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Trivia / Follow That Camel!

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  • California Doubling: Filming of the Sahara Desert scenes took place on Camber Sands; ironically, filming was actually halted at one point because there was snow on the sands.
  • Cast the Runner-Up: Charles Hawtrey wanted to play the role of Bo West, but Peter Rogers refused; it was eventually played by Jim Dale.
  • Completely Different Title: Some of the film's literal English language translations of its foreign language titles were "Carry On in the Legion" (USA), "In the Desert, No Water Flows" (West Germany) and "Carry On with the Foreign Legion" (Hungary).
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  • Deleted Role: Peter Jessen's role as Lawrence was cut.
  • Dyeing for Your Art: Kenneth Williams got a military haircut to play the commandant.
  • Fake Nationality:
    • Bernard Bresslaw plays a character called Abdul Abulbul. This is a reference to a popular British drinking song (with unprintable lyrics) called Ivan Skavinsky Skavar, in which the eponymous young Russian engages in a sexual duel with the wily Turk Abdul Abulbul Emir.
    • Kenneth Williams as the German Commandant Burger.
  • Hostility on the Set:
    • The regular castmembers didn't enjoy Phil Silvers' presence onset. He had short-term memory loss during the making of the film and had to have boards placed behind the camera so he could read his lines. Kenneth Williams publicly rebuked him both on-set and in his personal diaries for this. He also kept losing his contact lenses in the sands, necessitating cast and crew to help him look for them. There was also the fact that he was being paid considerably more than the regulars caused animosity.
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    • For most of the filming Jim Dale and Peter Butterworth weren't speaking to each other, even though they had the majority of scenes together. According to Dale, this was the result of Williams trolling them by telling them both that they disliked the other.
  • Never Work with Children or Animals:
    • The camel used in the film came from Chessington Zoo. Called Sheena the Camel, it had never walked on sand before and corrugated material covered with sand had to be placed on the floor. It apparently bit Jim Dale once and the producer hit it with a prop in response.
    • The horse used in the desert scenes would not gallop only canter. The producer speeded up the film in order to show the horse galloping.
  • Stunt Casting: Phil Silvers received the And Starring credit as a Ratings Stunt at the box office. It was in hope to gain money on a movie from a low-budgeted production company because of his popularity at the time. It didn't work as much as it should've done.
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  • Throw It In!: If the scene where Bo West drops the rifle on Commandant Burger's foot, Jim Dale actually did accidentally drop the rifle onto Kenneth Williams' foot instead of onto the sand. It was so heavy it cut the boot leather. Williams' painful reaction was real, and he can be seen limping in several subsequent scenes. Dale insisted it was accidental but Williams wrote in his autobiography that he was sure it was deliberate.
  • What Could Have Been: Phil Silvers replaced Sidney James in the role of Sergeant Nocker which had been originally written for James who could not star due to commitments on George and the Dragon (1966). About two weeks into filming, James suffered a mild heart attack anyway, on 13th May 1967. Woody Allen was also considered for the role.
  • Working Title: Carry On an Bo.


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