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a right carry on

quad poster

lobby card lobby card lobby card lobby card
lobby card lobby card lobby card lobby card

carry on regardless 1961

rating

**********

cast
 

Bert Handy Sidney James
Courtenay Kenneth Williams
Gabriel Dimple Charles Hawtrey
Sam Twist Kenneth Connor
Hopping Terence Longdon
Lily Duveen Joan Sims
Delia King Liz Fraser
Mike Weston Bill Owen
Miss Cooling Esma Cannon
Mrs Panting Fenella Fielding
Sister Hattie Jacques
Matron Joan Hickson
Landlord Stanley Unwin
Policeman Cyril Chamberlain
Chimp's Owner Ambrosine Phillpotts
Bird Owner Molly Weir
Club Owner Sydney Tafler
Bridge Player Eric Pohlmann
Nurse June Jago
Referee Norman Rossington
Mr  Trelawney Terence Alexander
Martin Paul Jerry Desmonde
Mr Delling Jimmy Thompson
Bus Conductor Anthony Sagar
Wine Organiser Howard Crawford
Taxi Driver Fred Griffiths
Wine Waiter Bernard Hunter
Wine Taster David Lodge
Wine Taster Nicholas Parsons
Wine Taster Michael Nightingale
Customer Patrick Cargill
Steel Boss Kynaston Reeves
House Steward Fraser Kerr
Patient Douglas Ives
Probationer Maureen Moore
Card Player Victor Maddern
Card Player Denis Shaw
Train Woman Betty Marsden
Lefty Vincent Freddie Mills
Micky McGee Tom Clegg
Dan Grimsby Joe Robinson
Auntie Lucy Griffiths
Shop Assistant Ian Whittaker
Trudy Julia Arnall
Policeman Jack Taylor
Receptionist George Street
Army Officer Cyril Raymond
Old Lady Nancy Roberts
Photographer Michael Ward
Advertising Man Ian Wilson
Chinese Lady Madame Yang
School Teacher Judith Furse
Manager David Stoll
Helen Delling Carol Shelley
Old Man in Club Charles Julian
Beamish Ian Curry
   
Screenplay Norman Hudis
Producer Peter Rogers
Director Gerald Thomas


promotional material


abc film review article - Nov 1961

abc film review article - Nov 1961
click here to view the text from this article

plot

Down at the local labour exchange, everyone is moaning about the lack of decent jobs, unaware that nearby Bert Handy and his secretary Miss Cooling are attempting to fill vacancies at a new enterprise called Helping Hands. However this all changes when the disgruntled job seeks stumble across a job advert in the local paper. They're very quick to leg it round to the new business, and are even quicker to introduce themselves. Sam Twist, Francis Courtenay, Delia King, Gabriel Dimple, Lily Duveen, Mike Weston and Montgomery Infield-Hopping.

Bert decides to hire them all, and at first business is slow. The only customer so far is a man who speaks gobbledygook, and since Francis isn't present (he can speak 16 languages) nobody can understand him, and he goes on his way.

Thankfully, within a few days business soon picks up. Delia has her initial assignment to try on a complete women's wardrobe for a gentleman who is planning a surprise for his wife. However things get complicated when the mans wife arrives home unexpectedly.

Meanwhile Sam Twist is sent to a baby-sitting job, only to find that there isn't a baby to be sitted! Instead there is a woman who needs to make her husband jealous. Needless to say when he gets home he is indeed jealous as they both find out.

The next day, Francis is assigned to take a pet for a walk, due to his owner having the flu. It's only when he gets to the woman's house that he finds out it's a chimpanzee. Always being one to see a job through to its bitter end, he takes the chimp for a walk. However he soon discovers that people who work in the transport industry have an aversion to apes. They eventually end up at a chimps tea party enjoying a nice afternoon tea.

Next up is Lily Duveen, who has been employed to attend a wine tasting evening to collect invitation cards from the attendees. After she has performed this task, she's invited to sample some of the wines herself. Unfortunately, she has rather too much and makes a bit of a spectacle of herself.

Later a man from Amalgamated Scrap-Iron arrives in the Helping Hands office. He's obviously a busy man as he requests that someone take his place in the queue at the hospital outpatients department at the hospital. Bert says that he will immediately get someone on the case, but the chap is rather bullish, and insists that the top man undergoes the job himself. So inevitably, Bert ends up queuing at the hospital, and is mistaken for Sir Theodore who is an eminent diagnostician. He is then taken on a guided tour of the hospital, watch out nurses!

The next job that Francis undertakes is in the field of photography as a model. Obviously very chuffed that he has been chosen, he is crestfallen when he discovers that the job is an advertisement for a bee-keepers helmet. Sam Twist is equally put out when attempts to quit smoking.

