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My Best Film: Carry On!


Devon Malcolm
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It's hard not to pick Camping, as that has every member of the cast at their most archetypal. Sid's leching over Babs, who's a giggling schoolgirl, Bernie's going "Aw, Sid," Kenneth Williams is repressed and being lusted after by a sexually awakened Hattie, Peter Butterworth is an old rogue, Terry Scott's an uptight businessman, Hawtrey's Hawtrey, and so on. The non-regular cast is amazing too -- Bettie Marsden, Valerie Leon. The jokes are fucking amazing, especially the "all asses must be shown" which is a triple-layered gag that's genuinely my favourite ever.

 

But even with that in mind, I still have to go with ...At Your Convenience. Not that Carry Ons are below normal films, but they are their own genre, and this one has genuine stakes and a really well structured plot, as well as all the classic stuff, and would rightly fit on any list of best ever British films. It's the perfect film. I must have seen it 30 times, easily.

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It's hard not to pick Camping, as that has every member of the cast at their most archetypal. Sid's leching over Babs, who's a giggling schoolgirl, Bernie's going "Aw, Sid," Kenneth Williams is repressed and being lusted after by a sexually awakened Hattie, Peter Butterworth is an old rogue, Terry Scott's an uptight businessman, Hawtrey's Hawtrey, and so on. The non-regular cast is amazing too -- Bettie Marsden, Valerie Leon. The jokes are fucking amazing, especially the "all asses must be shown" which is a triple-layered gag that's genuinely my favourite ever.

 

But even with that in mind, I still have to go with ...At Your Convenience. Not that Carry Ons are below normal films, but they are their own genre, and this one has genuine stakes and a really well structured plot, as well as all the classic stuff, and would rightly fit on any list of best ever British films. It's the perfect film. I must have seen it 30 times, easily.

 

Hard to disagree with those two. If pushed for my favourite, I generally go for ...At Your Convenience. It's a decent plot and has a good pay-off. Vic getting spanked my his mother is excellent.

 

Camping is cracking though. Whenever anyone in the office asks how much something is/was, someone always says "pound".

 

I have a strange liking for Abroad which comes from all the times I would stay with my Nan & Grandad and it was the only video they had. I must have watched it 30 times!

 

I struggle to get into some of the black and white ones but I do like Carry On Cabby. The battle of the sexes stuff and the scenes with everyone coming together to stop the robbers make it a good watch.

Edited by tiger_rick
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I know it's obvious, but it's Camping. Whenever someone says it's Carry On Screaming or something they are lying. The best Carry Ons have the most participants of the Carry On players acting like they do best. I also love ...Abroad.

 

Shittest is ...England.

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Film critics say Screaming. Real people say the ones that have the most gags in them. Screaming never really felt like a proper Carry On film to me.

 

Surely Screaming doesn't really count? Id have to go with Camping it has everything you'd want in a Carry On film. The gone for a P / All asses must be shown gag is one of those perfect gags that so many comedians wish they could write

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Shittest is ...England.

You're only saying that because you haven't seen Emmanuelle (or you've seen it, but your mind is blocking it out).

 

Abroad is excellent. Lots of the core cast, with lusty Sid, stern Joan, giggly Babs, proper English gent Conner and snidey Ken. Out of character you've got Butterworth and Hattie being great with each other.

 

Girls is another of my favourites. Slightly more bawdy, and missing Kenneth Williams and with Butterworth reduced to a much smaller role, but you've still got Sid, Joan, Bernard, Conner, Whitfield and Patty Rawlins all delivering what you'd want from them.

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I honestly take Emmanuelle over England. Shit as both are.

 

Old assignment (I'm a fucking awful writer):-

 

The Comedy genre in British cinema is often linked to the National issues of the time. During times of national hardship and distress Comedy is relied upon to raise morale amongst the population, often by making light of the hardships which are currently affecting the country. Through times of War and Recession, British Comedy mimics the climes of the times, sociological and financial, as people can identify with that. If people can identify with your film, they are more likely to buy a ticket to go and see it, so from a commercial point of view national concerns will obviously have a bearing on a genre, and in the eyes of the producers of mass released films that is surely what is really important, money in the bank and pocket.

 

 

The Carry On... series of films are the finest example of this. Their quick six week turnaround on filming and often concentrating on issues of the day resulted in them being very profitable indeed. The highest grossing film in the UK Box Office in 1969 was Carry On Camping, and while the film is best known for Barbara Windsor losing her bra onto Kenneth Williams face, the film also dealt with UK Culture of the time. For example, the film

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Thought about going for the standard Camping, but from a personal standpoint I think i'd have to go for Abroad.

 

I had an uncle who was well into the Carry On films, and collected all the old Cinema Club VHS releases in the very early 90s and pretty much every Saturday or Sunday would be spent going through as many as we could. Abroad was probably the only one out of the lot that, at the time, I wanted to rewatch over and over again. I think at the time what sealed it for me as a however-old was Hattie Jacques swearing and twatting Peter Butterworth with a spoon/pan, but by the time I picked it up on DVD a few years back I was pleased that it held up beyond all the very hazy memories I had of watching it as a kid. A proper last hurrah for the classic cast, plus an amazing support line up, especially Jimmy Logan and John Clive. Jimmy Logan's character is still the reason my mind occasionally wanders to the phrase "IS THIS FER THE DIRTY WEEKEND?" upon hearing or seeing the word 'Weekend'. I think Abroad is ingrained in me, no matter what.

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