Carry On up the Jungle - Special Edition

Starring: Frankie Howerd, Sid James, Charles Hawtrey, Joan Sims, Terry Scott, Kenneth Connor, Bernard Bresslaw and Jackie Piper
Carlton Visual Entertainment
RRP: 12.99
Certificate: PG
Available now

Carry On team go ape crazy in darkest Africa as Professor Inigo Tinkle and his clumsy sidekick, Claude Chumley, embark on a bird fancying expedition. Primitive passions are unleashed, a forgotten tribe of gorgeous man-hungry females is encountered and a loin-clothed, vine-swinging jungle boy is the unlikely hero in this riotous romp. Sid James as the fearless white hunter Bill Boosey, Joan Sims as the haughty Lady Bagley and Charles Hawtrey as Tonka - father of countless, happily get native for this classic Carry On...

Carry On Up the Jungle is pretty average for a Carry On movie. Poor jokes, laughing at wobbly bits and the hint of something slightly rude... yup all these elements are neatly in place... but there seems to be something missing.

That something happens to be Kenneth Williams. The part of Professor Tinkle, eventually played by Frankie Howerd, was offered to Williams, but due to the writing schedule for The Kenneth Williams Show, he declined. He was then offered the part of King Tonka, played eventually by Charles Hawtrey. Willams was disgusted that the part wasn't on screen until almost the end and refused. Howerd turns in an admirable enough performance, but it obvious from the start that the role was written for Williams.

Terry Scott's "Tarzan" character would have been much funnier if the writers hadn't insisted that every time he swings on a vine he hits a tree or misses his landing spot. And what on earth is it about a man in a gorilla suit that is supposed to be funny? There are also hints of racism running throughout this episode which don't help matters.

This DVD includes an audio commentary by Jacki Piper and Valerie Leon; photo gallery with captions; theatrical trailer; and an episode of Carry On Laughing: The Nine Old Cobblers.

Entertaining enough, but you might find yourself needing a nap before the movie reaches the end.

Nick Smithson

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