Monday 28 December 2015

My Holiday Guilty Pleasures

As it's the Christmas holidays, I've treated myself to a few bargain basement guilty pleasures thanks to a well known online retailer. There are quite a few "classic" British comedies I've never seen and I've decided now is the time to put that right. So I've stumped up a few pennies and ordered some forgotten films featuring some well known faces.

First on my hit list is the only Doctor film I've never seen, Doctor in Love from 1960. Starring that dish of the era Michael Craig, it also features a host of familiar Carry On faces including Leslie Phillips, Irene Handl, Liz Fraser, Joan Sims and Fenella Fielding. It also boasts supporting turns from the likes of James Robertson Justice, Joan Hickson, Cyril Chamberlain, Sheila Hancock and Rosalind Knight. You surely can't go wrong with a cast like that! 

Next in my shopping basket came the Peter Rogers / Gerald Thomas / Norman Hudis collaboration from 1959: Please Turn Over. This film tells the story of a sleepy English town which is caught up in scandal when a young woman writes a steamy novel! Based on the play Book of the Month, this film stars a host of favourites including Ted Ray, Leslie Phillips, Joan Sims, Dilys Laye, Joan Hickson, Charles Hawtrey and Victor Maddern. I've always heard good things about this hidden gem so I can't wait to see it for myself.

Another forgotten gem is the television sitcom Our House. Also written by Carry On scribe Norman Hudis, this early comedy series from 1960 stars Hattie Jacques, Joan Sims, Norman Rossington and Charles Hawtrey. The basic plot sees several very different, colourful characters in a house share. Sadly many episodes from the original series are lost however the remaining few have been released on DVD and I am looking forward to checking it out.

Finally, probably the guiltiest of guilty pleasures is the Ray Cooney farce Not Now, Comrade from 1976. A loose follow up to the 1973 film Not Now, Darling, this low brow farce tells the story of a Russian ballet dancer who plans to defect to the west with the help of a stripper and a Triumph Stag. I have a feeling this will be so bad it's good but it does feature a plum cast which includes Leslie Phillips, Carol Hawkins, June Whitfield, Ian Lavender, Windsor Davies and Roy Kinnear. Hopefully these classic comedy performers will make this one more than watchable!

My plan is to watch them all with a critical eye and then review each title for the blog in the new year. So stay tuned for my verdicts! 

You can follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan 

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