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Carry On Loving (Rank 1970, Sid James, Hattie Jacques)

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Run-of-the-mill Carry On film, distinguished mainly by more prominent roles given to younger actors in a failed attempt to move with the times

With a title like that, you might expect a full-blooded assault on free love or suburban swinging. It comes a mild disappointment to realise that the Carry On series entered the 70s with a film about a dating agency. The idea behind the plot was to get some young blood in to balance the aging regulars. This makes the film rather episodic as we follow the successive misfortunes of the various clients of Sid and Hattie’s Wedded Bliss agency.

The most interesting thing about the film is the casting of Kenneth Williams as a workaholic, anally-retentive bachelor called Percival Snooper, bizarrely employed as a marriage counsellor. While Sid James was as lecherous in real life as he was on screen, this was as close to an autobiographical part as Williams got in a Carry On film.

Otherwise, this is very much Carry On as usual, winding up. Occasionally funny, but never hilarious.

production details
UK / Rank / 88 minutes / 1970

Director: Gerald Thomas
Writers: Talbot Rothwell,

cast
Charles Hawtrey as James Bedsop
Bernard Bresslaw as Gripper Burke
Kenneth Williams as Percival Snooper
Joan Hickson as Mrs Grubb
Sid James as Sidney Bliss
Hattie Jacques as Sophie Plummett
Bill Maynard as Mr Deery
Terry Scott as Terence Philpot
Richard O’Callaghan as Bertrum Muffet
Jacki Piper as Sally Martin
Imogen Hassall as Jenny Grubb
Julian Holloway as Adrian
Janet Mahoney as Gay
Amelia Bayntun as Corset Lady
Anna Karen as Wife
Mike Grady as Boy Lover
Patsy Rowlands as Miss Dempsey
Patricia Franklin as Miss Deery
Bart Allison as Grandpa Grub
Derek Francis as Bishop
Hilda Barry as Grandma Grub
Kenny Lynch as Bus Conductor
Philip Stone as Robinson
Joan Sims as Esme Crowfoot

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