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Carry On Columbus

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Carry On Columbus
Original UK quad poster
Directed byGerald Thomas
Written byDave Freeman
John Antrobus
Produced byJohn Goldstone
Peter Rogers (executive producer)
StarringJim Dale
Bernard Cribbins
Maureen Lipman
Peter Richardson
Alexei Sayle
Jack Douglas
Rik Mayall
Charles Fleischer
Larry Miller
Leslie Phillips
Julian Clary
Sara Crowe
Rebecca Lacey
Nigel Planer
June Whitfield
Richard Wilson
CinematographyAlan Hume
Edited byChris Blunden
Music byJohn Du Prez
Distributed byUnited International Pictures (UK)
Release date
2 October 1992
Running time
91 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
Budget£2.5 million
Box office£1.7 million[1]

Carry On Columbus is a 1992 British comedy film, the 31st and final release in the Carry On film series (1958–1992). The film was a belated entry to the series, following 1978's Carry On Emmannuelle. It was produced to coincide with the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus' arrival in the Americas (two other more serious films on the subject, 1492: Conquest of Paradise and Christopher Columbus: The Discovery came out the same year).


Christopher Columbus (Jim Dale) believes he can find an alternative route to the far East and persuades King Ferdinand (Leslie Phillips) and Queen Isabella of Spain (June Whitfield) to finance his expedition. But the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire (Rik Mayall), who makes a great deal of money through taxing the merchants who have to pass through his country on the Silk Road, sends his best spy, Fatima (Sara Crowe), to wreck the trip...




Main series regulars present are Jim Dale (in his eleventh Carry On), Peter Gilmore (also in his eleventh), Bernard Cribbins (in his third), Leslie Phillips (in his fourth), Jon Pertwee (in his fourth) and June Whitfield (also in her fourth). The only actor to bridge the gap between Carry On Columbus and the previous entry was Jack Douglas, making his eighth appearance in the series.

Original Carry On performer Frankie Howerd was signed up to appear, but he died shortly before he was due to film his role. His part as the King of Spain was offered to original series regular Bernard Bresslaw, who turned it down. Leslie Phillips eventually took on the role, playing opposite June Whitfield as the Queen, a role turned down by both Joan Sims and Barbara Windsor.

Veteran Carry On performer Kenneth Connor was offered a cameo role in the film but he turned it down, saying "I want to be remembered as a Carry On star, not a Carry On bit-player".

The producers managed to persuade a number of alternative comedians such as Peter Richardson, Alexei Sayle, Rik Mayall, Julian Clary and Nigel Planer (all of whom except Clary are from The Comic Strip) to appear in the film.

This was the last film that Gerald Thomas directed, as he died on 9 November 1993.

Filming and locations

The film was shot between 21 April and 27 May 1992 with interior shooting at Pinewood Studios, Buckinghamshire and location shooting at Frensham Common. The latter location was previously used nearly 30 years earlier for the similarly nautical Carry On Jack.


The film was panned by critics. Michael Dwyer in The Irish Times described Carry on Columbus as a "flaccid, feeble comeback effort" and a "wretched and pathetic attempt which is singularly unfunny".[2] However, Carry On Columbus took more money at the UK box office (£1,667,249)[1] than the two other Columbus films released in 1992, Christopher Columbus: The Discovery and 1492: Conquest of Paradise, although all three films flopped. Carry On Columbus was also shot on a much lower budget than the other two films, a budget of £2.5 million compared to the other two budgets of $45 million and $47 million respectively.[3]

In a 2004 poll of British film actors, technicians, writers and directors on British cinema, Carry On Columbus was voted the worst British film ever made.[4]


  1. ^ a b "UK Top 50 Films". Screen International. 29 January 1993. p. 15.
  2. ^ Michael Dwyer, "Film Reviews". The Irish Times, 2 October 1992, (p.13).
  3. ^ Weinraub, Bernard (21 May 1992). "The Talk of Hollywood; It's Columbus Against Columbus, With a Fortune in Profits at Stake". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  4. ^ "Smallweed". The Guardian. 21 August 2004. Archived from the original on 3 February 2014. Retrieved 9 March 2022.


External links

This page was last edited on 21 April 2023, at 12:59
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