Publicity

 


Story

It is World War II and England expects every man and woman to do their bit.  The latest initiative from the War Office is a new combined anti-aircraft battery, bringing male and female recruits together in one unit. 

Captain S Melly (Kenneth Connor) is given command of the experimental unit in the hope that his leadership skills will knock them into shape.  But Melly’s ideas about what makes an efficient battery differ from those under his command, who would rather make love than war. 

 

A Peter Rogers Production
Directed by Gerald Thomas

1976
Colour

Screenplay: David Pursall & Jack Seddon
Music: Max Harris
Certificate AA
89 minutes

Captain S Melly -
Kenneth Connor
Sergeant Major Bloomer
Windsor Davies
Sergeant Tilly Willing -
Judy Geeson
Sergeant Len Able -
Patrick Mower
Bombardier Ready -
Jack Douglas
Private Ffoukes-Sharpe -
Joan Sims

Gunner Shorthouse

-
Melvyn Hayes
Major Carstairs -
Peter Butterworth
Private Alice Easy -
Diane Langton
Major Butcher -
Julian Holloway
Brigadier -
Peter Jones
Captain Bull -
David Lodge
Gunner Shaw -
Larry Dann
Gunner Owen -
Brian Osborne
Captain Melly's Driver -
Johnny Briggs
Nurse -
Linda Hooks

 

 

"Make Love Not War!

The Carry On team are part of an experimental mixed anti-aircraft battery during World War II.

The Luftwaffe never had it so easy!

Troops Ready, Willing and Able join forces to strike terror into the heart of the enemy (well sort of)!

Discover where Churchill's famous Victory sign really originated from.

Carry On England... Patriotism has never been funnier!"

 

Review

At its core, Carry On England is a mean-spirited and cynical film which is flawed from the outset. It is hard to sympathise with any of the characters in Carry On England.  The troops are single-minded sex maniacs with no respect for anything other than their own genitals or the next person to get their hands on them.  Captain Melly is equally one-dimensional in his desire to knock the troops into shape.  Clearly the two will never agree and what follows is, basically, a hate campaign.   The recruits really are only interested in one thing and when Melly tries to take it away they turn on him like cheeky-grinned Rottweilers.  Melly, in return, escalates his campaign and the whole film becomes a bitter war of attrition.  

In England, with the sole exception of the sublime Sergeant Major Bloomer, every character is unlikeable.  Worse still, further ignominy is heaped on long-term Carry On favourites like Joan Sims and Jack Douglas, who are shoe-horned into roles they are clearly too old and too dignified for. 

Carry On England is an unpleasant experience which glories in ignominy being relentlessly heaped upon just one, admittedly unlikeable, character.  It rarely shows any of the charm and warmth of the earlier films and it’s sad to see this once great series being reduced to a film where the only comedy is in victimisation.