Carry on Dick
Bugger me sideways and call me Cecil! My heart just bleeds for poor Captain Desmond Fancey (Kenneth Williams), and his aide, Sergeant Jock Strapp (Jack Douglas).
Well, ever since the noble knob-head, Sir Roger Daley (Bernard Bresslaw), was robbed by the masked highwayman, Dick Turpin (Sid James), plus his gang, Harriett and Tom (Barbara Windsor and Peter Butterworth), Fancey and Strapp have been ordered to track down these slippery sods post haste.
However, I am afraid to say that with every single move they make; they really do make a right pig's ear of it, don't you know.
For example; when they go to the church and inform Reverend Flasher that they will be posing as thieves to track down Dick -- this is a very big mistake -- because the Flasher is Dick's civilian guise. Moreover, sometime later when they then go to the local-pub, called 'The Old Cock Inn', and are told by an old crone that they will be able to identify Dick, due to a birthmark he has on his... errr... dick! Well? When they try to peep at peoples pecker... they get a right eye fall, and in more ways than one.
Now can things get any worse for Fancey and Strapp? Yeah. I am afraid so. You see, with a little help from Harriett and Tom, Dick sets up a trap, resulting in them being mistaken for being Dick Turpin and his gang, and arrested by the towns Constable (Kenneth Connor).
So is that, that then? No more trouble for Dick and his gang? Hmmm... depends. Dick's housekeeper, Martha Hoggett (Hattie Jacques), starts to become suspicious of his and Harriett's nightly jaunts. Plus in addition to this, Sir Roger Daley shows up and tries to sort matters out in his own way.
Therefore, it is pretty safe to say that what next transpires all kicks off when Harriett is caught with some of the stolen goods. As jumble-sales are the pits - the law falls to bits - criminals grow tits - and three roguish highwaymen use their wits.
My God! What a carry on!
Now anybody who was brought up in
between the forties and the nineties must have some sort of knowledge relating
to the 'Carry On' series of films. Sidney James and his crude cackle. Barbra
Windsor and her big tits. Bernard Bresslaw and his lumbering ways. Kenneth
Williams and his coy candour. Plus Hattie Jacques and Joan Sims with their
maternal presence. However, all of these great actors of yesteryear are not just actors
to many an impressionable eye. Oh no. In fact, they are all Uncles and Aunties
of the silver screen, ready with a bold remark or a double entendre within a
blink of an eye.
Well, that's how I look at them anyway. Making it very hard for me to say anything too bad about 'Carry on Dick'.
OK, I have to confess, that it isn't the best film in the 'Carry On' series of productions. The sets are nth rate. The one-liners are not that sharp. The story is bumbling to say the least. And the overall package does have a weariness about it -- as if this project was just holding on by the very skin on its teeth.
Though, on the flip side of this argument, I did enjoy watching Sid's more congenial manner for a change. Plus, in places, the interaction between actors shone through more so than in other movies.
Maybe some filmic-facts can shed some light upon this dichotomy, huh? (1) In the seventies this film was banned in
Africa because the authorities considered it
'anti-Christian'. (2) Sid was 61 when he made this flick. Dick Turpin was 33
when he died. (3) Bernard Bresslaw was discovered by noted actor, Laurence
Olivier. (4) Kenneth Williams went on Honeymoon with Barbara Windsor and Ronnie
Knight after they got married. (5) This was the last movie that had 'series regulars' Sid James and
Hattie Jacques in it. Plus scriptwriter, Talot Rothwell, as well. (7) Actor, Bernard
Bresslaw, wanted a closed set for his naked scenes. (8) Sidney
James was born in , 1913. And first came over to Johannesburg, South
on December the 25th, 1946.
(9) Hattie Jacques first paid yet un-credited role was as a radio announcer for
a British radio show, called 'Green for Danger'. (10) Barbara
Windsor and Sidney James were not speaking to each other whilst making this
film [as depicted in the dramatisation 'Cor, Blimey']
Yep! There are a few facts amongst this bunch that shows why 'Carry on Dick' wasn't all they great. Especially points 5 and 10, huh? Talot, Sid, and Hattie's last film - plus Sid and Barbara wasn't speaking to each other. Well, given the benefit of hindsight, these factors do substantiate why this was a film franchise on the wane -- thus inadvertently bestowing this movie with a sort of 'final ember' of previous greatness.
Shame really, isn't it? I would have liked to have seen more of the sparkle of the earlier productions, as well as a more cohesive tale that didn't rely so heavily on a sketch like structure, fragmenting the whole film into a story of three parts. Moreover, if production values were increased, plus a more focused plot-line was in place, things might have been so much better. Here, you might get the basic verve of what I am trying to convey, by listening to this Jack Douglas interview.
They disserved so much more.
THE RATING: B-