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Carry On Cruising

Carry On Cruising

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Captain Crowther’s lot is not a happy one! Five of his crew have to be replaced and at such short notice before the voyage begins there isn’t much to choose from. Not only does he get the five most incompetent shipmates ever to sail the seven seas, but the passengers turn out to be a rather strange bunch too. The SS Happy Wanderer will never be the same.

STARS: Sidney James, Kenneth Williams, Kenneth Connor

89 min | Comedy, Romance | 1962 | Color


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Outstanding comedy
CARRY ON CRUISING is, so far, my favourite of the CARRY ON series. Watching it, this film feels like a natural progression from the earlier black and white entries, retaining the same successful set-piece/gag rate and level of innocent charm that made those first films so endearing.
The cruise ship setting provides the perfect backdrop for the on-board antics of Sid James and co as they muddle their way through a series of increasingly hilarious hijinks. Much of the humour comes from Kenneth Connor's besotted ship's doctor and James's exasperated Captain, while Kenneth Williams lurks on the sidelines as the first officer.
The presence of other notable regulars is missed - there's no Hawtrey, Sims or Jacques here - but the film makes up for it by some alternate engaging casting choices, not least Esma Cannon's delightfully dotty old bat and Lance Percival as the seasick cook.
The success rate of the jokes is high with plenty of memorable moments, not least an impromptu table tennis match which marks the series highlight. Altogether this is a true gem of a comedy, with unforced laughs and a real wittiness to it.

Carry on forever
A delightful romp.
This film has several layers; the cruise ship could be described as a cage, a stage, a maze but I believe the most apt metaphor for the situation the characters find themselves in is a carousel. You're going around in circles looking at all the people with smiles and joy and oblivious to the rest of the world; you're all just in it for a good time.
And a good time is had.
In a way, I think we've all had a time where we could see ourselves as the characters on this ship. It's time in our lives where we're not in control and things work out for the best because of the company we keep and where we are at the time. You can feel the charged atmosphere of people who aren't exactly lost but are in fact looking for something.
The thing I think I'll take away from this movie is Liz Frazer's line "Prove you're not shy" is probably the culmination of the doctor's decision making. He's a bumbling character played by the talented Kenneth Connor who gives the everyman a sense of poetry. Perhaps his ultimate decision may sound impulsive or rash but it's not at all unseen. I think we could all do with a Liz Frazer to give us a push in the right direction.
Above all though, it's just a fun flick. With a typhoon of comedic abilities from man of the world Sid James and crew, this is a movie I would recommend for anyone in any generation. For anyone who's been on that carousel.

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