6.2/10
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Carry on Cowboy (1965)

Not Rated | | Comedy , Western | 26 November 1965 (UK)
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...

Director:

Gerald Thomas

Writer:

Talbot Rothwell (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sidney James ... Johnny Finger, the Rumpo Kid
Kenneth Williams ... Judge Burke
Jim Dale ... Marshal P. Knutt
Charles Hawtrey ... Chief Big Heap
Joan Sims ... Belle Armitage
Angela Douglas Angela Douglas ... Annie Oakley
Bernard Bresslaw ... Little Heap
Peter Butterworth Peter Butterworth ... Doc
Percy Herbert ... Charlie, the Bartender
Jon Pertwee ... Sheriff Albert Earp
Sydney Bromley ... Sam Houston
Edina Ronay ... Dolores
Lionel Murton Lionel Murton ... Clerk
Peter Gilmore ... Henchman Curly
Davy Kaye Davy Kaye ... Josh the Undertaker
Edit

Storyline

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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

How the west was hilariously lost!! [Australia] See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Western

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Carry On Line

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 November 1965 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Rumpo Kid See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Peter Rogers Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Beatles were being considered for a western called A Talent for Loving in 1965, giving Peter Rogers and Gerald Thomas a challenge to see whether they could beat them at the box office. (Ultimately, The Beatles unanimously rejected the script; A Talent for Loving (1969) was released instead in 1969 starring Richard Widmark, Topol, and Cesar Romero.) See more »

Goofs

A snatch of 'America the Beautiful' is heard, but this song was first published many years after the setting of the film. See more »

Quotes

Johnny Finger: [the opening scene after he shoots the three men] I wonder what they wanted?
See more »

Connections

Followed by Carry on England (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

Carry on Cowboy
Music by Eric Rogers
Lyrics by Alan Rogers
See more »

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User Reviews

 
CARRY ON COWBOY (Gerald Thomas, 1965) ***
12 January 2008 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

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...


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