A zany look at Britain's colonial past, Carry On...Up The Khyber spoofs such Empire adventures as Zulu and Khartoum, delighting in its emphasis on British peculiarities and eccentricities.
The splendidly daft plot takes place during the British occupation of India in Queen Victoria’s time. The reputation of the British is rocked when the local rulers suspect the dreaded Scottish Devils in Skirts – members of the intrepid Third Foot and Mouth Regiment – actually wear drawers under their kilts. Settling of this urgent question causes considerable hoo-hah in the shape of a local uprising engineered by the local Khasi of Kalibar (hilariously played by Kenneth Williams).
Taking the British stiff-upper lip to outrageous lengths, the film builds up to a ludicrous finale in which the government men insist on having a formal evening meal while their home is under heavy attack from the men of the Khasi. Part of its continuing appeal lies in the way it seeks to deflate traditional British values of restraint and decorum, and the associated obsession with class values.