TV Cream

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Carry On Emmanuelle

Utter crap, lacking both the charm (we use the term relatively) of the Confessions films it was intended to rival, and the po-faced ludicrousness of the Katie Boyle-endorsed continental flicks it sought to parody. Featuring Suzanne Danielle, Beryl Reid, Henry McGee and, the nearest we get to a saving grace here, rival newsreaders Corbet Woodall and Tim Brinton.



  1. Tom Ronson

    March 31, 2022 at 7:42 pm

    I remember the first time this turned up on telly, very late one night during the summer of 1998. I was disappointed in every way it’s possible to be disappointed, and I can only echo the contemporary critic who said it’s as woeful a spectacle as watching a group of much-loved elderly relatives getting drunk and disgracing themselves at a party. Kenny Lynch’s disco theme ‘Love Crazy’ is pretty much a back-of-a-fag-packet rewrite of The Bee Gees’ Jive Talkin’, and sums up the end-of-an-era, can’t-be-fucked mood as well as anything that happens on the screen.

  2. Sidney Balmoral James

    May 1, 2022 at 7:36 pm

    It’s not very chivalrous to say this, but I can’t get over how badly the Carry On regulars aged – this is less than twenty years since Carry On Teacher, but Joan Sims and Kenneth Williams looks like they’ve aged about forty years in the intervening time. Was there something in the water at Pinewood?

  3. Richardpd

    May 1, 2022 at 9:51 pm

    Kenneth Williams was a heavy smoker, & some of his unusual health rituals probably did more harm than good, especially fumigating his flat with DDT!

    I’ve not seen this one, & in no hurry to see it, especially with that scene with Kenny’s bare bum in view!

  4. THX 1139

    May 1, 2022 at 11:23 pm

    Poor Joan Sims was an alcoholic, too.

  5. Richardpd

    May 2, 2022 at 10:21 pm

    Shame because she seemed to be one of the more sensible ones.

  6. Droogie

    May 2, 2022 at 11:27 pm

    Charles Hawtrey was a raging alcoholic too, and a nasty man when drunk. Most of the classic Carry On Crew were badly messed-up people to be honest. They were all obviously a bit eccentric beforehand, but working for Peter Rogers for decades for peanuts in crappy contracts in increasingly bad movies probably wouldn’t help anyone’s mental state.

    • THX 1139

      May 3, 2022 at 9:35 am

      I wouldn’t say “most”, I’ve never heard bad words about Jim Dale or Peter Butterworth, and Barbara Windsor was well liked, to name but three. It’s just that most were entering the last phase of their careers about the time the British film industry was winding down, and that can’t have helped.

      • Droogie

        May 5, 2022 at 12:14 am

        @ THX 1139 Babs Windsor had all the abusive unpleasantness with gangster boyfriend Ronnie Knight. But she at least had a successful career post Carry On. Dale, Butterworth and Bresslaw were all decent folk as you say. But 2 other challenged individuals in the Carry On universe were Terry Scott and Frankie Howard. Scott was a strange one. Screamingly right-wing and racist, as well as being a big boozer and adulterer. He was also in appalling bad health with various issues from the late 70’s onwards and had a nervous breakdown after Terry and June was canceled.. Frankie Howerd at least had a comeback later on, but was another damaged individual and something of a sexual predator. Bob Monkhouse memorably describes in his autobiography the time a sexually aroused Howerd made a lunge at him in a dressing room.

    • Glenn Aylett

      May 4, 2022 at 8:24 pm

      Charles Hawtrey was widely disliked in his later years when he moved to Deal in Kent. He was barred from a pub for calling the regulars a bunch of peasants, told a child to eff off when he asked for an autograph, and was known for his arrogant and nasty behaviour towards shop staff. No surprises, when only nine people turned up for Hawtrey’s funeral, he was very unpopular among the locals and fellow actors.
      However, he was like Kenneth Williams, fed up with the stingy pay on the Carry On films, typically the main actors would receive £ 3000 a film in 1970, while Peter Rogers would pocket most of the profits from what were still popular films. Probably both Hawtrey and Williams had the last laugh on the Carry On series as the last ones were met with complete indifference, audiences stayed away and the franchise died in 1978.

