Background to the Carry On films

The Carry On Films are part of British film history these days. In fact, they have become something of a classic. It is probably fair to say that the Carry On series of comedy films have almost become a British Institution. Their farcical British humour is so often outdated and silly but is still fun.

The Carry On tale began in 1958, with Carry On Sergeant, which was made in Black and White. This film was set in the post war years, when conscription was still around. From then, until 1978, twenty-nine Carry On films, in total, were made. They were all comedies, made on a shoestring budget, and were produced by Peter Rogers and directed by Gerald Thomas.

There were several mainstays of the Carry On cast and these included Kenneth Williams, Joan Sims, Charles Hawtrey, Sid James, Kenneth Connor, Hattie Jacques and Bernard Bresslaw. Barbara Windsor often provided the sex interest but was only actually in ten of these films.

The last few Carry On films failed to succeed and were pretty pathetic. The public's humour had changed slightly and these films did seem quite sexist. However, I think that these days we can laugh at the early Carry On films as just a bit of silly nonsense. When the Carry On films were initially made, they were funny, fresh and new, although they used all the old traditional, basic types of humour.

They were all filmed at Pinewood Studios and the early black and white films had an innocent charm. As the films progressed, they moved to colour and the humour became a little more adult. Personally, I feel that the earlier films were much better and the final couple of films were dire. These last few films, in an attempt at more bawdy, modern humour just became unfunny and a little crude.

So where does Carry On Camping fit in the series?

Carry On Camping

Carry on Camping, as the seventeenth film of the series was released in 1969, in full colour. At the time, it was a huge box office success in England, which I seriously doubt it would be today. In fact it would probably be frowned upon these days and seem a little like dirty schoolboy humour.

Regular cast members of the Carry On team who were in the cast of this film were Sid James, Kenneth Williams, Charles Hawtrey, Hattie Jacques, Joan Sims and Bernard Bresslaw. Barbara Windsor had a leading role in this film and there were quite a few other actors in small or minor roles.

In line with the other Carry On films, Carry On Camping has its 'memorable clip'. This time it is a young, busty, Barbara Windsor flinging her arms out as part of the group exercises, only to find that her bra flies off and into the face of Hattie Jacques.

One thing to note here though is that the continuity team had not done their jobs properly. Hattie Jacques has headwear and then does not in a split second, or maybe it is the other way around.

Watching Carry On Camping nowadays there is, unfortunately, plenty to find fault with. The Double Entendres are by no means subtle. The film has a fair few moments, which seem so sexist these days. Similarly, there are a few scenes, which made me cringe, in particular the hippies in the nearby field. However, if you accept this film for what it was and is, then there are a few funny moments and lines, I suppose.

The plot mainly involves the two main characters Sid and Bernie, played by Sid James and Bernard Bresslaw, trying to con their girlfriends to accompany them on holiday, to a nudist camp. Of course, the girls have no idea that it is a nudist camp and the only thing on the men's minds is getting their girlfriends into the sack. A difficult task back then. After an eventful journey, they arrive at Paradise Farm, only to find that it is not a nudist camp after all.

The Campsite is full of pretty young girls and, in a similar way to the Benny Hill show, this film has very attractive young girls, falling at the feet of middle-aged frumpy men. They wish.


For me, the best performance in Carry On Camping is by the late Charles Hawtrey, who I just loved. It is a sad fact that he and most of the cast are no longer with us.

I guess this film is for the avid Carry On film enthusiast.

By the time this Carry On film was made the plots were often becoming a little similar, dated and crude. It is funny in parts and' if you want a film which is easy to watch, has basic silly humour. This Carry On film though has a distinct element of farce, which you might enjoy. Bear in mind though, that it this film is very much of the time and, as such, in some ways seems more dated than the earlier Carry On films.

The running time is a brief 88 minutes

The film is rated R

Carry On Camping was produced by Peter Rogers and directed by Gerald Thomas

The cast includes-

  • Sid James ... Sid Boggle (as Sidney James)
  • Charles Hawtrey ... Charlie Muggins
  • Joan Sims ... Joan Fussey
  • Kenneth Williams ... Doctor Kenneth Soaper
  • Terry Scott ... Peter Potter
  • Barbara Windsor ... Babs
  • Hattie Jacques ... Miss Haggard
  • Bernard Bresslaw ... Bernie Lugg
  • Julian Holloway ... Jim Tanner
  • Dilys Laye ... Anthea Meeks
  • Peter Butterworth ... Josh Fiddler
  • Betty Marsden ... Harriet Potter
  • Trisha Noble ... Sally
  • Amelia Bayntun ... Mrs. Fussey
  • Brian Oulton ... Mr. Short
  • Derek Francis ... Farmer
  • Elizabeth Knight ... Jane
  • Sandra Caron ... Fanny
  • Georgina Moon ... Joy
  • Jennifer Pyle ... Hilda
  • Jackie Pool ... Betty
  • Sally Kemp ... Girl with Cow
  • Patricia Franklin ... Farmer's Daughter
  • Michael Nightingale ... Man in Cinema
  • George Moon ... Scrawny Man
  • Valerie Shute ... Pat
  • Vivien Lloyd ... Verna
  • Lesley Duff ... Norma
  • Anna Karen ... Hefty Girl
  • Valerie Leon ... Miss Dobbin

Carry On Camping can be purchased for around £10 at Amazon. It is not one of the best Carry On films but then again it is definitely not the worst. It does have its funny moments.