I started it on October 1st and completed it on January 30. The Carry On blog series has been the first “long term” project at The Wonderful World of Cinema, one that lasted much longer than I would have thought! Do I wish I would have been completed it sooner? Not necessarily, because I loved doing it and reviewing the Carry Ons. It has allowed me to really savour my exploration of this comical British franchise. Today, as a conclusion, I wanted to do a little recapitulation, tell you what I liked about this project, what I liked less, what I discovered, what were my expectations, etc., etc.
Before going further, I would first like to thanks the people who have followed the series, being regularly or just on a few occasions. You made my writing worthwhile, knowing it was being read at least by a few people! I must admit, at first, that was my biggest “fear”. I mean, it would have been discouraging to be writing all these 31 entries and not having anybody reading them. Anyway, I said I was going to watch and review them all. I’m glad I kept my words! And I’m a stubborn Aries.
As soon as I was done watching Carry On Sergeant, I knew I was about to spend a good time watching the next films. It really put me in a good mood to be motivated about doing this, which was an extremely good thing. So, I was mostly expecting laughs and entries that would particularly emphasize on the actors and the screenplays. And that’s pretty much what happened. I did talk about some technical aspects in some of the reviews, such as the editing in Carry On Sergeant or the cinematography in Carry On Cleo and Carry On Screaming, but it wasn’t the main part of my reviews. In a way, it’s not surprising since what I focused on was pretty much what made these films so popular. But, I also liked to ask myself questions and reflect on some narrative aspects of a film, such as if Bernard Bresslaw’s role in Carry On Up the Jungle could be considered racist or not, or how we can interpret the character of Emmannuelle Prévert in Carry On Emmannuelle. Yes, the Carry Ons are perceived as pure entertainment, but if you dig enough, you can find thoughtful things to say about them.
My biggest anticipation didn’t concern the viewing of the “bad” Carry Ons because, when I started that series, those were so far ahead of me and it felt like it would be a while before I’d be watching them and reviewing them. By bad Carry Ons I include the usual suspects: Carry On England, Carry On Emmannuelle, and Carry On Columbus. And when the time came to watch them, well, I did sort of liked them despite everything (ok, except for Columbus). Another Carry On that, for my personal tastes, wasn’t so good was Follow that Camel. Anyway, to answer the initial question, my biggest anticipation was the fear of repeating myself since those films remain somehow quite similar. I feel it did happen on a few occasions. There are some reviews, I must admit, are the result of a lack of motivation. It’s not because I didn’t like the film but mostly because I felt there weren’t so many new things to discuss. But I tried as much as possible to keep that varied and entertaining.
What I liked best about this series:
It certainly was to discover a bunch of funny British actors. Also, I kind of saw those films as a sort of escapism. If I had a bad day, watching one of them in the evening really helped me to have a good time and not think about my problems.
As I said before, it was probably the lack of inspiration in my writing on a few occasions but, luckily, that didn’t happen so often. Also, I was expecting to finish that series much sooner, so I guess school assignments were a sort of obstacle! Hahaha!
What surprised me the most:
That people read the series lol! More seriously, probably my review of Carry On Cowboy. It really wasn’t one of my favourites, BUT I did enjoy writing about it and surprisingly had a lot to say, especially in connection to the western genre that it parodies. So, it kind of went against my initial idea that I wouldn’t have so much to say about a film that I didn’t like or, more precisely, that I wouldn’t have the motivation to say something about it.
- Favourite film: Carry On Sergeant
- Favourite regular actor: I will go with the two Kenneths, Kenneth Williams and Kenneth Connor. Both wonderful in their own kind.
- Favourite regular actress: Barbara Windsor. She made those films so lively!
- Favourite non-regular/actor that has appeared only once in the series (male): Bob Monkhouse in Carry On Sergeant. It’s too bad he was only in one Carry On because he suited them perfectly!
- Favourite non-regular (female): French actress Dany Robin who plays Jacqueline in Don’t Lose Your Head. She was a brilliant addition to this film, and I loved her chemistry with Sid James!
- Favourite line: Ohh that one is difficult! Of course, I love many, but if I had to choose ONE, I would go with this one from Don’t Lose Your Head when the Duke the Pomefritte (Charles Hawtrey) is waiting for his head to be chopped off at the guillotine. Someone brings him a message, and he says: “Drop it in the basket- I’ll read it later”. That’s comedy gold and a line actually suggested by Jim Dale!
- Favourite couple: Bernard Bresslaw and Dilys Laye, both in Carry On Doctor and Carry On Camping. The cutest couple of the series, and the cutest kiss of the series. Honourable mention to Barbara Windsor and Kenneth Cope in Carry On Matron.
- Favourite character’s entrance: You might know it already. Francis Courtenay (Kenneth Williams)’s entry in Carry On Regardless, proving us he can speak several languages! “Ah ha! Bonjour!”
- Narratively favourite scene: I will go with that scene where Charlie Sage (Bob Monkhouse) and Mary Sage (Shirley Eaton) get in the wrong room in Carry On Sergeant, as it is probably the first Carry On scene that made me burst into laughs. I knew from now on that I was going to spend a good time. But there are many other great ones.
- Visually favourite scene: The “cabby trap” scene from Carry On Cabby.
- Favourite theme song: Theme song from Carry On Screaming.
- Favourite male character: That’s a difficult one! I will go with an unusual choice, Bertrum Muffet (Richard O’Callaghan) in Carry On Loving. Funny and absolutely endearing character.
- Favourite female character: I will choose two rather than one and go with the duo of accomplices formed by Hatties Jacques and Esma Cannon as Peggy Hawkins and Flo Sims in Carry On Cabby!
- Favourite Costumes: Jacki Piper’s outfits in Carry On at Your Convenience. I also give an honourable mention to Kenneth Williams’s glasses in Carry On Nurse!
- Favourite editing: Carry On Sergeant and an honourable mention to Carry On Again Doctor.
- Favourite script: In terms of quality, I will go with the script from Carry On Spying.
- Favourite cinematography (black and white): Same as above, Carry On Spying.
- Favourite cinematography (colour): Carry On Screaming
- Favourite opening scene: Opening scene from Don’t Lose Your Head, or dark humour at its best!
- Favourite ending: The ending from Carry On Regardless
- Favourite setting: Although the Carry On gang often filmed at Pinewood studios, my choice is the setting of Don’t Lose Your Head that used some beautiful British historical buildings.
- Favourite repeated line: Each time Kenneth Williams says “Charming!” or “Charmed, I’m sure.”
- Most underrated Carry On: Oh, certainly Don’t Lose Your Head. Carry On Loving is pretty underrated as well.
And what about a little top 10 of my favourite Carry Ons? I did it quite spontaneously so it might change in the future!
- Carry On Sergeant
- Don’t Lose Your Head
- Carry On Regardless
- Carry On Camping
- Cary On Constable
- Carry On Spying
- Carry On Cabby
- Carry On Abroad
- Carry On Matron
- Carry On Teacher
Now that my Carry On blog series is over, will I start a new one? Well, I would love that, but maybe not right now. I have some blogathon duties coming up in March! In closer connection to the Carry On films, I would now like to see all the rest of Kenneth Williams filmography since I’ve already watched a great deal of them, and perhaps watch the “non-official Carry Ons“, the TV series, and the Christmas specials!
Once again, I want to thanks all those who have followed that series and given me their feedback. It’s been lots of fun to explore that franchise, and it sure feels weird that it’s already over!
If you have missed any of the entries, here they are, once again: