Wednesday 1 November 2017

Carry On Faces in Different Places: Value For Money

Here we go with a brand new series of blogs looking at some of the cream of British comedy film making from the 1950s, 60s and 70s. Although this blog is all about the Carry Ons, believe it or not, there were some other joyous comedy films made away from Peter Rogers Productions. However, given the quality of the actors Peter employed to make his series, it's no wonder that most of them popped up elsewhere.

So far I've looked at the wonderful 1959 crime caper Too Many Crooks , the 1954 domestic comedy starring Dirk Bogarde, For Better For Worse , the big screen spin off Please Sir! and the wonderful Up Pompeii 

Today we're going to cover another classic British comedy film, this time from way back in the mid 1950s - Value For Money. I must admit I wasn't familiar with this film until it popped up one day on Talking Pictures TV. I sat down to watch it, loved it so I'm including it in this series of blogs.

Who's in it?

The film stars John Gregson, then at the peak of his fame following his leading role in the hugely successful film Genevieve. Gregson plays Charley Broadbent and he's joined by a host of familiar British film faces - Diana Dors as good time girl Ruthine west, Derek Farr as Duke Popplewell and Donald Pleasance as Limpy.

Carry On Faces?
Future Carry On Nurse actress Susan Stephen plays Ethel, Broadbent's long suffering intended who provides a great contrast to the brassy Ruthine. Watch out for a young pre moustache wearing Leslie Phillips as Ethel's newspaper photographer Robjohns and the ever reliable Joan Hickson as the brusque Mrs Perkins. Carry On Constable supporting actress Jill Adams also pops up as Ruthine's flatmate Joy. 

What's it about?

A young man from Yorkshire inherits a sizeable legacy from his millionaire father. He decides to try the nightlife of London and meets a young girl performing in a nightclub. She intends to take him for all he's got and he's quite happy to be taken.

Best Bit?

I love the scene in the nightclub when Gregson's character attempts to charm the worldly Diana Dors. He shows up his penny pinching ways and lack of understanding of the wider world and the scene is played to great comic effect with various snobbish waiting staff coming and going with excellent comic expressions. The unlikely pairing of Dors and Gregson is a joy and although their characters are poles apart and there is much humour in that, there's also a sense that Dors' character becomes increasingly fond of Broadbent as the scene goes on.

Did you know?

One of the writers of this film was R.F Delderfield. This name might be familiar to Carry On fans as his play The Bull Boys became the very first Carry On film, Carry On Sergeant, adapted by Norman Hudis in 1958.

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