Carry On Girls  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
British sex comedy film

Carry On Girls is the twenty-fifth Carry On film, released in Britain in 1973. The film is notable for the absence of both Kenneth Williams and Charles Hawtrey for the first time: Williams was appearing in a West End play, My Fat Friend, and Hawtrey had been dropped from the series the year before.

Plot Summary

The film takes place in the dire seaside resort of Fircombe, where district councillor Sid Fiddler (Sid James) proposes a beauty contest to boost tourism. The incompetent mayor, Frederick Bumble (Kenneth Connor) agrees to the idea, but the duo face fierce opposition in the shape of Augusta Prodworthy (June Whitfield), an elegant women's liberationist. Fiddler enrols publicity agent Peter Potter (Bernard Bresslaw) and Palace Hotel owner Connie Philpotts (Joan Sims), finding a further ally in contestant Hope Springs (Barbara Windsor). As Potter is drawn into Springs' and Fiddler's stunts, and Philpots finds her regular residents departing rather than face the cat-fighting beauty queens who have taken over her hotel, Prodworthy's libbers organise to sabotage the contest. Meanwhile the Admiral (Peter Butterworth) is awakened to lechery by the charms of the new guests and Larry Prodworthy (Robin Askwith) discovers that photography can cover more than just municipal events. The competing schemes enmesh leading to a slapstick climax at the contest itself...

Certification

The film marked a slightly more risque treatment of the topic with more nudity and openly sexual jokes than previous films. Discreet cuts by the BBFC (mainly in the hotel fight sequence between bikini-clad contestants) enabled the film to gain the more commercially acceptable A certificate (open to families) than the more restrictive AA certificate, barring entry to the under fourteens.

Trivia

  • The beauty contest is supposedly held in the theatre on the (now-derelict) West Pier and the film includes some on-location footage of the external parts of the pier.
  • The external shots of the hotel are in fact of Clarges, also in Brighton, owned by actress Dora Bryan who had previously appeared in the very first film of the series Carry On Sergeant in 1958.
  • The film features a small role for Robin Askwith in the part of Augusta Prodworthy's photographer son, in his only Carry On appearance; he would later find fame in the "Confessions Of..." series of films which ultimately put paid to the end-of-the-pier humour of the Carry Ons.
  • When the character of Peter Potter catches the train for Fircombe and is waved off by his sparrowy fiancee, the location used was Marylebone Station. Windsor Station, not far from Pinewood Studios, was the location used for Carry On Loving in 1970 where it was renamed "Much Snogging On-The-Green".
  • The shoddy editing, particularly noticeable in the scene where Barbara Windsor and Valerie Leon discuss Bernard Bresslaw's latest publicity stunt, has been significantly cleared up in the 2003 Carlton DVD release. There are still several continuity botches, however.
  • Veteran character actor Arnold Ridley, familiar as Private Charles Godfrey from situation comedy Dad's Army, has a memorable two-line cameo as Councillor Alderman Pratt, during most of his appearance his character is seen to be asleep but wakes up to utter the immortal line (in retaliation to Sid James' "You're up for it aren't you?" - "Yes, Anytime!"
  • Being unable to ride a motorbike, Barbara Windsor used a double for the film's final scene where she flees the scene with Sidney Fiddler in tow, and this is clear as the stunt person wears a headscarf to secrete his/her face.
  • In December 2007 truth emulated fiction when Ingrid Marie Rivera, a contestant in "Miss Puerto Rico Universe", alleged that rivals had laced her gown, swimsuit and make-up with pepper spray.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Carry On Girls" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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