Publicity

 

Story

William Wakefield (Ted Ray), acting head of Maudlin Street School, spots an advertisement for a brand new “super” school close to his home town and decides the time has come to move on.  He needs a spotless record in order for his application to succeed and with a forthcoming inspection by the Ministry of Education (in the guise of Rosalind Knight) and child psychologist Alistair Grigg (Leslie Phillips), Wakefield turns to his staff for help to ensure everything goes according to plan.

Wakefield briefs the teaching staff (Kenneth Williams, Hattie Jacques, Kenneth Connor, Joan Sims and Charles Hawtrey) of his plans but he is overheard by pupil Robin Stevens (a young Richard O’Sullivan).  While the teaching staff vow to make the inspection a success, Stevens and his fellow pupils, who have grown fond of the head, decide to sabotage the inspection in the hope that Wakefield will be forced to stay on as headmaster.

So begins an increasingly hilarious war of attrition between the teachers and pupils with each fighting for their own noble cause. 

 

A Peter Rogers Production
Directed by Gerald Thomas

1959
Black & White

Screenplay: Norman Hudis
Music: Bruce Montgomery
Certificate U
86 minutes

William Wakefield - Ted Ray
Gregory Adams Kenneth Connor
Michael Bean - Charles Hawtrey
Alastair Grigg - Leslie Phillips
Sarah Allcock - Joan Sims
Edwin Milton - Kenneth Williams
Grace Short - Hattie Jacques
Felicity Wheeler - Rosalind Knight
Alf - Cyril Chamberlain
Robin Stevens - Richard O'Sullivan
Sheila Dale - Carol White
Boy - Larry Dunn
 

 

"Prepare for six of the best as the Carry On team cause chaos in the school yard.

When a well-loved headmaster decides to retire, his scheming pupils have other ideas.

The cunning boys unleash a campaign of practical jokes, armed with gin, itching powder and bombs!   No-one is safe from the classroom havoc in this Carry On starring all the regulars, including immortal Kenneth Williams, Charles Hawtrey, Hattie Jacques, Kenneth Connor and Joan Sims."

 

Review

Carry On Teacher is at its heart even more of a tear-jerker than Carry On Nurse, but the emotion here isn’t force fed. It emerges naturally through the course of the film until we reach the genuinely beautiful moment when the pupils reveal their plan to Wakefield.  Honestly, it gets me every time.

The Carry On regulars do their usual sterling work - everyone plays their role to perfection in what is my favourite of the series to date.  It is a perfectly composed film, all wrapped up neatly in just a couple of locations.  The growing sense of panic as the teachers realise that the children’s bad behaviour is orchestrated and escalating is brilliantly delivered and of course, it is funny.  Properly, laugh out loud funny. 

There is genuine warmth to the early Carry On films and it is never more evident than in Carry On Teacher.  Maudlin Street School is a warren of wood-panelled corridors, tiny offices and cluttered classrooms and the studio-bound nature of the piece, together with a smaller than usual cast (of adults, at least) lends the film a unique intimacy.  It’s a cosy little film, made all the more so by the fact that everyone is acting with the very best of intentions, even if the means hardly justify the ends.