Follow TV Tropes


Film / Don't Lose Your Head

Go To

"This could never have happened before the revolution!"
Citizen Camembert

Don't Lose Your Head is a 1967 movie that is the thirteenth instalment of the British Carry On film series. It stars Sid James, Kenneth Williams, Jim Dale, Charles Hawtrey, Peter Butterworth, Joan Sims, and popular French actress Dany Robin.

This film is set in the time of the The French Revolution with allusions to The Scarlet Pimpernel, making this the second film in the series to be an Affectionate Parody that features a lot of Anachronism Stew. The execution of the French aristocrats is going strong under the watchful eye of the smug police chief Citizen Camembert (Williams) and his sidekick Citizen Bidet (Butterworth), until the British merchant Sir Rodney Ffing (James) - calling himself The Black Fingernail - and his sidekick Lord Darcy Pue (Dale) rescue the eccentric Duc de Pommfrit (Hawtrey) from the guillotine.

After being threatened by his superior Citizen Robespierre (Peter Gilmore), Citizen Camembert goes undercover with Citizen Bidet and his lover Désirée Dubarry (Sims) to find the true identity of the Black Fingernail who has been rescuing the rich from their executions. They discover a beautiful young woman named Jacqueline (Robin), who has fallen for the Fingernail, and imprison her to catch him as Hilarity Ensues.

Tropes appearing in this film:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Duc de Pommfrit is this to Désirée, and it seems that Désirée herself is this to Sir Rodney. Ironically, in the former case, the two end up married in the final scene.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Désirée calls Citizen Camembert "Cammie".
  • Affectionate Parody: Of The Scarlet Pimpernel.
  • Alliterative Name: Désirée Dubarry, although only her first name is spoken in the film.
  • All There in the Script: We don't get to know Désirée's last name, but the back of the DVD in "The Classic Carry On Film Collection" boxset gives it as "Dubarry".
  • Amusing Injuries:
    • In Calais, Citizen Bidet shuts the carriage door in Citizen Camembert's face.
    • Later, Duc de Pommfrit bangs Citizen Camembert's finger with a hammer at Ffing House.
  • Anachronism Stew:
    • One of the women watching the executions is wearing modern clothes.
    • The Duc de Pommfrit's glasses are from 1948.
    • Kilometres are visible on a signpost, despite metric measures not being introduced until a year after the terror.
    • A zip is visible on Sir Rodney's collar when he is disguised as a woman, despite zips like that not being invented until 1851.
    • While searching for Sir Rodney, Citizen Bidet finds a brassiere and pretends to use them as earmuffs, something that wouldn't be invented until 1873.
    • The Duc de Pommfrit has a whistle with a pea; however, they wouldn't be invented for roughly another 100 years.
    • There is a modern road leading to the Châteauneuf, and inside there are bottles of Dom Perignon.
  • And I'm the Queen of Sheba: Sir Rodney tricks Citizen Bidet into thinking Citizen Camembert is the Black Fingernail in disguise. When Citizen Camembert protests that he's the real thing, Citizen Bidet replies "And I'm Madame de Pompadour!"
  • Aren't You Going to Ravish Me?: After the window Sir Rodney has entered through turns out to belong to Désirée Dubarry's boudoir:
    Sir Rodney (Black Fingernail): Now, don't start screaming, please.
    Désirée Dubarry: Why, what are you going to do to me?
    Sir Rodney (Black Fingernail): Nothing!
    Désirée Dubarry: Well, that settles it. [screams]
  • Artistic Licence – History: The aristocrats are all executed facing upwards towards the blade (understandably, since there are quite a lot of conversations had while they're waiting for the blade to drop). In real life they were executed facing down into the basket. The only person who was executed facing up was the real-life Robespierre.
  • Asshole Victim:
    • When it looks like Sir Rodney has reneged on his bargain with Désirée, Citizen Bidet says it looks like she's just lost her newfound love. She responds by angrily smacking him in the face and knocking him into the cesspit with Citizen Camembert.
    • Citizen Camembert and Citizen Bidet (though Citizen Camembert is the bigger asshole of the two) getting their comeuppance at the end.
  • Bad Boss:
    • Citizen Robespierre is this to Citizen Camembert, as he threatens to have Citizen Camembert sent to the guillotine if he fails to capture the Black Fingernail.
    • Citizen Camembert himself is often this to Citizen Bidet, frequently belittling him and sometimes physically attacking him.
