The received wisdom (if you listen to your mates or believe what you read on Web forums) was that Emmannuelle is so bad, so denigrating to the memory of our beloved Carry Ons that it is best ignored.
That’s all nonsense. Carry On Emmannuelle is a wonderful film and, if anything it’s the perfect end to the series. Maybe people are put off by the concept of a Carry On that is all about a slut who can’t keep her knickers on. But, to some degree, is that not what all the Carry Ons are about when you boil them down to basics?
At its heart, Carry On Emmannuelle is a deeply sentimental and thoroughly charming film as the Preverts and their retainers take a misty-eyed look at their lives and loves and try to rekindle some of their old passions. It is a love letter to past glories and a fitting end to the series. It is also extremely funny. Once you get past the embarrassing Concorde gag in the opening credits, there is plenty of good old-fashioned Carry On fun: Victor Maddern flaunting his Y-fronts in a West London launderette; Kenneth Connor and Clare Davenport getting frisky in a grotty bedsit; a naked skydiving Kenneth Williams. There are some brilliant gags in Carry On Emmannuelle and most of them, usually the ones not directly involving sexual contact, are very funny indeed.
There’s a lot to love about Carry On Emmannuelle, if you’ll only give it a chance. I’m not ashamed to say it has become one of my favourite Carry Ons.