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.