The late great Frankie Howerd pouts and leers his way in inimical style through this 90 minute bawdy romp set in the famous doomed Roman city - and then jumps forward in time a millennium or so and does pretty much the same. This big screen adaptation of the much loved TV series is noticeably naughtier than the small-screen version, with 15-rated nudity aplenty and double-entendres (and a few blatant single-entendres) in almost every scene.
Although only Frankie as Lurcio, the slave, and the innocent young master (with the not-so-innocent odes to his latest love) seem to have survived the transition to cinema, most of the other characters are played by familiar faces from British cinema and all the usual plot elements are still there. This is pretty well classic English farce, in similar vein to some of the historical Carry On films made around the same time. Some of the gags are pretty lame, whilst others may make us wince a bit in today's politically correct climate. I defy anyone not to laugh out loud at least a couple of times during the movie though.
Corny? Yes Hammy? Sure, but just go with the flow and enjoy. Maybe not a classic, but as a testimony to happier, more innocent days, Up Pompeii is definitely worthwhile.