Saturday, August 20, 2011

Carrying On

Carry On Cruising is the fourth in England's classic Carry On series. If you have heard of it, that may be all you need to know. The series ran from the late 50s to the early 70s, plus a few latecomers. The basic premise is: Throw a loose cast of regulars into a setting (cruise ship), add as many slapstick gags and double entendres as you can think up, and go.

In this episode, Sid James is captain of a cruise ship, the Happy Wanderer. James is a great character actor - famous for his dirty laugh. I was going going to describe his accent as "cockney", but further research indicates it is Johannesburg Jewish. Fans of British comedy series Are You Being Served can think of Mr. Goldberg for reference. Actually, fans of AYBS should enjoy the Carry On movies in general.

There are some new crew members and two lonely young women looking for romance, and so forth. The young lovelies are not the usual voluptuous bimbos, but rather ordinary-to-attractive, not that young women, Liz Fraser and Dilys Laye. (Or am I misreading them? Maybe these are considered bombshells by local standards.)

The hi-jinx are pretty tame - for example, Sid James is a captain, not a sponger, pervert or conman, his natural strengths. The innuendo is mostly mild, the titillation limited. Still, fun for those who like this sort of thing, and the only Carry On film available on streaming, except Carry On Columbus,  a late entry, reportedly a stinker.

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