Up the Chastity Belt, 1971
Up the Chastity Belt was a 1971 film, the second spin-off from the TV series Up Pompeii! that had made it’s big screen debut earlier the same year.
There were some notable names amongst the cast including Frank Thornton (later to star in Are You Being Served) Ann Aston (of Golden Shot fame).
Whilst the Up Pompeii TV series was written by Sid Colin and Talbot Rothwell, for Up The Chastity Belt Sid Colin shared writing duties with two other legendary script writers Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, who had worked with Frankie Howerd previously on his BBC shows in the 1960’s.
Howerd plays dual roles as King Richard the Lionheart and cowardly peasant Lurkalot (his character in Up Pompeii was the slave Lurcio).
Not surprisingly the plot served as a vehicle for the usual collection of puns and double entendres that characterised most British film comedy in the 1970s and that Howerd was famous for. However it did feature Eartha Kitt singing “A Knight for My Nights” and Hugh Paddick (of Julian and Sandy fame in the Round the Horne BBC radio series) as a notable Robin Hood, leader of a band of men who were camp homosexual rather than merry.
When the Queen of England gives birth to twins, they are seperated in order to protect the blood line. One is kept, whilst the other is hidden in a pig sty and raised to think it’s Mother is the pig.
That twin who is hidden happpens to be Lurkalot, who doesn’t know his past. Lurkalot makes a good living as a servant, selling chastity belts on the side. When his master’s castle is lost to Sir Braggart de Bombast, Lurkalot must fight to protect his daughter, eventually travelling to the missions to bring back his master. On the mission he uncovers that his twin is Richard the Lionheart and he is of Royal stock and must bring them both back.
Frankie Howerd as Lurkalot / Richard the Lionheart
Graham Crowden as Sir Coward de Custard
Bill Fraser as Sir Braggart de Bombast
Hugh Paddick as Robin Hood
Anna Quayle as Lady Ashfodel
Eartha Kitt as Scheherazade
Roy Hudd as Nick the Pick
Godfrey Winn as Archbishop of all England
Anne Aston as Lobelia
Lance Percival as Reporter
Royce Mills as Knotweed
Fred Emney as Mortimer
Dave King as Landlord of the Blue Boar
David Prowse as Sir Grumbel de Grunt
Nora Swinburne as Lady in Waiting
Judy Huxtable as Gretel
Lally Bowers as The Voice (voice)
Derek Griffiths as Saladin
Iain Cuthbertson as Teutonic Knight
Fred Griffiths as Father
Billy Walker as Chopper
Rita Webb as Maid Marian
Long John Baldry as Little John
David Kernan as Troubador
Frank Thornton as Master of Ceremonies
David Battley as Yokel
Norman Beaton as Blacksmith
Sam Kydd as Locksmith
Aubrey Woods as Vegetable Stall Owner
Christopher Timothy as Vendor
Written By: Sid Colin, Ray Galton and Alan Simpson
Produced By: Terry Glinwood and Ned Sherrin
Directed By: Bob Kellett
Year Of Release: 1971