Friday 15 December 2017

Carrying On with More4 this Christmas!

It really does feel that every Carry On film is being dusted off by our television networks this Christmas, not that I'm complaining. Next week sees Channel 4 show a different Anglo Amalgamated Carry On each week day afternoon, and 4's sister channel, More 4, will be showing three more from Boxing Day morning onwards.

Here are the details:

Boxing Day, 10am - Carry On Teacher (1959)

Another favourite of mine from the early Norman Hudis era of the series, Carry On Teacher blends the best elements of Ealing comedy and St Trinian's to make one of the most innocent of all the Carry Ons. A group of children rebel during an official visit from some school inspectors in the hope they can prevent their beloved headmaster from leaving to take up a new job. Gerald Thomas coaxes some lovely performances from the child actors in the cast, principally from leads Richard O'Sullivan and Carol White. Ted Ray makes his only Carry On appearance as the headmaster William Wakefield and forms a superb double act with his longtime radio co-star Kenneth Connor as bumbling science master Gregory Adams. Rosalind Knight grabs a larger role in Teacher, following her cameo in Nurse, this time playing severe school inspector Felicity Wheeler while the likes of Hattie Jacques, Joan Sims, Charles Hawtrey and Kenneth Williams are also along for the fun as the gaggle of accident prone, squabbling teachers. 

Further reading:  Carry On Blogging Interview: Josephine Bailey
Carry On Blogging: Whatever Happened to the Saboteurs? 

27 December, 10am - Carry On Jack (1963)

Probably one of my lesser favourites, this swash buckling yarn from the early 1960s marked a return to colour for the Carry Ons and also saw the films take on a period subject matter for the very first time. Until this point, every series entry had been firmly based in the present day so for the loyal cinema-going audiences this must have been quite a shock! Jack, written by Talbot Rothwell, is also fairly light both on innuendos and familiar cast members. Indeed of the regular team at this stage, only Kenneth Williams and Charles Hawtrey appear. Jim Dale, back for his second brief cameo role after Cabby earlier the same year, was yet to become a main presence however his appearance is a funny one and most welcome. Grabbing most of the action are Juliet Mills and Bernard Cribbins and very good they are too. Both new to the films, this was Juliet's only Carry On, despite appearing in two other films for Peter Rogers, Nurse On Wheels and Twice Round The Daffodils. Jack does feature some stunning actors in supporting roles, namely Donald Houston, Percy Herbert, Cecil Parker and Patrick Cargill.

Further reading: Carry On Blogging: A Change of Tack about Carry On Jack

28 December, 10am - Carry On Regardless (1961)

Although writer Norman Hudis is on record as saying this was his least favourite of all the Carry Ons he wrote, I love Regardless. It's the most episodic film of the entire series, basically made up of a series of sketches held together by the central comic force of Sid James as the owner of the Helping Hands Agency. Helping Hands employs a rag bag of diverse workers willing to undertake (almost) anything. This premise gives Hudis a huge amount of scope and the results, in the hands of a cosy bunch of lovable Carry On eccentrics, is just brilliant. It also features the biggest supporting cast of superb British comedy actors even seen. Everyone from Fenella Fielding and Stanley Unwin to Molly Weir, Jerry Desmonde and Joan Hickson appear, mostly fleetingly. Sid is assisted by the likes of Esma Cannon, Kenneth Connor, Joan Sims, Bill Owen and a debuting Liz Fraser.

Further reading: Carry On Blogging: Why I love Carry On Regardless
Carry On Blogging: My Favourite scene - Carry On Regardless

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