“All my life, I’ve been like an unused clockwork toy.”
In the British comedy, Carry On Camping, Sid Boggle (Sid James) and Bernie Lugg (Bernard Bresslaw) take their girlfriends to see a film about nudist camping. The film is supposed to be an icebreaker, but the fact that Joan Fussey (Joan Sims) and Anthea (Dilys Lane) are outraged by the film doesn’t deter Sid from plotting a cosy holiday for four at the Paradise Nudist Camp. Unfortunately, things don’t go and smoothly as planned, and Sid, Bernie, Joan, and Anthea end up camping in a grotty field owned by crafty farmer, Mr Fiddler. Things look grim for Sid’s devious plans, but then a busload of budding schoolgirls arrives from Chayste Place led by headmaster Doctor Soaper (Kenneth Williams), and Matron, Miss Haggerd (Hattie Jacques). The effervescent Barbara Windsor stars as one of the more mischief-seeking schoolgirls.
To add to the merriment, various other peculiar campers also merge onto Farmer Fiddler’s field. Mr and Mrs Potter are perennial campers. Mr Potter longs to dump the tent and the tandem, but Mrs Potter skillfully ignores all of her husband’s objections while she giggles in the most annoying fashion. Charlie Muggins (Charles Hawtrey)–is a tentless hiker who “isn’t fussy” where he sleeps, and he enroaches on everyone’s politeness. The film is worth renting just to see Hawtrey in shorts.
The Carry On team produced a large number of films from the 50s through the 70s, and the team consisted of a core group of British comedians with new talent added for each film–I suppose the closest equivalent in America would be National Lampoon films. A great deal of the comedy is in the double entendre lines delivered almost non-stop. And while the films are loaded with adult subject matter, it’s really all good clean fun in the end. If you’ve never watched a “carry on” film before, I recommend starting with either Carry On Camping or Carry On Nurse. These are both gems and some of the best in the series. Carry On Camping is from director Gerald Thomas.