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Film / Carry On Columbus

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Don Juan Diego: 'Ere, we've just 'ad a leak in the hold.
Bart: Oh did you? Well next time, do it over the side.
Don Juan Diego warning Bart Columbus that the ship is taking on water.

Carry On Columbus is a 1992 British film, which hoped to revive the popular Carry On film series from The '50s-The '70s (this was the 31st film in the series, and the first since 1978) with a comic celebration of the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus' first transatlantic voyage. Loads of fans were hesitant over the outcome of the film when it was first announced, due to being "screwed over" with the last two failures from the mid-'70s.

It was obvious to everyone that no one they recognised would be coming back. Most of the regulars at this point were either dead or too busy: Sid James, Peter Butterworth, and Hattie Jacques had died of heart attacks in 1976, 1979, and 1980 respectively, Kenneth Williams died of a drug overdose in 1988, Charles Hawtrey had been fired (but he had returned when he was fired once before) and then died of peripheral vascular disease in 1988, Terry Scott had departed after Carry On Matron and was terminally ill with cancer, Barbara Windsor was a regular on EastEnders, Bernard Bresslaw had left after Carry On Behind and was appearing in bit parts on television, Kenneth Connor was a regular on 'Allo 'Allo!, and Joan Sims was a regular on On the Up. (The ones that were alive at the time were considered, but Windsor and Connor openly called the script crap and the others were, as said before, unavailable.)

So who could they get?

Recurring cast members that appeared in less than 15 films, of course! As well as a bunch of popular TV actors that divided the fans' opinions - Jim Dale, Bernard Cribbins, Maureen Lipman, Peter Richardson, Alexei Sayle, Rik Mayall, Charles Fleischer, Larry Miller, Nigel Planer, Leslie Phillips, June Whitfield, Julian Clary, and Sara Crowe.

Dale stars as the titular Christopher Columbus who convinces King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella (Phillips and Whitfield) of Spain to fund his journey to explore the Eastern world. However, the Wazir (Planer) of the Sultan of Turkey (Mayall) informs him that if Columbus finds an alternative route, it'll cause him to lose a great deal of money, so he sends his best spy, Fatima (Crowe), to wreck the trip.

Hilarity Ensues.

Tropes included are:

  • Alliterative Name:
    • Christopher Columbus.
    • Mordecai Mendoza.
  • Bold Explorer: The film turned the bold exploits of explorer Christopher Columbus into a silly sex farce.
  • Canon Discontinuity: This film is missing from the supposedly complete box set Carry On: The Ultimate Collection.
  • Self-Plagiarism: Writer Dave Freeman had only ten days' notice to deliver a script before the start of filming. With a shortness of time, he re-used some material from his rarely seen TV special Carry on Again Christmas.
  • Sultry Belly Dancer: When the Sultan of Turkey summons Fatima to his presence, she enters the main hall performing a quick dance, charming the Sultan before being handed her mission to stop Columbus from discovering the Indies.
  • Tagline: "Up your anchor for a well crewed voyage!".
  • Title Drop: The last line of the film.
    Fatima: Carry on, Columbus.