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Carry on Pimpernel (1966)

Don't Lose Your Head (original title)
The time of the French revolution, and Citizen Robespierre is beheading the French aristocracy. When word gets to England, two noblemen, Sir Rodney Ffing and Lord Darcy take it upon ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sidney James ...
...
...
Charles Hawtrey ...
Peter Butterworth ...
Joan Sims ...
Dany Robin ...
Peter Gilmore ...
Marianne Stone ...
Landlady
Michael Ward ...
Henri
Leon Greene ...
David Davenport ...
Sergeant
Richard Shaw ...
Captain of Soldiers
Valerie Van Ost ...
Second Lady / Girl at Execution
Jennifer Clulow ...
First Lady
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Storyline

The time of the French revolution, and Citizen Robespierre is beheading the French aristocracy. When word gets to England, two noblemen, Sir Rodney Ffing and Lord Darcy take it upon themselves to aid there French counterparts. Sir Rodney is a master of disguise, and becomes "the black fingernail", scourge of Camembert and Bidet, leaders of the French secret police... Written by Simon N. McIntosh-Smith <Simon.N.Smith@cs.cf.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Carry On laughing until you have hysterics, but...Don't Lose Your Head!


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Details

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Release Date:

14 December 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Carry on Pimpernel  »

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Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Only film in the Carry On franchise not to have the "Carry On" prefix in its title. See more »

Goofs

When Camembert unfolds the Black Fingernail's calling card in his office, the shot of him doing it shows all four of the fingers of his left hand behind the paper. When we see that it is the calling card, his index and middle fingers have moved in front of the paper. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: Paris, 1789. The Great Revolution has begun. The hands of the masses are smeared with the blood of the poor bleeding aristocracy. Every day the tumbrels run a regular half-hour service between the Bastille and the many guillotines around the city. The growing mounds of noble heads are only matched by the growing mounds of unused return tickets. No-one is spared. Madame La Guillotine claims them all. Dukes and Duchesses, Lords and Ladies, men and women of both sexes. A dozen times ...
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Connections

Spoofs The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934) See more »

Soundtracks

La Marseillaise
(uncredited)
Written by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
Heard as a theme at different times
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User Reviews

 
Scarlet Pimpernel, ooh I say madame
7 September 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

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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