When Sergeant Bilko was demobbed, Phil Silvers came to England to play Sergeant Nocker of the Foreign Legion in this high-spirited satire of adventure epics.
Unjustly accused of being a cheat and turned down by Lady Jane Ponsonby (Angela Douglas), Beau West (Jim Dale) joins the Foreign Legion – accompanied by his manservant, Simpson (Peter Butterworth) – where he immediately falls foul of the obnoxious Sergeant Nocker and Sheikh Abdul Abulbul (Bernard Bresslaw).
Life under Commandant Burger (Kenneth Williams) and his adjutant Captain Le Pice (Charles Hawtrey) is tough but has its own compensations – in the form of cafe owner Zigzag (Joan Sims) and belly-dancer Corktip (Anita Harris).
Not originally a Carry On film, that title was added almost at the end of production and didn’t even appear in the finished product.
Nevertheless, with Kenneth Williams (“there’s many a good fiddle played on an old dune”) and company in attendance, with the exception of Sid James (absent through illness), the film is a classic of the series.
Camber Sands near Rye in Sussex doubled for the Sahara Desert during filming. Shooting was stopped three times in two days because of snow!
Phil Silvers received £30,000 for his appearance – the highest fee ever paid to an actor in a Carry On film.
Bertram (Beau) Oliphant West
Captain Le Pice
Sheikh Abdul Abulbul
Lady Jane Ponsonby
Captain Humphrey Bagshaw