Thursday 18 June 2015

My Favourite Scene: Carry On Loving!

This is very much a matter of personal preference, but that kind of thing normally sparks an interesting debate! Rather than review each individual Carry On film, I've decided to look at the films and choose my favourite scene from each film. 

So far I have picked out favourite scenes from Abroad, At Your Convenience, Regardless and Sergeant and Camping. Today I'm going to choose my favourite scene from another Carry On classic, Carry On Loving!

Carry On Loving has always felt to me like a tribute to Carry On Regardless, which was released about a decade earlier. Both films feature a hotch potch of sketches and revolve around a central agency. In Regardless it was Helping Hands and the saucy seventies brought as the Wedded Bliss Agency! Of course the parallels are helped by the fact that the same location in Windsor was used in both films.

Loving introduced the viewing public to a host of new young actors who complemented the more familiar Carry On faces. The likes of Imogen Hassall, Jacki Piper and Richard O'Callaghan joined Julian Holloway to provide the film with more youthful antics. i think it does work although the film only really comes alive when Patsy Rowlands is chasing Kenneth Williams or Hattie Jacques is letting Sid James have it! As it were.

Anyway, my favourite scene is probably the best five minutes of Carry On slapstick ever. The famous wedding celebrations at the very end of the film are an unapologetic pantomime and while it's a rather obvious conclusion to a very obvious, knockabout comedy, it is brilliantly shot and you can't help but laugh. As a child I thought it was hilarious but I imagine the actors involved were less than impressed! Kenneth Williams in particular probably found the whole thing a bit of an ordeal as his hatred of physical comedy or anything degrading brought out the loudest protestations!

As the actors were legendary professionals, all would be completed on time and budget. I remember Patsy Rowlands recalling the scene in one of the audio commentaries, saying that it was filmed over two days and the second day was particularly unpleasant as all the cream in the cakes had gone off overnight! What actors will do for money! Just a good thing, it was so much! 

There is very little dialogue as such but the whole thing is done with tremendous zeal by a cast of experienced farceurs. So sit back, relax and enjoy the Carry On Loving climax!

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