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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Scarlet Pimpernel, ooh I say madame, 8 July 2011
This review is from: Carry On Don't Lose Your Head [DVD] (DVD)
Dandy fop Sir Rodney Effing has an alter ego, The Black Fingernail. A man, who along with his partner, Lord Darcy Pue, rescue French aristocrats from the clutches of the revolutionary police chief, Citizen Camembert.

Carry On producer Peter Rogers had severed his links with Anglo Amalgamated and swiftly signed up with Rank Organisation. Miffed at losing their number one cash franchise, and no doubt with a touch of petulance, Anglo's brass refused Rogers permission to using the "Carry On" prefix. Thus this picture was initially released as just "Don't Lose Your Head" in 1966. Eventually common sense prevailed, and this rightly became known as the 13th franchise entry as "Carry On Don't Lose Your Head" {tho the American release of it being called "Carry On Pimpernel" makes better sense one feels}.

Spoofing The Scarlet Pimpernel legacy with a ream of innuendo and double entendre's, the Carry On team deliver one of the better efforts from the series. This is in the main down to Talbot Rothwell's screenplay. Rothwell wrote the screenplay for 20 of the series efforts, he was someone who director and producer both trusted, and crucially that the cast also had faith in. Here his writing is excellent, if of course you be a fan of the saucy shenanigans that came with this particular part of British cinema that is? With characters called Citizen Camembert {refered to as the big cheese, get it?}, Duc de Pommfrit, Citizen Bidet and Sir Rodney Effing {yes that's two F's}, Rothwell lets loose with wave after wave of cheeky dialogue, all delivered with comic aplomb from the likes of Sid James, Joan Sims, Kenneth Williams, Charles Hawtrey, Jim Dale and the undervalued Peter Butterworth.

There's also a real good production from Rogers. Armed with £200,000, Rogers assembled a fine wardrobe of period costumes and hired out Clandon Hall, Cliveden House and Waddesdon Manor to give the story its 18th Century feel. It's also a film that asks of its stalwarts to do a little bit more than just say risqué lines and act the goat. Oh it's all still gaudy and simple in premise, for sure, but some nice swordplay and derring-do from the boys shouldn't go unnoticed. It of course is just like most of the others they made, a cheeky romp, but to me it's proof positive that the "Carry On" series had some crackers mixed in with the dregs. Sit back and romp with the rompers I say. 7.5/10
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