Carry on Constable

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With a flu epidemic running rife, three new bumbling recruits are assigned to Inspector Mills police station. With help from Special Constable Gorse, they manage to totally wreck the …

ACTORS :  Sidney James, Kenneth Williams, Eric Barker

YEAR OF RELEASE :  1960

POSTAGE : Free postage within Australia

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Carry on Constable   With a flu epidemic running rife, three new bumbling recruits are assigned to Inspector Mills police station. With help from Special Constable Gorse, they manage to totally wreck the operations of the police force and let plenty of criminals get away, even before they arrive at the station. They all have to prove themselves or else they’ll be out of a job and Sergeant Wilkins will be transferred. Sub-plots include romances between Wilkins and Moon, Constable and Passworthy.

Amusing old fashioned fun with a nice touch of Carry On mischief

Carry on Constable   With a flu epidemic decimating the ranks of the local bobbies, the police are forced to quickly take on some new recruits who in other circumstances may not have quite made the ranks – a decision made by Inspector Mills and then dumped on Sergeant Wilkins to deal with. However not even Wilkins’ low expectations are met when at least a handful of the new recruits turn out to be barely able to manage themselves, never mind the wider community.

This is quite an enjoyable little film that is never funny but manages to be amusing if you are in the mood for a light, dated comedy. The story is simply a rerun of Carry on Sergeant in the way that an efficient Sergeant (in this case Sid James) is charged with turning a bunch of bumbling, inept recruits (this time into the police) into an effective unit of men, encountering much amusing bumbling along the way (with even some of the same actors playing the same sort of characters). In this regard it is pretty much a cookie-cutter of a story but to look down on the film for being unoriginal and basic is to really miss the point when it comes to the Carry On films. Aside from the poor story, the film is actually quite amusing but never really made me laugh more than once or twice; certainly those not in a forgiving mood will dislike this because it doesn’t have much life to it but those looking for a movie for a wet Saturday afternoon will maybe enjoy it.

The cast are a selling point and do manage to do quite a bit with the basic material even if they don’t raise it that much. Sid James has a minor role in his first Carry On film and, although he is a good presence, he is less effective than he was in other films. Barker is a nice straightman and holds up that side well enough while the main comedy is brought off by the recruits themselves. Connor repeats his “uptight and resisting love” performance to reasonable effect. Hawtrey and Williams do good work with their usual stuff (Williams playing upper-class early in the series) while Phillips makes a nice addition with his usual stuff. Sims and Jacques are OK but have very little to do around the edges but are nice filler.

Overall this is nothing special but it is amusing in its own way despite never making me laugh. The script does throw up a few nice touches and is cheeky rather than smutty or anything like that and, despite being a rerun of Carry On Sergeant, it is still enjoyable in a rather amusing and light sort of way. Carry on Constable

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