Carry On... Up the Khyber

Synopsis: Sir Sidney Ruff-Diamond looks after the British outpost near the Khybar pass. Protected by the kilted Third Foot and Mouth regiment, you would think they were safe. But the Khazi of Kalabar has other ideas. He wants all the British dead! But his troops fear the "skirted-devils"; they are rumoured not to wear anything underneath. Then one is caught with his pants on...
Genre: Adventure, Comedy
Director(s): Gerald Thomas
Production: J. Arthur Rank Productions
88 min

India, 1895.

The most precious gem in the far-flung belly

of the Great British Empire.

Here the British rulers and their memsahibs

enjoyed a life of luxury and ease,

matched only by that of the Indian rajahs.

None more so than Her Majesty's Governor

of the Northwest Frontier Province,

Sir Sidney Ruff-Diamond.

(Elephant breaks wind)

For them, it was a rich life.

And endless round of receptions, balls,

ceremonial processions, tiger shoots,

and, of course, polo.

And who are we playing today,

Major Shorthouse?

- Kalabar Ravers, Your Excellency.

- Oh, top-hole.



Who's the turban-job on the throne?

You mean the Khasi.

That's Randy Lal.


Randy Lal, the Khasi of Kalabar.

Ooh. How do you know he is, then?

How do I know he's what?


That's his name!


He's very good-looking, isn't he?

Yes. The richest and most powerful rajah

in northern India.

He's smiling at us.

- Well, smile back.

- Cooee!

You don't have to go raving mad.

My father, who are those people?

That, light of my darkness,

is Sir Sidney Ruff-Diamond,

the British Governor, whose benevolent rule

and wise guidance we could well do without.

Oh, I say, he's a charming man, isn't he?

Yes. I wouldn't trust him an inch.

- Ooh, neither would I.

- I didn't mean that.

You don't like this man, my father?

Light of my darkness,

there is no mountain in all India

high enough from which

to adequately show my contempt of him.

Well, why do you smile at him so favourably?

Because in these days

of British military supremacy,

the Indian must be as a basket with two faces.

Shall I tell you something? He'd like to massacre

me and every other Britisher in India.

Well, then, what do you keep smiling at him

like that for?

Because as a top-rank British diplomatist,

I'm as two-faced as he is.

Played, sir.

Well played, Philip!

He'll go far, that boy,

if he makes the right marriage.

Oh, I say! He did not 'alf crack that one,

did he not?

Dearest, if you can't express yourself in more

elegant terms, kindly shut your cake-hole.

And so the British carried on

with their carefree life,

little knowing that

in the snow-capped mountains to the north,

the spark was soon to be lit

that would set Kalabar ablaze.

Here was the famous Khyber Pass,

the gateway to India.

This was a vital key point,

guarded night and day by the celebrated

Highland regiment, the 3rd Foot & Mouth.

Fearless fighting men, aptly referred to

by the natives as "the Devils in Skirts".

Private Widdle!

Sergeant Major?

Private Widdle, I know you're an ignorant nana,

but when you are ordered to attention,

you are courteously requested

to stop shuffling your flaming feet about!

I was only trying to keep warm.

Oh, so you're cold, are you?


The way the wind whistles up the Pass.

I'm sorry to hear that, Widdle. Maybe

you'd like me to get you a hot-water bottle.

Oh, how very kind.

As a matter of fact, I already have one.


And what, may I ask, is that thing doing in there?

It keeps my dangler warm.

Give it here!

For the last time, stop calling it a dangler!

It's a sporran!

Yes, Sergeant Major. Sorry.

Look at you, Widdle.

A Devil in Skirts!

You look more like an Angel in Pond!

- (All laugh)

- Silence!

You're not much better, any of you!

I've seen better-equipped men

guarding a harem.

- Ha-ha ha-ha!

- That's not funny, Widdle!

You're a disgrace to the regiment.

I didn't ask to be a Devil in Skirts.

Maybe you're right, Widdle.

You're too good for the likes of us.

You deserve a bit extra.

- Oh, do you really mean that?

- Yes.

And we'll start off

with four hours' extra guard duty!

Oh, Bungdit Din, there is a guard.

We cannot go through.

Only one man, Stinghi.

One Devil in Skirts is enough.

You know they are invincible.

If we fight, maybe.

But there is always bribery.

What have we got to bribe them with?

Don't you know what British soldiers

are always looking for abroad?

Yes, but where are we going to get

a bint up here?

No, no, no, no, no. Souvenirs.

I'll offer him my weapon if he'll let me go through.


(Crunch of gravel)

- Halt! Who goes...

Who goes um... Oh, what's the word?

- There.

- Oh, thank you. Who goes there?

- I go there. Very good friend.

- Oh. Advance, friend, and give the password.

- With pleasure, sir. What is password, please?

- Pomegranate.

Very good. Pass, friend.

Hey, just a minute!

You're supposed to give it, not me.

Oh, I'm sorry, sir. I'm just stupid, ignorant Burpa.

Oh, no, you don't.

Stay where you are. I've got you covered.

Oh. Just a minute. Covered.

Oh, no, no, no, sir. No need for antagonism.

I have a present for you here.

- Oh.

- Very good Indian scimitar.

Can cut men in two with one stroke.

What did I do?

I wonder...

Now we know! Hurr-hurr-ha-ha!

You speak truly? The Devil actually wore

this garment beneath his skirts?

I swear it, Highness.

Did I not remove it with my own hands?

You did well, Bungdit Din.

It was not difficult, Highness.

It was only held up with a piece of elastic.

No, no, no, no, my beautiful warrior!

I mean you did well to discover it.

For many, many years now,

they have led us to believe

that the Devils wore nothing beneath their skirts,

and we have feared them according.

But now... Ho-ho-ho!

I do not understand, my father.

What is there to fear from a warrior

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Talbot Rothwell

Talbot Nelson Conn Rothwell, OBE (12 November 1916 – 28 February 1981) was an English screenwriter. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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