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a right carry on

quad poster

lobby card lobby card lobby card lobby card
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carry on girls 1973

rating

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cast
 

Sid Fiddler Sidney James
Hope Springs Barbara Windsor
Connie Philpotts Joan Sims
Fred Bumble Kenneth Connor
Peter Potter Bernard Bresslaw
Mrs. Prodworthy June Whitfield
Admiral Peter Butterworth
William Jack Douglas
Mildred Bumble Patsy Rowlands
Miss Dukes Joan Hickson
Cecil Gaybody Jimmy Logan
Police Inspector David Lodge
Paula Perkins Valerie Leon
Dawn Brakes Margaret Nolan
Larry Robin Askwith
Ida Downe Wendy Richard
Debra Sally Geeson
Miss Bangor Angela Grant
Alderman Pratt Arnold Ridley
Rosemary Patricia Franklin
'Half a quid' Man Brian Osborne
Fire Chief Bill Pertwee
Miss Drew Marianne Stone
Matron Brenda Cowling
Police Constable Billy Cornelius
Susan Brooks Zena Clifton
Eileen Denby Larraine Humphreys
Francis Cake Mavise Fyson
Angry Customer Hugh Futcher
Gloria Winch Pauline Peart
Mary Parker Caroline Whitaker
Elderly Resident Edward Palmer
Jilia Oates Barbara Wise
Maureen Darcy Carol Wyler
City Gent Michael Nightingale
Attendant Elsie Windsor
   
Screenplay Talbot Rothwell
Producer Peter Rogers
Director Gerald Thomas

promotional material


cover from the feb 1974 edition of film review

article from the feb 1974 edition of film review
click here to view the text from this article

article from the feb 1974 edition of film review
click here to view the text from this article

carry on competition, run on dairy crunch chocolate during 1973


plot

This is fabulous Fircombe, a run down English seaside resort with an extremely high seasonal rainfall, nine inches to be precise. We join the action just as a council meeting discussing ways to attract visitors is in progress.

Councillor Augusta Prodworthy believes strongly that the nine inches of seasonal rainfall is an average one. She is soon corrected by Councillor Sidney Fiddler, who points out that "If you think nine inches is an average one, you've been spoilt!". Fiddler owns the local amusement arcade and strives to attract as many visitors as possible to Fircombe. His latest scheme is to attempt to hold a Miss Fircombe beauty contest, much to Mrs. Prodworthy's chagrin who is head of the local women's liberation movement. Needless to say she opposes the idea and leaves the meeting in a strop. However, in her absence, the motion to hold a beauty contest is proposed, seconded and carried, due to some fast talking by Councillor Fiddler.

Meanwhile at the Palace Hotel, the proprietor, Connie Philpotts and the punch-drunk bellboy William are going about their daily business when Sid arrives and informs Connie (a widow who is currently seeing Fiddler) that her business will soon be playing host to a load of contestants from the beauty contest. Not impressed, she is even less impressed when he tells her that he will be acting as a chaperon for the girls.

Sid then contacts a friend and publicity agent, Peter Potter and hires him to come to Fircombe and arrange the contest. He agrees to go there, and doesn't tell his secretary and fiancée Paula Perkins the exact details of the contract.

Enraged by this sexist turn of events, Mrs. Prodworthy, accompanied by her son Larry who's a photographer for the local rag, goes to see Mayor Frederick Bumble to protest the passing of the motion in her absence and goes on to inform him that she will fight the beauty contest to the bitter end.

Later Paula goes with Peter to the rail station to bid him farewell. But whilst there she soon finds out exactly why he's going to Fircombe, courtesy of a few of the beauty contestants. Peter arrives at the hotel to find protestors demonstrating outside the Palace Hotel whilst other girls are demonstrating just what they are there for, inside the hotel. Many of the hotel regulars are not impressed and Connie finds most of them are starting to leave. Not in the case of a randy old Admiral, who appears to be more than happy to enjoy the view from the inside of the hotel.