  • Bait-and-Switch: When Sir Rodney is disguised as a woman, he chuckles to himself as he is about to leave Citizen Camembert's office. Citizen Camembert says "Just a moment" and it looks like he is about to expose him, but he simply says he had better get "her" address, as "she" had been caught outside after curfew.
  • "Balls" Gag:
    • When Sir Rodney and Lord Darcy are bored of their repetitive lives at the beginning of the film, they moan about all the events they have to attend:
      Lord Darcy: Same old concerts.
      Sir Rodney: Same old balls.
    • At the charity ball at Ffing House, Lady Binder compliments Sir Rodney:
      Lady Binder: But then, you've always had magnificent balls, and I wouldn't miss one of them.
  • Banister Slide: Sir Rodney during the climactic fight. It gives him a Groin Attack because of how the banister curves up at the end.
  • Big Bad: Citizen Robespierre is this. Citizen Camembert may be the main antagonist, but he reports to Citizen Robespierre, who is responsible for the Great Revolution in the first place and orders Citizen Camembert to capture the Black Fingernail.
  • Big Fancy House:
    • Ffing House. It has enough space to fit hundreds of French aristocrat refugees.
    • The Châteauneuf turns out to have belonged to one of Citizen Camembert's aristocratic victims, who he purloined it from and now owns himself.
  • Big "WHAT?!": Citizen Camembert after Citizen Bidet tells him that the insurance salesman and Duc de Pommfrit have escaped from the square. Seconds later, Citizen Camembert realizes the insurance salesman was the Black Fingernail after spotting his calling card.
    • Citizen Camembert lets out another one when Sir Rodney (disguised as a soldier) tells him Citizen Bidet has caught someone in Jacqueline's old cell.
  • Bilingual Bonus
    • Determined to make sure that Duc de Pommfrit faces the guillotine, Citizen Camembert threatens that "the 'frit will meet his chips." Although obviously shortening Duc de Pommfrit's name, the French word "frites" is "chips" in English, so this is basically a Department of Redundancy Department.
  • Blatant Lies: Citizen Camembert saying he wasn't fooled by the Black Fingernail after he posed as an insurance salesman to rescue the Duc de Pommfrit when he quite obviously was.
  • Book Ends: The film starts at the guillotine and in the cases of Citizens Camembert and Bidet would end there too were it not for the final scene.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Sir Rodney and Jacqueline talk to the audience, when they first meet. Repeated when Sir Rodney's with Désirée in the rose garden. And before that, briefly, with Citizen Camembert, after he sends Désirée after Duc de Pommfrit to find out info from him, then sends Citizen Bidet after her.
  • Brick Joke: The Black Fingernail's disguises. In the penultimate scene it is coupled with an Oh, Crap! moment from Citizens Camembert and Bidet when they realize just who the executioner is.
  • Bumbling Sidekick: Citizen Bidet for the most part, though he does have his smart moments.
  • Butt-Monkey: Citizen Camembert, usually when Citizen Bidet is around, and Citizen Bidet himself.
  • Calling Card: The Black Fingernail leaves a drawing of a two-fingered salute with one black fingernail.
  • Camp Straight: Duc de Pommfrit comes across as this, namely because of being played by Charles Hawtrey.
    • Sir Rodney appears this way at first, given the lisp he occasionally talks with and the fact that in his first scene with dialogue, he refers to Lord Darcy as "my dear". The facade slips as soon as he uses his real voice.
  • Cartoon Bomb: The smoke bomb used in one of the Black Fingernail's rescues at the start of the film.
  • The Casanova: The Black Fingernail's described as "a terror with the girls" in the movie trailer, and there is montage in the movie of his relaxing day out, where he courts and makes out with women while he's on his picnic and then fishing with Duc de Prommfit (who's also joining in on the fun).
  • Chairman of the Brawl: During the fight in the Châteauneuf, Duc de Pommfrit picks up a chair and takes out one of the soldiers by bringing it down on his back. He does it so hard the chair breaks in half.
  • Chandelier Swing:
    • Sir Rodney, Lord Darcy, and Duc de Pommfrit each do one during the climactic fight scene. Duc de Pommfrit misjudges his swing and goes flying out a window.
