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Trivia / Carry On Columbus

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  • Box Office Bomb: Budget, £2,500,000. Box office, £1.6,000,000. While it outperformed the other two Columbus films, it failed to recoup its budget.
  • Creator Killer: This was the last film that Gerald Thomas directed, as he died on 9 November 1993.
  • The Danza: Martin Clunes as Martin.
  • Deleted Role:
    • A sequence involving T.P. McKenna as the Archbishop of Canterbury, conducting a marriage ceremony between Jon Pertwee's character and a young woman, was entirely cut from the final print.
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    • Peter Grant, ex manager of Led Zeppelin had his scene with Jim Dale cut from the film but he can be briefly seen before spy Sara Crowe locates Alexie Sayles' character.
  • Fake Nationality: Par for the course, the British and American cast play various nationalities.
  • Franchise Zombie: This film was a badly misconceived effort to carry on the series, stocking the cast with alternative comedians yet sticking to the hopelessly out of date type of jokes that the series had been using in its heyday.
  • Hey, It's That Place!: The crew returned to the ponds in Surrey where they originally went to film the sea shots from Carry On Jack, Frensham Ponds, near Farnham, Surrey. Not only that, the same rowing boat was used.
  • International Co Production: The film had financial backing from 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
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  • Old Shame: In later years, many Carry On cast members have spoken negatively of the film, such as Jack Douglas claiming he "would rather forget it". Dave Freeman complained about the rushed script and that several performers were miscast.
  • Romance on the Set: Sara Crowe married Jim Dale's son, Toby Dale, during the making of the film. Toby also appeared as a member of the Inquisition.
  • Throw It In!: Averted; the younger cast members tried ad-libbing their own jokes in order to freshen up the outdated material they were given to work with, but Gerald Thomas actively forbade them from doing so. While he was perhaps being mindful of what had happened when they tried to "modernize" the series with the Awful British Sex Comedy inspired late 70s entries, it didn't help impressions that the film felt twenty years out of date. To add insult to injury, Thomas had to also forbid improvising by the more seasoned cast members just so that it wouldn't look like he was playing favourites, further hurting the film.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The first choices to play the King and Queen of Spain were Frankie Howerd and Joan Sims. Howerd was signed up for it but he died months before filming, while Sims turned down the role of the Queen. The second choices were Bernard Bresslaw and Barbara Windsor, who also turned it down. Windsor thought the script was so bad she did end-of-pier theatre instead.
    • Kenneth Connor was offered the supporting part of the Duke of Costa Brava but he turned it down, saying "I want to be remembered as a Carry On star, not a Carry On bit player".
    • Robbie Coltrane was the first first to play Columbus.
    • Terry Scott was approached to play Mordecai Mendoza but had to refuse as he was too ill. This would have reunited him with June Whitfield, his costar in Happily Ever After and its More Popular Spin-Off Terry and June.
    • Jonathan Ross was due to film a one day cameo as a barber shop customer who had his ear cut off by Alexi Sayle but work commitments prevented him so the part went to David Boyce.
  • Writing by the Seat of Your Pants: The script was admittedly rushed because Dave Freeman had only ten days' notice to write one from scratch. He hated the end product and believed a great deal of characters were miscast.


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