Stodge City is in the grip of the Rumpo Kid and his gang. Mistaken identity again takes a hand as a "sanitary engineer" (plumber) by the name of Marshal P. Knutt is mistaken for a law marshal! Being the conscientious sort, Marshal tries to help the town get rid of Rumpo, and a showdown is inevitable. Marshal has two aids - revenge-seeking Annie Oakley and his sanitary expertise...
Stodge City is in the grip of the Rumpo Kid and his gang. Mistaken identity again takes a hand as a "sanitary engineer" (plumber) by the name of Marshal P. Knutt is mistaken for a law marshal! Being the conscientious sort, Marshal tries to help the town get rid of Rumpo, and a showdown is inevitable. Marshal has two aids - revenge-seeking Annie Oakley and his sanitary expertise...Written by
Simon N. McIntosh-Smith <Simon.N.Smith@cs.cf.ac.uk>
A snatch of 'America the Beautiful' is heard, but this song was first published many years after the setting of the film. See more »
Send him a Marshall. Anything for peace.
That's just the trouble, sir. We haven't any available.
Nobody? What about that big head who's always hanging around here looking for work? What's his name? Dillon. What's he doing?
See more »
The UK theatrical releases edited out some double-entendres to obtain an "A" rating. All video versions since then have been of this cut. See more »
This is not only one of the best sustained efforts from the “Carry On” crew but a classic film in its own right. I had mentioned it as a rare example of a British Western spoof when I recently watched THE FROZEN LIMITS (1939) with The Crazy Gang; incidentally, the film’s style is pretty close to that of BLAZING SADDLES (1974) – but it actually anticipates Mel Brooks by almost a decade!
There are so many inspired gags in this outing (right from the opening sequence with the black-clad Rumpo Kid arriving in town and immediately gunning down three men, only to then ask himself “I wonder what they wanted?”) that it’s hard to remember them all – even a mere couple of hours later. Notable, however, is the merciless lampoon of the Wyatt Earp legend by making its namesake here (played by soon-to-be Dr. Who Jon Pertwee) – and whom the Mayor even addresses as Twerp – completely useless, being both short-sighted and hard of hearing!
The “Carry On” stalwarts are in top form, foremost among them Sidney James (as the afore-mentioned Rumpo Kid, amiable outlaw leader – in urgent need of cash at the saloon, he excuses himself to casually hold-up the bank situated just opposite!), Kenneth Williams (as the Mayor of Stodge City – reportedly, he lifted his American accent from legendary comedy producer Hal Roach), Jim Dale (as Marshall P. Knutt, a sanitary engineer mistaken for the new sheriff because of his name!), Charles Hawtrey (as the unlikeliest Indian Chief ever – he’s actually introduced emerging from a tepee-cum-lavatory!) and Joan Sims (as the traditionally sultry saloon hostess); besides, Angela Douglas (who subsequently appeared in three more “Carry Ons” and would later become Mrs. Kenneth More!) – playing the real-life Annie Oakley – makes for an extremely charming gun-toting heroine.
The last third of the film turns into a spoof on the seminal HIGH NOON (1952) – with Dale left to face James and his gang alone in a delightful, and most original, climax. Incidentally, the sheriff’s heroic resistance of a stagecoach raid by Hawtrey’s Indian warriors (ending with James – who engineered it – disappointingly quipping, “I’ve met braver cowards than you braves!”) was actually the work of Douglas i.e. in the vein of THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE (1962); Dale’s subsequent awkward coaching in the handling of firearms, then, is hilarious. Another influence from classic Westerns is in the catfight between Sims and Douglas – in this case drawing on DESTRY RIDES AGAIN (1939).
While CARRY ON COWBOY’s send-up of a popular genre easily makes it one of the gang’s best-known entries, I was surprised to learn that it’s not held in highest regard by even staunch fans of the series – such as the people behind the official “Carry On” website, citing its (deliberate) lack of authenticity as a major drawback; I couldn’t disagree more since, to my mind, the level of humor and ingenuity displayed throughout is soaring indeed for this erratic (and idiosyncratically crude) brand-name...
18 of 22 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this