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Film / Carry On England

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Sergeant Major Bloomer: This is one of these new... mixed batteries.
Captain Melly: So... that's what the Brigadier meant when he said that this battery was "an experiment".
Sergeant Major Bloomer: "H'experiment", sir? They does not need to experiment! They gets at it right away, and all the time.
Sergeant Major "Tiger" Bloomer explaining 13-13 Experimental Battery to Captain S. Melly.

Carry On England is a Carry On film from 1976 and the 28th overall. It starred Kenneth Connor, Windsor Davies, Judy Geeson, Patrick Mower, Jack Douglas, Joan Sims, Melvyn Hayes, Peter Butterworth, and Peter Jones.

Captain S. Melly (Connor) is put in charge of 13-13 Experimental Battery during the darkest days of World War II. It's a relief for Captain Bull (David Lodge) and Sergeant Major "Tiger" Bloomer (Davies), who have to put up with the antics of Sergeants Leonard Able (Mower) and Tilly Willing (Geeson), Bombardier Ready (Douglas), and the rest of the troops who follow their sexual antics in suit. Private Alice Easy (Diane Langton) tries to charm her commanding officer, Private Jennifer Ffoukes-Sharpe (Sims) tries to flirt with hers, and Gunner Shorthouse (Hayes) tries to get anyone he can. Despite the efforts of medical officer Major Butcher (Julian Holloway), rigorous training and a barbed wire chastity fence, the platoon is still a shambling shower.

This doesn't help the army one bit, seeing how the army could be unprepared for a surprise ambush, after an inspection by the wisecracking Brigadier (Jones) and toadying Major Carstairs (Butterworth) is interrupted by an airborne attack.

It caused controversy before it was released in theaters, being one of the first Carry On films that had explicit nudity on screen and had suggestive dialogue,note  which angered the censors to the point of Executive Meddling. This led to the BBFC certifying the movie as "suitable for fourteen and over", which was unfortunate because most of the target audience were in that age range. Even though that would slightly jab at the viewings in the box-office, the film was poorly received commercially to the point of being removed from theaters after three days. To this day, at least 99% of fans around the world speak negatively of the movie. The explicit nudity was not the way of the Carry On movies and sex was treated with ambiguity, whereas many saw this movie as just another example of the Awful British Sex Comedy that was becoming popular at the time.

Tropes included:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Private Ffoukes-Sharpe is crazy about Sergeant Major Bloomer, but he wants nothing to do with her.
  • Actor Allusion: If Sergeant Major Bloomer wasn't similar enough to Windsor Davies' character on It Ain't Half Hot, Mum (Sergeant Major "Shut Up" Williams) already, he uses his "lovely boy" Catchphrase at certain times in the film.
  • The Alcoholic: Captain Bull has developed a severe drinking problem due to the stress of trying to get 13-13 Experimental Battery to run efficiently.
  • All There in the Script: Several characters aren't named in the film, but given names in official cast lists:
    • The Medical Officer who hands out aspirins is Major Butcher.
    • The Gunners' last names are Owen, Parker, Thomas, Drury, Childs, Sharpe, Gale and Lewis.
    • The A.T.S. Privates' last names are Evans, Edwards, Carter and Taylor.
    • One of the canteen girls is named Freda.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Sergeant Able calls Sergeant Willing "Till".
  • Agony of the Feet: Gunner Owen has a sprained big toe as a result of being pushed out of bed.
  • Anachronism Stew: The film takes place in 1940, however Britain wouldn't get its first mixed barracks until 1942.
  • Armed Farces: Captain Melly is a complete buffoon, and the enlisted personnel under his command are far more interested in sexual antics than in anything to do with the military.
    Captain Melly: You are a shower! A shambling shower! And I mean to shake you up more than somewhat!
  • Ash Face:
    • Bombardier Ready is left with one after trying to cross the chastity fence and setting off some explosions.
    • When Captain Melly releases the jammed shell from the gun, it blows ash in his face.
