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  Carry On Sergeant
Year: 1958
Director: Gerald Thomas
Stars: William Hartnell, Shirley Eaton, Bob Monkhouse, Kenneth Williams, Eric Barker, Bill Owen, Charles Hawtrey, Kenneth Connor, Hattie Jacques, Dora Bryan
Genre: Comedy, WarBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 4 votes)
Review: Back in the fifties, National Service came to all men. It came to Charlie Sage (Bob Monkhouse) during his wedding reception. And so, along with a host of other misfits, he found himself the next day sharing a bedroom with thirty other men, instead of with his new bride Mary (Shirley Eaton). Amongst the new recruits are Kenneth Connor's Horace Strong, a hypochondriac who is anything but strong - in mind or body; Charles Hawtrey's Peter Golightly, a man so innocent he wouldn't even admit to having been to the toilet; James Bailey (Kenneth Williams) who is less than impressed with the intelligence of his new colleagues; and Norman Rossington as Herbert Brown, still trying to pass basic training at his fifteenth attempt.

In command of this motley group is Sergeant Grimshawe (William Hartnell), for whom this intake of recruits will be his last platoon before retirement. And he's never achieved the one thing he craves – Champion Platoon. After a bet with his fellow NCOs, he's looking for a worthy last-ever platoon, and gets lumbered with the worst bunch he's ever known!

Whilst Grimshawe tries to whip them into shape, a task not easy when the person awarding the prize is the strict Captain Potts (Eric Barker), There's love in the air, as newly-wed Mary gets a job in the Barracks kitchen to be near her husband, and Horace Strong becomes the target for man-eater Norah (Dora Bryan).

This gentle introduction to Carry On falls well into the typical 1950s British Comedy film genre, with a few hints at the sauciness to follow. The cast perform their roles with style and energy, and the jokes are easy on the brain. It's far easier to watch Carry On Sergeant than something like Stripes, which tells the same story (but far more coarsely) and then goes all gung-ho USA on us. Stick to this film, and you'll do fine.

Reviewer: Paul Shrimpton

 

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Gerald Thomas  (1920 - 1993)

British director responsible for every film in the Carry On series. Started as an assistant editor before debuting with the childrens' film Circus Friends. Thriller Timelock followed, but the success of 1958’s bawdy Carry On Sergeant launched one of the most successful series in British cinema. Thomas directed 30 Carry On films up until 1978’s Carry On Emmannuelle, returning in 1992 to deliver his final film, Carry On Columbus. Other films include the Carry On-esque Nurse on Wheels and The Big Job, plus the big screen version of Bless this House.

 
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