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a right carry on

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carry on up the jungle 1969

rating

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cast
 

Inigo Tinkle Frankie Howerd
Bill Boosey Sidney James
King Tonka Charles Hawtrey
Evelyn Bagley Joan Sims
Claude Chumley Kenneth Connor
Upsidasi Bernard Bresslaw
Jungle Boy Terry Scott
June Jacki Piper
Leda Valerie Leon
Gorilla Reuben Martin
Nerda Edwina Carroll
Nosha Chief Danny Daniels
Witch Doctor Yemi Ajibadi
Nosha with Girl Lincoln Webb
Pregnant Lubi Heather Emmanuel
Gong Lubi Verna MacKenzie
Lubi Lieutenant Valerie Moore
Lubi Lieutenant Cathi Marsh
Girl Nosha Nina Baden-Semper
Nosha Roy Stewart
Nosha John Hamilton
Nosha Willie Jonah
Nosha Chris Konyils
   
Screenplay Talbot Rothwell
Producer Peter Rogers
Director Gerald Thomas

plot

Professor Inigo Tinkle is back following a successful African search for the rare Oozulum Bird and is currently describing the terrors of the trek in a lantern lecture to the members of The Royal Birdwatching Society. The year is 1900.

In a flashback to the fated expedition, a camp for its participants - Lady Evelyn Bagley, her maid June, Claude Chumley, white hunter Bill Boosey and his faithful tracker Upsidasi is pitched in a jungle clearing. There is a quick cameo of things to come when Lady Evelyn - a middle aged but sex minded widow - enters a leaf built 'Ladies' hut. Suddenly there is a piercing scream and she shoots out with a gorilla hot on her heels. Boosey, whose passions pulse for Lady Evelyn, fumbles a cartridge in his gun and fires. Chumley's sun helmet is sent into orbit by the bullet, whilst the gorilla simply shrugs its shoulders and ambles off into the jungle.

In the distance Jungle Boy is disturbed by the shot. He looks puzzled as he puts his hair into home made curlers. A hunting knife in his teeth, he swings off....and promptly hits a tree.

At dinner in the jungle, Lady Evelyn details the dramatic disappearance of her husband Walter and baby son Cecil on an earlier safari. Walters watch was found in a dead crocodile.

Later, Jungle Boy spots June stripping off her frumpish dress for a dip, swings down and lands head first. He recovers and believes that June, who is kneeling beside him, is another man but is baffled by her highly developed chest. Watched by the gaping gorilla, they end up rolling playfully in a pool.

Chumley feverishly finds a nest and tail feather of the Oozulum bird. They are agog at that, when June appears nearly naked after the gorilla steals her clothes. Suddenly a bearer staggers into the clearing with two spears stuck in his back, resulting in the rest of the panicked porters bolting.

June leaves the camp for a date with Jungle Boy but misses him because Boosey - with dubious chivalry - insists on escorting her. They return to their separate bunks, but in a night of chaos, June mistakes the gorilla's grunts for Jungle Boy when he enters the tent. She manages to free herself and gets to Boosey's tent before she faints. Meanwhile Jungle Boy, looking for June, blunders into Lady Evelyn's tent and she mistakes him for Tinkle with whom she was flirting with earlier. As Jungle Boy breaks away, he leaves part of his loincloth and a large nappy pin which Lady Evelyn recognises as the one she stuck in her son Cecil's nappy before he disappeared. Elated, she dashes to Boosey's tent to tell him and is the second female in quick succession to faint in Boosey's arms. As this is happening, Professor Tinkle creeps quietly into Lady Evelyn's tent and in the dark, climbs into bed with the gorilla. Whilst Chumley is in Junes tent and is determined to seduce the occupant of her bed, unaware that Jungle Boy is under the covers instead.

Boosey has hit the bottle again, but the banging in his ears the following morning were not hangover hammers but the drums of the dreaded man-eating Nosha Tribe. The expedition therefore dig elephant pits to trap the Noshas, but only trap themselves and wind up waiting for their place in the stewpot.

The Nosha witchdoctor, bewitched by a musical watch, is a about to free them when Tinkle, carried away by the success of their bluff, calls upon the great sky gods to send down a sign of blessing and approval. At that moment Jungle Boy, who has bent a large sapling to catapult rocks in a bid to rescue June, sends himself sailing and lands in the stewpot. While sparks fly among the safari's ammunition boxes, the livid Nosha chief puts them back on the menu. They are rescued by the statuesque women warriors of the Lubidubi tribe who are wide-eyed with wonder at the sight of white men.

Lady Evelyn has to be a bearer while the coveted white men are litter-carried to Afrodisia - land of the Lubidubis, in order to save their strength for the work which lies ahead - mating. They go on to find that they are the only males in the tribe of four hundred women with the exception of their Chief - Tonka.