Francis' next job is between a bickering couple. The husband can't understand his wife, and is continually berating him in her native tongue of German. Thanks to Francis getting a bit emotionally involved, the wife starts speaking English and the couple make up.

Lefty Vincent, a boxing friend of Bert pops into the office. He requires four helping hands to act as seconds for his fighter Dynamite Dan. When they get to the venue, Dan is obviously terrified by his opponent, Mickey McGee so pretends that Gabriel has sprained his finger. The fight is off, but Gabriel is incensed by McGee that he takes him on in the ring, and wins!

Sam is really chuffed over his next job. He thinks he's on a top secret spying mission, but due to a mix up all that was really required of him was to make up a game of bridge. He ends up at the Forth Bridge in Scotland.

When Sam gets back, he learns that the whole of Helping Hands have been engaged to demonstrate exhibits at the Ideal House exhibition. Needless to say all of the demonstrations end in calamity. Rather like Sam's next job at an exclusive men's club. No matter how hard he tries, he just can't keep silent. A strict rule of the establishment.

Miss Cooling decides on a new filing system, for more streamlined operation of the organisation. Cards for the helping hands are put in cubby holes for each of them. Disaster strikes when the cleaner knocks the box down. She picks it up and puts it back, with the cards all mixed up. Everyone gets someone else's assignment, with  misunderstandings all round.

Later, the gobbledygook man turns up at the offices. However this time Francis is there to translate. Therefore it translates that he is their landlord, and has been trying to inform Bert that he will have to vacate the premises, due to the fact that he's had a better offer. However, due to a show of unity by all the staff, he agrees that they can stay on the provision that they do something for him. His main interest is property development and he needs a house cleared and cleaned. Unfortunately, the team end up demolishing it! Thankfully it turns out that the house needs demolishing for a block of flats. After hearing this news, what else can the team do, but carry on regardless!

review

As you can probably tell by the plot, this film doesn't have much of a story to it, it's more a collection of sketches. Therein lies the problem - some of the sketches are a lot stronger than others. They range from the excellent; Kenneth Williams and the chimp, to the boring; Liz Frazer trying on clothes - which is just an excuse to show off her ample charms (OK, so it's not exactly boring, but you get the general idea).

However, it almost feels like the writer Norman Hudis has sensed that the formula may be going a little bit stale and has tried to shake things up a bit. At least here, we get a respite from all the romantic shenanigans that blight the first few films.

We also get a feeling that the core of the Carry On films are coming together here. For example; Bill Owen and Terence Longdon having played lead roles in the first couple of films are relegated here to little more than cameos. Indeed Terence seems to have been shoehorned into his role as Leslie Phillips had decided to quit the series with the previous years Carry On Constable. This would be Terence's last and Bill Owen's penultimate outing in the series.

In a film full of cameos, it's great to see Hattie Jacques and Joan Hickson in a reversal of roles from Carry On Nurse whilst Stanley Unwin makes a delightful turn as the gobbledegook speaking landlord. The regulars themselves are on good form. Joan Sims is great when she's acting plastered at the wine tasting event, Kenneth Connor is a hoot whilst trying to remain silent, whilst Kenneth Williams puts in a great comic tour-de-force whilst trying to look after Yoki the Chimp. Also worthy of a mention is the superb Esma Cannon, as the twittering Miss Cooling. It was a great loss to the acting profession when she decided to retire from the industry just after Carry On Cabby was filmed.

Regardless, isn't the best of the Carry On's by a long shot, and some of the sketches have the tendency to sag a little, so don't expect an Abroad or a Cabby when viewing. But it's very charming in it's own way and will entertain for 90 minutes. And at the end of the day, who could ask for more?

other information

Yoki the Chimp had a bit of an episode and started smashing the ornaments in the hall of the house where filming was taking place. It took his owners over an hour to calm the little sod down before any filming could take place.

Stanley Unwin was more than just a British comedian and comic writer. He was an inventor of his own language, 'Unwinese', referred to in the film as gobbledegook. This was a special and mangled form of English in which only a few words were intelligible; this was enough to make the listener think he was being talked to - but without actually allowing him to understand the sentence concerned, the effect of which was make the listener feel deaf or daft.

Terence Longden's role was originally due to go for Leslie Phillips, however Leslie was having none of it and declined the role as he didn't want to be typecast as the 'silly ass'. Norman Hudis was forced to restructure the role, but a London newspaper still managed to criticize Leslie's performance in the film, even though he wasn't in it!

The drink that Joan Sims drinks at the wine tasting party was actually neat gin. Gerald Thomas switched the non alcoholic drink in Joan Sims' glass for real claiming that he wanted a good 'reaction' shot.

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