  7. Richardpd

    May 3, 2022 at 10:27 pm

    Certainly Kenneth Williams seemed to be stuck making Carry Ons, narrating adverts and other work he felt beneath him but needed to pay the bills.

    Arguably he had lost his chances of going on to bigger things when his father died in odd circumstances in the 1960s & had to be available during the police enquiry. From what I heard Kenneth had to turn some promising offers of work during this time.

    • THX 1139

      May 4, 2022 at 10:33 am

      Yes, Williams’ father was a very difficult man and there was a rumor Kenneth had poisoned him to stop his meddling. I don’t know the truth of that.

      • Richardpd

        May 4, 2022 at 10:17 pm

        I’ve heard that too, which was probably reason Kenneth was a potential suspect for a time & restricted in his movements.

        Supposedly one of the offers of work he had to turn down in this period was in an American film. I don’t know what the Americans would have made of him, considering the Carry Ons never really did well over there.

        • THX 1139

          May 4, 2022 at 11:23 pm

          Carry On Nurse did surprisingly well in the US, but obvs that was one of the very early ones, and nothing else in the series subsequently did the same business.

          • Glenn Aylett

            May 6, 2022 at 7:17 pm

            @ THX 1139, the very British humour and references probably didn’t appeal to Americans and the cheapness of the Carry Ons would have compared badly with the big budget American films.
            Over here each new Carry On was a big attraction, with huge queues forming at cinemas whenever a new one was released in the sixties, but by the mid seventies, audiences were staying away and coarsened humour and more sexual references were a poor attempt to compete with the Confessions films. Emmanuelle was the last of a dismal set of films from the mid and late seventies.

          • George White

            May 6, 2022 at 11:08 pm

            Also note that two of the stars of Nurse did afterward become big names in the States – Jill Ireland and Wilfrid Hyde White

  8. Sidney Balmoral James

    May 5, 2022 at 1:03 pm

    I don’t think there is a shred of evidence that Williams poisoned his father, or that police even suspected him: whole thing seems built on hearsay. Verdict was one of accidental death, his father had been behaving very erratically for some time. Williams doesn’t seem to have been very upset judging by his diary, but he was a cold fish, and he had very little to do with his father by then given how they were polar opposites. There was nothing preventing him taking on work, or leaving country – and later in his career he was to turn down lucrative offers from the US. He much preferred stage work (and only for short periods, as he notoriously pulled out of two successes when he got bored – The Platinum Cat and My Fat Friend) and radio/ TV. He scarcely appeared in any films other than the Carry On films once they got going (there was also a couple of very similar Gerald Thomas films). I suspect even then, when he died, he was probably the best off of all the surviving Carry On regulars (perhaps excepting Jim Dale, whose biggest success was in US), as his earnings from tv, adverts etc. were considerable in his final years.

    • Richardpd

      May 5, 2022 at 10:13 pm

      I heard he always wanted to do Shakespeare but was rarely given the chance.

      I can remember he was a regular on Children’s BBC in the 1980s, with Willo The Wisp, being a Jackanory regular, SID On Galloping Galaxies among other things.

    • George White

      May 6, 2022 at 11:10 pm

      Do we know what the lucrative offers were, what films etc?

      • THX 1139

        May 6, 2022 at 11:56 pm


      • Sidney Balmoral James

        May 7, 2022 at 8:10 am

        I think it was cabaret, after he appeared in International Cabaret on the BBC, rather than films.

  9. Droogie

    May 7, 2022 at 9:12 pm

    The only non-Carry On movie I recall seeing Kenneth Williams in during his latter years was the rotten Pete and Dud Baskervilles movie. Never knew he was accused of poisoning his father. Have to say it was a weird death – drinking a bottle of cough syrup that had been switched with industrial cleaner by one of his immediate family is very mysterious

  10. Glenn Aylett

    May 8, 2022 at 2:23 pm

    Kenneth Williams became a regular on Star Turn, that well known mixture of charades and whodunnits, and as a story reader on Jackanory. He did have his own sketch show on ITV in 1976, so did a fair amount after he left the Carry Ons.

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