Tonka, King of Lovers, Master of Women and Father of Countless, enters to be recognised by Lady Evelyn as Walter, her missing, henpecked husband. Walter's sensual reign is rudely stopped and Lady Evelyn lands the jobs of Queen.

Boosey, Tinkle and Chumley are sent to the first of their daily marriage ceremonies. Their brides prove a parody of what was promised - they face four middle-aged, muscular Lubis chosen by Queen Evelyn.

Lady Evelyn, who is sabotaging the sex drive by choosing the worst looking mating partners, loses her crown and new ceremonies with sexy Lubies are fixed. Worse, Lady Evelyn's monopoly of Walter is ended and he joins the other men for general duties.

Jungle Boy and June, hidden away their tree-top love nest have, amongst other advances, improved Jungle Boy's English, but June is worried about the safari. However her fears are unfounded, as Upsidasi has brought rescuing soldiers. They creep into the camp and an escape plan is set, which will take place during the following day's marriage ceremony.

However, for Boosey, Tinkle, Chumley and Walter things have improved. After planning their escape with Upsidasi, they behold their new mates, who are absolutely stunning. Needless to say, they soon forget the signal they are supposed to give for their escape.

Jungle Boy watching from a tree top with June sees the soldiers ready to attack, and mistaking them for the enemy, hollers for his elephants.

Firing starts, the Lubis scatter while Tinkle and Walter grab birds of a different feather - Walter one of the Lubies and Tinkle the Oozulum bird.

To Jungle Boy's and June's delight the elephants squash the breath out of the soldiers and in the melee Boosey, Tinkle, Chumley, Walter, Lady Evelyn and Upsidasi make off. Evelyn makes Walter leave his lovely Lubi behind and she squeezes Jungle Boy in a most maternal embrace while the Lubis lead the captured soldiers triumphantly to their camp.

Back in London, Jungle Boy settles down in a wildly unconventional way with June and in the lecture hall the audience waits breathlessly for the first sight of the captive Oozulum bird. But the bird appears to have flown!

review

OK, the main thing you'll notice on viewing this one is the fact that it looks cheap - really cheap. Obviously the Carry On's budget couldn't stretch to location filming in deepest Africa, so E Stage in Pinewood made do. Stock footage is utilised throughout the film for shots of wild animals and so forth. However, despite the obvious budget limitations (a rare example of the series really overstretching itself) there is much to enjoy with this romp around the jungle.

Firstly there's the title track. Eric Rogers' title track is surely the most bonkers composition anyone ever wrote for the series. Even if the set doesn't fully convey the feeling of being in the jungle,
the title score with tribal chants, jungle drums, animal noises and the obligatory 'Oompah, Oompah, stick it up your jumper'  certainly will.

The film marks the second appearance by Frankie Howerd and the first film since 1964's Carry On Cleo for Kenneth Connor. Here they're paired up as a couple of ornithologists and they bounce off each other wonderfully.

Kenneth Connor
Jacki Piper
cameo Charles Haw

OK it's hardly Greystoke. But with a man running around in a dodgy gorilla suit causing trouble, who cares?

other information

During the planning of the film, an initial idea was to call the film 'Carry On Tarzan', however this proved to be impossible as the name Tarzan was the property of Edgar Rice Burroughs Properties and thus remained under copyright. Indeed all through shooting the film was known as 'Carry On Jungle Boy' and the name 'Carry On Up The Jungle' was only finalised after shooting had wrapped.

Nina Baden-Semper, who plays a Nosha went on to star as Barbie Reynolds in the much maligned 1970's sitcom 'Love Thy Neighbour'. Whilst gorilla Reuben Martin makes his first of three appearances. He also appeared (as a gorilla!) in the Carry on Laughing episode 'Lamp-Posts of the Empire' and Carry On Emmannuelle.

Major recasting occurred prior to shooting. Jim Dale was dreadfully unhappy about his offered role of Jungle Boy, mainly because the all the role consisted of was grunts and groans, so declined. Meanwhile Kenneth Williams was too busy with his BBC TV series 'The Kenneth Williams Show' and was unable to commit to the role of Professor Tinkle.

Whilst the punning alternative title of 'The African Queens' was kept in the film, the other titles of 'Don't Shoot 'til you See the Whites of their Thighs' and 'The Lust Continent' were shelved.

Almost immediately after shooting had finished, the cameras started rolling on the first Carry On Christmas television special.  Barbara Windsor, not in the film, but appearing in the special, trooped down to Pinewood to appear in publicity pictures on the jungle set. Click here to view.

Bernard Bresslaw went to extraordinary lengths to make his dialogue sound authentic.  Although initially written as gibberish, the orders that Bernard gave the natives were translated into the native African dialect Ndebele. However the actors playing the natives couldn't understand a word, as they were from the West Indies.

A BBC film crew went behind the scenes to film a documentary entitled 'Carry On Forever'. This was broadcast the following year.

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