Saturday, 24 June 2017

Happy Birthday Julian Holloway!

 

Many happy returns to that wonderful British actor Julian Holloway who celebrates his birthday today. Julian, who has lived in California for the last twenty years, appeared in eight classic Carry On films during a long career in television, film and on stage.

Julian made his first appearance in the Carry Ons as a cheeky ticket inspector opposite Angela Douglas in Follow That Camel in 1967. He went on to appear in Carry On Doctor later that year, following that up with larger roles as Major Shorthouse in Up The Khyber (taking part in the legendary dinner party sequence) and as Jim Tanner in Camping - witnessing Barbara Windsor's infamous bikini popping moment. Later roles in the series included Adrian in Carry On Loving, Sir Thomas in Carry On Henry and an uncredited cameo as Roger in At Your Convenience. Following a gap of five years, during which he guest starred in the 1973 Carry On Christmas television special, Julian returned to Pinewood to play Major Butcher in 1976's Carry On England. 

 

There was a definite feel that the producers were lining Julian up to take over where Jim Dale left off. He obviously stepped in to cover some of Jim's material while he was absent from the series in 1968 but I don't know what happened after that as big roles in the films didn't really materialise for Julian. I think that's a shame as he had a wonderful cheeky chappie persona which suited the Carry Ons perfectly. 

Away from the Carry Ons, Julian has enjoyed a long and successful career. On film he appeared in the Beatles' movie A Hard Day's Night, Ryan's Daughter, Scream and Scream Again, Young Winston and the big screen version of Porridge. On television, Julian has appeared in everything from The World of Wooster and Crown Court to The Sweeney, The Professionals and Minder. One of my favourite of all his performances was as the drunken Jack Favell in the BBC's 1979 adaptation of Daphne Du Maurier's classic novel Rebecca, which starred Anna Massey, Joanna David and Jeremy Brett. These days Julian works in America and is a prolific vocal artist both in films and commercials. 

Julian is the son of the late, great Stanley Holloway who starred in many classic British films including The Lavender Hill Mob, Passport to Pimlico and The Titfield Thunderbolt and Julian's daughter is the model turned television cook Sophie Dahl. 

We most recently saw Julian take part in the ITV Carry On Forever documentary where he shared memories of his time working on such treasured classics as Carry On Up The Khyber and Carry On Camping. It's a shame we don't see more of him on our screens these days. 

 

Whatever Julian is up to today, I hope he has a fantastic birthday!





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Friday, 23 June 2017

Carry On Laughing: Carry On Matron

 

The news has been pretty bleak of late what with one thing and another. It can be difficult in troubled times to stay positive but I think if anyone is going to keep us smiling in the face of adversity it's the Carry On team. So every day this week I'm going to blog one of my favourite Carry On clips to hopefully raise the odd smile or two.

To finish this week of special Carry On clips, I've chosen a sequence from the 1971 classic, Carry On Matron. The film is dominated by a trio of wonderful performance from series veterans Hattie Jacques, Kenneth Williams and Charles Hawtrey and this scene sees them at their joyously camp best. Kenneth's Sir Bernard Cutting is desperate to prove himself to Jacques' Matron however Charles gets in the way as Dr F.A Goode! 

The scene sees Talbot Rothwell at his best. It's packed full of funny one liners, beautifully played farce and plenty of slapstick. The scene of Hattie and Charles settling down for an evening of television viewing is set up wonderfully and Kenneth's undignified entrance into proceedings is a joy to behold. Quite simply it's three old pros having a whale of a time in each others' company! Enjoy! 






Carry On!

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Happy Birthday Sally Geeson!

 

Many happy returns to the lovely Sally Geeson, who celebrates her birthday today. Sally, who returned to the entertainment business a couple of years back, did of course star in two classic Carry On films in the 1970s.

Sally made her biggest and most memorable appearance in the series with her role as Lily in Carry On Abroad in 1972. In what many fans believe to be the last really great Carry On, Sally worked well opposite Carol Hawkins as two young girls off on a long weekend to the Spanish island of Elsbells. Sally proved such a hit with the team that she returned for the very next Carry On, playing the cameo role as Cecil Gaybody's assistant Debra in Carry On Girls.

Sally did make an even earlier appearance in the Carry Ons, with a blink and you'll miss it cameo as a child actor in Carry On Regardless in 1960. If you keep your eyes peeled during the Ideal Home section of the film, you may just spot a young Sally in the audience as Kenneth Williams demonstrates the latest in children's toys!

