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  Carry On at your Convenience It'll drive you round the bend...
Year: 1971
Director: Gerald Thomas
Stars: Sid James, Kenneth Williams, Kenneth Cope, Charles Hawtrey, Bernard Bresslaw, Joan Sims, Hattie Jacques, Patsy Rowlands, Jacki Piper, Margaret Nolan
Genre: ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 4 votes)
Review: For this installment in Britain's best loved movie series, Talbot Rothwell turned his script-writing thoughts towards industrial relations. It was a time of disputes and stike action, and so there was plenty in the news to inspire him.

Our setting is W.C. Boggs - makers of lavatories and other bathroom equipment - which is run by Mr Boggs himself, played by Kenneth Williams. His management team comprises himself, Charles Hawtrey as Charles Coote the chief designer, Richard O'Callaghan as his son Lewis, Bill Maynard as Fred (the only salesperson they appear to have), and Sid James as Sid Plummer, Works Foreman. On the other side, there's the workforce, including Joan Sims as Fred's wife Chloe, Jacki Piper as the desirable tea-girl (and Sid's daughter) Myrtle, Kenneth Cope as Vic Spanner, the NUCIE union rep, and Bernard Bresslaw as his hapless assistant Bernie Hulke.

Anyway, it's Saturday afternoon, and the local team are playing at home, and so of course Vic uses a flimsy excuse to call a strike. He's got his eyes on Myrtle, but faces opposition from Lewis, the bosses' son, and therefore doesn't really stand a chance. And this is the main plot through the movie - management trying to keep the workers working, and the union trying to keep the workers shirking. Until, that is, the day of the annual works outing. Then everyone comes in to work, just so that they can have a day out with beer, sunshine, and hopefully some close relations with the female staff!

There are a number of sub-plots going on, which make this a much more rounded movie than many Carry On's. There's the mutual admiration between Sid Plummer and Chloe. There's the story of how, despite the close attentions of his wife (played wonderfully by Hattie Jacques), Sid's budgerigar will only speak when he's picking the winners of today's races. There's the unspoken love that Mr Boggs' secretary Hortense (played by Patsy Rowlands) has for her boss. There's the Lewis/Vic/Myrtle love triangle. There's the secret games of strip poker that Charles Hawtrey has with Vic's mum. All of these fill out the storyline very well, and the entire team are on fine form.

A worthy addition to the collection!
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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