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Film / Carry On Cruising

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Don't be fooled. There are no mermaids in the film.

Haines: I'm new, you see. I'm sorry t'interupt you an' all that, but I've been all over the boat.
Captain Crowther: "Ship".
Haines: Well, "ship", "boat", who cares as long as it floats?
Wilfred Haines asking Captain Wellington Crowther for directions.

Carry On Cruising is a 1962 film and the sixth Carry On film in the British film series, which created a milestone for being the first to be filmed in color. It starred Sid James, Kenneth Williams, Kenneth Connor, Liz Fraser, Dilys Laye, Esma Cannon, and Lance Percival.

This was the first Carry On to be based on holidays, inspired by the popularity of cruise holidays with the public in the early '60s; there is an appearance of a P&O Cruise Ship, whose company was thanked in the opening credits, which is where the movie takes place. Like many Carry On movies to come, Cruising tells several subplots of many different people as they stay together in a packed space. In this case, on a cruise ship - based on some of the passengers and the cruise staff.

Captain Wellington Crowther (James) is in charge of the SS Happy Wanderer and is preparing to travel through the southern continents, but is angered to find out that most of his trusted ship staff are absent and have been replaced at the last minute with first-timers: The slightly-snobby First Officer Leonard Marjoribanks (Williams), the timid Dr. Arthur Binn (Connor), the seasick chef Wilfred Haines (Percival), new bartender Sam Turner (Jimmy Thompson) and dim steward Tom Tree (Cyril Chamberlain). This creates tension between Captain Crowther and the newbies and he states that they have to show him that they'll be able to handle their jobs, lest they ruin his chances of a transfer to a new transatlantic liner.

Unfortunately, this might not be possible. Marjoribanks finds himself unable to please the Captain no matter how hard he tries; Dr. Binn tries to court the lovely Flo Castle (Laye), who would rather compete with her friend Glad Trimble (Fraser) for a man more like Mr. Jenkins (Vincent Ball), the PT instructor; Haines proves himself to be rather eccentric; and Bridget Madderley (Cannon), a hyperactive old lady, finds herself getting up to all sorts of fun on deck. Even when the newbies are in check, other things continue to go wrong as Captain Crowther constantly becomes the victim of the group's shenanigans as Hilarity Ensues.

