Carry on Films: The Pocket Essential Guide [Secure eReader]
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eBook by Mark Campbell
eBook Category: Sports/Entertainment/Sports/Entertainment
eBook Description: What's in it? Every film examined in detail, with full cast and crew listing, key scenes and dialogue gems, and an informed critique; brief biographies of the major players, TV shows and theatre plays; appendices that include an exhaustive bibliography and an overview of the best Carry On websites around; all rounded off with a fiendish quiz on all things Carry On.
eBook Publisher: Pocket Essentials/Pocket Essentials
Fictionwise Release Date: October 2006
You know the story ? a classic British film series that
began in the 1950s, reached its heights in the 1960s and
tailed off in quality until it ceased production in the late
1970s; a small, repertory cast of actors and actresses
appearing countless times in similar roles; ludicrous
scenarios and hilarious dialogue; plenty of heaving bosoms
and scantily-clad blondes, but enough of Hammer
horror films, let?s talk about the Carry Ons.
Britain?s three main film exports ? Hammer, Carry On
and James Bond ? all have one thing in common.
Regardless of whether you think they're good or bad, they
all display a constancy of tone and technique that marks
them out as being cast from the same mould. Blindfold,
you'd know you were watching a Hammer film by the
portentous music, hoof-beat sound effects and stilted
dialogue. Or a James Bond by the operatic score and dry
delivery of unlikely lines. The same goes for Carry On
films. Each and every one of them has the same Tom And
Jerry-style ?comedy? soundtrack, the same arch delivery of
pointed innuendo, the same stereotyped characters. As a
friend once said to me, ?Carry On films are so reassuring.?
And he?s right ? even the bad ones can buoy you up, in a
resigned, ?I don't believe I?m watching this rubbish, but
what the heck, I can't be bothered to turn over? kind of
way. You stop, sit back a little, ponder idly to yourself which Carry On it might be, before either giving in and
watching it, or (if you're made of sterner stuff) switching
to reruns of Frasier. The Carry Ons exhibit a primitive
magnetism, drawing you into their own little world of
schoolboy smut and silly pratfalls in the same way that a
snake hypnotises a mouse. Once captured, it?s very diffi-
cult to escape.?Just five more minutes,? you say to yourself,
trying not to think of that huge pile of dirty crockery
waiting to be washed. But then you realise you know
what?s going to happen next (?Oh, I remember this,? you
mutter), and you give it a further five minutes. And
another five. The fact that most Carry Ons are watched
again and again over the years ? the scenes burnt into the
brain like a channel ident on a plasma screen ? adds to
their cosy, feel-good appeal.We're virtually born with all
the jokes from Carry On Cleo hardwired into our DNA.
The films go beyond simple cinematic entertainments and
into the very fabric of our society.They're as deep-rooted
as our national identity, as vital as the air we breathe.
They're icons of pop culture, like The Magic Roundabout or
The Beatles.They define who we are.
Alternatively, they're just 31 efficiently made light
comedies of a rather old-fashioned kind starring a team of
actors and actresses who were very good at what they did
but are now mostly all dead.We may laugh at them but
let?s be clear about one thing ? it?s not because we find
them funny. Our laughter is more hard-edged; the sort of
sneering laugh that we might bestow on an old Benny Hill
Show perhaps, as if to say,?Is that what they called funny in
those days? Oh dear!? To misquote a 90s compilation
series, we're not really laughing with the Carry Ons, we?re
laughing at them.They're relics of the past,museum pieces
seen through rose-tinted spectacles in which fat people
are funny, nurses strip to their undies and frustrated husbands drool over women with unfeasibly large breasts.
If there?s a banana skin, someone will slip on it. If there?s
a foreigner, he'll be a...