Wednesday 1 April 2015

What was the last great Carry On?

It's a never-ending debate amongst diehard Carry On fans but I'm going to try and bring it up again. What was the last really great Carry On in the series?

Some people are purists and would lay claim to Up The Khyber or Camping being the best before it all went down hill. Others state that even though At Your Convenience performed badly at the box office on release, mainly due to a rare instance of badly judged subject matter, it is in many ways the classic Carry On film. Loving those scenes in Brighton as much as I do, I would struggle to disagree.

Then we get into the really divisive period in the Carry On's history. Should the last great Carry On be Carry On Dick because it saw the final appearances in the franchise for Barbara Windsor (discounting That's Carry On), Sid James and Hattie Jacques? Or should it be Carry On Behind, a brave attempt at keeping the series going by updating the classic Camping formula?

I think most of us can agree that the glory days had long departed by the time the likes of England, Emmannuelle or Columbus were released. Any fans of these three dubious titles out there who want to defend them?

For me, the last properly great Carry On film has to be Abroad, released in 1972. It featured a particularly strong roster of superb Carry On regulars, had a couple of excellent guest stars in June Whitfield and Jimmy Logan and is always up there with the best if only for those highly authentic pub scenes with Sid and Joan behind the bar. "Bottoms Up!" "Blimey! Is that what it is?" Please yourselves...

Abroad is also infamous for being Charles Hawtrey's last appearance with the team. While Hawtrey often appeared in cameo roles in later years, the fact that the team was starting to break up at all was damaging and for me the films that followed missed him popping up with a cheery "Oh hello!" 

So this is when I ask all of you Carry On fans out there who read this blog and follow on Twitter - tell me what you think the last great Carry On film is and why. This should be interesting!

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  1. For me it has to be Abroad - it is the last time all the original gang were together which shows that the formula was not the only reason behind the success of the series but in fact (despite what the Produder and Director say) the cast.....fact. You only have to look at Girls onwards to see it.

    1. I think I probably agree with you. Abroad was a good idea but the best bit about it was that all the main cast members were there. As soon as that started to change, it all went a bit wrong.