Carry On Films
This article may be Overly British
“I was offered Kenneth Williams' part, but I had to decline as I felt it beneath me.”
The Carry On films were a long-running series of British high brow period drama films, running from the mid 1950s to the early 1990s. With a number of leading lights of the English theatre, including Kenneth Williams, Sid James, and Richard Burton, the Carry On . . . series is still viewed as the crème-de-la-crème of the British film industry, winning in total 17 Oscars.
The expression 'Carry On film' has made its way into common parlance; to denote a particular genre of film, rather than the actual production company or series. The heyday of this genre was the 1960s and 1970s. A typical 'Carry On film' would be a period piece set in the early 20th century, usually in Edwardian England, featuring lavish sets and top British actors portraying genteel characters who suffer from disillusion and tragic entanglements. In 1970, in an attempt to be post-modern, the film Carry On Film, a film about the making of a Carry On film was filmed.
One of the series' trademarks was the humourous and often innuendo-laden names of many of the characters, e.g: 'Doctor Ars Bandeet', 'Hefty Bangshunt', and 'Will E Wanders'. The films were the brainchild of producer Peter 'Butt-Fuck' Rogers, himself the owner of a 'Carry On' name.
Towards the end of the 1970's, the Carry Ons moved onto the small screen, with the Emmy award-winning television series Carry On Television. There was also a stage show: Carry On Stage Show.
- Carry On Brokeback Mountain: (1965) Kenneth Williams and Charles Hawtrey play a pair of cowboys who grow closer as they try and fail to rob the bank in a town ruled by lecherous, loveable sheriff Sid James. A potential intimate moment in their tent is foiled when Williams throws Hawtrey out just as they start to get it on, and gives him a vicious write-up in his diary instead.
- Carry On Guess Who's Coming To Dinner?: (1966) Set in Botswana, the gang deal with the sensitive subject of race, as educated African Percy Zimbabwe-Rhodesia (Bernard Bresslaw in blackface) arrives for dinner at the Bloomsbury home of his new girlfriend's (Barbara Windsor) uptight parents (Kenneth Williams and Joan Sims). Meanwhile, loveable ex-blackshirt Sid Suid Afrika (Sid James) intends to get his hands on one of "our women" before him! The first 'colour' film of the series and the first to feature Barbara Windsor's petit knockers.
- Carry On James Bond: (1967) This spoof of 007 James Bond spy thrillers was the last Carry On film made in black-and-white, and starred Kenneth Williams as Desmond Simpkins, an incompetent and impotent secret agent attempting to foil Albanian crime-lord Dr. Badguy and his henchmen. It was subsequently spoofed in Spy Movie.
- Carry On Up The Bunghole: (1968) This is the 19th Century tale of adventurers probing the dark interior of the South American forests. Barbara Windsor gets her now-voluptuous knockers out.
- Carry On Cromwell: (1968) King Charles has been executed, and it's a sexual free-for-all in the saucy English Commonwealth, as the Lord Erector Oliver Cromwell (Sid James) tries to get it on with a comely wench (Babs Windsor) whilst avoiding the unwanted pious attentions of Puritan vicar Kenneth Williams and his son Richard Cromwell (Charles Hawtrey) who keeps coming into the bedroom at awkward moments. Guest-starring Benny Hill as General George Monck.
- Carry On Curry: (1969) There is Empirical fun to be had as Bernard Cribbins leads the onslaught as Duke Mountbattenburg, the heroic General in charge of taking over a small continent in Asia under the command of Queen Victoria (Joan Sims), and featuring the only starring role to date of that little Indian fellow from Mind Your Language and It 'aint 'arf Mother's do 'ave 'em as Lord Loveaduck, Commander in Chief of the British Army. (This part was notable for being the first ever performed by an Indian actor in whiteface.) Film was banned in parts of Delhi, but remains popular in England as 'traditional family racism'.
- Carry On Film: (1970) Carry On attempt at post-modernity by making a Carry On film about making a Carry On film. Barbara Windsor featured, as did her by-now rather saggy knockers.
- Carrion: (1971) Perhaps the team's least-successful film, this one was full of jokes so long-dead they were actually in an advanced state of decay. Barbara Windsor gets her knockers out.
