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Carry on Cleo (1964)

Carry On Cleo (original title)
Not Rated | | Adventure, Comedy, History | 25 October 1965 (USA)
Two Britons, Hengist and Horsa, are captured and enslaved by invading Romans and taken to Rome. One of their first encounters in Rome leaves Hengist being mistaken for a fighter, and gets drafted into the Royal Guard to protect Caesar.


Gerald Thomas


Talbot Rothwell (original screenplay), William Shakespeare (original idea)




Cast overview, first billed only:
Sidney James ... Mark Antony
Kenneth Williams ... Julius Caesar
Kenneth Connor ... Hengist Pod
Charles Hawtrey ... Seneca
Joan Sims ... Calpurnia
Jim Dale ... Horsa
Amanda Barrie ... Cleopatra
Victor Maddern ... Sergeant-Major
Julie Stevens ... Gloria
Sheila Hancock ... Senna Pod
Jon Pertwee ... Soothsayer
Francis De Wolff Francis De Wolff ... Agrippa
Michael Ward Michael Ward ... Archimedes
Brian Oulton ... Brutus
Tom Clegg Tom Clegg ... Sosages


Two Britons are captured and enslaved by invading Romans and taken to Rome. Hengist Pod creates useless inventions, while Horsa is a brave and cunning fighter. One of their first encounters in Rome leaves Hengist being mistaken for a fighter, and gets drafted into the Royal Guard to protect Caesar. Cleo doesn't want him around and plots for his sudden demise... Written by Simon N. McIntosh-Smith <Simon.N.Smith@cs.cf.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The funniest film since 54BC See more »


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Apparently Richard Burton and Liz Taylor loved the film and would show it at parties that they hosted on their Yacht. . Liz even said it was better than Cleopatra.. See more »


There was no "emperor's throne" in Julius Caesar's time, nor was he an emperor. See more »


Seneca: [singing] Wherever, I wander, there's no place like ROME!
See more »


Followed by Carry on Behind (1975) See more »

User Reviews

A Wonderfully Metatheatrical Comedy
18 September 2016 | by l_rawjalaurenceSee all my reviews

Perhaps the best of the entire CARRY ON cycle, notable for its reuse of the sets and costumes originally conceived for Joseph L. Mankiewicz's monumental folly CLEOPPATRA (1963), CARRY ON CLEO contains its fair share of innuendo - so thick and intricate, in fact, that viewers can only tease out the brilliance of Talbot Rothwell's script after repeated viewings.

Yet perhaps uniquely among the cycle, this film contains memorable performances too. Amanda Barrie has never been more seductive as Cleopatra she she lolls in her bath of asses' milk tempting Mark Antony (Sidney James) to join her. She remains gloriously empty- headed when faced with any schemes to enact, but certainly knows how to deal with men, especially the duffer Julius Caesar (Kenneth Williams). It is only when she gives Briton Hengist Pod (Kenneth Connor) a love-potion, transforming him from a mouse into a sexual Lothario that she meets her match.

What perhaps distinguishes this film, however, is its metatheatrical awareness. Director Gerald Thomas makes no bones about tracing its origins in music-hall and variety; jokes are delivered as separate lines direct to camera with little concern for dramatic verisimilitude. The cast have no need to; they know that the viewers are waiting for the next innuendo, and they are prepared to glance briefly at the camera before delivering it, taking us into their confidence as they do so.

This makes for both a liberating yet a lasting experience; we feel that we are somehow complicit with the actors in a ritual that we all know and love. It doesn't really matter what the film's subject might be; as if going to pantomime or a variety show, we are there to see our favorite actors doing what they are best at, and participating in a community experience of cathartic laughter. It is this unique quality, shared only by a few films (others might include Abbott and Costello or the Marx Brothers) that invests them with their timeless qualities.

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Official Sites:

Carry On Line





Release Date:

25 October 1965 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Caligula: Funniest Home Videos See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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