Sunday 9 August 2015

My Favourite Scene: Carry On Cabby

I have been writing a series of blogs which look to find my favourite scene in each of the original Carry On films made between 1958 and 1978. I think I'm about half way through this project so far, having written about everything from Carry On Nurse and Regardless right through to England and Emmannuelle.

Today I am going to take us all back to the glorious Carry On Cabby, released in 1963. I rated it my all time favourite Carry On film on this blog earlier this year and it's one of films I can watch again and again and never get bored. It's very much my comfort blanket Carry On. So how to decide which is my favourite scene in a film I love so much? 

Well it was relatively easy. The high point for me in Cabby revolves around Hattie Jacques' decision to start up her own rival cab film to take on husband Sid James' Speedee Cabs. Hattie's Peggy Hawkins is fed up playing second fiddle to Charlie's business. Although he undoubtedly loves his wife, he very much takes her for granted so she fights back. Peggy, together with the diminutive Flo Sims (Esma Cannon) start up Glam Cabs, a cab firm that only uses brand new fancy Ford Cortinas and hires only gorgeous, glamorous and highly capable women. Chaos ensues as Sid and the boys struggle to keep pace with their rivals!

My favourite scene in the film comes half way through as Peggy and Flo unveil their new workforce. Eric Rogers wrote a wonderful theme for this scene, the music used as the camera pans along the Glam Cab drivers in their uniforms is just fantastic and really captures the spirit of the film. Peggy has last minute nerves, her conscience bothering her as she prepares to steal her husband's business. Buoyed on by Flo, she tells the girls to get on with it. After a few choice remarks from some of the drivers (namely Carole Shelley and the glorious Amanda Barrie), the love heart cab signs are turned out and it's wagons roll!

It's a truly wonderful moment in a delightful early Carry On. Yes I know, the women need rescuing from the villains at the end and Sid's macho pride is left intact but his character is a changed man as a result of his wife's actions. Cabby provides Hattie Jacques with her stand out role in the series. She is sublime and it makes you realise how few opportunities Hattie was given to show what she was made of. 

So dig out your DVD of Carry On Cabby, sit back and enjoy as those Glab Cab drivers give Sid a taste of his own medicine!

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