Carry On Behind (1975)

Behind

An archaeological team head to some newly found Roman ruins, which are situated next to a caravan site…

What’s it spoofing? Caravanning holidays mostly: the film is more or less a rehash of Carry On Camping. The title comes from the fact you pull a caravan behind your car. (And the word behind means arse.)

Funniest moment: Henry Barnes reveals he’s got £20,000 in the bank. He proudly tells us he’s been scrimping and saving for 10 years. “And then,” he adds, “last year I won the football pools!” How much did he win? “Nineteen thousand, 950 quid.”

The Big 10:

* Kenneth Williams (24) tries to hide his embarrassment as he plays Professor Roland Crump, the lead archaeologist. He gets to trot out his catchphrase – “Stop messing about!” – near the end.

* Bernard Bresslaw (14) appears in a Carry On film for the final time. He plays henpecked holidaying husband Arthur Upmore. Bresslaw died on 11 June 1993.

* Joan Sims (22), the poor cow, has been cast as Patsy Rowland’s mother – despite being less than a year older. Daphne Barnes has a tender subplot with her estranged husband.

* Kenneth Connor (15) gets another fruity and randy old man to play: campsite manager Major Leep (or possibly Leafe: sources vary).

* Peter Butterworth (14) is pretty much reprising his role from Carry On Camping, although the character is now called Henry Barnes.

Notable others:

* Sam Kelly has a small role as a projectionist.

* Alexandra Dane’s cleavage features in the opening scene.

* Donald Hewlett (then a star of TV’s It Ain’t Half Hot Mum) cameos as Crump’s university dean.

* Elke Sommer is top-billed as Anna Vooshka, a foreign professor who’s paired off with Roland Crump on the dig. Her dialogue is full of inappropriately befuddled English – her blissful naivety is probably the film’s funniest element. German film star Sommer was on the downhill slide of her career by this point after a number of fairly high-profile movies.

* Windsor Davies plays the closest thing to a lead character: butcher Fred Ramsden. It’s a part clearly written for Sid James, but he was on tour with a play in Australia. Davies, of course, was also from It Ain’t Half Hot Mum.

* Liz Fraser returns to the series after a 19-film absence for the perfunctory role of Fred’s missus, Sylvia.

* Jack Douglas plays Ernie Bragg (the same character name Bernard Bresslaw had in Carry On Matron). He gets trapped in a walk-in fridge then goes on a ‘fishing trip’ with pal Fred that consists of them chatting up women half their age.

* Patsy Rowlands plays Linda, Arthur’s wife.

* Ian Lavender from Dad’s Army plays Joe Baxter, a guy on a caravan holiday with his wife and their enormous dog.

* Patricia Franklin is Ernie’s wife.

* Sherie Hewson and Carol Hawkins play Carol and Sandra, a pair of backpackers who Fred and Ernie try it on with.

* George Layton – another It Ain’t Half Hot Mum alumnus and star of sitcom Doctor in the House and its sequels – cameos as a hospital doctor.

Top totty: Alexandra Dane again.

Kenneth Williams says: “Read the Carry On Behind script. It is the worst I’ve ever read. The part for me, Roland Crump, is small, it is unfunny, and is mostly concerned with heavily contrived slapstick. Don’t know why on earth they offer it to me.” – Wednesday 22 January 1975 (The Kenneth Williams Diaries, p487)

Review: The established team is falling apart now. Charles Hawtrey, Hattie Jacques and Sid James have all gone, while a new generation of actors – mostly from contemporary sitcoms – has been drafted in. The film is a blatant attempt to repeat the success of Carry On Camping, but we’re really in the fag end of the series now. Dave Freeman’s script has a tiresome ‘Is that good enough?’ feel about it. This is limp, boring and witless nonsense.

Four strippers out of 10

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