Saturday 27 January 2018

Carry On Faces in Different Places: Floodtide

Here we go with a brand new series of blogs looking at some of the cream of British comedy film making from the 1950s, 60s and 70s. Although this blog is all about the Carry Ons, believe it or not, there were some other joyous comedy films made away from Peter Rogers Productions. However, given the quality of the actors Peter employed to make his series, it's no wonder that most of them popped up elsewhere.

So far I've looked at the wonderful 1959 crime caper Too Many Crooks , the 1954 domestic comedy starring Dirk Bogarde, For Better For Worse , the big screen spin off Please Sir! and the wonderful Up Pompeii and the brilliant John Gregson and Diana Dors vehicle, Value for Money.
Most recently I blogged about the Sid James and Kenneth Connor comedy horror What A Carve Up!

Today I'm going off track a bit with a blog about the 1949 romantic drama, with a bit of ship building thrown in, Floodtide.

Carry On Faces?

Quite a few Carry On connections in this film. There is a substantial supporting role for the wonderful Jimmy Logan playing Tim Brogan. This role is miles away from his parts as Bert Conway in Carry On Abroad and Cecil Gaybody (!) in Carry On Girls, but there is still plenty of cheeky charm! Also in the film is reliable Scottish character actress Molly Weir, playing landlady Mrs McTavish. Molly had a cameo in Carry On Regardless and much later, in the film of Bless This House.

Floodtide also co-stars the brilliant Janet Brown, years before her fame as Mrs Thatcher impersonator extraordinaire. Janet was of course married to Carry On legend Peter Butterworth from 1947 until his death in 1979. And the film leading couple are played by Gordon Jackson and Rona Anderson, whose main Carry On connection was that they were lifelong friends or Carry On star Kenneth Williams.

What's it about?

David Shields (Gordon Jackson), the son of a Scottish farmer, dreams of a life in the city. Against his father's wishes he obtains a job in the shipyards where his flair for design moves him swiftly up the ladder. This is resented by many of his colleagues, as is his impatience and dislike for performing menial tasks. However, David designs a revolutionary ship which impresses his boss, whose daughter (Rona Anderson) he is deeply in love with. Will he succeed in all he wishes to achieve?

Best Bit?

Much of the film is carried by the easy, affable charm of Gordon Jackson and his terrific chemistry with Rona Anderson and Jimmy Logan. My favourite scene sees a drunken Jackson lured back to the flat of scheming temptress Judy (Elizabeth Sellars). He is rescued just in the nick of time by Logan and Anderson and as Judy's true colours are revealed, Logan's Tim Brogan deals with her perfectly with the line "you'll get the jail for that caper, ye daft wee besom".

Did you know?

Gordon Jackson and Rona Anderson first met on the set of this film. They would go on to marry two years later, in 1951. They had an enduring marriage, which lasted until Gordon's early death from cancer in 1990. They worked together again on film in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie in 1969 and later still, when Rona surprised Gordon as one of the guest stars in an episode of The Professionals in 1981. The casting director Esta Charkham had kept Rona's casting secret from Jackson.

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