Once again the possible return of the beloved Carry On franchise is in the news. Back in 1992 Christopher Columbus was the man of the moment as 1992 marked 500 years since he discovered The Americas. Naturally the film makers jumped on it with two serious films coming out the same year.
It seemed that as someone had gone to all the trouble of making serious films then someone should take a more humourous look at the subject. What better way than resurect the Carry On Films.
Carry On Columbus was the 31st and to date the last Carry On Film, a late comer to the series coming 14 years after the final film of the original series (Carry On Emanuelle, 1978).
From the original series Peter Rogers was on the production team and Gerald Thomas directed. Actors from the original series were: Jim Dale (in his eleventh Carry On), Peter Gilmore (also in his eleventh), Bernard Cribbins (in his third), Leslie Phillips (in his fourth), Jon Pertwee (in his fourth) and June Whitfield (also in her fourth). The only actor to bridge the gap between Carry On Columbus and Carry On Emanuelle was Jack Douglas, making his eighth appearance in the series.
Frankie Howerd had been signed up to appear, but died shortly before he was due to film his role. Consequently his part as the King of Spain was offered to original series regular Bernard Bresslaw, who turned it down. Leslie Phillips eventually took on the role, playing opposite June Whitfield as the Queen, a role turned down by Carry On veterans Joan Sims and Barbara Windsor.
Despite taking more at the box office than it’s two more serious counterparts Carry On Columbus was generally not well received, being panned by film critics and being voted worst British film ever, in a 2004 poll of British film actors, technicians, writers and directors on British cinema.
Christopher Columbus (Jim Dale) believes he can find an alternative route to the far East and persuades the King (Leslie Phillips) and Queen of Spain (June Whitfield) to finance his expedition. But the Sultan of Turkey (Rik Mayall), who makes a great deal of money through taxing the merchants who have to pass through his country on the current route, sends his best spy, Fatima (Sara Crowe), to wreck the trip…
Written By: Dave Freeman and John Antrobus
Producer: John Goldstone
Executive Producer: Peter Rogers
Director: Gerald Thomas
Original Release Date: October 1992