  • Awful British Sex Comedy: As much as fans tried to convince themselves that Carry On hadn't become this, the higher quantity of nudity and the lower quantity of decent laughs place the film in this category.
  • Bad Habits: Some German soldiers had once disguised themselves as French nuns according to The Brigadier.
  • Been There, Shaped History: The famous peace sign used by Winston Churchill was first created by Captain Melly, who needed to find a new way to salute his troops after his fingers were bandaged up.
  • Big Damn Kiss: Sergeant Major Bloomer gives one to Private Ffoukes-Sharpe after all the German planes are shot down, while the other troops cheer him on.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": Both Captain Melly and Sergeant Major Bloomer use these frequently to try and get the troops into order.
  • Big "WHAT?!": Bombardier Ready unleashes one when he realises the others are going to force him to lay down over the barbed wire chastity fence so they can safely cross.
  • Bite of Affection: Private Ffoukes-Sharpe gives Sergeant Major Bloomer one right on his leg when she goes to tie her shoe.
  • The Brigadier: One sends Captain Melly down to try and sort out 13-13 Experimental Battery only because anyone with any competence had failed. He later returns during the climax to inspect the battery.
  • Captain Ersatz: Windsor Davies essentially plays his character from It Ain't Half Hot, Mum with a different name.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Early on in the film, Sergeant Major Bloomer teaches the men how to safely cross barbed wire, which the men later use to their advantage as they try to cross the chastity fence so they can shag the girls.
  • Clothing Damage: Sergeant Willing sabotages Captain Melly's clothing so it all falls apart when he leads the troops on a march.
    Sergeant Major Bloomer: You seems to have come apart at the seams, sir.
  • Comedic Underwear Exposure:
    • Captain Melly's uniform falls apart when he leads the troop on a march, leaving them all laughing at him in his underwear.
    • When Captain Melly's trousers are switched out for a skirt, he tries to sneak away and get changed before anyone notices. When The Brigadier and Major Carstairs catch him, he is further humiliated by his skirt falling down and revealing his underwear.
  • Contrived Coincidence: The entire tunneling sequence hinges on the fact that Sergeants Able and Willing keep coming up with the same ideas at the same time, leading to the men and the women constantly missing each other as they crawl back and forth between the men's and women's huts.
  • Covered in Gunge: Captain Melly trips over a Trip Trap twice, and both times lands in a shit puddle and is covered in it.
    Sergeant Major Bloomer: You is covered in shi- (Beat) Something distasteful.
  • Covering for the Noise: All the women are hiding in the loft space of the men's hut while Captain Melly and Sergeant Major Bloomer carry out a surprise inspection. One of them sneezes, and when Captain Melly asks who sneezed, Sergeant Able claims that Bombardier Ready is a ventriloquist and that he sneezed while throwing his voice into the loft space.
  • Creator In-Joke: Captain Melly's line, "I've been regular for eighteen years" is also an in-joke about his actor Kenneth Connor's time in the series. He started in 1958 (Carry On, Sergeant), and when the film was made in 1976, he was in the films for eighteen years.
  • Crossdressing:
    • Captain Melly initially mistakes the women for men dressed as women.
    • Captain Melly bans skirts and forces the women to wear battledress trousers.
    • The troops switch out Captain Melly's trousers for a skirt after his shower, much to his embarrassment.
  • Crushing Handshake: Private Ffoukes-Sharpe gives one to Captain Melly, due to her frequent use of her stress balls.
    Sergeant Major Bloomer: She too is a ball squeezer, sah.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Major Carstairs picks Private Ffoukes-Sharpe to practice unarmed combat with, and ends up thrown to the floor and hung from a coat hook.
  • Curse Cut Short:
    • A Running Gag for Sergeant Major Bloomer:
      Sergeant Major Bloomer: You stupid f- (Beat) How is I h'expected to use the proper words with women present? Never mind. Never mind. Just f-fu- (Beat) Forget it.
    • Sergeant Able stops himself from saying "shit" in front of Captain Melly.
