6.6/10
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Don't Lose Your Head (1967)

The time of the French revolution, and Citizen Robespierre is beheading the French aristocracy. When word gets to England, two noblemen, Sir Rodney Ffing and Lord Darcy take it upon ... See full summary »

Director:

Gerald Thomas

Writer:

Talbot Rothwell (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sidney James ... Sir Rodney Ffing / The Black Fingernail
Kenneth Williams ... Citizen Camembert
Jim Dale ... Lord Darcy Pue
Charles Hawtrey ... Duc de Pommfrit
Peter Butterworth Peter Butterworth ... Citizen Bidet
Joan Sims ... Désirée Dubarry
Dany Robin ... Jacqueline
Peter Gilmore ... Citizen Robespierre
Marianne Stone ... Landlady
Michael Ward Michael Ward ... Henri
Leon Greene ... Malabonce
David Davenport David Davenport ... Sergeant
Richard Shaw Richard Shaw ... Captain of Soldiers
Valerie Van Ost ... Second Lady / Girl at Execution
Jennifer Clulow Jennifer Clulow ... First Lady
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Storyline

The time of the French revolution, and Citizen Robespierre is beheading the French aristocracy. When word gets to England, two noblemen, Sir Rodney Ffing and Lord Darcy take it upon themselves to aid there French counterparts. Sir Rodney is a master of disguise, and becomes "the black fingernail", scourge of Camembert and Bidet, leaders of the French secret police... Written by Simon N. McIntosh-Smith <Simon.N.Smith@cs.cf.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Carry On laughing until you have hysterics, but...Don't Lose Your Head!


Certificate:

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 December 1967 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Carry On Pimpernel See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Diana MacNamara was Charles Hawtrey's stunt double in the film. Diana also played the role of Princess Stephanie. See more »

Goofs

Pommfrit swings out of a window during the fight scene in the Chateau Neuf. When he re-enters, he starts fighting a soldier with a black hat. When the soldier smashes the bottle of wine with his sword in the next shot (and for the remainder of the fight), the hat is gone. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: Paris, 1789. The Great Revolution has begun. The hands of the masses are smeared with the blood of the poor bleeding aristocracy. Every day the tumbrels run a regular half-hour service between the Bastille and the many guillotines around the city. The growing mounds of noble heads are only matched by the growing mounds of unused return tickets. No-one is spared. Madame La Guillotine claims them all. Dukes and Duchesses, Lords and Ladies, men and women of both sexes. A dozen times ...
See more »

Alternate Versions

As usual with the Carry On films the BBFC objected to many of the lines when the script was submitted to them, though in the end only a few cuts were made. These included a reference to Jacqueline having 'a pluck' and a stuttered use of 'fishing' during the opening narration. See more »

Connections

Follows Carry On Nurse (1959) See more »

Soundtracks

La Marseillaise
(uncredited)
Written by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
Heard as a theme at different times
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Carry On's lavish costume comedy
21 April 2012 | by Leofwine_dracaSee all my reviews

CARRY ON DON'T LOSE YOUR HEAD was made at the peak of the popularity of the Carry On films, where they could afford to splash out on lavish sets, costumes and locations in movies set in various historical eras. It's a pretty typical entry in the film series, and not the most appealing one I've seen; by now, at least half of the jokes were feeling quite stale, to me, and not a patch on the CARRY ONs of seven, eight years before.

That being said, there's still much to enjoy here, and aficionados of the films will be in their element. A delightfully weaselly Kenneth Williams camps it up as Citizen Camembert, Robespierre's right-hand man whose job it is to outwit the Black Fingernail, a masked folk hero who keeps on freeing aristocrats from the guillotine.

Sid James bags the role of the Fingernail and appears to be in his element, with plenty of his trademark dirty laughter and energy to spare. He's supported by a virtually wasted Jim Dale, whose role seems to be entirely redundant, and Joan Sims in one of those nagging wife type roles she always seemed to occupy in later years. The best cast members are Charles Hawtrey as the fey Duc de Pommfrit and Peter Butterworth as the befuddled Citizen Bidet.

The gags set in and around the guillotine are by far my favourite parts of this movie, although there's a rousing and elaborate sword-fight at the climax to get your teeth into. CARRY ON DON'T LOSE YOUR HEAD also contains one of my favourite gags of all time: Hawtrey is brought a letter just as he's about to be beheaded, and he tells the messenger to drop it into the basket where he'll "read it later". Class stuff.


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