Source: IMP Awards
Sir Sidney Ruff-Diamond (Sid James) is commander of the third foot and mouth division, charged with looking after the Khyber pass. His troops have becomes known as the "skirted devils" for their ability to wander around with nothing under their kilts.
The Khazi of Kalabar (Kenneth Williams) would like nothing more than to spark a full scale revolt in India to remove the British rule, but his troops a in fear of the British garrison. When his commander of the Burpa army, Bungdit Din (Bernard Bresslaw), finds a pair of woollen pants on an English soldier, the Khazi believes he has the fuel he needs to light the fire of his rebellion.
Carry On... Up The Khyber is the sixteenth film in the Carry On franchise (a pat on the back or perhaps, more appropriately, a look of pity if you can name the previous 15) and is renowned for being one of the better ones. Considering then, that 15 films - all of a similar nature - have all come before Khyber, it is refreshing that this is one of the best received Carry On films.
Sure, it had a ready-made audience on release and contains the same outlandish racism and bold, brash sexism that was prevalent in the previous films in the series (and, in 1960's Britain for that matter). Underneath all the unsubtle humour though, comes something altogether more brilliant - scripting.
Khyber's wordplay is so infectious that it will have you laughing until the cows come home (no, this time it's not bullocks.). Whether it's the ability to take a perfectly innocent scenario and turn it into utter smut, or ruin the meaning of a simple British Indian meal, writer Talbot Rothwell certainly had a knack for finding amusement in everything he saw. Veteran Carry On director Gerald Thomas proved that he wasn't done with the series just yet, bringing the script to screen in such a way that the innuendo wasn't ruined.
Unfortunately, despite all the intelligent humour Khyber will always be remembered as a better film in a franchise that became long and bloated. It's a shame, because it is certainly one of the best products of 60's Pinewood.