      Sergeant Able: Well, it's like suddenly... pwhoarr, someone's come in who's covered all over with shi- (Beat) Ooh, something nasty, sir.
  • Dirty Coward: When German planes fly overhead, The Brigadier and Major Carstairs flee 13-13 Experimental Battery and leave the others to fend for themselves.
  • Disguised in Drag: The Brigadier corrects Sergeant Major Bloomer about some German soldiers who disguised themselves as nuns.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Private Ffoukes-Sharpe enjoys holding the large phallic gun shells a bit too much.
    Private Ffoukes-Sharpe: I find these things awfully exciting. I dunno why...
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Gunner Shorthouse seems to have a thing for Private Ffoukes-Sharpe, but she constantly pushes him aside to pursue Sergeant Major Bloomer.
  • The Door Slams You:
    • Major Carstairs swings a door into Captain Melly's face and knocks him to the ground.
    • Sergeant Major Bloomer also swings a door into Captain Melly, which sends him stumbling backwards into a bin.
  • Double Entendre: Sergeant Able uses a German plane to mean something else when talking to Sergeant Major Bloomer.
    Sergeant Major Bloomer: I bet none of you can tell the difference between a couple of Heinkels and a pair of Bristols.
    Sergeant Able: No, but I can recognise a Fokker when I see one.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: The Brigadier mentions some German soldiers had disguised themselves as French nuns with Tommy guns.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty:
    • Captain Melly, who is certainly not thrilled to discover women under his command, and does his best to break the troops' spirits.
      Captain Melly: If you're going to talk about being cruel to be kind, you may as well know that as far as that shower outside is concerned, that I intend to be cruel to be cruel!
    • Sergeant Major Bloomer is constantly screaming at the troops, but does have a softer side than Captain Melly when he reveals he acts this way towards them in order to shape them up into proper soldiers.
  • Exact Words: In an attempt to get the camp to shape up, Captain Melly issues new uniform regulations, telling the female soldiers that they must wear battle dress trousers, then ends his announcement with "that is all" After this, the women show up for morning parade wearing battle dress trousers... and nothing else.
  • Fingore: Captain Melly has two of his fingers sprained after they get pinched by the gun's controls.
  • Foul Cafeteria Food: Sergeant Able doesn't have a high opinion of the food served in the canteen.
    Sergeant Able: What're you supposed to do with it? Eat it or rub it in?
    Corporal Cook: You can bounce it off the ceiling for all I care.
  • Gasshole:
    • Captain Bull constantly burps due to the large amount of alcohol in his system.
    • The canteen food makes Sergeant Able burp, much to Sergeant Willing's disgust.
    • Captain Melly farts a lot when he begins to pass Private Easy's button that he swallowed.
  • Good-Looking Privates: Sergeant Able is quite a handsome man, which is part of the reason Sergeant Willing finds him so desirable.
  • Got Volunteered: Bombardier Ready is forced to lie down over the barbed wire chastity fence so the men can cross it and be reunited with the women.
  • Groin Attack:
    • When the cause of Gunner Owen's sprained big toe is discussed (from being pushed out of bed), Bombardier Murray mentions she's glad it wasn't something else that was sprained.
    • Sergeant Major Bloomer takes the handle of an air raid siren to the groin when he finishes winding it.
    • Bombardier Ready is warned to keep his helmet over his groin when he is used to cross the chastity fence (made of rusty barbed wire), or he'll be "ruined for life".
  • Help, I'm Stuck!: Sergeant Major Bloomer accidentally swings a door into Captain Melly, resulting in him falling into a bin and getting stuck.
  • Ironic Echo Cut: Captain Melly telling Sergeant Major Bloomer that he intends to put the wind up the troops cuts to Sergeant Able burping and complaining the canteen food gives him the wind.
  • Ironic Name:
    • Captain Melly, a British Officer, has a dog named Hitler.
    • Sergeant Major Bloomer's tiny dog is named Muscles.
  • Jerkass: Captain Melly. While Sergeant Major Bloomer at least believes in being cruel to be kind, Captain Melly genuinely wants to make the troops miserable under him.
