Starring: Kenneth Williams, Sid James, Kenneth Connor
Director: Gerald Thomas
Running Time: 84 mins
Carry On Cleo is a British film about the romance between Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, and Roman general Marc Antony, and their plan to assassinate Julius Caesar.
Now, the problem with a lot of Carry On films nowadays is that they’re just a bit dated. You can see the humour and fun in all of them, but now, it’s just far too weak to be a riotously funny film series.
However, before we get into all that, let’s look at the positives in this parody of Cleopatra. It’s very light-hearted and easy-going to watch, the actors all put in pretty entertaining performances, and there are some great one-liners throughout.
Although the majority of the jokes may not land as well as they once did now, lines like: ‘Infamy! Infamy! They’ve all got it in for me!’ do provide a good laugh, and point to the intelligence of a lot of the wit here.
Despite that, this still isn’t a great comedy. The lack of laughs is the main reason for that, but it’s also the fact that the story is just so boring. Deliberate historical inaccuracies are chucked in to up the entertainment value, but the fictional story that they come up with just isn’t that interesting or enjoyable.
If the jokes were a little more punchy, and if the exaggerated ‘Ooh matron’-type performances were toned down just a little, this could have been a lot more entertaining and less frustrating, and the story wouldn’t have mattered one bit.
Overall, then, this gets a 6.4, because despite its easy-going nature that could provide for some silly fun, the ineffectiveness of the majority of the jokes, and the fact that the story is pretty much neither here nor there means that this isn’t as entertaining a parody comedy as you would expect.