The Carry… What? For those of you fortunate enough to live outside of the UK and therefore do not have to face the terror of the TV channel that is ITV3 (which is not to be confused with ITV4, the channel responsible for broadcasting back-to-back episodes of Poirot and is there for okay in my book) and ITV3’s insistence on re-running the Carry On films every Sunday and Bank Holiday.
You see… The Carry On Films are a British comedy series (also the biggest film series in British history, still bigger than James Bond, even now) which were produced between 1958-1978. They were churned out like a factory product every year, sometimes twice a year, with the same producers and the same cast. They have also, as you have already guessed, really not aged well.
Moviemovieblogblog is running a blogathon in which participants will write about films that haven’t aged well, so I’m going to list 5 reasons why the series hasn’t stood the test of time like so many other British comedies like the Monty Python series or those classic comedies of Ealing Studios.
I also feel its relevant to let you know that I wrote my 12,000 word dissertation on The Carry On series. Yup, of all the films, of all the topics, I wrote about the representation of women and female sexuality in the Carry On series. The fact that this was my title should allude to the kind of series they were. If I were to pick any US films to relate them to, The Police Academy movies are the closest I’ve stumbled on. I don’t not like the series, but I don’t love it, I’m very in-between. I can say that I am fascinated by the films even after studying them for a year, and I am pleased that I can share my wisdom with you.
1. Some of the films are outrageously sexist. And, because some of them are sexist, looking back they all seem a bit sexist.
They basically placed actress Hattie Jacques as a desperate past-it woman who through herself onto queer characters, with ‘superior’ men calling her a battleaxe and other younger, prettier woman taking president over her and denying Hattie her self-worth.
2. The jokes were hilarious then. They can fall a bit flat now.
Um, is this funny?
3. And the subject matter just isn’t transferable to present-day England.
4. The nudity was shocking then, but after Basic Instinct (1992) and then The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), it’s all a bit tame now.
For those not in ‘the know’, this is the most famous scene in the Carry On film’s history. Yeah.
5. Cringe. Cringe. All the cringe.
I told myself I would never watch this scene again. And now I just did. And it makes me sad.
Have you ever watched any of the Carry On films?
I hosted a Podcast for the LAMB cast (Large Association of Movie Blogs) on Carry On Screaming (1966) with the awesome Jay Cluitt and Kristen Lopez!