Carry On Up The Khyber (1968, dir. Gerald Thomas)

British rule in 1895 India is threatened when an embarrassing military secret leaks. Despite awkwardness (blackface used for repertory cast villains) this is the high-point of the Carry Ons, a sharp satire drawing on Kipling and siege actioners like Zulu. Still works as a comedy and as an acute portrait of the arrogance of the English, the class system, and of Empire. Of, er, ‘its time’, but recommended nevertheless.

Here’s the trailer.

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2015, dir. John Madden)

Sonny and Sunaina are to be married, but complications arise when an expansion plan is threatened. With the hotel residents’ stories pretty much told in the first movie, this sequel struggles to justify itself, lifting instead the plot of a Fawlty Towers episode. Still, fans won’t complain, plus Richard Gere twinkles in support.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011, dir. John Madden)

British senior citizens relocate to India, where they find themselves in a dilapidated retirement hotel. Slight but fun romantic comedy aimed directly at Mamma Mia! fans. A strong cast helps; the film decides this isn’t the place to schematically engage with the negative impacts of colonialism, going instead for crinkly and twinkly. A sequel soon followed.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984, dir. Steven Spielberg)

An archaeologist and a nightclub singer find themselves facing an ancient occult evil. Though this prequel starts and finishes well, it’s hampered by an absence of narrative causality, two annoying sidekicks, and unfortunate treatment of gender and ethnicity throughout. Some great stuff remains, but this is too awkward too often.

Octopussy (1983, dir. John Glen)

Bond battles a rogue Soviet general intent on starting a nuclear war. Lacking the restraint of predecessor For Your Eyes Only, this is lesser Bond, with an eye as much on laughs as on thrills or plausibility. Louis Jourdan, though, makes for an elegant adversary.