They Were Collaborators #67

The Carry On Gang (Sid James, Joan Sims, producer Peter Rogers, director Gerald Thomas, Barbara Windsor, Charles Hawtrey, Kenneth Williams, Hattie Jacques and Jim Dale) on the set of Carry On Again, Doctor in 1969.


Richard Gibson said...

Was this series big in North America?
I think it's over rated and has a lot to answer for in terms of British humour and the whole comedy of innuendo.

swac said...

Not so much in the U.S., although the films occasionally showed up there. Definitely in Canada, they're part of our cultural history, especially if you're over 35.

I still laugh at these films (well, the better ones) while realizing they're the '60s equivalent of Adam Sandler movies.

Richard Gibson said...

That makes sense Stephen as Canada was part of the commonwealth. You are spot on, I suppose yes they are similar to Police Academy, Adam Sandler and that kind of stuff or should that read fluff?

My issue with this stuff here is the word 'classic' get's bandied about a little too much. When they are shown on TV and called 'classics' I get annoyed, 'I'm Alright Jack' now that's more like what a classic should be in my mind.

swac said...

Oh, certainly the Carry On films can't hold a candle to the Ealing output, but given my love for character actors, it's hard for me to ignore a series that stretches out types like Sidney James, Charles Hawtrey (of "...and the Deafaids" fame) and Kenneth Williams over that many films. I'd say Carry On Up the Khyber and Carry On Cleo are the two essential titles in the series (although the B&W Carry On Spying is also a worthy title, dropping a few notches due to the absence of James) and if you have a taste for them, check the others at your own risk.

I've gone back and looked at microfilm of old papers from the '60s and '70s, and the British-owned Odeon theatre chain (now Cineplex Odeon, or in my neck of the woods, Empire Theatres) showed these films all the time, and ran huge ads for them. Clearly they were popular in their day (the nice thing about Odeon was that it brought in a constant stream of British film titles, something that's unheard of today).

Brent McKee said...

Carry On isn't a sophisticated sort of thing but you have to admit that they made some extremely funny movies for a series that wasn't supposed to go on beyond Carry On Sergeant. It's uneven, and I think they lost it when Barbara Windsor showed her boobs (Carry On Camping), but there's great chemistry between the cast and I have to adit that I'll watch or listen to anything with Kenneth Williams in it (like his episodes of Just A Minute where he towers above the others like King Kong at a Little Peerson's Convention). In the end it comes down to the fact that Carry On, like Benny Hill is the sort of "end of the pier" comedy that the British love but don't want to admit too liking.

Richard Gibson said...

Brent and Stephen, some interesting comments.

Stephen: I'm sure several of these were shown as double bills in 1970's. They are even to this day continually shown on British TV. They even had a 'Carry On' TV show which was just best clips from all the films, this too was shown ad infinitum as I was growing up. I'm sure I have seen *most* if not all, my favourite as a child was 'Carry on Cowboy', can't really even remember why. There is a plaque on a house near where I live as it's Sid James house, you know he lived on a main arterial road. I cannot imagine why he didn't go for somewhere more secluded.

Just a minute is awesome, I'd love to have heard Kenneth Williams on that, I have 'Best of Rambling Syd Rumpo' and maybe one other LP.
Are you in UK?

In case you didn't know ODEON stands for:


I believe some even referred to ODEON as 'Oscars'.