    • One of the promotional posters showed Lord Darcy on the chandelier as all the other characters watched on.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The locket. Also most things in the Châteauneuf, including the bust, the harp and much of the furniture, as well as being subverted with the pistols on the wall.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Duc de Pommfrit.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Charles Hawtrey's specialty! The Duc de Pommfrit.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Sir Rodney is always wearing one item of white clothing and he has a white wig. Citizen Camembert's signature outfit is nearly all black. No points for guessing who is the protagonist and who is the antagonist. There are exceptions, as sometimes Sir Rodney wears black. After all, he is the Black Fingernail. When he first meets Jacqueline and in the climax he wears both white and black. Citizen Camembert does the same before he journeys to England with Citizen Bidet and Désirée.
  • Comedic Underwear Exposure: Désirée Dubarry rushes over to him in a smitten panic during his Russian Roulette and rips Citizen Camembert's trousers down when she tries to hug him.
  • Comically Missing the Point: When the Black Fingernail steals Citizen Camembert's horse in Calais, Citizen Bidet spots the calling card and shouts, "The Black Fingernail!" Citizen Camembert responds by thinking aloud that it would be impossible for the Black Fingernail to impersonate the horse, even for a master of disguise.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Sir Rodney, Lord Darcy and Duc de Pommfrit. With Sir Rodney and Lord Darcy it's just an act. Not so, with Duc de Pommfrit.
  • Damsel in Distress: Jacqueline. Near the end, Désirée pretends to be one too.
  • Dark Is Evil: Citizen Camembert dresses mainly in black clothing and is the main antagonist. Citizen Bidet also gets in on it by wearing mainly dark clothing, in particular his black hat, before going all black in Ffing House.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The Black Fingernail. It sounds like an evil moniker but what he actually does is rescue aristocrats from the guillotine, right under the noses of Citizens Camembert and Bidet.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Citizen Camembert and Sir Rodney.
    • Surprisingly, Citizen Bidet also has moments of this.
      Landlady: There's nobody here, 'cept me, and I'm just going off.
      Citizen Bidet: She's gone off, if you ask me.
    • Lord Darcy also gets one.
      Citizen Camembert: Do I look like a man who sells funny postcards?
      Sir Rodney (Black Fingernail): Not a bit. Actually, you look more like the chappie on the funny postcard. [chuckles]
      Citizen Camembert: I hardly think that's possible.
      Lord Darcy: That's what I said to Rodney when I saw the postcard.
      Citizen Camembert: Forgive me, gentlemen. I find this conversation rather boring! [turns away]
  • Delirious Misidentification: After Citizen Bidet is nearly blown up by the gunpowder in the Châteauneuf, Citizen Camembert asks him if he is all right. Citizen Bidet briefly mistakes him for his mother.
  • Dirty Coward: Citizen Camembert, who looks down on everyone and thinks he's Surrounded by Idiots, but asks for help and begs for mercy when the tables are turned.
  • Disguised in Drag: The Black Fingernail, twice, disguised first as an old lady early on, then is caught by the police while masquerading as a woman, due to being out after curfew.
  • Distracted by the Sexy:
    • In the scene where Citizen Bidet reveals he got the silver locket from Jacqueline, he's distracted by Désirée twice, and the second time, Désirée asks him what he's gawping at, before asking Citizen Camembert to tell Citizen Bidet to "take his hot, sticky eyes off me".
    • Citizen Camembert invokes the trope when he advises Désirée to use the locket around her neck to lure the Fingernail, even if it means she has to dance with several men before she's successful.
    • This happens a third time in the Châteauneuf after Sir Rodney finally gets to Jacqueline. He's about to kiss her again, when Désirée reminds him he's supposed to be getting them out of there.
  • Door Judo: Citizen Bidet attempts to break down the locked door of a room Sir Rodney was hiding in. As he completes his run-up, the door is opened, and he goes straight through the doorway, across the room, and out the window.
  • The Door Slams You:
    • In Calais, Citizen Bidet gets out of the coach and shuts the door behind him. Right in Citizen Camembert's face.
    • At the Châteauneuf, Citizen Bidet attempts to lock the double doors to prevent Sir Rodney's escape and is slammed behind one of them as Lord Darcy and Duc de Pommfrit come to Sir Rodney's aid. When he recovers, he tries again, and is slammed behind the other door as Duc de Pommfrit re-enters the fight.
  • Double Entendre: There's at least one in almost every scene. Then again, it is a Carry On film so it wouldn't be the same without it.
  • Double Take:
    • Citizen Camembert at the beginning when Citizen Bidet alerts him to Malabonce having put the first aristocrat the wrong way round in the guillotine (with his feet in the path of the blade).
    • Citizen Camembert after a fair few Double Entendres made by others.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Sir Rodney poses as Citizen Robespierre to find out where Jacqueline is.
