Friday 1 June 2018

Classic Comedy with Carry On Faces this weekend

Keep your eyes peeled for three classic British comedy films showing across different channels this coming weekend. I thought it was worth highlighting the scheduling of these films as they are not shown all that often, mores the pity!

What A Carve Up! - Movies4Men - Saturday 2nd June - 6am

This wonderful comedy horror from 1962 capitalised on the contemporary success of the Carry On series, boasting a brilliant cast including Sid James, Kenneth Connor, Shirley Eaton and Esma Cannon - all names well known for appearing front and centre in recent hits such as Carry On Nurse, Constable and Regardless. The film also features the likes of Michael Gough and Donald Pleasance. 

The relatives of Gabriel Broughton are summoned to Blackshore Towers, an old, isolated country house in the middle of moorlands in Yorkshire, to hear the reading of his will. Gabriel's nervous nephew Ernest brings along his flatmate Syd for support. At the large, gloomy mansion, they meet Guy Broughton, Ernest's cousin; Malcolm Broughton, a piano player who claims everyone is "quite mad"; Janet Broughton and Dr Edward Broughton, Guy's sister and father, respectively; Emily Broughton, a dotty old woman who believes the First World War is still on; and Linda Dixon, Gabriel's nurse. To their surprise, the solicitor Everett Sloane reveals that they have all inherited nothing, except for Linda, who is bequeathed Gabriel's medicines and syringe, much to her amusement.

The Big Job - Talking Pictures TV -  Saturday 2nd June - 8.15pm


In 1950 a gang of robbers led by the self-proclaimed George the 'Great' Brain rob a bank, stealing £50,000. However, due to a mix-up, they are pursued and caught by the police. He manages to stash away the money in the trunk of a hollow tree, before he is collared. The gang are then sentenced to serve fifteen years in Wormwood Scrubs prison.

Upon their release in 1965, the gang go back to the spot where they had left the money, only to find it is now a new town, and a housing estate has been built around the tree. To their chagrin they find that the tree is now in the grounds of the local police station, invitingly close to the wall. George and his gang take up rooms in a nearby house rented by a widow and her daughter. In order to provide a respectable front, George is forced to marry his longtime girlfriend Myrtle Robbins who is not so enamoured about the idea of recovering the loot, and wants George to settle down with her. 

The incompetent criminals fail in their numerous attempts to get over and under the wall, all the while trying to conceal their true activities from their landlady, her daughter and a local police constable who also stays there. Eventually when the men have botched an attempt to tunnel into the grounds, the frustrated women hatch their own plot to gain the money.

The Big Job is a Carry On in all but name. Produced by Peter Rogers and directed by Gerald Thomas, the cast is headed up by series favourites Sid James, Joan Sims and Jim Dale with excellent turns from Sylvia Syms, Dick Emery and Lance Percival. Watch out also for eye-catching support from Edina Ronay (who also appeared in Carry On Cowboy the same year) and Please Sir and Sykes favourite Deryck Guyler. 

Carry On Nurse - Film4 - Sunday 3rd June - 5.10pm

Following hot on the heals of the surprise film hit of 1958, Carry On Sergeant, Rogers and Thomas launched into the production of Carry On Nurse, a medical-themed sequel. The overwhelming success of Nurse, particularly in America, undoubtedly laid the groundwork for a series to take shape, so us fans must always be grateful to this film. Added to that, it's also a classic! Norman Hudis again pitches the everyman against authority and this time its the first outing for Hattie Jacques' severe Matron. The male patients in the hospital ward are brought to life by a collection of wonderful actors including Kenneths Williams and Connor, Charles Hawtrey, Terence Longdon, Bill Owen, Cyril Chamberlain and Leslie Phillips. The film licks along at a cracking pace and blends social comment with slapstick, brilliant set pieces and moments of real pathos. The large supporting cast includes a debuting Joan Sims, Joan Hickson, Irene Handl, June Whitfield and Michael Medwin. And of course there's that infamous daffodil...

If you get the chance, do tune in for these brilliant films! 

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