Filmed in 1968 and set in British India in 1895, Carry On Up the Khyber is one of the team's most memorable efforts. Sid James plays Sid James as ever, though nominally his role is that of Sir Sidney Ruff-Diamond, the unflappable British Governor who must deal with the snakelike, scheming Khasi of Khalabar, played by Kenneth Williams. A crisis occurs when the mystique of the "devils in skirts" of the 3rd Foot and Mouth regiment is exploded when one of their number, the sensitive-to-draughts Charles Hawtrey, is discovered by the natives to be wearing underpants. Revolt is in the offing, with Bernard Bresslaw once again playing a seething native warrior. Roy Castle neatly plays the sort of role normally assigned to Jim Dale, as the ineffectual young officer, Peter Butterworth is a splendid compromised evangelist, while Terry Scott puts his comedic all into the role of the gruff Sergeant. Most enduring, however, is the final dinner party sequence in which the British contingent, with the Burpas at the gates of the compound, and plaster falling all about them, demonstrate typical insouciance in the face of imminent peril. The "I'm Backing Britain" Union Jack hoist at the end, however, over-excitedly reveals the streak of reactionary patriotism that lurked beneath the bumbling double-entendres of most Carry On films. --David Stubbs
John Frankenheimer's Award-winning 1962 classic THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE has been fully restored and will be back in cinemas this spring.
Children's shaggy dog story. Digby is a sheepdog rescued from the pound by schoolboy Billy. When Billy is told that he cannot keep the canine at home, animal expert Jeff (Jim Dale) offers to take Digby in. However, when Digby accidentally drinks a secret chemical concoction, he grows to a massive size, going on the rampage around the country. It is up to Billy and Jeff to track the enormous Digby down before he is blown up by the army or sold to the circus!
Who is stealing virgins and turning them into shop-window mannequins? What is the meaning of the gigantic hairy finger found at the scene of the latest crime? What clues can the mad professor (Kenneth Williams) or his deathly pale and impossibly buxom sister (Fenella Fielding) provide to the hopeless Detective Bung? (Harry H. Corbett) Join the Carry On team including Charles Hawtrey Bernard Bresslaw and Joan Sims as they chill your spine in this hair raising spoof of a horror movie. Special Features: Audio Commentary Trailer
In Carry On Follow That Camel, Sergeant Bilko himself, Phil Silvers, lends lustre and trademark spectacles to this 1967 desert spectacle following the adventures of a group of foreign legionnaires who find themselves besieged by a bloodthirsty band of Bedouins. Silvers plays Sergeant Nocker, a rogue cast firmly in the Bilko mould, who takes a dislike to new recruit Jim Dale, a young upper class gent forced to join the legion following disgrace at a cricket match. He's accompanied, naturally, by his faithful manservant (Peter Butterworth), with the pair showing a fine disregard for the austere requirements of the Foreign Legion. However, once they reach an agreement with Sergeant Nocker, they can join forces to repel the Bedouins, led, not unpredictably, by Bernard Bresslaw. This is vintage Carry On, in spite of Sid James' absence. Kenneth Williams' performance is subdued by having to deliver the usual puns ("zere are a couple of points I still need to go over", he informs busty Joan Sims) in a mangled French accent but Silvers gets into the right mode of delivering broad comedy with subtle inflections. Peter Butterworth draws the short straw this time and must feature in the obligatory cross-dressing scene, while Charles Hawtrey is a splendidly unconvincing hardened legionnaire. As for Bresslaw, can any other British actor, with the exception of Sir Alec Guinness, have distinguished himself in such a variety of multi-ethnic roles? On the DVD: Sadly, there are no extra features except scene selection. The picture ratio is 4:3. --David Stubbs
An unpretentious Brit-flick distinguished by a great cast, This Year's Love is writer-director David Kane's wry, funny study of six singletons in search of something--possibly love, possibly just sex--that will help them make sense of an untidy world. Aside from the acting, the film's strongest feature is its unflinching realism. The setting is North London's Camden Lock, an area that is in equal parts ultra-trendy and horrendously squalid. The characters reflect the locale: a circle of youthful drop-outs, wannabes and never-have-beens united in their common desire to surmount loneliness and find that elusive "perfect match". The central figures are newlyweds Danny and Hannah (the wonderful Douglas Henshall and Catherine McCormack) and the film in essence concerns itself with the fallout from the spectacular and rapid disintegration of their marriage. Danny first hooks up with cleaner-cum-nightclub singer Mary (a marvellously self-deprecating Kathy Burke), while Hannah finds lecherous womaniser Cameron (an unwashed Dougray Scott). Cameron's flatmate Liam (Ian Hart) fails to