcher in the hilarious dinner party scene towards the end of the film. Roy Castle, in, I believe, his only "Carry On" appearance, does a good job in the "Jim Dale" role and he is well partnered by the delightful Angela Douglas (who doesn't look remotely Indian, incidentally) as Princess Jelhi. Terry Scott avoids his usual bluster as Sergeant Major McNutt and Bernard Bresslaw once again proves his versatility as the villainous Bungdit Din. Top honours, however, go to the Khasi of Kenneth Williams and to the matchless duo of Sidney James and Joan Sims as Sir Sidney and Lady Ruff-Diamond; Sid excels in a typical "sid" role, while Joan is just brilliantly funny...what an underrated actress she was!

There are a host of jokes, both corny and crude; high art it ain't (some jokes will have you gasping in disbelief), but funny it must certainly is.

Is this the best "Carry On"? Perhaps not, but it's definitely up there with the best of `em!
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on 23 June 2003
Hold everything!! Let me tell you about the Best Carry On film ever! Carry On Up The Khyber is hillarious and with a cast of Kenneth Williams, Sid James, Charles Hawtry, Bernard Bresslaw and Terry Scott- you know your in for a treat. Great gags, lots of naughty bits and generally a good laugh in ways only the carry on team can give
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on 2 November 2014
Opinions vary about "Carry On" movies. In a way, children of their time, they might be seen as harmless fun, if a bit smutty. However, they could also be - and are- accused of many 'ists or 'isms. Many are, I think, pretty awful.

However, this is a magnificently funny movie in any language.

Sir Sydney Ruff-Diamond- Sid James at his hilarious best.

The Khazi of Khalabar" outstanding naming.

Some of the many lines "and up yours", and of course "Mustapha Leeeeeeeeeek".

So many sadly-missed entertainers.No film failed to win by having Roy Castle in it.

The final scenes of the Embassy being shelled are a classic and the stiff upper lip spoofing wonderful. "Permission to, er, have a go, Sir?" "Of course, you go on and enjoy yourself".

There are many other simply great lines in this simple old fashioned movie that make it a joy to watch and maybe it marks the "bit of smut" humour apart from so much of the crude nastiness we see today.

Anyway, IMNSHO, this is a classic British comedy movie and I do not care what other people think. For quality, ***** may be too much, but the guide says "***** I love it" well, I do. So there. "and up yours" if necessary.
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