Carry on Girls

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Local councillor Sidney Fiddler persuades the Mayor to help improve the image of their rundown seaside town by holding a beauty contest. But formidable Councillor Prodworthy, head of the …

ACTORS :  Sidney James, Barbara Windsor, Joan Sims

YEAR OF RELEASE :  1973

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Storyline

Carry on Girls  Local councillor Sidney Fiddler persuades the Mayor to help improve the image of their rundown seaside town by holding a beauty contest. But formidable Councillor Prodworthy, head of the local women’s liberation movement, has other ideas. It’s open warfare as the women’s lib attempt to sabotage the contest.

Whatever anyone else says, this is a superb Carry On.

Carry on Girls  Although it doesn’t quite scale the dizzy heights of CARRY ON UP THE KHYBER and does suffer somewhat from an obviously farthing-scraping budget, GIRLS is still vintage stuff from the Carry On crew, with a fast-moving, pun-heavy script from the great Talbot Rothwell (“I want a nice warm room with hot and cold running chambermaids” – Sid James, one of his many classic lines), plenty of memorable characters including the dotty Miss Tewkes, the randy old Admiral, the punch-drunk bellboy…hang on, this is starting to sound like FAWLTY TOWERS! If the film has one insurmountable obstacle it’s the casting of the ageing, dumpy and diminutive Barbara Windsor as a beauty queen. This isn’t even believable in a comedy situation where Sid James is a babe magnet and the gormless Bernard Bresslaw gets jiggy with the statuesque Valerie Leon! The rest of the contestants (with the possible exception of future EASTENDER Wendy Richards) look the part, however, and Carry On regular Margaret Nolan is especially memorable as the busty Dawn Brakes, though the PC brigade would no doubt frown on the…er…physical humour the film derives from her buxom presence! There’s also a short but priceless cameo from DAD’S ARMY’s Private Godfrey, who has one of the film’s funniest lines, and Jimmy Logan is hilarious, camping it up in a role that was evidently meant for either Kenneth Williams or Charles Hawtrey and winning the day with his sheer exuberance. There are some sequences that don’t really fit the Carry On mould – the Windsor-Nolan cat-fight, for example, shows signs of desperation, and Kenneth Connor doesn’t have enough screen time as the proudly dapper but eternally disgusted Frederick Bumble (a shame, as his performance is note-perfect throughout), but all things considered this is a fine example of seaside postcard humour, and much funnier than the cruder Carry On variations that followed.

Carry on Henry

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