Tuesday 15 November 2016

My Favourite Carry On Photos: Carry On Spying


This is part of a new series of blogs looking back at some of my favourite photos from the Carry On archive. I plan to blog some of the photos from the Carry On films and of their stars that mean the most to me and why I love them so much. As simple as that!

Today I'm looking at one of my favourite early Carry Ons and the last black and white film in the series, the 1964 series entry Carry On Spying. This film isn't shown on television nearly often enough, probably as it's both black and white and also features few regular actors. However I think it's a gem and the central performances from the likes of Kenneth Williams, Charles Hawtrey, Dilys Laye and Bernard Cribbins are a joy. It also gives us the first and in my mind, the very best performance from Barbara Windsor.

Spying allows Barbara to be the funny, chirpy, bubbly Carry On comedienne we all know and love with a sweet innocence that was lacking in many of her later characterisations. Her Daphne Honeybutt is also by far the smartest agent in the bunch and she steals many a scene with confident ease. I love the scene in the Cafe Mozart where the bumbling English spies are shown up to be well, bumbling English spies. All around them are semi-serious dramatics involving the likes of Dilys Laye, Eric Pohlmann, JIm Dale and Victor Maddern while the main characters camp it up outrageously and provide the ultimate Carry On contrast.

The scene with the champagne cocktails is a joy and bears frequent repetition. Kenneth's Desmond Simkins is lording it over the new agents, insisting that he must "sample" their cocktails to make sure they are not poisoned. Of course he's basically just on the make and enjoying the free booze. In steps Barbara, claiming she can test her own drink and cue one of the funniest reaction shots in all of Carry On!  

Stay tuned for more of my favourite Carry On images coming up soon!

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