Up Pompeii (film)

Up Pompeii is a 1971 British sex comedy film directed by Bob Kellett and starring Frankie Howerd and Michael Hordern. The film was shot at Elstree Film Studios, Borehamwood, England and is based on characters that first appeared in the British television sitcom Up Pompeii! (1969–1975).

Up Pompeii
Theatrical poster
Directed byBob Kellett
Produced byNed Sherrin
Written bySid Colin
StarringFrankie Howerd
Michael Hordern
Music byCarl Davis
CinematographyIan Wilson
Edited byAl Gell
London Associated Films
Distributed byMGM-EMI
Release date
Running time
90 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom


Lurcio (Frankie Howerd) becomes the inadvertent possessor of a scroll bearing all the names of the proposed assassins of Nero (Patrick Cargill). The conspirators need to recover the scroll fast, but it has fallen into the hands of Lurcio's master, Ludicrus Sextus (Michael Hordern), who mistakenly reads the contents of the scroll to the Senate. Farcical attempts are made to retrieve the scroll before Pompeii is eventually consumed by the erupting Vesuvius.



The Robert Stigwood Organisation had money in the film.[2]

A version was made for American audiences with six minutes of additional footage including a prologue and epilogue and Lurcio setting the scene.[1]


Box Office

The film was the 10th most popular movie at the British box office in 1971.[3][4] By June 1972 it had earned EMI a profit of £20,000.[5]


  1. Moody, Paul (19 October 2018). EMI Films and the Limits of British Cinema. Springer. p. 104.
  2. City comment: Thanks to the pound Swan, Hunter; Stigwood, Robert. The Guardian 2 Aug 1972: 16.
  3. Peter Waymark. "Richard Burton top draw in British cinemas." Times [London, England] 30 Dec. 1971: 2. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 11 July 2012.
  4. Harper, Sue (2011). British Film Culture in the 1970s: The Boundaries of Pleasure: The Boundaries of Pleasure. Edinburgh University Press. p. 269.
  5. Moody, Paul (19 October 2018). EMI Films and the Limits of British Cinema. Springer. p. 83.

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