Wednesday 20 April 2016

From the Archive: Classic Carry On Film Posters

Film posters are big business these days. Many of them go for high sums at auction, particularly if they are associated with a cult film or a well-loved star. The Carry On films are no exception with original posters greatly sought after.

Sadly I'm not lucky enough to own any of the original Carry On artwork but it is something I would dearly love to rectify one day. The Carry On film posters really do capture the essence of the films. Although I prefer some more than others they were always bright, funny and eye catching. They normally featured the chunky, cartoon-like fonts, bright seaside colours and outlandish caricatures of our favourite stars.

So which do you think are the most successful? Well here are a few of my favourites. To begin with I absolutely adore the poster used to promote Carry On Screaming. 

I love how the poster manages to capture the film so well. You have the damsel in distress (Angela Douglas), a lovely shot of the film's guest star Harry H Corbett, Kenneth Williams in full on Orlando Watt mode and best of all, a very buxom, alluring Fenella Fielding in that famous dress!

Another favourite of mine comes from a similar period, Carry On Cleo. The film was released in 1964 in the wake of the infamous big budget Cleopatra and the poster for Cleo shamelessly sends up the poster used for the Elizabeth Taylor epic. 

Instead of Taylor, Richard Burton and Rex Harrison, we get Sid, Kenneth and a winking Amanda Barrie as the sultry Cleo. A nice touch is Kenneth Connor and Charles Hawtrey hiding under the bed! I don't doubt this image got Rogers and Thomas into trouble with the producers of Cleopatra but I think it was worth the bother!

Much later in the series came another classic and another classic poster. Carry On Abroad was released in 1972 and is considered by many people to be the last great film in the series. The poster for Abroad doesn't disappoint.

I love the bright, colourful images on this one and it is good to see most of the main cast get their faces on the poster! I think on the whole these are the most successful caricatures ever to feature on a Carry On poster. I love Sid and Joan laughing away under their umbrella from that wonderful scene. We also get lovely caricatures of Kenneth Connor and June Whitfield, Kenneth Williams, Bernard Bresslaw and Charles Hawtrey amongst others. The glamorous girl in the bikini also bears more than a passing resemblance to Carol Hawkins.

Finally, one of my personal favourites - Carry On Cabby. It is my all time favourite Carry On film and I adore the poster. 

I love the big colourful drawing of Amanda Barrie as Glam Cab driver Anthea, it's a great likeness. Posing on the bonnet of her Ford Cortina, it captures the very heart of the film. I also love the head shots of the principle cast members down the side bar of the poster. It's very 1960s and works a treat.

So those are some of my favourite images? What's your favourite Carry On poster? And do you own any originals?

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