Carry-On England (1976)

 “Pull those knickers down.”

Carry On England is set during WWII, and the film begins when stuffy Captain S. Melly (Kenneth Connor) is assigned command of an experimental mixed-sex air defense base. When Melly arrives, he quickly discovers that the troops aren’t interested in defending England from German air strikes. The base resemembles a holiday camp for honeymooners, and Melly is appalled by the complete lack of discipline. Melly’s decision to get the soldiers whipped back into shape is seconded by bossy spit-and-polish Sergeant-Major ‘Tiger’ Bloomer (Windsor Davies). Bloomer’s eagerness to impose discipline is hampered by constant amorous overtures from besotted Private Sharpe (Joan Sims).

englandCarry On England is fairly plot-less and is more-or-less an exercise in a number of silly jokes as Melly tries to impose discipline, and his troops refuse to take him seriously. One of the first scenes depicts Melly trying to get the soldiers in formation, and he quickly discovers that amongst the troops are Privates Easy, Ready, Willing, and Able. Well, you get the idea ….

It’s all innocent fun with a couple of topless scenes tossed in for good measure–men stealing into the women’s barracks, women digging their way into the men’s barracks, the bomb shelter nicknamed the ‘snoggery’ etc, but the lack of plot combined with the silliness make Carry On England one of the least successful films in the Carry On series. Die-hard Carry On fans (like me) will be curious to see it, but it’s really a sad entry in the series. Carry On films were made over a period of several decades and included a more-or-less stable team of stars who represented the best comedy talent in the business. Carry On England stars very few regular team members, and it is one of the last films in the series. While the DVD transfer is good, the sound quality is poor.

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Filed under British, Carry On Films, Comedy

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