- Carry On Cruising: (1972) 1970s English Country life set in the picturesque parklands of Hampstead Heath. Guest appearance by Peter Wyngarde. Originally scripted as a non-Carry On film called Insert Member in The Hole In The Wall in Cubicle number 4, Barbara Windsor gets her knockers out to no effect.
- Carry On Pretending Barbara Windsor Has Enormous Knockers Even Though She Actually Hasn't: (1972) One of the most popular of the films, but only because 'proper' porn was impossible to get hold of in the UK at the time. Barbara gets just one knocker out as a protest.
- Carry On Penis: (1974) One of the sauciest in the series, as Kenneth Williams plays an 18th century London hard-man sent to the countryside to deal with the elusive highwayman (played by Sid James), known as the 'Huge Penis' due to his enormous penis. In a shock twist, Barbara Windsor gets her knockers out. Released in America as Carry On Shagging, and spoofed in Date Movie, and again in Spy Movie 2.
- Carry On Luggage: (1975) Considered by many Carry On fans as the film that represents the true high water point of the series, and the last to feature all the classic cast. The plot revolves around a routine baggage inspection at Heathrow Airport, with the team debating whether or not to charge a customer an extra £2.25½p for the excess weight. Hilarity ensues.
- Carry On Laughing At Kenneth Williams Even Though He Was A Twat And Not In The Slightest Bit Funny: (1979) The final film with most of the traditional cast, featuring the original writing team of Armitage and Muffler, was marred by a script filled with bitter personal attacks on members of the cast. Again.
- Carry On Up the Rectum: (1980) A spoof of hospital dramas, and yet another botched attempt to make a Carry On Again Nurse. This time, it stars Frankie Howerd the Duck as a stuck-up patient, with Sid James spending half the film fondling the nurses.
- Carrie On Ice: (1981) Pointless and ruinously expensive musical remake of Brian De Palma's 1976 horror classic, with the action transposed to the 1976 Winter Olympics. Only Sid James' wholly unexpected coup de théâtre in the role of tragic ice dancer John Curry makes the film worthy of anything more than a cursory glance. By turns moving and infuriating, James' portrayal of the doomed Olympian stunned both cinema goers and the actor's colleagues alike, and he was, quite rightly, awarded a BAFTA for his efforts the following year.
- Carry On Carry On As If Nothing Really Matters: (1982) Kenneth Williams in his Oscar-winning role as Queenie frontman Freddie Mercury and his attempts to write Bohemian Rhapsody 2. Barbara Windsor is clog-wearing guitarist Brian Might, and Bernard Bresslaw plays zany rock DJ Kenny Everhard. Sid James died just before post production.
- Carry On Alf Garnett: (1983) Hilarious film rendition taking an in-depth look at cultural attitudes towards 'darkies' and 'poofters' in the mid nineteen-seventies, with interspersed Thatcherite jibes at the prevailing political attitudes of the time. Warren Mitchell reprises his TV role, with Kenneth Williams as interfering councillor Larry Limpwrist, and Derek Griffiths as 'im next door'. Released in America as Carry On UK, and spoofed in Date Movie 3.
- Carry On Whose Fucking Stupid Idea Was This, Columbus?: (1992) Jim Dale is almost Christopher Columbus. Julian Clary takes it like a man. Most of the original cast are now glad they are all dead.
- Carry On Ethnic Cleansing: (1996) After the un-success of the above film (known to fans as 'COWFSIWT,C'); a bunch of ageing alternative 1980s comedians decided to pull the same trick twice, only with "a dark, satirical edge". Ratko Mladic (played by Adrian Edmonson) is a young Captain in the Serbian army who feels like his career has stalled; until an unexpected posting to the village of Srebrenica gives him the opportunity to impress his superiors - and maybe win the love of Serb beauty Anna Buttfuckic (Jennifer Saunders) at the same time. But hilarity ensues, as he attempts to bury all the bodies before the United Nations (UN) arrive. Also starring Julian Clary as Slobodan Milosevic, Hattie Jacques as Maja Mingeic, and Lenny Henry as Bill Clinton. All copies of this film have been deleted at the request of the United Nations, although it's probably on The Pirate Bay somewhere.
