film

Carry On Cleo | 1964 | Sid James, Kenneth Williams

Proof that there is such a thing as a funny, or even hilarious Carry On film. "Infamy, infamy, they’ve all got it in for me"

Williams as Julius Caesar, toga’d up and as camp as Butlins gets to utter probably the most quoted line from all the Carry Ons: "Infamy, infamy, they’ve all got it in for me" is a stroke of genius in a script packed with similar gems by the series’ best writer, Talbot Rothwell.

This was the start of the series’ most essential era, with the equally brilliant Carry On Cowboy and Carry On Screaming following immediately. All the actors were available and hitting their peaks: Dale and Connor are excellent as the bumbling Brits who save the Roman Empire by accident; James is perfect as a leery, ambitious and cynical Mark Anthony (surely Shakespeare’s portrait to a T?); and in among the reliably funny performances from Williams, Hawtrey and Sims is an eye-catching turn from the gorgeous Barrie, not a regular but a memorable Queen of the Nile.

The costumes and set were ‘borrowed’ from Burton and Taylor’s Cleopatra. This is the better film.

cast
Sid James as Marc Anton
Kenneth Williams as Caeser
Jim Dale as Horsa
Amanda Barrie as Cleopatra
Joan Sims as Calpurnia
Kenneth Connor as Hengist Pod
Charles Hawtrey as Seneca
Julie Stevens as Gloria
Brian Oulton as Brutus
Michael Ward as Archimedes
Francis de Wolff as Agrippa
Victor Maddern as Segeant-Major
Sheila Hancock as Senna Pod
Jon Pertwee as Soothsayer
Wanda Ventham as Pretty Bidder

crew
Director Of Photography: Alan Hume
Costume Design: Julie Harris
Director: Gerald Thomas
Editor: Archie Ludski
Producer: Peter Rogers
Original Music Composer: Eric Rogers
Author: Talbot Rothwell

UK | 94 minutes | 1964

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