Carry On Cleo
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|Carry On Cleo|
|Directed by||Gerald Thomas|
|Produced by||Peter Rogers|
|Written by||Talbot Rothwell|
|Narrated by||E. V. H. Emmett|
|Music by||Eric Rogers|
|Editing by||Archie Ludski|
|Running time||92 minutes|
Carry On Cleo is a British film comedy which was released in 1964. It is the tenth in the series of Carry On films to be made, and the website ICONS.a portrait of England describes Carry On Cleo as "perhaps the best" of the series. Regulars Sid James, Kenneth Williams, Kenneth Connor, Charles Hawtrey and Jim Dale are present and Connor made his last appearance until his return in Carry On Up the Jungle six years later. Joan Sims returned to the series for the first time since Carry On Regardless three years earlier. Sims would now appear in every Carry On up to Carry On Emmannuelle in 1978, making her the most prolific actress in the series. The title role is played by Amanda Barrie in her second and last Carry On. Along with Carry On Sergeant and Carry On Screaming!, its original posters were reproduced by the Royal Mail on stamps to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Carry on series in June 2008.
The film opens during Caesar's invasions of Britain, with Mark Antony (Sid James) struggling to lead his armies through miserable weather. At a nearby village, cavemen Horsa (Jim Dale) and Hengist Pod (Kenneth Connor) attempt to alert Boadicea of the invasion, but are captured by the Romans.
Once in Rome, Horsa is sold by the slave-trading firm Marcus et Spencius, and Hengist is destined to be thrown to the lions when none agree to buy him. Horsa and Hengist escape and take refuge in the Temple of Vesta. Whilst hiding there, Julius Caesar (Kenneth Williams) arrives to consult the Vestal Virgins, but an attempt is made on his life by his bodyguard, Bilius (David Davenport). In the melee, Horsa kills Bilius and escapes, leaving Hengist to take the credit for saving Caesar's life and to be made Caesar's new bodyguard.
When a power struggle emerges in Egypt, Mark Antony is sent to force Cleopatra (Amanda Barrie) to abdicate in favour of Ptolemy. However, Mark Antony becomes besotted with her, and instead kills Ptolemy off-screen to win her favour. Cleopatra convinces Mark Antony to kill Caesar and become ruler of Rome himself so that they may rule a powerful Roman-Egyptian alliance together. After seducing one another, Mark Antony agrees, and plots to kill Caesar.
Caesar and Hengist travel to Egypt on a galley, along with Agrippa (Francis de Wolff), whom Mark Antony has convinced to kill Caesar. However, Horsa has been re-captured and is now a slave on Caesar's galley. After killing the galley-master (Peter Gilmore), Horsa and the galley slaves kill Agrippa and his fellow assassins and swim to Egypt. Hengist, who had been sent out to fight Agrippa and was unaware of Horsa's presence on board, again takes the credit.
Once at Cleopatra's palace, an Egyptian soothsayer (Jon Pertwee) warns Caesar of the plot to kill him, but Mark Anthony convinces Caesar from fleeing. Instead, Caesar convinces Hengist to change places with him, since Cleopatra and Caesar have never met. On meeting, Cleopatra lures Hengist, who accidentally exposes both Cleopatra and Mark Anthony as would-be assassins. He and Caesar then ally with Horsa, and after defeating Cleopatra's bodyguard Sosages (Tom Clegg) in combat, Hengist and the party flee Egypt. Caesar is returned to Rome, only to be assassinated on the Ides of March. Horsa and Hengist return to Britain, and Mark Antony is left in Egypt to live "one long Saturday night" with Cleopatra.
The costumes and sets used in the film were originally intended for Cleopatra (1963) before that production moved to Rome and rebuilt new sets there. Carry On Cleo was filmed between 13 and 28 July 1964.
The original poster and publicity artwork by Tom Chantrell were withdrawn from circulation after Fox successfully brought a copyright infringement case against distributor Anglo Amalgamated, which found the design was based on a painting by Howard Terpning for which Fox owned the copyright and was used to promote the Cleopatra film.
- Screenplay – Talbot Rothwell
- Music – Eric Rogers
- Associate producer – Frank Bevis
- Art director – Bert Davey
- Director of photography – Alan Hume
- Editor – Archie Ludski
- Camera operator – Godfrey Godar
- Assistant director – Peter Bolton
- Unit manager – Donald Toms
- Continuity – Olga Brook
- Make-up – Geoffrey Rodway
- Sound editor – Christopher Lancaster
- Sound recordists – Bill Daniels and Gordon K McCallum
- Hairdressing – Ann Fordyce
- Costume designer – Julie Harris
- Producer – Peter Rogers
- Director – Gerald Thomas
Filming and locations
- Filming dates: 13 July – 28 August 1964
The film was one of the 12 most popular movies at the British box office in 1965.
- Robert Ross, ITV-DVD Edition
- "Carry On Films". Icon Nominations. United Kingdom: ICONS Ltd. Retrieved 5 June 2009. "the 30 Carry On films of producer Peter Rogers and director Gerald Thomas are among the most fondly remembered comedies in British cinema ... Perhaps the best was Carry On Cleo (1964)"
- Webber, Richard (2008). Fifty Years of Carry On.
- "Most Popular Film Star", Times, London, England, 31 Dec 1965, page 13. The Times Digital Archive, retrieved 11 July 2012.
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