Two Britons are captured and enslaved by invading Romans and taken to Rome. Hengist Pod creates useless inventions, while Horsa is a brave and cunning fighter.
One of their first encounters in Rome leaves Hengist being mistaken for a fighter, and gets drafted into the Royal Guard to protect Cleopatra. Cleo doesn't want him around and plots for his sudden demise...
Sid James ... Mark Antony (as Sidney James)
Kenneth Williams ... Julius Caesar
Kenneth Connor ... Hengist Pod
Charles Hawtrey ... Seneca
Joan Sims ... Calpurnia
Jim Dale ... Horsa
Amanda Barrie ... Cleopatra
Victor Maddern ... Sergeant-Major
Julie Stevens ... Gloria
Sheila Hancock ... Senna Pod
Jon Pertwee ... Soothsayer
Francis De Wolff ... Agrippa
Michael Ward ... Archimedes
Brian Oulton ... Brutus
Tom Clegg ... Sosages
DivX5 / MP3
Although it is true that Carry On films are an acquired taste and that some of the jokes will be lost to those not familiar with British gags and terms, it is still the case that the Carry On's can be very funny if you get them and they hit the mark. Cleo is yet another example of what made the Carry On movies such a success; this is one of the better ones - plenty of good gags and fine actors to deliver them. The plot is good enough to hold the gags together but not good in the traditional sense - basically the gags are what drive the film rather than the plot!
And what good laughs there are to be had! The humour is innuendo based but is not as out and out crude as the series often could be. Even the slightly smutty jokes are pretty clever and witty; regardless of where you are from, there is enough laughs here to be worth watching. I won't start quoting lines simply because there are so many good ones - the second half is a little weaker than the first, but it is all still good stuff!
The cast are great despite missing a few of the regulars. The film's stand out performances are easily Williams and James. James is his usual self, regardless of historical setting but Williams is simply superb and makes his lines work better due to his delivery. He has most of the screen time and he makes the film. Barrie is not that good looking but she makes a good Cleopatra and she has a good body on her. Williams and Dale don't have that much to do but are still OK despite feeling supplemental to the action. Hawtrey is hilarious and Sims is OK.
Overall this is as good an example of the Carry On series as any other. It is smutty without being overly crude, with a good mix of sex jokes and witty puns and such. The plot holds the film together without being intrusive on the gags. A fine example of a series that could be as good as it could bad - here it is good.
* Filmed on the abandoned sets built in London for Cleopatra (1963).
* The film's producers lost a lawsuit brought against them by 20th Century-Fox after it was judged the movie poster, which parodied that of Cleopatra (1963), was so similar as to be a breach of copyright.
* The owners of the British department store Marks and Spencer were alerted to a send-up of their store's name ("Marcus and Spencius") and associated use of the store's colours (green and gold) and called in their lawyers. Legal action was averted when it was explained that no slight against the store was intended, and the owners settled for an apology and a letter of explanation to be sent to a leading newspaper. This idea was later dropped, however, and the incident forgotten.
* The costume worn by Sid James in this film is the one worn by Richard Burton in Cleopatra (1963).
* Although the script is credited to Talbot Rothwell, the most often quoted line ("Infamy, infamy, they've all got it in for me!") was supplied by the writing team of Frank Muir and Denis Norden,