These days Sally is best remembered for playing Sid James' daughter (also called Sally) in the classic Thames television sitcom Bless This House. Sally spent nearly six years with the series and also appeared in the big screen version, produced and directed by a certain Peter Rogers and Gerald Thomas. Sadly Sally is now the last surviving cast member from the Bless This House series. 

I love Sally's obvious love and devotion for her late colleague and screen father, Sid James. She always speaks so fondly of Sid and clearly admired him, enjoyed working with him and learned a lot from the great man. As Sid's memory was frequently sullied following his death, it's wonderful to hear such positive recollections of a man who was a comedy hero to many.

 

Whatever Sally is up to today, I hope she had a wonderful birthday!


You can follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan on Facebook and on Instagram

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Carry On Laughing: Carry On Loving

 

The news has been pretty bleak of late what with one thing and another. It can be difficult in troubled times to stay positive but I think if anyone is going to keep us smiling in the face of adversity it's the Carry On team. So every day this week I'm going to blog one of my favourite Carry On clips to hopefully raise the odd smile or two.

Today I bring you a delightful clip from the first Carry On from the saucy seventies - Carry On Loving. The dating agency comedy, Rothwell's in-house tribute to Norman Hudis' Carry On Regardless a decade earlier, features the regular Carry On faces alongside a mix of younger, fresh-faced talent such as Richard O'Callaghan, Imogen Hassall and Jacki Piper. The clip I've chosen features the lovely Imogen before her dramatic and very glamorous transformation.

The slightly randy, accident prone Terence Philpott (Terry Scott) is sent off to the Grubb residence to met the daughter, Jenny (Hassall). However Terry ends up taking tea with the entire Grubb family, a real rogues gallery of mainly silent cameos. Joan Hickson guest stars as the formidable head of the family and the scene is a delightful farce which could have graced the London stage or any of the best television sitcoms of the era:






More coming up tomorrow!

Carry On!

You can follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan on Facebook and on Instagram

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Carry On Laughing: Again Doctor

 

The news has been pretty bleak of late what with one thing and another. It can be difficult in troubled times to stay positive but I think if anyone is going to keep us smiling in the face of adversity it's the Carry On team. So every day this week I'm going to blog one of my favourite Carry On clips to hopefully raise the odd smile or two.

Today I've got a clip from the 1969 medical Carry On, Again Doctor. This film is well remembered for featuring Jim Dale on his runaway hospital trolley and Barbara Windsor wearing little more than three strategically placed hearts. Ahem. The clip below is a lovely little inconsequential scene featuring the soon to depart Jim Dale as Dr Jimmy Nookey. It's basically an excuse to shoehorn two of Jim's frequent co-stars from previous films into the action - Peter Gilmore and Peter Butterworth.

The spot diagnosis gag is yet again not very complex or high brow but it's lifted above the humdrum by performances from three lovely actors. Peter Butterworth in particular shines through this very brief cameo as a rather pained hospital visitor...!




More coming up tomorrow!

Carry On!

You can follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan on Facebook and on Instagram

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Carry On Laughing: Carry On Abroad

 

The news has been pretty bleak of late what with one thing and another. It can be difficult in troubled times to stay positive but I think if anyone is going to keep us smiling in the face of adversity it's the Carry On team. So every day this week I'm going to blog one of my favourite Carry On clips to hopefully raise the odd smile or two.

Today I've got a clip from another film in my top ten - the glorious Carry On Abroad. Probably the last film in the series to be officially termed a classic, it features a cast full of wonderful comedy actors and the very last appearance from Charles Hawtrey. The clip below is a mash up of various slapstick calamities to befall the likes of Sid James, Jimmy Logan and Peter Butterworth as they battle through the dubious pleasures of the Palace Hotel on the island of Elsbells. 

This video clip features one of my very favourite sequences from the entire series as Sid and Peter Butterworth engage in a lovely bit of business involving a balcony door. The gag is set up early on in the film and bears fruit during the big finale. it's a fairly basic scene lifted up into something special thanks to Sid's brilliant comic timing and a truly hysterical Joan Sims who's laughter goes way beyond normal performance!





More coming up tomorrow!

Carry On!

