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Carry On Camping

We hardly need to say anything about this one, really, do we? All that fishing line/green paint anecdotal business is part of the folk consciousness by now. We’ll just say that Peter Butterworth’s Mister Fiddler turn, and Terry Scott, Betty Marsden and Charles Hawtrey’s ménage a tente, are far funnier than that sodding ‘timeless’ bra scene.



  1. Tom Ronson

    March 31, 2022 at 7:38 pm

    Quite a lot of dodginess in this one – Terry Scott being seduced by a schoolgirl, which gives him the courage to rape Betty Marsden into meek submission, for example. The part I didn’t think too closely about as a kid is Sid James and Bernard Bresslaw, ludicrously miscast as a couple of Jack-the-lads who are supposed to be about seventeen, still live with their mums, and are nervous about buying contraceptives. Sid was pushing sixty when this was made!

  2. Richardpd

    July 8, 2023 at 12:40 pm

    This one is a a mixed bag, with the bra scenes that is the go to clip to illustrate the Carry On series, & some other funny scenese like the illuminated tent borrowed by Austin Powers! This is offset by the dodgy sexual politics, with Hattie getting rough with Kenny played for laughs but reverse the genders & would be quite disturbing!

    Supposedly Sid tried to shed his dirty old man image by playing Sid Abbott in Bless This House & other family men, but it didn’t stick so well.

    At least towards the end there’s a classic “all the gang together” moment when the regulars forget their differences to deal with the hippies.

  3. Sidney Balmoral James

    July 9, 2023 at 9:32 am

    It’s testimony to the strength of Sid and Bernard’s playing that we are able to suspend disbelief and go with the whole scenario – in I suppose the same way as we go along with thirty-something Babs as a schoolgirl. It’s noticeable that come Carry On Behind, the mood has changed, and Windsor and Jack (who also perform strongly, indeed, are the centre of the film) are rightly depicted as a desperate pair of silly sods who are not going to be pulling anything more than a handcart. It’s an obvious point but the Carry On films – when they got into their prime years – horribly burlesque sexual relationships, with many of the cast hardly convincing as sexual figures (whatever the reality). Some are odd, sexually ambiguous figures (Hawtrey, Frankie Howerd, Kenny), or drabs like Butterworth, and Douglas, or Joan Sims in the later films, or randy caricatures (Sid, Kenneth Connor). Bernard Bresslaw and Hattie’s size undermine their sexual roles. Those like Roy Castle or Jim Dale who seem to be unexceptional are very much in the minority. We don’t remotely believe in the situation when Hattie is throwing herself at Kenneth Williams (there is something almost cruel in the pairing of the enormous woman and the ascetic gay), and even Sid’s chasing of Babs doesn’t really convince – Babs herself, although intended to be a sexpot, is not really a figure suggestive of carnality – perhaps more due to the surroundings (she has a lot of flesh on show in Abroad, but it generates no sort of erotic charge. Even what should be sexually alluring figures – think Amanda Barrie in Cleo, Anita Harris and Angela Douglas in Camel, have a bit too much of the principal boy about them (poor Juliet Mills spends most of Jack dressed as a man). This does makes the occasional moments when someone is clearly about to have sex rather distasteful: the bit in Camel when Angela Douglas is subjected to successive (presumably successful) assaults on her honour, and as mentioned above, when Terry Scott goes after Betty Marsden, and in Dick, when Sid is about to consummate his relationship with Babs in the carriage.

  4. Sidney Balmoral James

    July 9, 2023 at 9:42 am

    Loving is much more frank about sexual matters, and again, it doesn’t work – Terry Scott and Richard O’Callaghan are not easily thought of as sexual figures, being respectively, middle-aged and portly, and feeble and spindly; they make Imogen Hassall dowdy for the purposes of revealing her as a sexually alluring figure, and the furtive fumblings on sofas and in cinemas are too realistic to be anything other than distasteful in a baggy-pants film (ending in a custard pie fight of all things). Carry On England and Emmanuelle are of course designed to be much more sex comedies, and all the more terrible for that.

  5. Glenn Aylett

    July 10, 2023 at 3:45 pm

    It’s been mentioned on other threads about the Carry On films that they churned them out at an alarming rate in the early seventies and the quality began to suffer. I think ending the franchise in 1972, when there was still some goodwill towards it, would have been better than the poor attempts at sex comedies and satires the later films became. Convenience would have been an ideal way to end the Carry Ons as it was a better than expected satire about the deteriorating state of the economy and terrible industrial relatons in a factory.

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