  • Dub Name Change: Some names change in the Hungarian dub:
    • Lord Darcy's surname becomes "Puff" instead of "Pue".
    • The Duc de Pommfrit becomes "Prince Soufflé".
    • Citizen Camembert and Désirée's names to enter Ffing House are now the "Count and Countess of Plumderelye".
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Citizen Camembert attempting to pass Jacqueline off as the Black Fingernail to Citizen Robespierre, who points out it's actually a woman. Citizen Camembert tries to justify it with this trope, and by saying that the Fingernail is a master of deception and rode all the way from Calais sidesaddle.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: Citizen Bidet says that after Citizen Camembert has the Black Fingernail in his office disguised as a woman (after they realize it), if they're quick, they can catch him before he can get out of the city, to which Citizen Camembert agrees. Offset by the Black Fingernail disguising himself as their coachman to get through the roadblocks.
    • He also brings up the locket at Ffing House and how the Black Fingernail could be capable of anything. Not only is he right, he reminds Citizen Camembert about the fact that he had the locket in the first place, giving the latter the idea to trap the Fingernail with it.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: At Ffing House, Citizen Bidet brings up the locket to Citizen Camembert, reminding Citizen Camembert that he has it and giving him the idea to use it to find out who the Black Fingernail is, by getting Désirée to wear it and see who recognises it. It works.
  • Exact Words: Sir Rodney tells Désirée that if she helps him rescue Jacqueline, "[she'll] marry [her] title". However, he never said that title was him. Lampshaded in the final scene, where she ends up married to Duc de Pommfrit instead.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Citizens Camembert and Bidet fail to notice a few times that some people they come across look the same or not what they're meant to look like, namely when Sir Rodney is in disguise, even when able to clearly see his face. This counts with Lord Darcy and Duc de Pommfrit as well when they are dressed as soldiers, up until the scenes in the Châteauneuf, where by now they know the truth.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: Rather odd example. Duc de Pommfrit, at Sir Rodney's ball, gives a boastful and completely made up tale of how he escaped from the guillotine, claiming to have killed six or seven guards, single-handed. However, during the climactic final battle, he actually handles himself reasonably well.
  • Fatal Flaw: Citizen Camembert's is Pride, thanks to his narcissism. It costs him dearly throughout the film and eventually it costs him not only his life, but Citizen Bidet's as well.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Sir Rodney references this trope when he wonders aloud what might be happening to Jacqueline inside the Bastille.
  • Fight Scene: The climactic battle is a grab-bag of fight scene tropes including Chairman of the Brawl and lots of Flynning.
  • Flipping the Bird: The Black Fingernail's calling card is a picture of a hand giving the two-finger version, with one fingernail blacked in. A scene early in the film shows that Sir Rodney became the Black Fingernail after hearing that nobody was lifting a finger to save the victims of the Revolution, and resolving that he would lift two.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Citizen Camembert says at the beginning that Malabonce will have to go. About fifteen minutes into the film, he does, courtesy of Citizen Camembert himself.
    • Citizen Robespierre implicitly threatens Citizen Camembert twice and Citizen Bidet once with the guillotine early on in the film for their incompetence. This very fate befalls the two of them in the penultimate scene.
      Citizen Robespierre: Now, listen, Camembert. I want this Fingernail caught. Do you understand me?
      Citizen Camembert: Yes, Citizen, but the trouble is, I don't know what he looks like. Nobody does!
      Citizen Robespierre: You'd better find out, or nobody will know what you look like!
      Citizen Camembert: Oh, everyone always recognizes me.
      Citizen Robespierre: Without a head?
      Citizen Camembert: [gasps]
      Citizen Robespierre: Now get out of here, and find him!
    • Every time Désirée mentions marriage. In the final scene she is married, albeit to Duc de Pommfrit instead of Sir Rodney.
  • For Want Of A Nail: If Citizen Camembert had unfolded Sir Rodney's calling card in his office right then and there, the film would have been less than twenty minutes long.
  • Gasshole: One of Désirée Dubarry's first dedicated jokes involves her loudly belching after drinking some champagne, much to the disgust of Citizen Camembert, which sets up for a Double Entendre about her bosom.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Sort of. We only ever the blade of the guillotine falling and Bloodless Carnage, but the second time it happens in the first scene, Citizen Camembert's expression says it all.
  • Gratuitous French: A few French phrases are used in the film, mainly "Ouvrez!" ("Open!") and "Mon Dieu!" ("My God!"). Even though most of the characters are born and raised French, some of them don't even know what some of the words mean.
