Carry On Don't Lose Your Head (DVD).CoverIMG

Carry On Don't Lose Your Head (DVD)
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Carry On Don't Lose Your Head  parodies the adventures of the Scarlet Pimpernel, with crinkly cackling Sid James as master of disguise the Black Fingernail and Jim Dale as his assistant Lord Darcy. He must rescue preposterously effete aristocrat Charles Hawtrey from the clutches of Kenneth Williams' fiendish Citizen Camembert and his sidekick Citizen Bidet (Peter Butterworth). The Black Fingernail is assisted in his efforts to thwart the birth of the burgeoning republic by the almost supernatural stupidity of his opponents, who fail to recognise the frankly undisguisable Sid James even when dressed as a flirty young woman.

In the grim days of the French revolution, citizens Camembert and Bidet are no match for the 'Black Fingernail'. Sid James stars as the heroic Englishman in the 'Carry On' spoof of 'The Scarlet Pimpernel'. With Kenneth Williams, Joan Sims and Jim Dale.

What with an executioner who is tricked into beheading himself in order to prove the efficacy of his own guillotine, it's all a little too easy. As usual, no groan-worthy pun is left unturned, or unheralded by the soundtrack strains of a long whistle or wah-wah trumpet. This is pretty silly stuff even by Carry Onstandards, with most of the cast barely required to come out of first gear and an overlong climactic swordfight sequence hardly raising the dramatic stakes. Most of the humour here resides neither in the script nor the characterisation but in the endlessly watchable Williams' whooping, nasal delivery (occasionally lapsing into broad Cockney) and the jowl movements of the always-underrated Butterworth. --David Stubbs.

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