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Carry On Teacher (1959, Ted Ray, Charles Hawtrey)

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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.

production details
UK / Anglo Amalgamated / 86 minutes / 1959

Director: Gerald Thomas
Writers: Norman Hudis,

cast
Joan Sims as Sarah Allcock
Charles Hawtrey as Michael Bean
Kenneth Williams as Edwin Milton
Kenneth Connor as Gregory Adams
Leslie Phillips as Alistair Grigg
Hattie Jacques as Grace Short
Rosalind Knight as Felicity Wheeler
Cyril Chamberlain as Alf Hudson
Ted Ray as William ‘Wakie’ Wakefield, the Headmaster
George Howell as Billy Haig – Saboteur
Diana Beevers as Penelope ‘Penny’ Lee – Saboteur
Jacqueline Lewis as Pat Gordon – Saboteur
Roy Hines as Harry Bird – Saboteur
Carol White as Sheila Dale – Saboteur
Richard O’Sullivan as Robin Stevens – Saboteur

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