Most helpful critical review
Didn't live up to the fond memories...
on 22 May 2015
Fond memories of watching this as a kid were not matched by returning to it as an adult. I'm glad the DVD was cheap, as I'm not sure if/when we'll ever watch it again.
The lowbrow innuendo hasn't aged as well as, let's say, Peter Sellers more sophisticated clowning in The Party, both of which were made in 1968, and both of which feature white Englishmen pretending to be Indian. Roy 'Record Breaker' Castle appears in this film - his only Carry On (in the romantic male lead usually performed by the more cinematically charismatic Jim Dale) - alongside such familiar faces as Kenneth Williams, Sid James, Charles Hawtrey, Joan Sims, et al.
Amongst the minor players Peter Butterworth as Brother Belcher, a randy but cowardly ecclesiastical, is one of the more enjoyable elements in this flimsy affair. The dependable Sid James is, for my money, the only major player whose character, as clichéd as ever, nevertheless makes the grade, as the equally (but more successfully) 'diplomatically' amorous Sidney Ruff-Diamond.
But some of the characters who are usually reliable Carry On stalwarts were, for me at any rate, simply cringeworthy, Kenneth Williams as The Khasi of Kalabar would be exemplary in this respect. Joan Sims reprises her usual scolding harridan role, which occasionally made my wife chortle, but is like nails on a blackboard to me.
The best Carry On films I've seen are Carry On Screaming and Carry on Cleo, which stand the rigours of time better than the vast majority of this prolific British franchise. Khyber is, according to the critics, apparently, one of the best of the series! I watched it with my wife and a regular guest, and it barely raised even the slightest of titters. Groans were plentiful.