Friday 30 June 2017

Carry On Classics: Carry On Spying


Last week I brought some classic clips from the Carry Ons in an attempt to lighten the mood following some rather grim recent events in the wider world. I blogged some of my favourite scenes from the likes of Matron, Loving and Abroad. Well I so enjoyed going through the archives online that I thought I'd do it for another week, this time casting my net a little wider.

Many of you seem to really like the charm and innocence of the early black and white, Carry Ons. They are shown as often as some of the later Rothwell films but I think they deserve as much praise for what they achieved. There is a real heart to those early pictures and they are both beautifully written and played by our regular cast of comedy misfits. Today I'm continuing with a clip from the last ever black and white entry in the series, Carry On Spying.

Released in 1964, Spying was a deliberate cash in on the success of fellow Pinewood productions, the James Bond films. Spy thrillers were the in thing so why not send them up? Added to this is the decision to shoot in black and white which gives the film a feel of the classic The Third Man, a film director Gerald Thomas worked on many years before. Spying was made at a time when the team was every so slightly in flux - Joan Sims and Hattie Jacques were on breaks from the films while Sid James was also absent. The likes of Bernard Bresslaw and Peter Butterworth were yet to join the series (that would come the following year). This left a core of regular actors which was much smaller than the familiar team scenarios which would follow.

Spying, one of the earlier efforts from regular writer Talbot Rothwell, also features the first appearance from Barbara Windsor and I think it's her best performance. The scene I've chosen shows the four main characters relaxing in the splendid surroundings of the Pinewood Orient Express, clearly thinking their mission is over. However, Dilys Laye may have other ideas... 

More coming up tomorrow!

Carry On!

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