- Carry On Rodney King: (1997) Peter Ustinov blacked-up to play the eponymous hero Rodney King in this, his first and only foray into the world of Carry On. After being beaten insensible by police officers Rimmer and Shunt (Rory McGrath and Roy Castle), King inadvertently incites a full scale riot in the streets of Toss Angeles by filing a complaint with the authorities. It emerged later that Ustinov was in extreme discomfort throughout the filming, having suffered a rectal prolapse shortly before landing the role. This might in some way explain his bewildering, improvised on-screen non-sequiturs. British film and TV critic AA Gill cannot spell, describing the film as "rubbesh" and "reelie bahd".
Recurring cast members
Born in South Africa, back before the natives took over, Sid James is famous for the wise-cracking, sly, lecherous cockney characters that he has portrayed throughout his film career. A trained and accomplished pianist, James also developed skills as a dancer (
jizz jazz, flamenco, ballet), and had excellent language skills. As a cunning linguist, his fellow cast members would often be amazed at the speed in which he could get into character, always with an eye on the finer details.
Amongst his most memorable roles are 'Sidnius Maximus Rodgerous', the wise-cracking, sly, lecherous cockney Roman Emperor; 'Sydney Longpike', sly, lecherous, wise-cracking cockney Sid Warlord; and Sidney Wedbetter, a lecherous, wise-cracking, sly, cockney mental patient in Carry On Malpracticing.
Despite many years suffering from trouble with the bum, and an unfortunate flared nostril condition, the young Kenneth Williams managed to overcome his disabilities to establish himself as one of the leading thespians of his generation. In a 1958 London Times review of A Midsummer Nights Dream, the subsequently knighted John Gielgud described the young Williams' bottom as "the most memorable I have ever seen".
His Hamlet was considered by his peers to be so well defined that by the early 1960s, he had become one of the leading lights of the Royal National Theatre, and could regularly be found cavorting with Ralph Richardson and Laurence Olivier at the Old Vic.
Hattie Jacques was born in 1892 to Lady Veronica Stepping-Razor, her father was Lionel Jeffries, the famous London Zoo hippopotamus who escaped in 1911, fled to Uganda, and made his fortune through his meister-werk 'Hungry Hungry Hippos', a groundbreaking reassessment of the work of Spinoza, the famous Hungarian techno pioneer.
In the late 1960s, having been left addled by cocaine and Sid James, Jacques retreated into herself. The result was carnage. Sixteen firemen and four pork-butchers lost their lives during the attempt to bring her out of herself, finally, with the aid of Tom Baker and his famous Indian club, they were able to turn her outside in.
The strain was too much for her, however, and in 1971, she fatally prolapsed in Market Harborough, causing the deaths of a crocodile of school children on their way to watch the pantomime in which she, ironically, had been due to perform. The sonic boom was reported as far away as Market Bosworth. She was survived by her husband, Beryl Reid, and her two children: Bonny, a tabby, and Arch Deacon Montmorency De-Court Robepierre Avadale Jacques, a Manx.
Hattie Jacques in-edible carcass was cremated by public bonfire on 3rd April 1971. The cremation continues to this day with Jacques currently at a 'burn rate' of 56%, it is forecasted that 'the burning', as it has become affectionately known by the nation, will end somewhere around 2035. The current pope Tony Blair is known to visit 'the burning' on occasion. The last such visit, in which Pope Anthony, as he is better known, forced his wife down on all fours and made her eat the ashes of Hattie Jacques while laughing and occasionally kicking her face, was voted as one of the greatest television moments of 2006 by Family Circle magazine. The actress Robbie Williams famously whined that she had "shit a solid nugget of blood" on hearing that the late Jacques was still alive shortly before her later death and later, on hearing of her late death, had been "a bit upset, I suppose".
Barbara 'Babs' Windsor
Barbara Windsor, affectionately known as 'Babs' is 10.5 inches tall in real life.
