Publicity

 


Story

Accused of cheating at cricket, Bo West (Jim Dale) has just one option - to accept dishonour, turn his back on the life he knew and run away to join the Foreign Legion.  With his faithful batman, Simpson (Peter Butterworth) in tow, Bo arrives to find the Legion locked in a bitter struggle with Sheikh Abdul Abulbul (Bernard Bresslaw).

Meanwhile, back in England, Bo’s intended, Lady Jane Ponsonby (Angela Douglas) discovers that he was innocent all along and sets off to the desert to restore Bo’s good name.

 

A Peter Rogers Production
Directed by Gerald Thomas

1967
Colour

Screenplay: Talbot Rothwell
Music: Eric Rogers
Certificate A/PG
90 minutes

Sergeant Knocker - Phil Silvers
Commandant Burger Kenneth Williams
Bertram Oliphant West -

Jim Dale

Captain Le Pice -

Charles Hawtrey

Simpson - Peter Butterworth
Zigzig -

Joan Sims

Sheikh Abdul Abulbul

- Bernard Bresslaw
Lady Jane Ponsonby -

Angela Douglas

Corktip - Anita Harris
Corporal Clotski - John Bluthall
Sir Cyril Ponsonby - William Mervyn
Captain Bagshaw - Peter Gilmore
Ticket Collector - Julian Holloway
Riff - Larry Taylor
Raff - Richard Hurndall
Doctor - Julian Orchard
Hotel Manager - David Glover
Ship's Officer - Vincent Ball

 

 

"When the Carry On team head for the sea of sand, there's a legion of laughs to be had, plus pure gold in Phil Silvers' raucous performance as Sergeant Nocker.

Carry On Follow That Camel is an historical spectacular with a host of harem beauties, a bevy of blood thirsty Bedouins and a troupe of Legionnaires getting the hump!"

 

Review

There is something not quite right about Carry On Follow that Camel.  Of course, the absence of Sid and the flying in of Phil Silvers stands out but there is a bigger problem in that there are simply too many characters playing against type.  With Kenneth Williams as the hard German commandant and Hawtrey as his uptight adjutant there is too much that is all at odds with what usually passes for a Carry On.  Williams isn’t arch enough, Hawtrey not silly enough and Silvers not Sid enough.  But Bilko in a Carry On?  Well, that at least does work. Silvers fits in perfectly with the rest of the team, sparking brilliantly off of the other cast members, especially Dale and Butterworth.

So what’s wrong with Follow that Camel?  To my mind, it’s an underlying but ever-present sense of desperation.  Not so much in the script which crackles with Rothwell’s customary wit, but in the very concept.  Dishonour, lies, deceit, cuckolded lovers, even rape; all these things are not the ingredients of a feel-good film.  Add to that several of the core members playing characters they are not really suited for and the result is an entertaining and funny film which is undermined by too many factors which are anything but Carry On.  While there are plenty of gags that work and some wonderful set pieces, Follow that Camel is ultimately rather a mean-spirited film.