impress posh single mum Sophie (Jennifer Ehle in dreadlocks), who goes on to reject Danny and Cameron in turn, while Liam becomes dangerously obsessed by Hannah then Mary. So the merry-go-round of relationship swapping, unlikely coincidences and bittersweet life-lessons turns full circle. David Kane's comic dialogue is witheringly sharp, the situations (aside from all the coincidental meetings) are well-observed and the characters sympathetically three-dimensional (helped in no small part by the quality of the ensemble cast). The frequently hilarious comedy is tempered by an underlying despair: if it's not exactly Brassed Off or The Full Monty for neurotic, self-obsessed metropolitans, it's a film that's at least happy to exist in the same genre and achieves the same poignant empathy with its characters. The soundtrack is great, too. Imagine that the cast of Trainspotting gate-crashed Four Weddings and a Funeral and the result would be This Year's Love. On the DVD: Short on-set interviews with the principals and a promotional featurette are supplemented by a sequence of unedited behind-the-scenes footage. The film itself is presented in a good-looking anamorphic (16:9) print. --Mark Walker
Based on Terry McMillan's best-selling novel How Stella Got Her Groove Back, stars Angela Bassett as a 40-year-old, Manhattan stock trader and single mother whose static life gets a jolt during a vacation with her pal (Whoopi Goldberg) in Jamaica. Sparks fly when Bassett meets a 20-year-old stud (Taye Diggs) who has an ambivalent career path but a great body and lots of sexual energy to burn. After some prodding by Goldberg's warm-funny secondary character, Bassett gets it on with the fellow--and proceeds to worry about what she's doing with a man half her age. The film is most enjoyable in its sunny, exotic early scenes and becomes more formulaic once the unlikely couple transports their will-we-stay-together-or-won't-we tensions back to the Big Apple. But director Kevin Rodney Sullivan goes out of his way to make a movie unabashedly thick with fantasy and wish-fulfilment for female audiences (it's Diggs who reveals a lot more flesh than the regal Bassett). This is a Saturday-night movie all around. --Tom Keogh
Tommy Steele heads an exceptional line-up of pop talent in this highly successful comedy musical from the early 1960s. Featuring John Barry, Russ Conway, Marion Ryan, Geoff Love and Shane Fenton & the Fentones, It's All Happening is presented here as a High Definition transfer from original film elements in its original theatrical aspect ratio. Billy Bowles is unlucky in both love and work. An orphan himself, the news that the orphanage he visits is in danger of being closed prompts him to set up a star-studded benefit concert - with unforeseen results! Special Features: Theatrical trailer Image gallery PDF material
This critically acclaimed film from the legendary American director John Sayles is an intelligent and thought provoking drama that follows two women who return to their Florida hometown and are forced to deal with a variety of personal and practical issues...
Made in the "classic" period of the series, 1966's Carry On Cowboy is a spoof Western set in Stodge City, about to suffer the arrival of black-hatted outlaw The Rumpo Kid, played by the less-than-youthful Sid James. Kenneth Williams is the aptly named Judge Burke, who appeals to Washington for help to combat this gunslinger and his henchmen. Assistance arrives in the form of Jim Dale's Marshall P Knutt, a drainage, sanitation and garbage expert from England, with a reference from Lady Pushing for doing a "good job on her main sludge channel", whose Christian name provokes a predictable misunderstanding. Fortunately, he's accompanied by Annie Oakley. As ever, much fun is to be had cheering/groaning along to double-entendres about "big ones", but never mind the script, feel the characters. Joan Sims does a good Mae West impression; Syd James "Ha hwa-ha-ha!"s his way through his part with his usual aplomb; the underrated Peter Butterworth is excellent as an inept Doctor; while Bernard Bresslaw adds to his impressively multi-ethnic CV, playing a Native American, with Charles Hawtrey as his incorrigible firewater-loving Chief. On the DVD: No extras, sadly, other than scene selection but Alan Hume's splendidly authentic colour lensing is suitably refurbished here. --David Stubbs
A talented musician struggles to survive the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto and the concentration camps of World War II.
Set against the Notting Hill race riots of the late 1950's The Wind Of Change is a gripping kitchen-sink drama focusing on the relationship between a father (Donald Pleasence) a world-weary yet liberal man who spends all his spare time looking after his rabbits and his rebellious unemployed son Frank (Johnny Briggs). Frank is bigoted racist who believes the black immigrants are taking all the British jobs though he doesn't seem too concerned in trying to get one himself. When Frank and his gang of teddy boys beat up a black man who later dies of his injuries he must face the consequence of his actions...
