The original film that kicked off one of the most successful series of films in British movie history was Carry On Sergeant. Writer Gerald Thomas and producer Peter Rogers chose to capitalise on the success of the film, and so it was followed in quick succession by Carry On Nurse and then Carry On Teacher.
In Carry On Teacher, Ted Ray stars as a popular headmaster of a somewhat unruly school, populated by students such as Richard O’Sullivan and Larry Dunn. However, Ray isn’t happy at the school, which features teachers such as Charles Hawtrey, Joan Sims and Hattie Jacques. Instead, he wants to find somewhere slightly more challenging. Unfortunately for him, the children don’t want him to go. And they have a plan to make sure he stays.
When Rosalind Knight and child psychologist Leslie Phillips come to make a school inspection, the children embark on a series of pranks and jokes destined to make sure that the school fails the inspection and Ray doesn’t get the references that will let him move. They put alcohol in the teachers’ tea so that their behaviour is uproarious and dust them with itching powder so that they publicly perform a jerky tarantella around the school. The students also blow up a laboratory, sabotage the school play and booby-trap everything else in sight. The resulting film provides a rich, quintessentially British comedy that remains enduringly popular.
UK / 1959 black and white
Director: Gerald Thomas
Writer: Norman Hudis
Cast: Ted Ray, Kenneth Connor, Leslie Phillips, Charles Hawtrey, Joan Sims, Kenneth Williams, Hattie Jacques, Rosalind Knight, Cyril Chamberlain, Richard O’Sullivan, Carol White