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Carry On Columbus (1992) is the 31st and final film to date of the series of Carry On films to be made; it was a belated entry to the series, following 1978's Carry On Emmannuelle. It was produced to coincide with the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus' discovery of the Americas (two other more serious films on the subject, 1492: Conquest of Paradise and Christopher Columbus: The Discovery came out the same year).
The only main series regulars present are 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 the previous entry was Jack Douglas, making his eighth appearance in the series.
Original Carry On performer Frankie Howerd was signed up to appear, but he died shortly before he was due to film his role. 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 both Joan Sims and Barbara Windsor.
Veteran Carry On performer Kenneth Connor was offered a cameo role in the film but he turned it down, saying: ‘I want to be remembered as a Carry On star, not a Carry On bit player’.
The producers managed to persuade a number of alternative comedians such as Peter Richardson, Alexei Sayle, Rik Mayall, Julian Clary and Nigel Planer, all of whom except Clary are from the Comic Strip, to appear in the film.
This was the last film that Gerald Thomas directed, as he died on 9 November 1993.
- Jim Dale as Christopher Columbus
- Bernard Cribbins as Mordecai Mendoza
- Maureen Lipman as Countess Esmerelda
- Alexei Sayle as Achmed
- Rik Mayall as The Sultan
- Sara Crowe as Fatima
- Julian Clary as Don Juan Diego
- Keith Allen as Pepi the Poisoner
- Leslie Phillips as King Ferdinand
- Jon Pertwee as the Duke of Costa Brava
- Richard Wilson as Don Juan Felipe
- Rebecca Lacey as Chiquita
- June Whitfield as Queen Isabella
- Nigel Planer as The Wazir
- Larry Miller as The Chief
- Jack Douglas as Marco the Cereal Killer
- Andrew Bailey as Genghis
- Burt Kwouk as Wang
- Philip Herbert as Ginger
- Tony Slattery as Baba the Messenger
- Martin Clunes as Martin
- David Boyce as Customer with ear
- Sara Stockbridge as Nina the model
- Holly Aird as Maria
- James Faulkner as Torquemada
- Don Maclean as Inquisitor with ham sandwiches
- Dave Freeman as Inquisitor
- Duncan Duff as Inquisitor
- Jonathan Tafler as Inquisitor
- James Pertwee as Inquisitor
- Toby Dale as Inquisitor
- Michael Hobbs as Inquisitor
- Peter Grant as Cardinal
- Su Douglas as Countess Joanna
- John Antrobus as Manservant
- Lynda Baron as Meg
- Allan Corduner as Sam
- Nejdet Salih as Fayid
- Mark Arden as Mark
- Silvestre Tobias as Abdullah
- Daniel Peacock as Tonto the Torch
- Don Henderson as The Bosun
- Harold Berens as Cecil the Torturer
- Peter Gilmore as Governor of the Canaries
- Marc Sinden as Captain Perez
- Charles Fleischer as Pontiac
- Chris Langham as Hubba
- Reed Martin as Poco Hontas
- Prudence Solomon as Ha
- Peter Gordeno as The Shaman
The film was panned by many critics. Michael Dwyer in The Irish Times described Carry on Columbus as a "flaccid, feeble comeback effort" and a "wretched and pathetic attempt which is singularly unfunny". However, Carry On Columbus took more money at the UK box office than the two other Columbus films released in 1992, Christopher Columbus: The Discovery and 1492: Conquest of Paradise, although all three films flopped. Carry On Columbus was also shot on a much lower budget than the other two films, a budget of £2.5 million compared to the other two budgets of $45 million and $47 million respectively.
In a 2004 poll of British film actors, technicians, writers and directors on British cinema, Carry On Columbus was voted the worst British film ever.