Shadow Run ought to be considerably more interesting than it is--Geoffrey Reeve is an efficient director and both Michael Caine and James Fox turn in icy performances as, respectively, an almost completely ruthless thief and the renegade intelligence man who hires him for that one last big job. Caine in particular is convincing in the half-hearted attacks of compunction that never stop him killing obstacles. Many of the bit-players--Lesley Grantham, for example--do a lot with almost nonexistent parts. The film counterpoints the planning of the heist with the social embarrassments of the fat schoolboy who becomes, by a series of coincidences, too informed about it and, ultimately, Caine's secret sharer. Reeve is rather too in love with the cathedral school background of the subplot and skimps too much on the complicated technical business of getting a computerised security van into a radio blackout zone. Still, the boy is excellent, and Caine's affair with the doomed hooker Rae Baker has some much-needed moments of wit. On the DVD: Disappointingly, the DVD, whose Dolby surround sound does miracles for the scenes of schoolboy choristers, is presented in pan and scan 1.33:1, and has no extra features except for chapter selection and trailers for other films.--Roz Kaveney
One of the funniest Carry Ons ever! Who is stealing virgins and turning them into shop-window mannequins? What is the meaning of the gigantic hairy finger found at the scene of the latest crime? What clues can the mad professor or his deathly pale and impossibly buxom sister provide to the hopeless Detective Bung?
Filmed in 1968 and set in British India in 1895, Carry On Up the Khyber is one of the team's most memorable efforts. Sid James plays Sid James as ever, though nominally his role is that of Sir Sidney Ruff-Diamond, the unflappable British Governor who must deal with the snakelike, scheming Khasi of Khalabar, played by Kenneth Williams. A crisis occurs when the mystique of the "devils in skirts" of the 3rd Foot and Mouth regiment is exploded when one of their numbers, the sensitive-to-draughts Charles Hawtrey, is discovered by the natives to be wearing underpants. Revolt is in the offing, with Bernard Bresslaw once again playing a seething native warrior. Roy Castle neatly plays the sort of role normally assigned to Jim Dale, as the ineffectual young officer, Peter Butterworth is a splendid compromised evangelist, while Terry Scott puts his comedic all into the role of the gruff Sergeant. Most enduring, however, is the final dinner party sequence in which the British contingent, with the Burpas at the gates of the compound, plaster falling all about them, demonstrates typical insouciance in the face of imminent peril. The "I'm Backing Britain" Union Jack hoist at the end, however, over-excitedly reveals the streak of reactionary patriotism that lurked beneath the bumbling double entendres of most Carry On films. On the DVD: Sadly, no extra features except scene selection. The picture is 4:3 full screen. --David Stubbs
""Everybody's Favourite Shaggy Dog Story!"" Young Billy can't keep Digby the lovable sheepdog he brought home from the pound so he decides to leave him with animal expert Jeff (Jim Dale). But while Jeff's back is turned Digby accidentally drinks a top secret chemical which makes him grow... and grow... and grow! The gigantic Digby is soon being chased all over the country. The army think he dangerous and want to blow him up. Two thieves are trying to sell him to the circus! In this frantic and hilarious race against time Billy and the hapless Jeff must get to Digby with the antidote or lose him forever. With and all star cast including Spike Milligan and Victor Spinetti Digby The Biggest Dog In The World is a classic adventure story for the whole family. Available for the first time on DVD!
You will never find a more chillingly suspenseful, perversely funny, or viciously satirical political thriller than The Manchurian Candidate, based on the novel by Richard Condon (author of Winter Kills). The film, withheld from distribution by star Frank Sinatra for almost a quarter-century after President Kennedy's assassination, has lost none of its potency over time. Former infantryman Bennet Marco (Sinatra) is haunted by nightmares about his platoon having been captured and brainwashed in Korea. The indecipherable dreams seem to centre on Sergeant Raymond Shaw (Laurence Harvey), a decorated war hero but a cold fish of a man whose own mother (Angela Lansbury, in one of the all-time great dragon-lady roles) describes him as looking like his head is "always about to come to a point". Mrs Bates has nothing on Lansbury's character, the manipulative queen behind her second husband, Senator John Iselin (James Gregory), a notoriously McCarthyesque demagogue. --Jim Emerson
Tommy Steele heads an exceptional line-up of pop talent in this highly successful comedy musical from the early 1960s. Featuring John Barry, Russ Conway, Marion Ryan, Geoff Love and Shane Fenton & the Fentones, It's All Happening is presented here as a transfer from original film elements in its original theatrical aspect ratio. Billy Bowles is unlucky in both love and work. An orphan himself, the news that the orphanage he visits is in danger of being closed prompts him to set up a star-studded benefit concert - with unforeseen results! Special Features: Theatrical trailer Image gallery PDF material
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