Mustapha Leek! Originally released under the title Follow That Camel, Carry On Follow That Camel is the 14th entry in the long running series. Story plays out as a historical parody of the Beau Geste type of movies, thrusting Jim Dale and Peter Butterworth into the French Foreign Legion. There they are at the mercy of Commandant Maximilian Burger (Kenny Williams) and Sergeant Nocker (Phil Silvers brought in to try and boost American ticket sales). Japery is prominent as the not so intrepid Legionnaires get involved with an angry army of Bedouins led by Sheikh Abdul Abulbul (Bernard Bresslaw). Joan Sims has a minor role as a big cleavage landlady, while it's Angela Douglas snagging the main gal role as Lady Jane Ponsonby, with a running gag of her sexual innocence being mined for all it's worth. It's actually a better film than the iffy reputation afforded it. True, missing big hitters like Sid James and Hattie Jacques is felt, but Silvers is ebullient playing a Bilko character, while it's nice to see the excellent Jim Dale bag the English lead and not letting anyone down. It sits somewhere in the middle scale of Carry On films, neither too bawdy nor like the genial black and whites. But plenty of laughs to be had and it's a good production, the Camber Sands locations surprisingly passing muster as the Legionnaires desert hell. Well constructed battle sequences for the finale as well. 7/10
This time, it's "Beau Geste" and the Foreign Legion that get's the "Carry On" treatment as Jim Dale arrives at a desert fortress under the strict command of "Burger" (Kenneth Williams) ably abetted by Phil Silvers' "Sgt. Nocker". Clearly, someone thought that importing him into this might breathe some fresh air into the franchise. Sadly, for me at any rate, it doesn't. He just overwhelms the whole thing with this rather brash and unsubtle humour and coupled with the over-use of the annoying Dale this just ends up being a rather messy desert-meleé that sees the troop getting lost before getting found and then combatting the evil Sheikh "Abdul Abulbul" (Bernard Bresslaw) to secure the "Nooki" oasis. Joan Sims and Charles Hawtrey are here alright, but neither really gets much opportunity to gatecrash the "Bilko"-ing of the film and it sort of reminded me of that old adage about something not being broke... It's a shame, though - this subject matter could have provided quite a rich seam for their style of comedy had it just concentrated on what it had been good at, kept it British - and not tried to internationalise itself.
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