Babs is a known kleptomaniac, and has been questioned by police several times in relation to theft offences and the possession of child porn. The police backed off when she threatened them with her Grant and her diesel dyke best mate Pat - whose earrings are the only thing Babs has not yet attempted to steal. It is rumoured that Babs once stole Pat's clit piercing, although this rumour has never been confirmed.
The public should be aware that this woman is a menace, and if she's in your vicinity, you are advised not to leave any possessions within the reach of her grubby little paws.
Charles 'Ooh Goodbye!' Hawtrey
Hatched in Paris in 1888 from a previously mislaid dinosaur egg, Charles Hawtrey first came to prominence promoting a rapid weight loss drink. Weighing in at 25 stone at age 12; he died in 1977, hitting the scales at only 14⅔ ounces. The drink a success, he went on to star in all but 22 of the Carry On films, most notably Carry On Cottaging in 1969; although on several occasions during his career, his body snapped in two, once famously during the shooting of a love scene between Barbara Windsor's knockers in Carry On Whipping. These outtakes are widely available on the BBC archive site YouTube.
A success on screen, his personal life was a disaster. Although to the public, he presented the image of an effeminate man with the emphasis on camp, in reality, he was a rampant heterosexual family man. Imprisoned in 1950 for bigamy, Hawtrey fathered 34 children, with 100 more coming to light after his death. He had two grand-children. His one attempt to play serious drama fell flat in 1979 due to a BBC strike.
His most famous 'Carry On' role was as the crusty old military man 'Corporal Cock' in Carry On Up the Rectum.
Joan Sims played 'Joan' in Carry On Whipping, and 'Joan' in Carry On Cromwell, before being nominated for a BAFTA award in 1981 for her role as 'Joan' in Carry On Up the Rectum. Her most famous appearance in the series was in Carry On Ethnic Cleansing, playing the pivotal role of 'Joan'. Was set to play the role of Osama Bin Laden in Carry On Joan, but her untimely death on a fishing smack in 2001 caused the film to be shelved.
Richard Briers played the pivotal role in several 'Carry On' films; notably 'Dr Willy Jizzer' in Carry on Cumming, 'Mr Martin' in Carry On Ever Decreasing Circles, 'Felicity' in Carry On The Good Life, and his final role in the series, 'Peter Sutcliffe' in Carry On Ripping.
- Archduke Anus
- Barry Butt-Fawker
- Belinda Breasts
- Bitch Cassidy and Kid 'D' Fiddler
- Captain Sniffer
- Charles Chaffemysak
- Corporal T Rousers-Down
- Dr Ars Bandeet
- Eric Tyle-Dysfunction
- Gloria Stits
- Harry Hardshaft
- Hefty Bangshunt
- Ivor B Gunn
- Johnny Cum-Lately
- Kenneth B'Stard
- Lawrence Longpole
- Mary-Anne Meat-rim
- Muff Gently
- Pierce Ternippalls
- Rich Hard-Rodgers
- Rubby Pullback
- Selina Swallow
- Senip Gib
- Sidney Moneyshot
- Sir Mellie Finger
- Sir Sidney Ruff-Cock
- Slippy Up-Her
- Tommy Titterwank
- Vera Gina
- Viscount Perry Neeham
- W.Otto Whopper
- Will E Wanders
- Gielgud, John (1958); 'Of bouys and ointment - the secrets in the thespian closet of jolly rising star, Kenneth Williams'; London Times, London.
- 'Forcemeat and thirty-two veg - workhouse paupers are to dine on luxury offal for three months after dramatic life-saving rescue of Carry On actress Hattie Jacques'; Ealing Enquirer; Ealing, Greater London; 31 November 1968.
- 'Gluttony and the bounty - workhouse paupers are rewarded again, eating like Tudor royals on the putrid remains of the late Hattie Jacques'; Market Harborough Mercury; 13 January 1971.
- 'Lost in the bush - the mysterious misadventures of Pat Butcher's intimate piercing'; twenty-two part serialisation - News of the World.
- 'Joan, Joan, Joan, Joan, Joan, and Joan actress Joan Sims tragically dies during filming during the breakaway new character 'Joan' in the now-discontinued Carry On Joan; Ealing Enquirer; Ealing, Greater London; 28 Joan 1979.
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