    Citizen Camembert: He'll have to aller!
    Citizen Bidet: What?
    Citizen Camembert: He'll have to "go"!
  • Hats Off to the Dead: Citizen Bidet does this after Citizen Camembert is tricked into killing Malabonce with the guillotine.
  • Heroes Gone Fishing: Literally at one point early on. Before we're properly introduced to Sir Rodney and Lord Darcy, we see them with a couple of ladies, while the narrator describes their "normal and fashionable country pursuits" as hunting, shooting and fishing.
  • High-Heel–Face Turn: Désirée, mostly over her crush on the Black Fingernail.
  • Historical Domain Character: Citizen Robespierre.
  • Idle Rich: Before they set off to save French aristocrats from execution, Sir Rodney and Lord Darcy were rich men in a fancy mansion in the countryside that spent their spare time womanizing, having fancy parties, and fishing with beautiful women.
  • If I Do Not Return: Part of a gambit set up by Citizen Camembert against the Black Fingernail. Before leaving for England, he gives orders for Jacqueline (imprisoned in the Bastille at the time) to be sent to the guillotine if he does not return to France within the week. Luckily for Sir Rodney, Désirée tells him this, so he doesn't fall victim to it.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: A moment of this happens in the Châteauneuf. A soldier aims a pistol at Lord Darcy and Duc de Pommfrit from the upper floor and Citizen Camembert yells at them to watch out for the furniture. The shot misses them and hits the vase on the table they're standing next to, shattering it. Citizen Bidet also grabs a pistol off the wall later but is knocked out before he can use it.
  • Implausible Deniability: Even when it's blatantly obvious that Citizens Camembert and Bidet have captured Jacqueline instead of the Black Fingernail, Citizen Camembert still refuses to admit he's wrong, much to Citizen Robespierre's frustration. He only stops after Citizen Robespierre shouts at him to admit his mistake.
  • Improvised Weapon: Duc de Pommfrit puts a couple of these to good use in the Châteauneuf, mainly ornaments, a bust and a chair.
  • Irony: Sir Rodney rescues numerous French aristocrats from the guillotine, and then kills Citizens Camembert and Bidet in the same manner at the end.
  • Is There a Doctor in the House?: Namedropped by Citizen Camembert after Sir Rodney tricks him into killing Malabonce with the guillotine. Immediately after his My God, What Have I Done? moment.
  • Karmic Trickster: The Black Fingernail.
  • Land in the Saddle: Sir Rodney, fleeing Citizen Camembert and his men, summons his horse with a whistle and leaps out a window onto its back.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Citizen Camembert sending aristocrats to the guillotine, ends up executed the same way at the end. By Sir Rodney, who had earlier rescued numerous aristocrats from being killed in the same manner.
  • Let's Get Out of Here: Sir Rodney, Lord Darcy, Duc de Pommfrit, Jacqueline and Désirée in the Châteauneuf after Citizen Bidet knocks a chunk out of the pillar. The words themselves are said twice by Lord Darcy.
  • Loveable Rogue: Sir Rodney, as with pretty much any Carry On character played by Sid James.
  • Love at First Sight: Sir Rodney and Jacqueline. Conversed via Breaking the Fourth Wall.
  • Lured into a Trap: Citizens Camembert and Bidet do this twice to try and find out who the Black Fingernail is, and then to catch him. They do it first by going to the ball at Ffing House, and, after a flash of inspiration by Citizen Bidet, using the silver locket by having Désirée wear it and see who recognizes it. It works, but then after Citizen Camembert is tricked into revealing where Jacqueline is being held captive, he and Citizen Bidet are forced to use the Châteauneuf itself as a trap to capture the Black Fingernail once and for all. It ultimately doesn't work, as he is eventually able to escape.
  • Manly Tears: Henri when he tells Sir Rodney and Lord Darcy what is going on in France, saying how overcome he is by the whole thing.
  • Market-Based Title: The film was known as Carry On Pimpernel in America.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Malabonce. "Mal" is french for "bad" or "evil", and bonce is a term for "head". Very appropriate, given that his job's an executioner.
    • Désirée. She desires to marry a "nice man with a fortune, and a château, and a title." She is also the object of Duc de Pommfrit's desire and desires to be with Sir Rodney. In the end, she does get married, but not to Sir Rodney.
    • Citizen Camembert as "the big cheese".
