Carry On Jack

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Carry On Jack
Carry On Jack (film).jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Gerald Thomas
Produced by Peter Rogers
Written by Talbot Rothwell
Starring Kenneth Williams
Bernard Cribbins
Juliet Mills
Charles Hawtrey
Donald Houston
Cecil Parker
Music by Eric Rogers
Cinematography Alan Hume
Edited by Archie Ludski
Peter Rogers Productions
Distributed by Anglo-Amalgamated
Warner-Pathé Distributors
Release date(s) November 1963
Running time 91 mins
Country England
Language English
Budget £152,000

Carry On Jack is the eighth in the series of Carry On films to be made and was released in 1963. Most of the usual Carry On team are missing from this film: only Kenneth Williams and Charles Hawtrey appear throughout. Bernard Cribbins makes the first of his three appearances in a Carry On. Juliet Mills, Donald Houston and Cecil Parker make their only Carry on appearances in this film. Carry On Jack was the second of the series to be filmed in colour and the first Carry On film with a historical setting and period costumes.


Carry On Jack is the tale of Albert Poop-Decker, a newly commissioned Midshipman. The story starts with the death of Nelson (Jimmy Thompson) who has said that Britain needs a bigger navy with more men. Anton Rodgers played Hardy. Poop-Decker (Bernard Cribbins) has taken 812 years and still not qualified as midshipman but is promoted by the First Sea Lord (Cecil Parker) as England needs officers. He is to join the frigate Venus at Plymouth. Arriving to find the crew all celebrating as they are sailing tomorrow, he takes a sedan chair with no bottom (so he has to run) to Dirty Dick's Tavern. Jim Dale and Ian Wilson, who plays his father, carry the sedan chair.

Mobbed by women in the tavern as he is holding a sovereign aloft (as advised by Dale), he is rescued by serving maid, Sally (Juliet Mills). She wants to go to sea to find boyfriend Roger but landlord Ned (George Woodbridge) has let her down. She finds that Poop-Decker has not reported to the ship yet and is unknown to them, so in a room upstairs she knocks him out and takes his midshipman's uniform.

Poop-Decker wakes and dons a dress to cover his long johns, and downstairs, along with a cess pit cleaner named Walter Sweetly (Charles Hawtrey), is shanghaied by a press gang run by First Officer Lieutenant Jonathan Howett (played with gusto by Donald Houston) and his bosun, Mr Angel (Percy Herbert). They come to when at sea and are introduced to Captain Fearless (Kenneth Williams) who is anything but fearless.

Poop-Decker makes himself known but there is already a Midshipman Poop-Decker aboard – Sally, in disguise. Poop-Decker, as a hopeless seamen, then goes on to continually upset Howett by doing the wrong thing. Sally reveals her true identity to Poop-Decker after he has been punished and he decides to let things continue as they are.

After three months at sea and no action, the crew are very restless (no prize money) and when they finally see a Spanish ship, the Captain has them sail away from it. Howett and Angel plot and in the night hours, they make it look like the ship has been boarded by the enemy, with Howett and Angel dead or dying. Poop-Decker, Sweetly and Sally help the Captain into a boat, especially put there for this reason, along with the Captain's cow and they leave the ship. Leaving his cabin, the Captain gets a splinter in his foot, which later goes gangrenous. When they reach dry land, Captain Fearless reckons they need only to walk a short distance to reach Calais. Sally and Poop-Decker spot a party of civilians, speaking Spanish, and steal their clothes while they are bathing.

Now in charge of the ship, Howett and Angel sail for Cadiz and plan on taking it from Don Luis (Patrick Cargill), the Spanish Governor. They do so but their plot is ruined by the four they have set adrift who recapture the Venus. Sailing back to England, they encounter a pirate ship. The Captain (Patch, played by Peter Gilmore) turns out to be the Roger that Sally was searching for but she no longer wants anything to do with him. The old pirate ship is sunk as Venus is a much better ship. Patch and Hook (Ed Devereaux) try to make them walk the plank but Poop-Decker manages to escape and by luck cuts down a sail which covers the pirates, so capturing them.

In Cadiz, the former crew of the Venus are taken to be shot but escape with five empty Spanish Men of War in the harbour, to take back to England for prize money and glory. They are within sight of England when they encounter the Venus. Below decks, the other three are working on cutting off Fearless's badly infected leg, to save his life. A fire gets out of control on deck and burns a sail which sets off the primed cannons, hitting all five Spanish ships and blowing them up or driving them onto the rocks where they are wrecked.

The four end up at the Admiralty as heroes. Fearless is promoted to Admiral and given a desk job. Poop-Decker and Sweetly are given the rank of honorary Captains, with pensions, but Poop-Decker reveals that he is going to leave the service to marry Sally.

Cast and Crew[edit]

  • Screenplay – Talbot Rothwell
  • Music – Eric Rogers
  • Art Director – Jack Shampan
  • Director of Photography – Alan Hume
  • Editor – Archie Ludski
  • Associate Producer – Frank Bevis
  • Assistant Director – Anthony Waye
  • Camera Operator – Godfrey Godar
  • Sound Editor – Christopher Lancaster
  • Sound Recordist – Bill Daniels
  • Unit Manager – Donald Toms
  • Make-up Artists – Geoffrey Rodway & Jim Hydes
  • Continuity – Penny Daniels
  • Hairdressing – Olga Angelinetta
  • Costume Designer – Joan Ellacott
  • Technical Advisor – Ian Cox
  • Producer – Peter Rogers
  • Director – Gerald Thomas

Filming and locations[edit]

  • Filming dates: 2 September – 26 October 1963



  • Frensham Pond


  • Davidson, Andy (2012). Carry On Confidential. London: Miwk. ISBN 978-1908630018. 
  • Sheridan, Simon (2011). Keeping the British End Up – Four Decades of Saucy Cinema. London: Titan Books. ISBN 978-0857682796. 
  • Webber, Richard (2009). 50 Years of Carry On. London: Arrow. ISBN 978-0099490074. 
  • Hudis, Norman (2008). No Laughing Matter. London: Apex. ISBN 978-1906358150. 
  • Keeping the British End Up: Four Decades of Saucy Cinema by Simon Sheridan (third edition) (2007) (Reynolds & Hearn Books)
  • Ross, Robert (2002). The Carry On Companion. London: Batsford. ISBN 978-0713487718. 
  • Bright, Morris; Ross, Robert (2000). Mr Carry On – The Life & Work of Peter Rogers. London: BBC Books. ISBN 978-0563551836. 
  • Rigelsford, Adrian (1996). Carry On Laughing – a celebration. London: Virgin. ISBN 1-85227-554-5. 
  • Hibbin, Sally & Nina (1988). What a Carry On. London: Hamlyn. ISBN 978-0600558194. 
  • Eastaugh, Kenneth (1978). The Carry On Book. London: David & Charles. ISBN 978-0715374030. 

External links[edit]