BFI 100Movies

BFI 100: 99 – Carry On Up the Khyber (1968)

Here we continue, what will probably eventually become known as, the ill-fated journey of watching each of the British Film Institute’s 100 best films of the 20th Century. Starting at 100 and working my way to Orson Welles’ The Third Man at number 1. I’ll try to keep these blogs relatively spoiler free and I’ll consider them only a small record of moving through this series.

© The Rank Organisation
© The Rank Organisation

In sharp contrast to last night’s film which was captivating and moving, number 99 – Gerald Thomas’ appalling Carry On Up the Khyber – did nothing for me. Of course, the Carry On series is a dated, anachronistic series of spoofs based on innuendo and bawdy seaside postcard humour and it’s entirely possible it’s just not “my thing” – it can’t be so bad if it appears on a list of the greatest 100 British films. That said, for a comedy, it didn’t even raise a smile. Wikipedia tells me that “Colin McCabe, Professor of English at the University of Exeter, labelled this film (together with Carry On Cleo) as one of the best films of all time”. Colin McCabe is clearly an idiot.

When I started this series of films, I thought I might screenshot a particularly beautiful scene from each film and use it to illustrate the blog-post. For this film, the most affecting image was the title card proclaiming “the end”.

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