  • Mood Whiplash: Implemented at the beginning when the action first cuts from the Parisian square to the English countryside, in particular because of how the English aristocracy is oblivious (at first) of what is befalling their French counterparts.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Jacqueline and Désirée both fall under this. In the final scene, they are married to Sir Rodney and Duc de Pommfrit respectively.
  • Mugged for Disguise: Three of Citizen Camembert's guards, when Sir Rodney, Lord Darcy, and Duc de Pommfrit are rescuing Jacqueline.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Citizen Camembert about fifteen minutes into the film, after The Black Fingernail has tricked him into killing Malabonce with the guillotine and allowing the Duc de Pommfrit to escape. He even says "What have I done?" after doing it.
    • Near the end, Citizen Camembert grabs a pike off the wall and attempts to run Sir Rodney through with it but misses and kills the soldier he was fighting, making a hilarious noise as it happens. Again, he says "What have I done?"
  • Narcissist: Citizen Camembert. If it wasn't for his bigheadedness and arrogance (which sometimes leads to incompetence on his part), he might have actually succeeded in capturing Sir Rodney. Examples:
    • He's described in the opening voiceover as "the most dreaded man in all France", but, judging by the rest of the film, one can't help but wonder if it's a moniker he assigned to himself.
    • Even when it's blatantly obvious he's caught Jacqueline instead of the Fingernail in disguise, he still can't own up to his mistake and starts trying to clutch at straws, and only stops when Citizen Robespierre yells at him to admit his error.
    • He describes himself as "the finest pistol shot in France" and says the Fingernail is probably useless with any weapon, but Sir Rodney manages to get out of being killed by Citizen Camembert in their duel by tricking him into walking into the cesspit.
    • When it's revealed he purloined the Châteauneuf from a now-dead French prince (who he had likely had killed anyway), he simply sneers "Never mind Jacques. I'm all right!"
    • At the end, even when he is about to die, he still doesn't stop this, as he says he's the one who likely drew the crowd all on his own, wondering why anyone would want to see Citizen Bidet's head come off.
  • Never My Fault: Despite having two My God, What Have I Done? moments, Citizen Camembert almost never admits fault for his mistakes. He usually tries to make it seem like it was intentional or pins the blame on someone else.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: If Sir Rodney hadn't given the locket to Jacqueline, chances are Citizens Camembert and Bidet would not have found out who he was. As well as that he was the Black Fingernail. Also subverted, because if he hadn't done this, he wouldn't have been able to find Jacqueline again after she was captured.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain:
    • Citizen Camembert revealing the plan about the trap to trap Sir Rodney in the Bastille and Jacqueline's whereabouts at the Châteauneuf, in the case of the former while the good guys were hiding within earshot.
    • Citizen Bidet near the end of the scene in the Châteauneuf. He ran at Sir Rodney with an axe at the end of the climax but hit the pillar next to him instead, allowing the heroes to escape to avoid the inevitable collapse.
  • Nobody Poops: Averted by Citizen Bidet's plan to find out a person's true gender, pointing out that the person will have to "go and powder his or her nose" sooner or later.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Citizen Robespierre wants the Black Fingernail caught and brought to him for screwing up the Revolution by rescuing aristocrats from the guillotine.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Although more than two-thirds of the cast are playing French characters, only Jacqueline (played by the French actress Dany Robin) and Citizen Robespierre actually speak with a French accent.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity:
    • Sir Rodney and Lord Darcy, but in particular Sir Rodney, when Citizen Camembert comes to England and tries to inquire about the Black Fingernail. Namely so they don't give away the fact that the Black Fingernail is Sir Rodney himself. He also does this during the duel, and it gets him out alive.
    • Désirée does this to cover up the fact that Sir Rodney smashed through a window to get into the Châteauneuf, claiming to have accidentally broken it herself.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: In Calais, Sir Rodney does this. He first appears on the roof of the coach, then suddenly he's at the door of the building moments later with no explanation as to how he was able to get there.
  • Off with His Head!: Obviously.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Malabonce, seconds before he realizes Citizen Camembert is about to kill him with the guillotine as a result of The Black Fingernail's trick. Shortly followed by a My God, What Have I Done? on Citizen Camembert's part.
    • Citizen Camembert the first time Citizen Robespierre tells him he will be sent to the guillotine if he doesn't capture the Black Fingernail.
    • Sir Rodney and Lord Darcy exchange worried looks first when Citizen Camembert tells them he feels sure he will soon find out who the Black Fingernail is, and again when Désirée tells Citizen Camembert that Duc de Pommfrit knows his (the Black Fingernail's) identity.