  • Low Clearance: After Sergeant Able lies to Captain Melly that Gunner Shorthouse is on Bombardier Ready's shoulders to clear away the cobwebs, they try to demonstrate, which results in Bombardier Ready walking into the path of some low-hanging lights that hit Gunner Shorthouse in the head.
  • Malicious Misnaming:
    • Sergeant Major Bloomer calls Gunner Shorthouse "Shortarse" to poke fun at his lack of height.
    • Everyone calls Captain Melly "Old Smelly" out of frustration from his leadership.
  • Marshmallow Hell:
    • Captain Melly trips when meeting the troops and lands in Private Easy's cleavage.
      Private Easy: Ooh! Later, sir. Later.
    • Captain Melly gets everyone to enter his office when he wants to see them about their charge. Unfortunately, he doesn't realise how small his office is and ends up pinned between the wall and Private Easy's breasts.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Gunner Shorthouse is the smallest man in the battery.
    • Alice Easy certainly does what she can to live up to her name.
  • Mirror Reveal: Before Captain Melly goes for a shower, Bombardier Ready and Gunner Shorthouse switch his regular soap for one that'll make his skin turn blue. Captain Melly doesn't realise until he's handed a shaving mirror and has to go for another shower.
  • My Nayme Is: Private Ffoukes-Sharpe introduces herself by explaining how to spell her surname.
    Captain Melly: An' what is your name, my man? (Beat) Er... woman?
    Private Ffoukes-Sharpe: Jennifer Ffoukes-Sharpe, sir. The Sharpe with an E and two F's in the Ffoukes.
  • The Name Is Bond, James Bond: How Captain Melly introduces himself to Captain Bull:
    Captain Melly: I'm Melly. S. Melly.
    Captain Bull: Pity. Have a drink.
  • The Napoleon: The rather short Captain Melly spends most of the movie screaming at everyone and genuinely being unpleasant.
    Sergeant Willing: Two inches shorter and he could see right up my skirt!
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: The stress of running 13-13 Experimental Battery leads Captain Bull to drink.
  • No Full Name Given: We don't get to know Captain Melly, Sergeant Major Bloomer, Bombardier Ready, Gunner Shorthouse, Major Carstairs, Captain Bull, Bombardier Murray, Gunner Shaw or Gunner Hiscock's first names.
  • No Inside Voice: Sergeant Major Bloomer spends the whole film screaming and ranting.
  • Non-Fatal Explosions: Bombardier Ready has explosions go off right in his face as he tries to cross the chastity fence, but he isn't injured and only left with an Ash Face.
  • Not So Above It All: Despite being a raging Jerkass the entire film, Captain Melly still finds his accidental v-sign at the end of the film funny and cracks a smile.
  • One-Steve Limit: Official cast lists reveal that alongside Private Jennifer Ffoukes-Sharpe, one of the Gunners is also called Gunner Sharpe.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Sergeant Major Bloomer is called Tiger by the troops.
  • Parenthetical Swearing: Sergeant Able uses a Fokker plane to refer to Sergeant Major Bloomer.
  • Playing Sick: All of the troops fake various illnesses to avoid going through extra training.
  • Plot Hole:
    • The fact that an anti-aircraft battery regiment would have only one gun to be used by thirty personnel is quite unrealistic.
    • When the women go on parade topless, they are being lead by Bombardier Murray rather than Sergeant Willing, and several of them (most noticeably the aforementioned Sergeant Willing, alongside Privates Easy and Ffoukes-Sharpe) are missing from the line up.
  • Popping Buttons: Captain Melly forces the busty Private Easy to do up her top button and stand up straight. When she does, the button shoots off and goes straight down Captain Melly's throat.
  • Potty Emergency: Captain Melly has to sprint to the lavatory when he begins to pass the button he swallowed.
  • Pun:
    • Occurs when Sergeant Major Bloomer assumes that Captain Melly has a headache:
      Captain Melly: It's not a headache, it's the stomach. There's a button in it.
      Sergeant Major Bloomer: Hmm, what you might now call a belly button, sir.
