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a right carry on

quad poster

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carry on cowboy 1965

rating

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cast
 

The Rumpo Kid Sidney James
Judge Burke Kenneth Williams
Marshall Jim Dale
Annie Oakley Angela Douglas
Chief Big Heap Charles Hawtrey
Little Heap Bernard Bresslaw
Doc Peter Butterworth
Belle Joan Sims
Sheriff Earp Jon Pertwee
Charlie Percy Herbert
Curly Peter Gilmore
Sam Houston Sydney Bromley
Fiddler Alan Gifford
Joshua Moses Davy Kaye
Dolores Edina Ronay
Smithy Tom Clegg
Miss Jones Margaret Nolan
Coach Guard Brian Rawlinson
Clerk Lionel Murton
Bank Manager Michael Nightingale
Kitkata Sally Douglas
Slim Garry Colleano
Perkins Larry Cross
Short Simon Cain
Mex Cal McCord
Old Cowhand Arthur Lovegrove
Coach Driver George Mossman
Trapper Brian Coburn
Bridget Gloria West
Cowhand Hal Galili
Rider Richard O'Brien
Piano Player Eric Rogers
   
Screenplay Talbot Rothwell
Producer Peter Rogers
Director Gerald Thomas

promotional material


cartoon strip - part 1

cartoon strip - part 2

cartoon strip - part 3

cartoon strip - part 4

cartoon strip - part 5

sheet music of the theme tune

abc film review cover - dec 1965

abc film review article - dec 1965
click here to view the text from this article

plot

Until the feared Rumpo Kid rides into Stodge City one day, this western town is a haven of peace, only Josh the local undertaker bemoaning the lack of business.

But all that changes when the Kid arrives. In no time at all he finds the leading citizens, Judge Burke, Doc, Sam the Rancher, Charlie the Barman and Belle, the well-built owner of the saloon, are not equipped to resist his take-over bid. Indeed, Charlie and Belle are glad that the Kid's arrival promises to liven things up, however the Judge has other ideas. He calls the Sheriff to put the Kid out of town, but before that guardian of the law can even adjust his spectacles, the Kid has shot him down.

Burke immediately cables Washington for a U.S. Marshal and in the office of the Commissioner for Internal Affairs it just so happens that Marshall P. Knutt, a not-too-bright sanitary engineer from England is looking for a job. The Commissioner, thinking that Marshall's first name implies he is a law officer immediately dispatches Knutt for Stodge City. So the engineer sets off happily, imagining that his job of 'cleaning up' the town means putting the drains in order.

Back in Stodge, lawlessness runs rife as cattle are rustled, the bank is robbed and Josh does a roaring trade for coffins. On his way to Stodge, Knutt meets up with attractive young Annie Oakley - who is on her way to Stodge to avenge her Sheriff Fathers death. The Rumpo Kid, learning of the Marshal's impending arrival conspires with the local Indian Chief, Big Heap, and his son Little Heap to waylay the stagecoach, but thanks to the marksmanship of Annie, the Indians are repelled. Knutt, firing wildly at all and sundry is unaware that Annie's bullets are the ones shooting down the Indians and he arrives at Stodge full of confidence.

Belle has set her sights on the Rumpo Kid, but as soon as he sees Annie he makes a great play for her and tells her in a moment of boastfulness that he killed the Sheriff. Annie rigs a lethal trap to kill the Kid, but Charlie becomes the unintended victim.

Meanwhile Knutt has discovered the mistake, which has brought him to Stodge, but in spite of his lack of experience he vows to clean up the town. However, in selecting a posse to hunt down the cattle rustlers he picks two of Rumpo's own men who, not surprisingly, manage to frame Knutt as the cattle thief. He is rescued from lynching only by the timely intervention of Annie.

When Knutt confronts the Rumpo Kid and accuses him of his crimes, the Kid manages to put the blame on a drunken Big Heap whom the Kid has brought to town. When Big Heap is arrested, the Kid has him rescued and Knutt is locked in his own gaol.

Later, the kid lures Judge Burke to his hideout and tries to bribe him, but the judge discloses that the Marshal is, in fact, a sanitary engineer. The Kid, furious at the deception, sends a message that he will meet Knutt in the town’s main-street for a showdown at high noon.

However, Annie takes Knutt in hand, teaches him the rudiments of gunplay and when the showdown comes, Knutt's knowledge of the towns drainage system proves useful in discrediting the Kid and bringing peace once again to Stodge.

review


So we turn to the teams only effort in 1965, and following the magnificent Cleo, it's a bit of a let down. Of all of the series Carry On Cowboy is the most violent, with references to lynching, burying the dead and plenty of gunfights. However the main problem lies with the characterisations of the cast. In Cleo, they were playing to type, e.g. Sid was essentially Sid the Cockney. Here we see him as a no good cowboy villain, putting on a not entirely convincing American accent. Kenneth Williams does the same, only as the cowardly Judge Burke. Of all the stars only two; Jim Dale and an excellent support from Charles Hawtrey, remain the characters that we know and love. That's not to say the film isn't entertaining. The series made worse films than this. But it's not as good an example of the whole Carry On genre as the aforementioned Cleo or such gems as Up the Khyber or At your Convenience.

The film sees the first appearances of Carry On stalwarts Bernard Bresslaw and Peter Butterworth, but compared to some of their later roles, they don't really have a lot to do. It also marked the first appearances of Angela Douglas, who would go on to star in the next three films and Margaret Nolan, the busty star who would join the fun in the early 1970's.

Meanwhile Jon Pertwee, he of the great cameos, puts in another excellent turn as Sheriff Earp, whilst Joan Sims gives a truly great performance as Saloon owner Belle.

As is usual during this period of the series' history, all the sets look magnificent. It really does look like the team went to the US to film rather than Pinewood studios and Chobham Common!

Overall then, one to watch and enjoy, but there are a lot finer examples in the series' cannon.

other information

Although very difficult to spot, the creator of the Rocky Horror Picture Show and original presenter of The Crystal Maze makes a brief appearance here as an Indian Rider.

This was the first film that the film overran, by one day. This was caused by inclement weather at the beginning of shooting.

Series music composer Eric Rogers makes a brief appearance as the Saloon piano player.

The main street has a sharp turn at the end to disguise the fact that there was no wild prairie at Pinewood Studios.

Rumour has it that Angela Douglas was terrified about her singing sequence. Joan Sims literally pushed her onto the sound stage, having given her two brandies before she went on!

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