Friday 13 October 2017

How should we mark the Carry Ons' Diamond Anniversary?


I was reminded the other day in an email from regular reader John Purser that next year marks a very special moment for the Carry On films. 2018 will see the 60th anniversary of the very first Carry On film being made and released to the unsuspecting British cinema-going public! And the rest is history! 

Filming began on 24 March 1958, concluding on 2 May. Released on 1 August the same year, Carry On Sergeant became the third most popular film at the British box office that year. Starring William Hartnell, Bob Monkhouse, Shirley Eaton, Dora Bryan and Eric Barker, the National Service comedy also brought us the very first glimpse in a Carry On of future series regulars Kenneth Connor, Kenneth Williams, Hattie Jacques and Charles Hawtrey. The film was so popular, surprising producer Peter Rogers and director Gerald Thomas, but they soon capitalised on the runaway success by putting a second film with the Carry On prefix into production later the same year.


Carry On Nurse went into production at Pinewood on 3rd November 1958 filming until 12 December. This medical comedy kept the same writer, Norman Hudis, many of the same crew and cast members, with Kenneths Williams and Connor, Hattie and Charles all returning, alongside the first appearance of future stalwart Joan Sims. Nurse was the most popular film at the UK box office for 1959, after its release the follow March. 

I don't know about you, but I think it would be criminal to let the Carry Ons' Diamond Anniversary slip by unnoticed. I know the Carry Ons have had many tributes over the years, with the fortieth and fiftieth anniversaries being marked with special events and television programming, but 60 years of Britain's most successful comedy film series really is special. Sadly all too few of our favourite Carry On stars are no long with us so a big get together is probably out of the question, however surely other events could be planned.

Perhaps one of the main television networks might re-run some of the early black and white Carry Ons in a special season? Maybe we could have a documentary focussing on the early days of the films, telling the story of how they came about and reminding us all just how great the Hudis films are? Or perhaps Sergeant and Nurse could get a special re-release in some of our cinemas? Years ago a museum in London put on a exhibition all about the Carry Ons - I'd love to see something like that again.

So what do you think? How should we mark the 60th anniversary of the very first Carry On films being made? Get in touch and let me know!

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  1. I dont know . i think there would be enough actors from the franchise that could make it . Maybe jim Barbara leslie June etc

  2. The Whippit Inn has an event. Would love there to be a Pinewood event like the old days but the place is so expensive to hold anything. Though whilst the majority of the "team" have passed on there are still so great actors from the series still with us. Fingers are still crossed

  3. I dont know . i think there would be enough actors from the franchise that could make it . Maybe jim Barbara leslie June etc
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