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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...

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Angela Douglas ...
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Little Heap
Peter Butterworth ...
Doc
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Lionel Murton ...
Clerk
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Henchman Curly
Davy Kaye ...
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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:

THE STAMPEDE IS ON . . . and the Carry On Gang is wanted all over the west for leaving a trail of their brand of laughter! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Western

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Language:

Release Date:

26 November 1965 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Rumpo Kid  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For the stagecoach scene, you can see it racing across open country near Esher in Surrey with dust flying up from the wheels. This was provided by a crewman sitting in the coach with a powder gun and despite the fact that the horses were kicking up mud as it was one of the wettest days on location. See more »

Goofs

At the start of the film, the Rumpo Kid has a gunfight with three men. When the Rumpo Kid starts to draw, he shoots his left gun into the ground and then shoots his right gun at the three men in front of him. After that, he waves both guns around, but never fires another shot. Three men fall down, apparently killed by the one shot from the Rumpo Kid's right gun. See more »

Quotes

Belle Armitage: [admiring his gun] My, but you got a big one!
Johnny Finger: I'm from Texas, ma'am. We all got big ones down there.
See more »

Connections

Follows Carry on Cleo (1964) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

A different critter among Carry Ons
20 December 2007 | by See all my reviews

The theme of the tenderfoot pitched into the Wild West and cleaning it up was old by the time England's merry Pinewood pranksters tackled it.

In a sense, that is the history of the USA in a nutshell: disciplining the wilderness with the aid of the greenhorn's civilisation. "Destry Rides Again" and "The Paleface" had made a joke of the epic long since-- safe to do so once the frontier was closed and tamed-- and not long before, Britain's Kenneth More had visited Hollywood to play the Limey sheriff of Fractured Jaw. Mel Brooks would go over the old ground in "Blazing Saddles" and John Cleese would uphold the law in "Silverado".

Enter Jim Dale as the 1966-vintage innocent abroad: a sanitary engineer (first class), mistaken for the US marshal who can rid Stodge City of the baleful reign of terror of the Rumpo Kid. ("Rumpo" is an obsolescent Britishism for Sid James's favourite activity-- cf "tiffin" in "Carry On... Up the Khyber".) Abetted or hindered by a corruptible judge, a saloon madame, a drunken Indian, a whiskery and wheezy old Confederate colonel, a six-gun-totin' Annie Oakley and other stock figures from generations of fleapit oaters, P. Knutt does his best and worst.

Scriptwriter Talbot Rothwell was now well launched on the great period of Britain's most successful and durable film comedies. Historical spoofs inspired Rothwell: Cleo, Screaming, Khyber. This one is a little different, and perhaps falls a little short.

Attention to detail extends beyond the sets and mounting of the production, which always belied Carry On's "low budget" tag: the accents and horsemanship are more than adequate, the body language in the crowd scenes accurate enough to be mistaken for a Randolph Scott or Audie Murphy vehicle, and apart from Hawtrey (who is funnier for not trying to be anything but himself) the principals, like the script, stay firmly in the roles as written.

This Carry On eschews anachronistic and topical gags as well as calculated flaunting of its cheapness. It lacks some of the more incongruous belly laughs and double entendres we expect from Rothwell-- although "bullocks", to be reiterated in Khyber, are harnessed here already. Babs Windsor, who turned everything into a cockney music hall romp, is replaced by the more actressy and straightforwardly glamorous Angela Douglas; Kenneth Williams depicts an old man for once, with no epicene overtones; Sid, who had often played Yanks, is conscientious about remaining in character. He does not lean as much as usual on his dirty laugh or "cor blimey", more on a priapic snorting.

There is more action, less slapstick. Future stalwarts Butterworth and Bresslaw make their bows, and have not yet established themselves enough to be given a lot of personally tailored business. Running gags are displaced for plot twists. In short, this is one Carry On that leans on story and consistency more than on a string of harking-backs, catchphrases and skits to carry it through.

However, there are plenty of pleasures, if also some sadness in seeing Joan Sims take a back seat to the younger glamour girls, becoming the "old bag" before Sid's very eyes. Rothwell, instead of raiding his bag of old chestnuts, comes up with some lovely fresh ones such as Judge Burke assuring Knutt that some of his best friends were lynched- "there ain't no stigma to it out here".

Above all, though, this is where Sid decisively became the tentpole of the series-- in Cleo he had still contested with Williams for the limelight.

Like the best screen comedians and horror stars such as Karloff, Sid can command attention without being varied in his parts or versatile in his effects; he is a very limited actor who can make his repeated schticks and tricks funnier and funnier with repetition. He is the British cinema's Lord of Misrule; it's impossible to imagine that ageing, knowing rogue playing a depressed type, failing to lift a film or not cheering up an audience. He is a life force, and when he accepted he was too old to chase skirt on the Carry Ons, they could never be the same again.


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