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60 YEARS OF THE CARRY ON FILMS

On the 31st August 1958, Anglo-Amalgamated released a low-budget National Service comedy film starring William Hartnell, Bob Monkhouse and Shirley Eaton. The title was Carry On Sergeant and it was the supporting cast who would become world-famous so, in tribute, here are ten examples of prime car-related moments in the series -

10) Emmannuelle 1978

Possibly the least funny “comedy” ever made, and that includes some of the lesser works of Adam Sandler. The Triumph Stag and the Daimler DS 420 are rather nice, Jack Douglas is surprisingly good as the straight man but asides from that…

 

9) Abroad 1972

The scenes of Slough High Street in the early 1970s have a fascination of their own while the left-hand drive AEC Regal coach is the film’s sole concession (apart from some very odd accents from Peter Butterworth and Ray Brooks) to the “Spanish” setting.  “Elsbels” holiday resort is quite obviously Pinewood, but then did you really expect overseas location shooting from a Carry On?

 

8) Behind 1975

The double act of Windsor Davies and J Douglas are about as funny as an industrial training film about warehouse management but at least it also features Elke Sommer, an Austin Maxi 1750 and a very early Jaguar XJ6 plus some of the oldest “students” in film history.

 

7) At Your Convenience

For – the Morris Marina 1.8 Super, the post-Healey Austin Sprite (which is still with us), the Ford Prefect 100E, the Capri Mk. I, the R-226 Plaxton Elite coach, Sid and Hattie. Against – almost everything else.

 

6) Girls 1973

A subtle and understated comedy that was largely shot in an off-season, grey and overcast Brighton. It is also possibly the only picture to feature Sid James driving a go-kart, boasts plenty of shots of a Ford Escort Mk. I Estate and had Kenneth Connor suffering his trousers being ripped off by a Karrier Gamecock fire engine. All this, plus Bernard Bresslaw wearing what appears to be a hearthrug atop his head.

 

5) Camping 1969

AKA The one with the Bedford HA van, the Ford Consul Mk. II -

 

The fairly unlikely hippies - 

and the unforgettably jaunty theme tune -

N.B. Look out for an extremely rare Škoda Octavia combi in the background

 4) Again Doctor 1969

The last Carry On featuring the brilliant Jim Dale (unless you count Columbus, which many do not). The Rolls-Royce Silver Shadows are always worth appreciating but my favourite moment is the colliding Austin LD Wandsworth ambulances.

 

3) Matron 1972

A film worth watching for the scenes in the 1964 Ford Zodiac Mk. III with Sid, Bernard, Bill Maynard and Kenneth Cope dressed as an exceptionally implausible female nurse. Then there is the ambulance routine, in which it is very difficult not to be distracted by Terry Scott’s wig. 

 

2) Screaming 1966

Fenella Fielding -

Harry H Corbett’s 1904 Brushmobile 6 HP and Peter Butterworth at his best. And forget Shirley Bassey’s bawling over the credits of Goldfinger – this is the finest theme song of any film of the 1960s:

 

1) Cabby 1963

Well of course it had to be Cabby, even if it was not originally intended to be a Carry On; the original title was to be Call Me a Cab. Ford Consul Cortinas (courtesy of Dagenham), police Wolseley 6/99s, Hattie and Sid at their best.

 

 

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