Carry On Cowboy 1965

director: Gerald Thomas  



Great Britain



In 1958, Carry On Sergeant had been a surprise hit. By 1966, when Carry on Cowboy appeared, the tenth film in the series, the Carry Ons had become a British institution like fish and chips. People enjoyed seeing their favourite comics poke fun at 'sober' targets such as the police, teachers, spies and the medical profession. If the Ealing comedies represent sophisticated British screen humour at its best, then the Carry On films undoubtedly provide popular comic entertainment at its most professional, in the tradition of the Music Hall and seaside postcards. Colour had arrived with Carry on Cruising in 1962, but the gags had always been a splendid shade of blue. Carry on Cowboy is probably the most enjoyable film in the series, largely due to the fact that it is unique in sending up a totally non-British type of film in a completely British fashion. The story is strong enough to stand comparison with 'real' Westerns. Jim Dale's Marshall P. Nutt, the innocent sanitary engineer mistaken for a deadly gunfighter and forced to live the role is a comic hero in the mould of Charles Laughton in Ruggles of Red Gap, Bob Hope in Fancy Pants, Paleface and Son of Paleface and Kenneth More's The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw. Similarly, while remaining their Carry On selves, Sid James as the outlaw Rumpo Kid, Kenneth Williams' prissy Judge Burke, Joan Sims as a veritable Mae West of a saloon owner and Charles Hawtrey and Bernard Bresslaw as comic Indians, are all recognisably characters from innumerable Westerns. Pinewood stands in convincingly for Stodge City, Angela Douglas makes an attractive sharp-shooting Annie Oakley and none of the staples of the genre are missed as comic targets. As a result, Carry on Cowboy succeeds both as a genuinely funny movie with its unique view of the Wild West and as an entertaining Western. The humour may be broad, but it rarely fails to score a hit on the funny bone. ALAN FRANK

Other Releases


Available on VHSAvailable on Betamax

Average User Rating: 3 Vote(s)
Average User Rating
Average User Rating
Average User Rating
Average User Rating
Average User Rating
Average User Rating
Average User Rating
Average User Rating
Average User Rating
Average User Rating
Coverscan of Carry On Cowboy
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Distributor EMI
Catalogue Number 20021
Release Series
Release Date 1981
Duration: 90m 34s
Printed Classification
Notes First release, carton
User Reviews:
by Yorkie
I have long been a fan of the carry on films, since childhood catching them in the summer holidays in the afternoon, grabbing half an hour of one here and there at lunch time and even now occasionally on a bank holiday or as a guilty pleasure. Therefore I was racking my brains as to how I didn't remember this one, well now I know why. It is well known that amongst the absolute stars of the carry on catalogue like Carry on Nurse and Carry on Camping that there is a dud or two and this one stinks more than  most. Set in the wild west Sid James is a gunslinger that moves into town, kills the sheriff and takes over. Kenneth Williams is the Judge and Mayor who ran the gaff before said baddies arrival and Jim Dale plays the clichéd mistakenly picked Marshal to come sort out the town. Its not just that the plot is terrible, I guess its meant to be clichéd as effectively its a spoof of the westerns of the day, but its just not funny. The gags are as predictable as the days in the week and delivered to deafening silence, I mustered two sniggers in the whole thing. The real absolute tragedy here is the awful attempt at American accents by the cast, Sid James goes from East to west coast to deep south all in one sentence and Williams is even worse. Joan Sims is more wooden than a Troy Horse and just looks bored, in fact most of them look like they cant be arsed. If you're a fan of Carry on and have avoided this to date, keep the memory alive and keep it that way, a terrible film.