Carry On Girls
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|Carry On Girls|
|Directed by||Gerald Thomas|
|Produced by||Peter Rogers|
|Written by||Talbot Rothwell|
|Music by||Eric Rogers|
|Edited by||Alfred Roome|
|Distributed by||The Rank Organisation|
|Release date(s)||November 1973|
|Running time||88 mins|
Carry On Girls is the 25th in the series of Carry On films to be made, released in Britain in 1973. The film is notable for being the first not to feature either Kenneth Williams or Charles Hawtrey. Williams was appearing in a West End play, My Fat Friend. Hawtrey had been dropped from the series the year before. The film features regulars Sid James, Barbara Windsor, Joan Sims, Kenneth Connor, Bernard Bresslaw and Peter Butterworth. Patsy Rowlands makes her seventh appearance in the series. Jack Douglas makes his third appearance, this time upgraded to a main role. Jimmy Logan makes a guest appearance in his second and final Carry On.
The seaside town of Fircombe is facing a crisis – it's always raining and there's nothing for the tourists to do. Councillor Sidney Fiddler (Sid James) hits on the notion of holding a beauty contest. The mayor, Frederick Bumble (Kenneth Connor) is taken with the idea but feminist councillor, Augusta Prodworthy (June Whitfield) is outraged and storms out of the meeting. The motion is carried in Augusta's absence and Sidney contacts publicist Peter Potter (Bernard Bresslaw) to help with the organisation. Sidney's girlfriend, Connie Philpotts (Joan Sims) runs a local hotel and soon her residents, including the eccentric Mrs Dukes (Joan Hickson) and the Admiral (Peter Butterworth) are outnumbered by dolly birds, including the feuding biker babe, Hope Springs (Barbara Windsor) and the bountiful Dawn Brakes (Margaret Nolan). A catfight orchestrated by Hope provides better newspaper copy than bringing a donkey off the beach which, despite the bucket and spade of hotel employee William (Jack Douglas), ruins the plush carpets. Augusta's son, press photographer Larry (Robin Askwith), is hired to document the donkey stunt and snaps the catfight that has the Mayor losing his trousers, then gulps his way through a nude photo shoot with Dawn. The Mayor's wife, Mildred (Patsy Rowlands) joins Prodworthy's bra-burning movement and plots the downfall of the Miss Fircombe contest on the pier. Peter Potter reluctantly becomes a man in a frock for another publicity gimmick for the television show, Women's Things, presented by Cecil Gaybody (Jimmy Logan) and produced by Debra (Sally Geeson). Prodworthy and butch feminist Rosemary (Patricia Franklin) call in the police (David Lodge and Billy Cornelius) to investigate the male pageant contestant but Peter's previously prim girlfriend, Paula (Valerie Leon), has a makeover and steps into the breach as the mysterious girl. Prodworthy's gang put "Operation Spoilsport" into action, sabotaging the final contest with water, mud and itching powder. With an angry mob after his blood, Sidney makes his escape with Hope on her motorcycle.
The film marked a slightly more risqué 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 played by Barbara Windsor and Margaret Nolan) 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.
- Screenplay – Talbot Rothwell
- Music – Eric Rogers
- Production Manager – Roy Goddard
- Art Director – Robert Jones
- Director of Photography – Alan Hume
- Editor – Alfred Roome
- Camera Operator – Jimmy Devis
- Assistant Director – Jack Causey
- Sound Recordists – Paul Lemare & Ken Barker
- Continuity – Marjorie Lavelly
- Make-up – Geoffrey Rodway
- Hairdresser – Stella Rivers
- Costume Design – Courtenay Elliott
- Set Dresser – Kenneth MacCallum Tait
- Dubbing Editor – Patrick Foster
- Assistant Editor – Jack Gardner
- Title Sketches – Larry
- Titles – GSE Ltd
- Processor – Rank Film Laboratories
- Producer – Peter Rogers
- Director – Gerald Thomas
Filming and locations
- Filming dates – 16 April-25 May 1973
- Pinewood Studios, Buckinghamshire
- Brighton's West Pier. The Palace Pier, Brighton was used a couple of years earlier in Carry On At Your Convenience.
- Slough Town Hall, Slough
- Clarges Hotel, Brighton
- Brighton Beach, Brighton
- Marylebone Railway Station, London
Valerie Leon's voice for the film was dubbed by co-star June Whitfield. In subsequent interviews, neither actress was able to recall why this occurred.
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- Sheridan, Simon (2011). Keeping the British End Up – Four Decades of Saucy Cinema. London: Titan Books. ISBN 978-0857682796.
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- Keeping the British End Up: Four Decades of Saucy Cinema by Simon Sheridan (third edition) (2007) (Reynolds & Hearn Books)
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- Bright, Morris; Ross, Robert (2000). Mr Carry On – The Life & Work of Peter Rogers. London: BBC Books. ISBN 978-0563551836.
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- Carry On Girls at the Internet Movie Database
- Carry On Girls at the British Comedy Guide
- Carry On Girls at The Whippit Inn