    • Citizen Camembert has another when he realizes he has told the Black Fingernail (who was disguised at the time) where Jacqueline has been moved to, the one thing he wanted to keep secret.
    • Citizen Bidet in the Powder Trail moment mentioned below, seconds before the explosion.
    • Citizen Camembert in the Châteauneuf when Citizen Bidet accidentally knocks a chunk out of the pillar.
    • Citizens Camembert and Bidet at the end when it is revealed Sir Rodney is the executioner who is about to finish them both off. Then again before they're both killed.
  • Only One Name:
    • Citizens Robespierre, Camembert and Bidet. If Citizen Robespierre is meant to be the actual figure his character is based on, his first name is Maximilien. As for Citizens Camembert and Bidet, we only know them as this.
    • Jacqueline too. Sir Rodney reveals this is her first name when he realizes Citizen Camembert is laying a trap for him inside the Châteauneuf, but that he still has to get her out.
    • Also the Duc de Pommfrit, who's only referred to by his title and his name is never revealed.
  • Pair the Spares: Played straight with Désirée and Duc de Pommfrit, as they end up married in the final scene.
  • Pepper Sneeze: In a scene directly inspired by The Scarlet Pimpernel, Sir Rodney and Lord Darcy prank Citizen Camembert with pepper in his snuff. While they're preparing it, the pepper nearly makes Lord Darcy sneeze, and Sir Rodney holds it at bay with an Anti-Sneeze Finger.
  • Pet the Dog: Citizen Camembert is most definitely a bad guy, but he still admires Citizen Bidet's faithfulness to him, as shown in this line:
    Citizen Camembert: Not all are as loyal to me as you are, my faithful Bidet.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: A lot of them. Désirée wears a few, including the pink one at Ffing House and the one she acquires from the wardrobe at the Châteauneuf. Jacqueline also wears one from when she's imprisoned in the Bastille to when she's seen again at the Châteauneuf.
  • Plot Hole:
    • The bodies of the guillotined aristocrats disappear after they are executed.
    • At the ball, Lord Darcy refers to Citizen Camembert and Désirée as a Duke and Duchess at first, yet after that they are always called a Count and Countess.
    • How did Sir Rodney know Désirée would interrupt him during his duel with Citizen Camembert? Her interruption was what caused him to change the number of paces from ten to fifteen to cause Citizen Camembert to fall into the cesspit, yet if she never did, Sir Rodney's plan wouldn't have worked.
    • After the duel, Sir Rodney has to ask where the Bastille is, despite the fact that he was there earlier in the film.
    • The powder trail leading to the door of the Châteauneuf works, despite the fact there are several breaks in the trail.
    • When did Sir Rodney learn Jacqueline's name? She never reveals it to him when they are together, yet he knows it as he tries to rescue her near the end of the film.
    • Sir Rodney hits a soldier in the arm with a bottle, yet the soldier is knocked unconscious as if he had been hit in the head.
  • Powder Trail: Used by Sir Rodney and his allies to set off a couple of powder kegs and blow a door open. Impressively, the trail leads up a flight of steps at one point, and this apparently offers no obstacle to the spark.
  • Priceless Ming Vase: The climax takes place in a room full of priceless antiques that get smashed to pieces, much to Citizen Camembert's horror.
  • Punny Name: Sir Rodney Ffing — probably adding to the Fingernail's trademark of showing two fingers to the working class. Also, his name is pronounced "Effing".
    • Duc de Pommfrit is "potato chips" in English.
  • Returning the Handkerchief: Désirée Dubarry tries this to get close to Duc de Pommfrit, except he picks it up and throws it away. When she tells him she dropped her handkerchief he refers to it as a smelly old thing.
  • Revenge by Proxy: Attempted. Knowing the Black Fingernail may try to kill him if he discovers his identity, Citizen Camembert leaves orders for Jacqueline to be executed if he doesn't make it back to France within the week. Thanks to Désirée, the gambit fails as she warns Sir Rodney of this.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: Citizen Bidet tells Citizen Camembert that he thinks he is making a big mistake by letting the woman in his office leave, because he (Citizen Bidet) thinks the woman is an aristocrat. He turns out to be right in Citizen Camembert making a big mistake, but the actual reason is that the woman turns out to have been the Black Fingernail in disguise.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Lord Darcy, who helps Sir Rodney save French aristocrats from the guillotine. The two are also assisted in the climax by a previous rescue of theirs, the Duc de Pommfrit.
