So here we are , entry one in a very long series. We start with not only one of my favorite Carry On films but the film that made me realise I was straight, but we will get to that later, let us start with a little background.
This was the 24th Carry On film and was released in 1972, it was also the last film to feature Charles Hawtrey, and the only entry featuring my personal favorite carry on girl Gail Granger. It was also filmed entirely in (or around) Pinewood Studios, with the parking lot doubling as the beach.
The Plot for this one is far from complex. A tour operator offers a cheap deal to the holiday resort of Hells Bells, the holiday is a disaster, the hotel collapses but all is saved by a love potion. However, as will all Carry on Movies it’s the characters that make it fun.
Sid James and Joan Sims play a married couple Vic and Cora Flange. Sid of course is trying to have is way with Barbara Windsor’s Sadie Tomkins and Cora’s desire to join him on the holiday makes this task much harder. Bernard Bresslaw plays Brother Bernard a soon to take his vows Monk who falls for Marge (Carol Hawkins) who in turn takes a shine to the almost 7 foot monk. June Whitfield and Kenneth Conner are the unhappily married couple, We also have hotel owners Pepe and Floella played by the always great Peter Butterworth and Hattie Jacques. Charles Hawtrey plays a drunk business man and Kenneth Williams plays against type as the nice but overly enthusiastic tour guide Stuart Farquhar. The rest of the cast plays an assortment of characters who make up the normal folk you would expect to see on a holiday and each play their part adding to the fun.
But for me this film is all about Stuart’s assistant Moira Plunkett (the aforementiond) Geradline Granger. I was about 10 or 11 when I first saw this movie and there is a scene it in where the above mentiond love potion’s magic allows you to see what someone would look like in their underwear – thus we have this shot of miss Granger.
And with that I knew I liked girls.
Seriously from this film I have no idea why it was Windsor and not Granger who went on to become the main carry on girl. Ah well, each to their own I guess.
Anyway we must step away from my childhood fantasy’s and return to the matter in hand.
Is it any good?
In a word yes. The Package Holiday is a timeless British staple and this film gives us a great worst case example of these cheap deals. The cast all have a lot of fun and for once we have Williams in a romantic lead role (with Miss Grainger curse him) . If the Carry On Moives are supposed yo be live action saucy seaside postcards then they hit the jackpot with this one.
Best name: Sadly Sid James’ character is not Sid “something” in this one but he wins joint best name with Sims for Vic and Cora Flange.
Best Line/Worst Gag: It’s a visual one and it involves Bresslaw’s constant attempts to be nice and end up looking like a pervert.
Does Sid James get the girl? Yes, but not Barbara Windsor, he ends up rekindling his relationship with his wife, along with Conners and Whitfiled thanks to the powers of the love potion.
So, in a nutshell there it is, find it and watch if if you havent, and if you have I would love to hear your thoughts on it.
Next time we will take a look at the only Carry on Film to ever tank in the cinema – Carry on at Your Convenience.