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What A Carve Up [1961] [DVD]

4.4 out of 5 stars 127 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Sid James, Kenneth Connor, Donald Pleasence, Shirley Eaton, Dennis Price
  • Directors: Pat Jackson
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Platform Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 11 Aug. 2008
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00198QRJ0
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 14,732 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

Ernie s Uncle Gabriel has just died but to claim his inheritance he must spend the night in the ancestral family home with the rest of his rather eccentric relatives. Ernie s imagination has been affected by his constant immersion in cheap horror novels, but his wildest fears turn out to be justified when the guests begin to drop dead.

Starring Carry On stalwarts and all round British comedy legends Kenneth Connor and Sid James, What A Carve Up! is classic British humour at its very best.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I love this movie, it's not perfect but a great sunday afternoon film. Sid James, Kenneth Connor, Shirley Eaton - yum. Unfortunately the DVD is fairly poor and appears to be mastered from an old TV transfer. I'm sure that terrestrial TV has shown a better version in recent years.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Best known today as the inspiration behind Jonathan Coe's best-selling 1994 satirical novel of the same name, What A Carve Up (1961) is one of the truly guilty pleasures of British film comedy's golden age, a ghoulish horror spoof that weaves aspects of James Whale's The Old Dark House (1932) with Agatha Christie's classic novel And Then There Were None into its story of a group of relatives lured to a gothic pile on the Yorkshire moors for the reading of a recently-deceased uncle's will. Carry On regulars Sidney James and Kenneth Connor are the jokers in the pack, whilst the supporting cast is filled out by the stunning Shirley Eaton, character star Dennis Price, and horror veterans Donald Pleasence and Michael Gough. The movie manages a fine balance between its priceless Carry On-style comic business and an atmospherically creepy mystery aided by some dingy black-and-white photography and an excellently portentous score. Director Pat Jackson (Don't Talk to Strange Men) brings the whole thing off in style, maximising the comedy talents of James and Connor (who irritates far less here than he did in several of his early Carry On appearances), whilst the likes of Pleasence and Gough's familiarity from the chillers of the period gives the whole thing a feeling of legitimacy (both actors' introductions are ridiculously overblown and hilarious). The plot, of course, makes hardly any sense and is reliant on a ridiculous number of contrivances to get the audience through the barrage of horror movie clichés on display, but the whole thing is so good-humoured and well-played that it hardly matters.
Unfortunately, this DVD release is not in the same league as the film itself.
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Format: DVD
I enjoyed this when it was first released in the cinema, and bought the DVD out of curiosity, to see how it stood the test of time.
The answer was... surprisingly well! The script is full of terrible inconsistencies, but it has a good ensemble cast, and is, on the whole one of the better British comedies of that period.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Sid James needs no introduction and, teamed up with Kenneth Connor, they almost make a double-act. Sid plays his usual role as the "Spiv" (this time, he's a bookmaker) and Ken plays a proof-reader of what were probably "Penny Dreadfuls". Even Donald Pleasence appears as the creepy solicitor.

Kenneth becomes a "beneficiary" ("you filthy swine; how long can they give you for that?") of his uncle Gabriel's estate. In order to collect his inheritance (whatever it may be), he has to go to "Blackshaw Towers"; the family home. (He is forced to do so, because his solicitor says that if he doesn't there may be "serious if not fatal consequences"!) Sid condescends to go with him and the two soon find themselves at a desolate and foggy railway station, without any directions or means of transport to the said Blackshaw Towers. However, Sid manages to find a hearse - a Rolls-Royce - to take them there (or, at least part of the way there: "Give or take a mile")! Poor Ken has to sit in the back ("There's room for one in't-back"!) ("I've a good mind to report you to the Pallbearers' Union"). They'll have to mind "them bogs": "They've claimed many a victim". "And so have you!".

Once they arrive at Blackshaw Towers, they firstly see the splendour of the family residence, where Sid wouldn't get 30 bob for the "priceless heirlooms", at the church bazaar. However, he can't help but notice the magnificent moose-head mounted on the wall: "He must have been going like a bomb when he hit that wall!".

Soon after, they encounter the rest of the family, including Guy (Dennis Price) who enjoys a tipple rather too much! ("If they've got Guy, they've got Guy's gun!" and "Don't forget Guy!") Aunt Emily (Esma Cannon) ("It's in my reticule.
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Format: VHS Tape
Kenneth Connor may have perfected his role as a bumbling idiot in the Carry On films, but the role of Ernie in 'What a Carve Up!' was made for him. Kenneth revels in being flirtatious with a wonderful Shirley Eaton, whilst being absolutely petrified of everything else around him. The horror may not be like the modern films, but there are a few very spine-chilling moments.
Sidney James was also born to play his role as schmoosing lawyer Sid, but its Kenneth who takes all the best scenes, and gets the biggest laughs. Watch out for Donald Pleasance and Micheal Gough in some smaller, and yet equally scary roles, who each manage to add a very sinister air to the film.
The plot may not be 'new' but the atmosphere and the characters make this a very entertaining and individual film all round. Very, very good.
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Format: DVD
This is a great film for all ages one fit for a family to watch together. Some of the faces are recognisable as they are from the Carry on team and you can see they work well together, especially Sid James and Kennith Connor in the lead together. A great film to buy and watch on a cold, rainy day, or a quiet evening in. You will laugh out in many places and has a good story line.
All in all I recommend this film, a good old British comedy.
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