Carry On Spying (1964)

“You look lovely. Full of Eastern promise.”

Carry On Spying is a spoof of the secret agent film genre, and it certainly acts as an antidote to those impossibly slick James Bond films. In Carry On Spying, a foreign agent from STENCH (The Society for the Total Extinction of Non Conforming Humans) steals a secret formula, and a crew of bumbling British agents are sent in pursuit. Agent Desmond Simpkins (the preening, snooty Kenneth Williams) is in charge of the mission and is accompanied by three other trainee agents–Harold Crump (Bernard Cribbins), Daphne Honeybutt (Barbara Windsor), and Charlie Bind (Charles Hawtrey). The four “most stupid agents Britain ever produced” head for Vienna, and end up in Morocco where Daphne Honeybutt uses her considerable charms to get the formula from foreign agent, the Fat Man.

Barbara Windsor always portrayed a bubbly–but often dense character–and the role of Daphne Honeybutt is a classic for this actress. Daphne, with her photographic memory, is actually the most competent of the four agents–but the men on the team hold her back with their general ineptitude. She’s even told, “to stay in your room like a good girl” at one point. Some Carry On films include one male character who dresses (rather preposterously) as a woman, and in Carry On Spying, Bernard Cribbins teams with the luscious, pert Barbara Windsor in a harem scene at Hakim’s Fun House.

Carry On films were a series of tremendously popular lowbrow comedy films made over a period of several decades in Britain. The Carry On team included some of the best talent in the British acting industry. Sid James–one of the Carry On team’s most popular members is absent from Carry On Spying, but if you’re a fan of the series, you’ll want to watch it. It’s not hysterically funny, but it’s good natured, silly fun, with some very popular members of the team wearing preposterous disguises while suffering through some wildly perilous situations. Directed by Gerald Thomas.

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Filed under British, Carry On Films, Comedy

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