The Carry On Collection (2007)
Carry On Cowboy (1965)

Starring: Sid James, Kenneth Williams, Jim Dale, Charles Hawtrey, Joan Sims, Angela Douglas, Peter Butterworth, Bernard Bresslaw and Jon Pertwee
Optimum Classic
RRP: 12.99
Certificate: PG
Available 29 January 2007

A hilarious romp through the bars and bedrooms of the Wild West with the
Carry On gang. Sid James is on top form as the Rumpo Kid, an outlaw who shakes up the sleepy residents of Stodge City. Kenneth Williams is the puritanical judge, and Jim Dale plays Marshall P Knutt, a hapless plumber mistakenly sent to clean up the town. This is classic Carry On with a cast of Carry On favourites, including Charles Hawtrey as firewater guzzling Chief Big Heap, Joan Sims and Bernard Bresslaw...

Stodge City is being terrorised by outlaw The Rumpo Kid and his gang. The town's judge calls for a sheriff and, due to a case of mistaken identity, ends up with a sanitary engineer. With the help of Annie Oakley, Marshall Knutt takes on The Rumpo Kid.

I'm going to be a little controversial here. While some fans regard Carry On Cowboy as a classic movie, I really found it hard going. I'd definitely have to say it's in my list of worst Carry On's ever made.

First of all, the fact that the majority of the gang adopt ridiculously fake American accents means that I spent the best part of the movie cringing.

Jon Pertwee has a brief role as the short lived Marshall. The most annoying thing about this role is that he labours the part of being short-sighted. Walking into walls is funny once... maybe twice, but after half a dozen times it starts to get a little long in the tooth. Kenneth Williams doesn't come away unscathed. This is arguably his most annoying role in the franchise.

On a positive side, the sets, lighting and costumes are great - it actually looks like a fairly expensive movie. It's just a shame that the script isn't up to much.

This also sees the first appearance of Peter Butterworth, Bernard Bresslaw and Angela Douglas.

Extras include an audio commentary with Angela Douglas and Carry On historian Robert Ross; stills gallery; trailer and trivia notes.

In the audio commentary Angela Douglas recalls that Charles Hawtrey was very odd and actually gave her the shivers. In fact she sounded as though she's still creeped out a little by the experience of working with him. She also states that Phil Silvers, who she starred with in Carry On Follow That Camel was a disappointment - not very funny, and actually rather boring. When he wasn't playing Sgt. Bilko she believes that he wasn't anything other than a very unhappy man. She also mentions that she still misses Sid James.

We also discover that Richard O'Brien (creator of The Rocky Horror Picture Show) was a stunt rider in this movie.

Ross's flirting with women old enough to be his mother also starts to grate here. He's been doing it in most of the DVDs, but here it's really obvious - and is actually quite stomach churning. I loved the fact that Douglas tells Ross he needs to get out more when he says that Blazing Saddles is not as good as Carry On Cowboy.

All in all, this movie is one hell of a disappointment.

Darren Rea

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