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The Carry On Collection
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Public institutions, great historical figures, and established entertainment genres provided the main modus operandi, offering limitless potential for the films' staple themes of lust, adultery, and chicanery. Carry On Sergeant kicked off in 1958 with mainstay Charles Hawtrey. Later the same year in Carry On Nurse and in 1959's Carry On Teacher, the basic team quickly gelled with Joan Sims and Kenneth Williams making regular appearances. Leslie Phillips's insatiable predatory comic persona also figured large in these early films. Perhaps the first major milestone, though, came with the arrival of Sid James in 1960's Carry On Constable. With his trademark raucous laugh and a face like a wizened walnut, James would be a major factor in the ongoing success of the films, in which his leering, lascivious, and amoral character would vary only in name.
In 1962, Carry On Cruising marked the team's first foray into color. The following year, the films grew more adventurous and multilayered. Within their admittedly limited parameters, they did explore relationships and were surprisingly radical in their satirizing of women's roles. Hattie Jacques, for example, is best remembered for her fearsome matrons, but in Carry On Cabby (1963) she plays a downtrodden woman who hits back at husband Sid by forming her own taxi company. Carry On Jack (also 1963) found the team taking to the high seas in a Mutiny on the Bounty-style spoof starring Bernard Cribbins, but the next two films found the team at the real peak of its powers. Carry On Spying (1964) introduced Barbara Windsor's giggly buxom blond, a character who naturally fell hand in hand with James's aging Lothario in many of the subsequent films. In Carry On Cleo the same year, Amanda Barrie's deliciously frothy Egyptian queen and Kenneth Williams's saturnine Caesar set new heights for the series. The year 1965 brought Carry On Cowboy, featuring Joan Sims as a feisty saloon girl, while Carry On Screaming (1966) drove a comic stake through the heart of classic Hammer horror flicks.
Today, the Carry On films are seen as a vital component in the linear development of modern British comedy, influencing everything from French & Saunders to the surreal League of Gentlemen. In their time, they provided a much-needed big-screen vehicle for the greatest comic talents of the age. And today that vehicle has become a legacy of wonderful performances, many of them truly subtle. On that level alone, the Carry On films earn their status as a comic institution a hundred times over. --Piers Ford
- Includes: "Carry On Sergeant" (1958), "Carry On Nurse" (1958), "Carry On Teacher" (1959), "Carry On Constable" (1960), "Carry On Regardless" (1961), "Carry On Cruising" (1962), "Carry On Jack" (1963), "Carry On Cabby" (1963), "Carry On Cleo" (1964), "Carry On Spying" (1964), "Carry On Cowboy" (1965), "Carry on Screaming" (1966), and "That's Carry On" (1977)
Top Customer Reviews
Critics hated these films--the rest of us were too busy laughing at the antics, risque jokes and awful puns to care. As the films were made, various actors came and went--but the key members of the Carry On Gang were--Sidney James ( the owner of the dirtiest laugh in the history of cinema ), Kenneth Williams, Kenneth Connor, Charles Hawtrey, Joan Sims, Barbara Windsor, Hattie Jacques and , if this were not enough, plenty of other British comedic actors to keep the laughs coming like Bernard Bresslaw, Jim Dale, Leslie Phillips, Terry Scott, Peter Butterworth, Jack Douglas, Frankie Howerd and on and on. Beautiful women like Shirley Eaton, Liz Fraser and Amanda Barrie were major "pluses" too.
Like any series of films, some were better than others, and fans do not always agree on their favourites. In this package, "Carry On Nurse" is not only a classic, but it really put the series on track because it was a huge hit in many countries. I find "Carry On Constable" to be one of the best with Kenneth Williams and Leslie Phillips both terrific--it also introduces Sid James, who would soon become "Mr.Carry On", although he is rather subdued in this first outing. Even without Sid, "Carry On Screaming" is a winner, with Harry H. Corbett fine in the lead, and Kenneth Williams quite surreal as the "Mad Doctor". "Carry On Cleo" is good fun--by this time, Sid had his "King Leer" act down to perfection.Read more ›
This box set contains the first 12 Carry Ons that were made and a 13th one made as a tribute to all the Carry Ons (That's Carry On). It is needless to say that the cast and crew in them were always spectacular and outrageously hilarious. Sid James, Kenneth Williams, Charles Hawtrey, Kenneth Connor, Jim Dale, Joan Sims all gave stellar performances in each Carry On.
It is rather sad to face the fact that most of this crew is no longer with us. There are few who come close to the facial expressions of Kenneth Williams, his famous flaring nostrils, and his manner of speech, Sid James' famous yak-yak and Charles Hawtrey's "Oh-Hello's" and silly grins, not to mention their extremely natural and hilarious acting. Most of them were talented actors from a very young age. On the bright side, it is good to know that some of them like Barbara Windsor and Jim Dale are still carrying on in the entertainment world.
For all Carry On fans wanting to know more about the lives of these actors and detailed description on each film, there is [...] and there are books on the lives of Sid James, Kenneth Williams (who was a very private and a sad man in real life) and others.
Truly, it is hard to carry on living till the rest of the Carry Ons are released in the US on DVD.
For anyone unfamiliar with the series, they are not high brow comedy. Sort of Benny Hill in style. However, a wonderful repertory cast gave us some hilarious and zany moments. Sid James, Hattie Jacques, Joan Sims, Bob Monkhouse, Barbara Windsor, Kenneth Williams and Charles Hawtrey were the principals involved. This is the sort of film that the British do so well.
I heartily recommend it for a number of laughs.
The only small disappointment is the packaging - which is quite cheap and not at all durable. The box holding the set is made of flimsy cardboard that will not wear well. And the collection would have benefited from an insert giving a history of the series, and details about those that are both in this collection, and those that are not. A set of translations for the very English idioms would also benefit American fans!
For anyone who loves classic British comedy such as "Are You Being Served" and Bennie Hill, you will certainly enjoy this collection.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
English scatology at its zenith, not to mention the characters who play the parts, they are treasuresPublished 15 months ago by Stephen Esric Loomes
Have to agree with Howard P,Ken Williams really makes Carry Ons for me.Loved his Yoki walking,great tea party!The ending in the dilapidated house was great! Read morePublished 19 months ago by Ellen
was a Xmas present for my father in-law!!
Got the call today that it did not work in their player! Went right over and in the end all is good! Read more
A must have for Carry On fans, and a great introduction for those that have had the misfortune of not being exposed to the comedic talents of Hattie Jacques, Sid James, Kenneth... Read morePublished on October 21, 2012 by Amazon Customer
This series of British situation comedies, popular from the late 1950's through the mid-70's, hits the mark most of the time. Read morePublished on June 27, 2012 by Gene Packer
If you like to laugh, get this set. We discovered the Carry-On series years ago on TV, and having all of them on DVD is perfect. Read morePublished on September 18, 2010 by Book Carpenter
"[[ASIN:"B00006JDRW]]" It was great finally being able to put a face to the voices previously only heard on audio tape imported from England. Read morePublished on June 15, 2009 by Barbara
I`ve seen the films when I was a kid and watched them as reruns on TV while I was growing up and it`s a terrific package with a good and sharp looking transfer of the films. Read morePublished on March 18, 2009 by Hellseeker
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