Carry On Films

The ‘Carry On’ films were a series of 29 comedy films made between 1959 and 1979, but the ‘golden age’ is generally considered to be the mid to late sixties.

Each film was based on a simple theme ‘Carry on Doctor’, ‘Carry on Cowboy’, ‘Carry on Teacher’ and so on that formed the framework for a series of comic mishaps.

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The films were largely based on innuendo, and smutty ‘school boy’ humour, and fell out of favour in the more politically correct climate of the 1980’s but recently they have been recognised as minor classics in their own way.

They were generally made on a minimal budget (and it showed) and included an ensemble of performers who, while virtually unknown internationally, became household names in Britain.

These included:

·         Sid James

·         Kenneth Williams

·         Barbara Windsor

·         Charles Hawtrey

·         Bernard Bresslaw

·         Kenneth Connor

·         Hattie Jacques

Other British comedy ‘stars’ featured in the series, often appearing several times but the core ‘Carry On’ team continued throughout, providing a familiar format that was comfortable with the viewing public.  

A couple of ‘Carry On’ films – “Carry On – Don’t Lose Your Head” and “Carry On – Follow That Camel”  were made in the mid sixties with a view to breaking into the American market, parachuting Phil Silvers into a lead role. That the transatlantic experiment ceased after two films is indicative that they failed in their objective.

A further carry on film ‘Carry On Columbus’ was made in 1992 to cash in on the 500th anniversary of Columbus sailing, featuring younger comedians. Another film ‘Carry on London’ has been in pre-production for several years, but as most of the original team are no longer with us, it’s unlikely that it will satisfy the fans of the genre.

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‘Carry On Cabby’ (1963) provides an interesting insight to the Britain of the early sixties while ‘Carry On Cleo’ (1964) contains what has been voted the funniest comedy movie line ever: “Infamy! Infamy! they’ve all got it in for me!” (by Kenneth Williams as an unlikely Julius Caesar)