Saturday, 16 December 2017

Room for a bit of Dick and Behind on ITV3 this Christmas?


ITV3 and Channel 4 have between them scheduled nearly all the Carry On films ever made over this festive season. With 4 hogging most of the early Anglo Amalgamated films, ITV3 have been littering their schedule with many of the later films. As far as I can see the only films from the series not being shown are the very first, Carry On Sergeant; the first colour entry, Carry On Cruising (I wish they were showing this one) and some of the later, more forgettable efforts like England and Emmannuelle.

Two of the later films they are showing however, are detailed below:

Christmas Eve, 23.35 - Carry On Behind (1975)


I have such a soft spot for this one, pretty much Carry On Camping: The Revenge! Swapping a bunch of holidaymakers in tents for a bunch of holidaymakers in caravans, this is probably the most 70s of all the Carry Ons made in that very dodgy decade! With the likes of Hattie Jacques, Barbara Windsor and Sid James absent from in front of the camera and Talbot Rothwell handing over his writing duties to Dave Freeman, times were a-changing. Glamorous, exotic international guest star Elke Sommer adds some fresh talent to proceedings while then current stars of the small screen such as Ian Lavender, Adrienne Posta, Sherrie Hewson and Windsor Davies bolster the slimmer than usual ranks of top class Carry On talent. Don't worry, the broad comedy is still ably delivered by Kenneths Williams and Connor, Joan Sims, Peter Butterworth and Bernard Bresslaw while Patsy Rowlands grabs her last major supporting role and Liz Fraser pops in her for her first appearance in the series since Cabby twelve years before.


Further reading: Carry On Blogging: Carry On Behind, A Guilty Pleasure
Carry On Blogging: My Top Ten Carry Ons - Carry On Behind


27 December, 16.10 - Carry On Dick (1974)



Not one of my favourites by any means, but Dick is a memorable milestone in the history of the Carry Ons, although perhaps not for all the right reasons. This period feature, providing a comic retelling of the legend of Dick Turpin, stars Sid James, Barbara Windsor and Hattie Jacques, all in their last roles in the film series. Sid grabs the impressive dual role of Big Dick and the Rev Flasher and in many ways it's a bit of a retread of Don't Lose Your Head. It's still a great acting performance though. Kenneth Williams works well with Jack Douglas the law enforcers trying to capture Big Dick however stalwarts Joan Sims, Patsy Rowlands and Peter Butterworth are all given little to do. This was also the last film written by Talbot Rothwell as ill health prevented any further involvement in the series.

Further reading: Carry On Blogging: Carry On Dick - A Fitting Farewell?
Carry On Blogging: Barbara Carries On as Harriet
Carry On Blogging: Joan Carries On as Madame Desiree


You can follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan on Facebook and on Instagram

Carry On Blogging Christmas Advent: 16 December


And so, once again December is upon us. This will be my third Christmas at the helm of Carry On Blogging so I wanted to go all out, bringing you a daily dose of festive Carry On cheer each day on the lead up to the 25th. 

So every day I will bring you another cracking Carry On photo with a festive theme. They will probably all be rather naughty, but hopefully all quite nice.

Ah good old fashioned carol singers. You don't really see (or hear) them these days. Here we have Carry On legends Hattie Jacques, Charles Hawtrey, Peter Butterworth, Terry Scott and Bernard Bresslaw having a right good sing song during the filming on the Carry On Christmas television special in 1969. Don't they look the part?

Charles looks particularly fetching in his outfit and wig, don't you think? 


What a Carry On at Christmas! 



You can follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan

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


You can follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan on Facebook and on Instagram

Carry On Blogging Christmas Advent: 15 December

 

And so, once again December is upon us. I'll be bringing you a daily dose of festive Carry On cheer each day on the lead up to the 25th. 

So every day I will bring you another cracking Carry On photo with a festive theme. They will probably all be rather naughty, but hopefully all quite nice. 

