Tuesday 27 March 2018

Enjoy a Classic Carry On tomorrow on Film 4

Film 4 are showing two classic black and white Carry Ons tomorrow afternoon. What a treat for fans of the best of British comedy. I have a real soft spot for the early films and tomorrow they are showing two of my favourites. The first, my all time favourite film in the entire series and the first to be written by the legendary Talbot Rothwell. The second, one of Norman Hudis' finest, featuring the biggest cast of recognisable British character comedy actors ever seen! 

Here are the details:

13.00 - Carry On Cabby (1963) 

My own personal favourite from the entire run of films, this black and white kitchen sink Carry On classic was released in 1963. Originally not even destined to be part of the series, Call Me A Cab was quickly rebranded Carry On Cabby when Peter Rogers realised what a hit he had on his hands. A grittier script than usual, this one really does tug at the heart strings while also raising a smile or two. The first script from prolific writer Talbot Rothwell, the story revolves around the frustrated wife of a rather traditional male taxi firm owner who gets her own back on her neglectful husband by setting up a rival business. The difference is Glam Cabs only employs glamorous female drivers! The central performances of Hattie Jacques and Sid James as warring couple Charlie and Peggy Hawkins are the heart and soul of the film with a small but compact cast of supporting actors which include reliable turns from Kenneth Connor, Liz Fraser, Esma Cannon and Charles Hawtrey. Also look out for future Carry On leading man Jim Dale in his series debut as an expectant father and Cleo star Amanda Barrie as Glam Cab driver Anthea.

Further reading -  Carry On Blogging: Hattie Carries On as Peggy Hawkins
Carry On Blogging: My Favourite Scene in Carry On Cabby

Carry On Blogging: My Favourite Carry On

14.50 - 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

You can follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan and on Instagram

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