  • Rule of Three: Citizen Bidet is slammed behind both doors of the Châteauneuf during the climax, and then when he grabs a pistol off the wall, Duc de Pommfrit hurls a stone bust at him before he can use it, knocking him out.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: When Sir Rodney reunites with Jacqueline in the Châteauneuf, Désirée sees them as this. Justified because of how Désirée is herself in love with Sir Rodney and wants him for herself.
  • Skewed Priorities: At the beginning, Citizen Camembert calls the third execution we see disgusting, not because of the execution itself, but because the aristocrat who was executed had terrible scurf (dandruff).
  • Smug Snake: Citizen Camembert, like most antagonists played by Kenneth Williams, has a comically high opinion of himself in spite of successive failures. Most of his wicked schemes fail due to his own arrogance, incompetence, Sir Rodney's cunning, or a combination of all three.
  • The Stool Pigeon: In the second rose garden scene, Sir Rodney realises that Désirée knows he is the Black Fingernail (because he recognised the locket that he himself had earlier given to Jacqueline) and tells her not to tell Citizen Camembert this. She agrees, neither of them knowing that at that moment, Citizen Bidet was eavesdropping on them and he immediately rushed off to tell Citizen Camembert they now know who the Black Fingernail is.
  • Surreal Theme Tune: The theme song, Don't Lose Your Head, has no lyrics that have anything to do with the characters, however, the song is a guide for the rich merchant to not make a fool out of themselves when they're about to face the guillotine.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Citizen Robespierre towards Citizen Camembert, and Citizen Camembert towards everyone else.
  • Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: Citizen Camembert, with a healthy dose of Inspector Javert on the side.
  • Tagline: "Carry On laughing until you have hysterics.... But-".
  • Tap on the Head: Duc de Pommfrit throws a stone bust at Citizen Bidet during the fight in the Châteauneuf, hitting him on the head and knocking him out.
  • Tempting Fate: At the end, facing the penalty of their failure, Citizens Camembert and Citizen Bidet console themselves with the thought that at least the Fingernail is not there to see it. As soon as they voice the thought, they learn that not only is he there to see them being guillotined, he's operating the guillotine himself.
  • Ten Paces and Turn: The Duel between Citizen Camembert and Sir Rodney. They later make it fifteen paces instead of ten. It was a ruse by Sir Rodney to trick Citizen Camembert into walking straight into the cesspit.
  • Terrible Trio: Chief Of Secret Police Citizen Camembert, Citizen Bidet and Désirée, at least until Désirée's High-Heel–Face Turn at the end.
  • Title Drop: This film's title is one of only two in the series not to bear the series title. Nonetheless, it still features when Citizen Camembert give the order to "carry on chopping".
  • Too Dumb to Live: The executioner proves the guillotine works by putting his head in the stocks. It ends how you would expect.
  • Tree Buchet: Used by the heroes to get Sir Rodney into the Châteauneuf where Jacqueline is being held prisoner.
  • The Un-Reveal: In-Universe. Duc de Pommfrit tells Désirée that he knows who the Black Fingernail is, but that he promised never to reveal his identity. Upon seeing Citizen Camembert a few minutes later, Duc de Pommfrit asks if he was looking for the Black Fingernail, surreptitiously removes a hammer from his sleeve, jokingly tells Citizen Camembert "There you are" and bangs one of Citizen Camembert's fingers with the hammer.
  • Unsettling Gender-Reveal: The revelation by Citizen Camembert that the woman in his office was actually the Black Fingernail in disguise... and has just kissed him.
  • Verbal Backspace: When Sir Rodney offers Citizen Camembert snuff at Ffing House, he denounces it as a vice of the aristocracy, then remembers mid-sentence that he's pretending to be an aristocrat:
    Citizen Camembert: The taking of snuff is a vice of the degenerate aristocracy... and I love it.
  • What's a Henway?:
    Citizen Bidet: [under his breath in Citizen Camembert's ear] Pssst! ...Psst!
    Citizen Camembert: Don't be ridiculous! I've only had a couple!
  • Wrote the Book: Désirée on Duc de Pommfrit: "When it comes to wandering hands, he could write a series of travel books!"
  • "You!" Exclamation:
    • Said by Désirée to Sir Rodney after he crashes through a window and lands on the bed near her.
    • After Désirée smuggles Sir Rodney into Jacqueline's room in the Châteauneuf and he emerges from under her dress, Jacqueline says it.

Alternative Title(s): Carry On Pimpernel, Carry On Dont Lose Your Head