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Carry On Up The Khyber [DVD]

4.7 out of 5 stars 78 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Kenneth Williams, Sidney James, Charles Hawtrey, Roy Castle, Joan Sims
  • Directors: Gerald Thomas
  • Writers: Larry, Talbot Rothwell
  • Producers: Peter Rogers
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: ITV Studios Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 12 May 2003
  • Run Time: 85 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008YNFU
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,107 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

British forces face the hostile Afghan tribesmen in this tale of the North-West frontier during the days of the British Raj. With Sid James, Kenneth Williams, Charlie Hawtrey and Joan Sims.

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Filmed in 1968 and set in British India in 1895, Carry On Up the Khyber is one of the team's most memorable efforts. Sid James plays Sid James as ever, though nominally his role is that of Sir Sidney Ruff-Diamond, the unflappable British Governor who must deal with the snakelike, scheming Khasi of Khalabar, played by Kenneth Williams. A crisis occurs when the mystique of the "devils in skirts" of the 3rd Foot and Mouth regiment is exploded when one of their number, the sensitive-to-draughts Charles Hawtrey, is discovered by the natives to be wearing underpants. Revolt is in the offing, with Bernard Bresslaw once again playing a seething native warrior.

Roy Castle neatly plays the sort of role normally assigned to Jim Dale, as the ineffectual young officer, Peter Butterworth is a splendid compromised evangelist, while Terry Scott puts his comedic all into the role of the gruff Sergeant. Most enduring, however, is the final dinner party sequence in which the British contingent, with the Burpas at the gates of the compound, and plaster falling all about them, demonstrate typical insouciance in the face of imminent peril. The "I'm Backing Britain" Union Jack hoist at the end, however, over-excitedly reveals the streak of reactionary patriotism that lurked beneath the bumbling double-entendres of most Carry On films. --David Stubbs

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
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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By Jimmy VINE VOICE on 3 Sept. 2003
Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
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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