Tropes Included

  • Actually Pretty Funny: Bridget's shorts fall down in front of Crowther and another crew member. In the embarrassment of being showed up in front of the captain, Dr. Binn tries desperately to help Bridget fix her clothes. The other crew member starts to laugh at the situation but catches Crowther's unimpressed look and excuses himself awkwardly. Crowther chuckles when no one's looking.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: First Officer Marjoribanks uses this when offering to set up the bathing-beauty contest in a Deleted Scene:
    Marjoribanks: Leave it to me, sir. I'll pick a panel properly to pro-and-con the pulchritude, with probity and precision.
    Captain Crowther: You do that. (Beat) Eh?
    Marjoribanks: Vivid eh? And alliterative. Rather good I must say...
  • Afraid of Needles: Haines is, simply because he can't bear to see the needle going in.
  • Alliterative Name: Tom Tree.
  • All There in the Script: We don't get to know Marjoribanks' first name (other than the fact it starts with an "L" as shown on Captain Crowther's list), but the back of the DVD in "The Classic Carry On Film Collection" boxset gives it as "Leonard".
  • And I'm the Queen of Sheba: In response to Crowther saying he's the captain, a drunken Bridget replies, "Yeah, and I'm Zsa Zsa Gabor".
  • The Bartender: Sam Turner is the barman, who turns out to be a replacement as well.
  • Bedlah Babe: During the cruise's stopover in North Africa, Glad and Flo end up purchasing belly dancer costumes as souvenirs and take a picture together, dressing as "harem girls of the Sultan".
  • Bottle Episode: The entire film is set on the Happy Wanderer and not once does the movie switch from that location. When the cruise stops at a country's port, we only see the passengers leave and come back with their souvenirs.
  • Brief Accent Imitation: When the crew travels to Spain, Dr. Binn and Marjoribanks dress up as matadors and imitate Spanish accents. Captain Crowther isn't impressed.
  • The Captain: Captain Crowther is in charge of the Happy Wanderer, and the ship's only competent crewman given prominence in the film compared to the incompetents, suck-ups, and eccentrics he has working under him.
  • Clothing Damage: Dr. Binn accidentally rips off Glad's dress in a Deleted Scene.
  • Comedic Underwear Exposure:
    • Binn and Marjoribanks when their tight trousers split open.
    • Bridget, when jogging with Binn.
    • Glad, in the aforementioned Deleted Scene.
  • Cool Old Lady: Bridget.
  • Cordon Bleugh Chef: Wilfred Haines bakes a cake containing spaghetti, Californian prunes, and Chinese duck representing Captain Crowther's various voyages.
  • Curse Cut Short: When Captain Crowther is chewing out the crew, we cut to the ship's foghorn.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Crowther is the best at this. Much of his memorable dialogue is snapping at someone for acting stupid.
    • Marjoribanks has the occasional moment, mostly when he wants to sound wittier than everyone else. Crowther, the aforementioned king at this, shuts him down with a glare or telling Marjoribanks off like a child.
  • Disapproving Look: Crowther often gives these, particularly when the crew starts goofing off.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: A man Bridget meets in the ship's bar who wants to forget about a woman he never talks about.
    Man at bar: That's why I drink. To forget her.
    Dr A Binn: Forget who?
    Man at bar: Blessed if I can remember.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Sid James of all people is repulsed by the idea of a woman throwing herself at him.
  • Eternally Pearly-White Teeth: The gym teacher that Glad and Flo fight over. The fact that he wears a white uniform (that seems to look brighter than it is from the cameras), doesn't help if you're sensitive to brightness.
  • Fainting: Flo faints after a workout session with Mr. Jenkins, while Marjoribanks when the captain (whom he assumed was Drinking on Duty) enters the room.
  • Gargle Blaster: Desperate to re-create the recipe for his favourite cocktail now that the bartender who created it has left the ship, Captain Crowther gathers numerous bottles of spirits and mixes them in various combinations (but without drinking them, unbeknownst to Marjoribanks, who thinks he is fall-down drunk and tries to assume command). Eventually, one of the combinations causes the glass to explode. A bemused Crowther says, "That one I should have drunk!"
  • Incredibly Lame Pun
    Captain Crowther: Flo!! Ebb a bit.
  • Laughing at Your Own Jokes: When getting to know Crowther, the replacements begin to crack terrible puns out of awkwardness when they explain where Crowther's original team is. Haines is the worst offender with this. Unfortunately for them, it makes Crowther assume that they'll never take anything seriously and decides to act even more strict towards them than he probably already would have.
  • Lethal Chef: Haines makes a cake explode in his face. To say nothing of the ingredients he uses to make his "International Cake".
  • Moment Killer: Crowther and a crew member accidentally walk into a room where a couple is about to embrace. They apologise and walk out, but a curious Crowther does a Double Take, discovering that the couple are kissing as if they hadn't been interrupted at all, and don't even notice that Crowther is back in the room.
