Tuesday 9 April 2019

What a Carry On this Easter Monday!

Once again ITV3 have delved into the archives and brought out several classic examples of Carry On comedy for the Easter Bank Holiday weekend. Yes, we've seen them all before but who can resist a good Carry On on a lazy Monday? I've put together a handy guide for Easter Monday to help you make sure you don't miss any of your favourites.

So without further ado...

Carry On Again Doctor (1969) 08.15

So successful was Carry On Doctor and Carry On Nurse before it that Again Doctor very quickly came along too. This film, a game of two halves really, is Jim Dale's swan song from the original series. After ten films JIm took off for a blindingly successful career on the stage. For now though he's the romantic hero, the bumbling lead Dr Nookey of Long Hampton Hospital. The first half of the film is the usual high jinks in the hospital wards with Kenneth Williams and Charles Hawtrey on fine form as the medical men and Hattie Jacques once again playing Matron. The second half broadens the story out to include medical mission humour and introduces Sid James as the disorderly orderly Gladstone Screwer. Barbara Windsor provides the glamour as model Goldie Locks while Patsy Rowlands makes her debut as Kenneth's bespectacled secretary Miss Fosdick. And watch out for a memorable cameo from Peter Butterworth. 

Carry On Loving (1970) 10.05

A Talbot Rothwell saucy seventies follow up to Carry On Regardless ten years earlier, Loving is another grand episodic film full of sketches and vibrant characters, held together by Sid and Hattie's bogus matrimonial agency. Clients include Joan Sims, Kenneth Williams and Terry Scott from the established Carry On cast and young blood in the form of Richard O'Callaghan, Jacki Piper and Imogen Hassall. A large cast of supporting actors sees priceless moments from Charles Hawtrey, Patsy Rowlands, Joan Hickson, Julian Holloway and Bernard Bresslaw. And Loving provides us with the most slapstick finales in Carry On history.

Carry On Henry (1970) 11.50

The twenty first Carry On to be made, this much heralded production was a tad more lavish than usual. Period costume Carry Ons only stand the test of time and Henry is no exception. Capitalising on the success of Henry VIII dramas on the small and big screen, Henry sees Sid James on magnificent form as the famous monarch. With camp castle attendants buzzing round in the shape of Terry Scott, Charles Hawtrey and Kenneth Williams and buxom Queens in Joan Sims and Barbara Windsor, Henry is a class act and remains Barbara's favourite Carry On appearance. Kenneth Connor has one of his smaller supporting roles but he's on fiendish form as Lord Hampton of Wick while reliable support comes from Julians Holloway and Orchard and Peter Gilmore.

Carry On At Your Convenience (1971) 13.40

Trouble at the works caused trouble at the box office as the treatment of the ordinary working man and woman and the trade unions who represented them made this a controversial outing for the team. Despite this, Convenience is the purest Carry On of them all. It's set in a toilet factory and involves a prolonged sequence in Brighton, the series' spiritual home. A cast of prime Carry On performers including Sid James, Joan Sims, Bernard Bresslaw and Kenneth Williams are joined by the likes of Jacki Piper, Richard O'Callaghan and Kenneth Cope with a bigger than usual supporting role for the brilliant Patsy Rowlands.

Carry On Matron (1971) 15.25

The final film with a medical theme in the series, Matron is really a homage to long serving Carry On actress Hattie Jacques. Her softer Matron is a joy to behold as she camps around Finisham Maternity Hospital with Kenneth Williams' Bernard Cutting, Charles Hawtrey's Dr F. A Goode and Terry Scott's Dr Prodd! The main plot of the film sees a a Too Many Crooks style gang of thieves headed by Sid James attempt a robbery of the hospital's stash of the pill by sending Kenneth Cope in undercover, in drag as a student nurse. Cope is superb in the role and makes for a lovely romantic double act with Barbara Windsor's Nurse Susan Ball. Joan Sims is part of a delightful running gag as patient Mrs Tidey, forever waiting to give birth with her anxious husband Kenneth Connor the butt of all the jokes! 

Carry On Abroad (1972) 17.15

The last Carry On adventure for the weekend and it's a cracker. Often credited as the last really classic Carry On in the original run, Abroad features a wonderful script from Talbot Rothwell full of delightful set pieces, slapstick, action, great one liners and a bit of satire. Capitalising on the very 1970s trend for package holidays to the sun, Abroad sees a brilliant bunch of very British eccentrics jet off for a truly horrendous long weekend on the fictitious island of Els Bells! The cast is jam packed with fan favourites, led by Sid James, Joan Sims and Kenneth Williams. Charles Hawtrey makes his last appearance in the series, which is tinged with sadness, however guest stars Jimmy Logan and June Whitfield freshen things up. Newcomers Carol Hawkins and Sally Geeson add some youthful glamour while hoteliers Peter Butterworth and Hattie Jacques are on superb form as the accident prone Spanish welcoming committee! Tremendous. 

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