6.5/10
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Don't Lose Your Head (1967)

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 »

Director:

Gerald Thomas

Writer:

Talbot Rothwell (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sidney James ... Sir Rodney Ffing / The Black Fingernail
Kenneth Williams ... Citizen Camembert
Jim Dale ... Lord Darcy Pue
Charles Hawtrey ... Duc de Pommfrit
Peter Butterworth Peter Butterworth ... Citizen Bidet
Joan Sims ... Désirée Dubarry
Dany Robin ... Jacqueline
Peter Gilmore ... Citizen Robespierre
Marianne Stone ... Landlady
Michael Ward Michael Ward ... Henri
Leon Greene ... Malabonce
David Davenport David Davenport ... Sergeant
Richard Shaw Richard Shaw ... Captain of Soldiers
Valerie Van Ost ... Second Lady / Girl at Execution
Jennifer Clulow 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!


Certificate:

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 December 1967 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Carry On Pimpernel See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Peter Rogers Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the Good Friday 2016 early morning, 7am start, daytime broadcast, the UK's ITV 2 kept in the infamous "Count" dialogue lines during the Duc de Pommfrit talking to Desiree Dubarry scene, at about 46:14. The part where Joan Sims is in the garden with Charles Hawtrey where she says "my cousin, the count", which a mishearing implies shes saying "my cousin, the '[C' word]". You can hear a smirk from Charles Hawtrey then see Joan Sims about to kill herself laughing just before the camera cuts to the next scene. It was always there, but its plausible that it was probably originally left in to push the censor for the cut negotiations and it was left in for the original cinema releases. Primary ITV channel TV company ITV PLC now own the Rank Organisation films outright, would have several alternate broadcast edit versions pre-prepared, so this may have been an error in playing the wrong version. That particuar word Count, which in the scene can easily be mis-heard as the swearword, which rhymes with hunt, is considered the strongest swearword to broadcast in the UK, on a par with the "N word in the USA, so it is very rare to hear the actual word. The late evening showings of this Carry On film, leaves this scene intact too. See more »

Goofs

All the aristocrats are shown being executed facing upwards. In real life, they were executed facing downwards into the basket. The only person to be executed facing up was Robespierre. 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 ...
See more »

Connections

Followed by Carry on Girls (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

Don't Lose Your Head
Written by Bill Martin and Phil Coulter
Executed by Mike Sammes (as The Michael Sammes Singers)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Ffing good!
28 January 2015 | by BA_HarrisonSee all my reviews

Having been replaced by Harry H. Corbett for Carry On Screaming following a heart attack, Sid James rejoins the Carry On line-up for Don't Lose Your Head and puts in one of his funniest performances ever as British dandy Sir Rodney Ffing, who, along with his good friend Lord Darcy Pue (Jim Dale), travels to France to rescue French aristocrats from the guillotine. Whether camping it up in powdered wig and make up while affecting a lisp as the effete Ffing, or cutting a dash as his daring alter ego The Black Fingernail, James can do no wrong, milking every gag for all its worth, wringing laughs from even the corniest double entendre. Sid's most definitely back and he's loving every minute!

The rest of the regulars are also on fine form: Dale is delightful as Ffing's foppish pal Darcy, Williams plays the part of French Chief of Secret Police Camembert with gusto, Hawtrey is hilarious as wimpish aristocrat Duc de Pommfrit, Peter Butterworth does bumbling brilliantly as Citizen Bidet, and the lovely Joan Sims (my favourite Carry On performer) is utterly charming as ample-bosomed Désirée Dubarry. Of course, it doesn't hurt that they're working with such a wonderful script, which is sharper than the blade on Madame la Guillotine: the gags flow thick and fast, with fantastic puns, impeccable innuendo, cheesy one-liners, and even a couple of wonderful moments where the characters break the fourth wall to address the audience.

After much hilarity, viewers are treated to a rousing finale featuring a surprisingly well choreographed sword-fight scene involving James, Hawtree and Dale (Sid seems remarkably sprightly for a man whose recently had a heart attack!) and lots of knockabout stunts, including copious chandelier swinging. It's a great way to conclude what proves to be one of the most enjoyable entries in the series.


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