  • Mr. Fanservice: The gym teacher that Glad and Flo fall for.
  • Naked Freak-Out: A Deleted Scene saw Dr. Binn accidentally rip off Glad's dress and her having to try and cover her body while in the middle of a crowd.
  • No Guy Wants to Be Chased: Crowther physically tries to pull Flo off him during her swooning.
  • No Sense of Humor: Crowther. Whenever someone tries to lighten the mood, he just gets angrier.
  • Not So Above It All: Crowther often laughs at moments that his dim-witted crew laugh at, although he continuously promotes being focused on work.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Dr. Binn collapsing on top of one his patients and being caught by Cpt Crowther.
  • Only One Name: Practically the entire cast (although the main characters in the cruising staff's forenames are revealed in the movie) is only known by either their first name or surname.
  • Painted-On Pants: Binn and Marjoribanks wear skintight pants when they dress up in matador costumes for the ship's entertainment show. It ends horribly when they show the Captain.
  • Plot Hole: After Flo leaves Captain Crowther's office believing he is in love with her, First Officer Marjoribanks within ten seconds and claims that Flo has told him about what just happened, despite the fact that she wouldn't have had enough time.
  • Pop-Cultural Osmosis Failure: Marjoribanks suggests Playing Cyrano to Doctor Binn to help him win Flo's affections. Binn assumes that Cyrano is a passenger on the ship.
  • Product Placement: The P&O Cruise ship. The credits thank the company for allowing them to do so.
  • Pronouncing My Name for You: First Officer Marjoribanks makes it quite clear how to pronounce his name ("Marshbanks").
  • Replacement Scrappy: invoked This is Captain Crowther's reaction to the five new crew members. He is chagrined to discover that, after years of service together, his first officer has won a fortune in the football pools and retired, his ship's doctor has exchanged jobs with the doctor at Consolidated Marmalade, his ship's cook apparently got "fed up", his bartender got married and has returned to dry land, and his personal steward has broken his leg. It doesn't help that the first three replacements (Marjoribanks, Binn, and Haines) initially come across as incompetent clowns, while the retiring bartender has taken the recipe for the captain's favourite cocktail with him to dry land.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Marjoribanks briefly talks like this when he takes charge of the team.
    Marjoribanks: Gentlemen, have I your agreement for a policy of unremitting quasi-teutonic organisational protectionism?
    Dr A Binn: [sighs] He means "fingers out?"
  • Shipper on Deck: First Officer Marjoribanks helps Doctor Binn try and win the affections of Flo.
  • Shot in the Ass: Here, "shot" refers to "injection"; the perennially seasick Haines repeatedly shows up in Dr Binn's clinic for a seasickness remedy which comes in three parts, the last involving an injection. Each time, the injection is into Haines' backside, causing him to yell in pain (masked by the sound of the ship's foghorn, as well as a shot of it).
  • Stock Footage: Probably all the outer shots of boats on the sea and/or the cruise ship itself sailing around the ocean. Most of the movie's budget went to the rebuilding of the exterior shots of the walkways and the swimming pool.
  • The Stoic: Crowther.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: CPT Crowther, when he hires reinforcements for his cruise staff that get the simplest tasks wrong.
  • Tagline: "That Carry On crew in a luxury laughter-cruise!".
  • Those Two Girls: Gladys and Flo.
  • Title Drop: As the cruise is nearing its end, when Captain Crowther announces that he has been offered a position on a transatlantic liner, but has turned it down as he prefers a much more personal atmosphere of a cruise ship:
Captain Crowther: So, what else can I do but... carry on cruising?
  • Tuckerization: Gerald Thomas couldn't resist an in-joke by naming some of the ship's officers after some of the new film crew. Third Officer J. Causey (Assistant Director Jack Causey), Fourth Officer D. Lovell (Camera operator Dudley Lovell), Junior Fourth Officer A. Hume (Director of Photography Alan Hume),
  • Wardrobe Malfunction:
    • Binn and Marjoribanks split their tight trousers when they bend over in front of the Captain. They hobble out of the room in embarrassment with a shared matador cloth wrapped around their waists.
    • A Deleted Scene had Glad having her dress accidentally ripped off by Dr. Binn.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: All the replacements are this to Crowther, who's pointed out that he's paranoid about newcomers trying to overthrow him. Naturally, problems surface whenever he's prowling around the ship.
  • Workout Fanservice: Gladys and Flo eyeing up gym teacher Mr. Jenkins. Flo tries to show off and get his attention, but fails.
  • Visible Boom Mic: The shadow of one can be spotted on Haines' hat in his first scene.

For other Carry On films about vacations, see Carry On Camping, Carry On Abroad and Carry On Behind.