    • When Major Butcher inspects Captain Melly's behind:
      Major Butcher: Yeah, that's quite a nasty friction burn you've got there. What are you been doing, eh? Arsing about? Ha, ha, ha. Drop of calamine will soon get to the bottom of this one.
    • The Brigadier makes many of them. Only the toadying Major Carstairs laughs at first, but eventually even he can't bring himself to pretend they are funny.
  • Punny Name:
    • Put together, the surnames of the characters played by Jack Douglas, Judy Geeson, and Patrick Mower are Ready, Willing, and Able.
      Captain Melly: Ready... Willing and Able. This is ridiculous.
    • Gunner Hiscock, with emphasis put where you'd expect it for a brief gag.
  • Running Gag: Sergeant Major Bloomer having his Curse Cut Short.
    Sergeant Major Bloomer: Pants or knickers, shift your ar- (Beat) W-what's inside 'em.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: The Brigadier and Major Carstairs flee 13-13 Experimental Battery when they hear German planes overhead.
  • Shirtless Scene: Captain Melly has a few during his showers.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Sergeant Able does a Tarzan call while watching Sergeant Major Bloomer swinging on a rope.
    • The tunnel digging scenes are parodying The Great Escape.
  • Shower Scene: Captain Melly's shower is sabotaged by Bombardier Ready and Gunner Shorthouse, who switch his soap for one that makes his skin turn blue.
  • Slippery Skid: Captain Melly enters the men's hut, but steps in some shit that had dripped off him earlier. This sends him skidding along the floor into a broom cupboard and leaving him with a nasty friction burn.
  • Spell My Name with an S: The DVDs can't decide if Private Ffoukes-Sharpe's surname should have a hyphen or not.
  • Spit Take: Bombardier Ready has a massive one when Sergeant Able tells him an air raid has begun.
  • Stock Footage: Footage of British and German planes is taken from Battle of Britain.
  • Stuff Blowing Up:
    • Explosions go off when Bombardier Ready tries to flatten the barbed wire chastity fence.
    • The German planes the troops shoot down crash and explode.
  • Tagline: "It's the biggest BANG of the War!".
  • Talking in Your Sleep: Sergeant Major Bloomer mutters about drowning the troops during a stress-induced nightmare.
  • Take That!: Sergeant Major Bloomer compares the women to the Brownies.
  • Teeny Weenie: Implied with Gunner Shorthouse. When the men visit Major Butcher to fake being sick, he tells them to drop their pants, then gives them two aspirins... except for Gunner Shorthouse who only gets half an aspirin.
  • Tempting Fate: Captain Melly has a poor choice of words before discovering his trousers have been replaced with a skirt.
    Captain Melly: I'll show them who's wearing the trousers around here!
  • Those Two Guys: The Brigadier and Major Carstairs, who come to inspect the mixed battery.
  • Training from Hell: Captain Melly gets Sergeant Major Bloomer to put the troops through this in order to break their spirits.
  • Trip Trap: Sergeant Able sets one up outside the men's hut, claiming it's to trap Nazi paratroopers when in actuality it's used to let the troops know when someone is coming so they can get the women back to their own hut. Captain Melly goes over it twice, both times landing in a puddle of shit.
  • Undercrank: Played for Laughs in classic Carry On fashion:
    • When Captain Melly dashes to the toilets.
    • When the men and women go round and round through the two tunnels they have dug.
  • Underwear Flag: 13-13 Experimental Battery's flag is replaced with women's underwear on The Brigadier and Major Carstairs' visit.
    Brigadier: Who's flag is it supposed to be? Knicker-ragua's?
  • Unfortunate Names: Captain S. Melly. Naturally all the troops call him "Old Smelly".
  • Vine Swing: Sergeant Major Bloomer tries teaching the men how to swing on a rope, but ends up in the water on the return swing.
  • V-Sign: Captain Melly accidentally flips the v-sign to the troops when he tries to salute them with bandaged fingers but corrects himself and turns his hand around to represent victory.