Now today I bring you one of my favourite finds this festive season. Hattie Jacques, as well as being a busy actress and mother, always found time for charitable works. Whether it be organising fundraising events or shaking the odd collection tin, Hattie was full of enthuiasm for a good cause she believed in. A lot of these charities revolved around children and this photo shows just what a natural Hattie was. Here she is, in 1972, shining the spotlight on yet another good cause whilst helping to cut into the world's biggest mince pie! You surely don't get more festive or festive spirited than that! 

And as we're talking about dear Hattie, here's another chance for you to read my interview with her son, Robin: Carry On Blogging Interview: Robin Le Mesurier 


What a Carry On at Christmas! 



You can follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan and also on Facebook

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Ruth Jones stars as Hattie tonight on ITV3


ITV3 have a real treat in store for Carry On fans later this evening as they broadcast another chance to see Hattie, the biopic of the lovely, legendary Hattie Jacques. A BBC production, it was originally shown on BBC4 back in January 2011 so I'm not quite sure how it has ended up on the other side but it's great this drama is being given another airing. 

Ruth Jones excels as Hattie Jacques, telling the very private story of Hattie's rather tempestuous love life, her marriage to Dad's Army actor John Le Mesurier and of course, her successful acting career. While I'm never too keen on writing about the private lives of our best loved comedians or comic actors, this really does make for an unusual story and the performances are all spot on.

Co-starring with Hattie is Cold Feet actor Robert Bathurst who puts in a superb performance as the wonderfully urbane, vague Le Mesurier. And future Poldark star Aidan Turner also appears in the role of Hattie's sexy, dangerous partner John Schofield. I must also highlight a wonderful turn from Marcia Warren as the actress Esma Cannon. She features in several scenes depicting filming of Carry On Cabby in 1963 and Marcia is uncanny as Esma, dressed in her Glam Cabs trouser suit. A masterful piece of casting if ever there was one.


So if you fancy checking out this terrific drama, tune in to ITV3 this evening from 10pm.



You can follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan on Facebook and on Instagram

Carry On Blogging Christmas Advent: 14 December


And so, once again December is upon us. This will be my third Christmas at the helm of Carry On Blogging so I wanted to go all out, bringing you a daily dose of festive Carry On cheer each day on the lead up to the 25th. 

So every day I will bring you another cracking Carry On photo with a festive theme. They will probably all be rather naughty, but hopefully all quite nice.

Here's a photo of Sid James the department store Santa Claus from the 1973 Carry On Christmas special for Thames Television. Sid is marvellous in this episode, the anchor who holds all the comedy strings together. He makes an excellent, if slightly dodgy Santa and his banter with store boss Kenneth Connor is a joy throughout.

Sid milks every single situation to the maximum - you wouldn't think it possible to get so many laughs eating a sausage sandwich. There is also quite a poignant little moment when Sid introduces the ballet sequence - he opens up a music box and he plays the scene beautifully. What a legend!

What a Carry On at Christmas! 




You can follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan 

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Carry On Blogging Christmas Advent: 13 December

 

And so, once again December is upon us. I'll be bringing you a daily dose of festive Carry On cheer each day on the lead up to the 25th. 

So every day I will bring you another cracking Carry On photo with a festive theme. They will probably all be rather naughty, but hopefully all quite nice. 

Today we're featuring yet another familiar face. Christmas is most definitely panto season in the UK and it's so much a part of our traditions I can't imagine life without it. These days a traditional pantomime is hard to find as they tend to be full of reality television stars unfamiliar with life in the theatre and what it means. The lady in the photo is an obvious expection - Amanda Barrie has been on the stage for more years that I dare put into writing! The evergreen star, best known as Alma in Coronation Street and Cleo in Carry On Cleo, has never been far from the stage during her long career and let's hope that continues for many years to come!

And earlier this year I interviewed the great lady herself. You can read that again here: Carry On Blogging Interview: Amanda Barrie 

What a Carry On at Christmas! 


You can follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan and also on Facebook