The Carry On series consists of classic British comedy motion pictures, four Christmas specials, a television series of thirteen episodes, and three West End and provincial stage plays. The films’ humour was in the British comic tradition of the music hall and bawdy seaside postcards. Producer Peter Rogers and director Gerald Thomas drew on a regular group of actors, the Carry On team.
The Carry On series contains the largest number of films of any British series, and it is the longest continually running UK film series, despite a fourteen-year break (1978–92). Anglo Amalgamated Film Distributors Ltd produced twelve films (1958–66), the Rank Organisation made eighteen (1966–78) and United International Pictures made one (1992).
Producer Peter Rogers and director Gerald Thomas made all 31 films, usually on time and to a strict budget, and often employed the same crew. Between 1958 and 1992, the series employed seven writers. In between the films, Rogers and Thomas produced four Christmas specials in 1969, 1970, 1972, and 1973, a thirteen episode television series in 1975, and various West End stage shows which later toured the regions.
All the films were made at Pinewood Studios near Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire. Budgetary constraints meant that a large proportion of the location filming was undertaken close to the studios in and around south Buckinghamshire, including areas of Berkshire and Middlesex. However, by the late 1960s (at the height of the series’ success) more ambitious plots occasionally necessitated locations further afield, which included Snowdonia National Park, Wales, (with the foot of Mount Snowdon standing in for the Khyber Pass in Carry On Up the Khyber), and the beaches of the Sussex coast doubling as Saharan sand dunes in Follow That Camel.
|Films||Television||The Album||Stage Shows||Carry On Team|
Oh! What A Carry On! was a compilation album of songs performed by actors from the Carry On… film series, and released on the budget Music For Pleasure label (MFP 1416). Many were novelty songs with most; none were recorded specifically for this album or had any direct relationship to the Carry On films. For example, Kenneth Williams‘ songs as Rambling Syd Rumpo, which Gramophone magazine described as the best on the album, were taken from Round the Horne and Jim Dale‘s songs had been hits in the 1950s.
It was reissued by EMI Records in 2004 as a 2-CD set, with many additional tracks by actors associated with the Carry On… series.
Listen to Oh! What a Carry On! [Spotify playlist].
|London! (1973-75)||Laughing: the Slimming Factory (1976)||Wot a…in Blackpool (1992)|