The captain of an ocean liner wants promotion, but first he must contend with a final voyage with a largely new crew…
What’s it spoofing? Cruise holidays.
Funniest moment: “A captain needs to understand his men and that’s why I am going to psychoanalyse you. That bloke Freud knew what he was talking about. On the other hand, I’m not a Jung man…”
The Big 10: For the first time, we get a Carry On film without Hattie Jacques or Charles Hawtrey. The latter had demanded top billing and a star on his dressing-room door, so was promptly dropped! Joan Sims is also missing. She was having a relationship with a Pinewood Studios technician, which was frowned upon by the draconian-minded management, so was kicked off this movie at short notice.
* Sid James (3) is Captain Wellington Crowther, another authority figure who’s frustrated with his underlings.
* Kenneth Williams (6) plays the ship’s second-in-command, Leonard Marjoribanks (pronounced Marchbanks).
* Kenneth Connor (6) plays the crew’s medic, Dr Arthur Binn. It’s a more confident persona than his earlier characters; he falls for and woos a passenger called Flo.
* Lance Percival replaced Hawtrey in the cast, as cook Wilfred Haynes. He’s a cocky so-and-so, but doesn’t know the nautical lingo and gets seasick very easily.
* Liz Fraser is back from Carry On Regardless. She plays passenger Gladys Trimble, who’s on holiday to get away from men but keeps eyeing them up.
* Dilys Laye appears as Flo, Glad’s mate and the object of Binn’s affections. She wants to find a husband and, in the throws of a ‘dad fad’, becomes the first young blonde in the series to lust after Sid James. Laye joined the cast three days before filming to replace Joan Sims.
* Ronnie Stevens is very funny as an alcoholic passenger who races to the ship’s bar as soon as everyone else goes on shore leave.
Top totty: A second win for Liz Fraser.
Kenneth Williams says: “Came back to flat, and read script of Carry On Cruising, the usual crap.” – Wednesday 20 December 1961 (The Kenneth Williams Diaries, p183)
“Pinewood at 10.30. Did one shot after lunch and that was all. Ronnie Stevens whom I abhor is on this picture, as the Drunk. Not such a bad fellow. Rather colourless & suburban but harmless, my abhorrence not warranted. I felt v. sorry for him as I watched him do a scene today. He orders a drink and the waiter says, ‘Sherry, sir? Yes. Dry, sweet?’ Reply: ‘Of course I’m dry. And not so much familiarity…’ And it failed completely. Not an ounce of humour left in it. Very sad indeed.” – Monday 15 January 1962 (The Kenneth Williams Diaries, p184)
Review: The first Carry On made in colour – though we haven’t seen the last of black and white – this has dialogue bursting with puns and wordplay. But sadly it often falls flat. There’s a smaller than usual main cast and generally feels rather limp. Boring at times, actually. Stock footage aside, the whole thing was shot in a studio and there’s a nice knowing gag about how stable the ship is.
Five ping-pong balls out of 10