You can follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan on Facebook and on Instagram

Monday, 19 June 2017

Barbara Carries On ... As Bettina

 

Barbara Windsor will be celebrating her 80th birthday this August. In the run up to this milestone, I've decided to blog profiles of each of her nine famous Carry On roles. Much the same as I did with both Joan Sims and Hattie Jacques, these blogs will take each part in turn and provide my own personal take on them. 

Barbara, or Dame Babs as it is now, is a showbiz legend in the UK, with a career dating back to the 1950s. As the recent Babs drama on BBC1 revealed, things haven't always been easy for Windsor, but her hard work and determination have seen her bounce back time and time again. No matter what else she has done in her career, the Carry Ons will always dominate and from our point of view, as Carry On fans, rightly so! So let's continue today with Barbara's fifth role in the series, as Bettina in the 1970 film Carry On Henry. 

 

Barbara's role in Carry On Henry is often quoted as her favourite in the entire series and it's not hard to see why really. Henry, the twenty first Carry On film to go into production, was a rather lavish film, at least by Carry on standards. The setting, the costumes, the dance routines, everything was a cut above. This retelling of the story of Henry VIII went into production at an extremely fortuitous time for Peter Rogers, with a renewed interest in the famous monarch in the early 1970s, both on the small and the big screen. The film provides Sid James with one of his best ever roles and as Henry he chews up the scenery was comedic relish, whether it's throwing over tables in the dining room, showing the likes of Terry Scott and Kenneth Williams who is the boss or chasing buxom wenches in the form of Margaret Nolan and Barbara herself, Sid is definitely in charge.

The film is a comic retelling of Henry's story, although initial scenes depicting Patsy Rowlands going to the block to have her head chopped off did commence proceedings with a dash of realism. It's not long though before Williams and Hawtrey are mincing about the palace and Joan Sims is attempting to convince the King that garlic is an aphrodisiac... Good luck with that one! Joan plays Henry's new French queen, Marie, and although they get off to a promising start, soon the odour of garlic puts the tin lid on any consummation. So, Henry does what he always does and start to look around for a replacement wife. Of course Marie's French heritage throws a spanner in the works, especially when her brother Francis (Francie!) comes to visit. This provides Peter Gilmore with one of his biggest and most outrageous Carry On supporting turns and his double act with Sid is a joy.

 

Anyway, on to Barbara's role in the film. Babs actually doesn't appear until about half way through the action but it's a performance worth waiting for. As Bettina, Barbara is the new object of the King's affections, catching his eye at court when presented by her father (a blink and you'll miss it appearance by Peter Butterworth). King Sid soon installs Bettina as Queen Marie's lady in waiting however his attempts to woo her are clumsy and ill advised, despite the best efforts of his associate Sir Thomas (Julian Holloway). This basically amounts to several scenes in which the pair attempt to disrobe Barbara's character. By now this was par for the course for Windsor in any Carry On however what is probably overlooked is just how much flesh is on display in Carry On Henry! Most of these scenes are completely cut by ITV3 whenever they repeat it by the way...

Barbara plays Bettina as quite a wide-eyed innocent which makes a pleasant change from some of her previous characters. It's actually a performance much more like her debut in Carry On Spying and that makes it a great deal better for me than anything that followed. Barbara plays the part with a delightful simplicity, failing to take the hint from King Sid and misunderstanding his numerous advances. Of course being a Carry On, Sid never does get what he wants and in the end it's Peter Gilmore's French King who departs with Bettina at his side. Henry ends up back where he started with Queen Marie and his new issue, who's parentage is a subject for debate!

 

It's easy to see why Barbara enjoyed making Carry On Henry. She's working alongside great actors like Sid, Joan Sims and Peter Gilmore and she gets the chance to wear wonderful period costumes. Barbara only ever made two period Carry Ons, this and her final film in the series, 1974's Carry On Dick, but it's this role that shines. She looks terrific throughout and her chemistry with Sid is at its peak. Despite fairly limited screen time in comparison to the likes of Williams, Sims and Scott, Barbara is definitely one of the highlights of the film.

To finish, a couple of Carry On Henry clips. First up is a rather obvious yet fun scene featuring King Henry attempting to try it on with Mistress Bettina, the best Bet in town...ahem:



And as an extra treat, here's some behind the scenes footage of the making of Carry On Henry, showing the cast at work and featuring some lovely little interviews:



Enjoy! Next up will be my take on Barbara's role in the final medical film in the series, the 1971 film Carry On Matron.



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