We also meet the mayor's wife, Mildred Bumble (Patsy Rowlands,) who is somewhat slovenly and frustrated. Meanwhile, The girls, who have names such as Dawn Breaks and Ida Downs, put on their swimsuits for the promotional photographs. A donkey named Cleopatra is also involved (beauty and the beast.) Another contestant arrives on a motorbike, and who should it be but Miss Easy Rider, also known as Hope Springs (Barbara Windsor.) Dawn gets on the donkey for the promotion photographs, and Hope recognises the bikini she's wearing. It's hers! They begin to fight, and mayhem develops. The mayor arrives, and is accidentally photographed with his trousers down. This appears in the next day's newspaper, to the amusement of his wife and others. The mayor goes to officiate the opening of a new wing at the maternity hospital. He is embarrassed by the protesters, who put the "trousers down" photograph over the plaque he unveils. Laura is travelling to Fircombe to see Peter, but sees him before she gets there. His picture is in the newspaper (beauty and the beast) and she is, again, not impressed. Hope tells Sid that the fight with Dawn was deliberate, to generate publicity, and Connie catches them together in their night attire. Dawn asks Lance if he will take pictures of her in the nude, for publicity purposes. He agrees, and they go to the beach with an umbrella. The admiral tries to see, and falls down onto the umbrella and Dawn.

Cecil Gaybody, a television personality, contacts Sid. He wants to come and televise the event. Sid agrees, and devises a plan to have a man dressed as a woman to enter the contest, for even more publicity. Peter is dressed up, and enters as Patricia Potter. The protest group is deliberately informed of this subterfuge. They arrive with the law, and Patricia is unmasked (as it were.) He rushes upstairs to his room, where he meets Laura. She is finally persuaded, after Hope explains the situation to her, to take his place as Patricia Potter in the beauty contest. Meanwhile, the women's liberation protesters are determined to wreck the contest, and lay their plans accordingly.

The contest begins, with Peter acting as master of ceremonies. The girls begin to parade, and are attacked with itching powder, sneezing powder and oil on the walkway, much to the amusement of the audience. Finally, the sprinklers are all turned on at once, and everyone gets wet. By this time the audience is in an ugly mood, and they want their money back. They feel that they've been swindled, Where's Sid? He and Dawn have left town in a hurry, on her motorbike.

review

Oo-er, the first Carry On without either Kenneth Williams and Charles Hawtrey staring. It manages to hold its own by focusing almost entirely on Sid and his dodgy dealings within the resort of Fircombe. It somehow lacks the energy and feel-good humour of the previous film. However, its still an enjoyable romp through the world of beauty contests.

But is it any good? Well, Jimmy Logan is completely and utterly miscast as the camp television host - Cecil Gaybody. Surely this was a role crying out for either Hawtrey or Williams, perhaps even Cruising's Lance Percival could have had a decent stab at it? However June Whitfield's portrayal of the the anti-fun Augusta Prodworthy is a splendid counter measure to Sid's dodgy councillor. Jack Douglas is given a much bigger part in the series, thanks to his successful roles in the previous two films. Whilst Kenneth Connor portrays what he does best, the role of a stuffy little man.

Carry On Girls is by no means a classic entry in the series, but it remains entertaining all the way through and Sid's getaway at the end of the film is particularly enjoyable. It has more near the knuckle jokes than previous films, but any film in which Peter Butterworth (as a randy Admiral) spies a pair of bristols through his telescope, which naturally causes the implement to start smoking, gets our vote.

other information

During the early 1970's Brighton's West Pier was the setting for numerous British films. As well as Carry On Girls, it was also home to 'Oh!, What a Lovely War' and 'Loot'. Unfortunately, following many years of neglect and a great deal of incompetence on behalf of Brighton & Hove city council, the pier collapsed and was the scene of two arson attacks during 2003/2004. Derelict since 1975, all that remains now is the metal shell. In fact during the production, all the crew were warned that the pier was in a dangerous condition and that no member of the production was to pass behind the pavilion.

Watch out for Robin Askwith's turn as Augusta Prodworthy's son, star of the 'Confessions Of' films that would go on to slaughter the Carry On's at the box office. Askwith was employed due his his strong performance in the Rogers/Thomas film of the film version of Bless This House.

June Whitfield dubbed Valerie Leon's voice in the film. History has forgotten as to why this happened.

Renee Houston, Vic Spanner's Mother in Carry On at your Convenience, was originally earmarked for the role of Miss Dukes. Unfortunately, her role was cancelled due to health reasons.

Four policemen were used to protect Margaret Nolan's nude scene with Robin Askwith on Brighton beach.

bloopers

Barbara Windsor couldn't ride a motorbike, so her parts were doubled by a stuntman. This is rather obvious on viewing the finished film!

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