Carry on Regardless (1961)

 “Will you please try and control yourself.”

carry on regardlessIn the British comedy film, Carry On Regardless Bert Handy (Sid James) opens the Helping Hands agency. With his loyal secretary Miss Cooling (Esma Cannon), the agency’s seven employees tackle all sorts of jobs–from clothes model, chimp-walker, bouncer, and bird-minder. This is one of the early Carry On films, so the film’s humour is not as bawdy as some of the films from the later 60s and 70s. The good thing about Carry On Regardless is the cast line up:

Sam Twist (Kenneth Connor)
Gabriel Dimple (Charles Hawtrey)
Lily Duveen (Joan Sims)
Francis Courtenay (Kenneth Williams)
Nurse (Hattie Jacques)

In addition, there’s gravel-voiced Fenella Fielding as Penny Panting, and Stanley Unwin as the landlord.

The film’s structure is problematic as there’s no real plot–just a series of episodic scenes as employees attempt to perform a job. The general lack of cohesion damages the film, but the film is still great fun to watch.  One scene (and possibly the best in the entire film) places Lily Duveen at a wine tasting, and she proceeds to get extremely drunk and wreck the place. Sid James isn’t in his best role here. I prefer his bawdier comedies (Carry On Camping, for example)–he’s much better when unleashed. The characters of the various employees are variable–Kenneth Williams as the snobby linguist is good, but again, his full persona has yet to be developed, and he’s much better in some of the later Carry On films.

Fans of Carry On films will want to catch Carry On Regardless to see how the team developed and evolved. Carry On films were produced for over three decades, and the films served as a showcase for some of Britain’s best comedy talent.

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Filed under British, Carry On Films, Comedy

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