Dir: Gerald Thomas. 1975
Number 27 in the long running series of saucy humour, Carry On Behind was the first not to be written by regular scribe Talbot Rothwell, and the result is pretty obvious.
Following the heightened smut that featured in the previous Carry On Dick, writer Dave Freeman took the sauciness to an even further level, earning Carry On Behind the series’ first ‘AA’ rating from the British censors, but cut before release to accommodate the more commercial and family friendly ‘A’ certificate.
Carry On Behind is little more than a series sketches concerning the various characters, with little bearing on each other. With the absence of Sid James (who would sadly die on stage a year later), the Carry On series lost that cheek and spiciness that only James could accomplish.
In an effort to take his place, the production turned to sitcom actor Windsor Davies. Coupled up with Jack Douglas, the pair are the married men who hanker after some young totty. Essentially, Davies and Douglas are the James and Bresslaw duo found in Carry On Camping. Alas, trying to replace Sid James was a futile effort, as the South African-born entertainer had a talent for being natural. Here, the cast all look as though they’re trying too hard.
A winning feature of the series, was the innocence with which the sauciness and double entendres was dealt with. However, from this point in the series, the various writers that came aboard did away with that, and took away the entire being and heart of the Carry On films; the British postcard humour.
No stranger to showing boobs, previous entries in the series did so with comedy and slapstick; ie Barbara Windsor and her top flinging off, or Sid James accidentally catching her bikini strap. There was never anything overtly sexual about it all. It was all too silly to laugh at.
But in Carry On Behind, there is a sense of sleaziness about it all. Unabashedly, the characters are now portrayed as lecherous dirty old men, who are only one step short of being charged with sexual assault.
You could call this, a kind of Carry On Camping 2 or Carry On Camping, Again. Although none of the films broke new ground with innovative plots and originality, there’s something rather stale about the proceedings in this. A talking mynah bird who says things like “show us your knickers” and wolf whistles, just seems like lazy writing. Peter Butterworth is on hand as the odd job man of the site, but his characteristics, and even the way he dresses, could easily be his Mr. Fiddler from Carry On Camping.
A majority of the regulars are all here, but you have to wonder whether it’s out of loyalty or whether they needed the money. Producer Peter Rogers, tries to inject new life into the series by using popular stars at the time such as Ian Lavender from Dad’s Army and Adrienne Posta who appeared as Scrubber in the film version of Up Pompeii, threw years earlier.
Yet, despite all the inherent problems, director Gerald Thomas is still able to pull it all together and create a movie that is fun and enjoyable. But, that’s a Carry On for you.
The last of the truly great originals, Carry On Behind is an amusing film that will give you several chuckles along the way, making it worth your while.