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Film / Carry On Regardless

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Carry On Regardless is the fifth Carry On film in the popular British film series. It starred Sidney James, Joan Sims, Charles Hawtrey, Terrence Longdon, Bill Owen, Kenneth Connor, Esma Cannon, Kenneth Williams and Liz Fraser.

Regardless is based around a job center named Helping Hands that works with the unemployed or job-seekers, run by Bert Handy (James) and his assistant Miss Cooling (Cannon). Seven people turn up to join the agency for a new start — unhappy labour exchange clerk Sam Twist (Connor) and six labour exchange regulars, the upper class Montgomery Infield-Hopping (Longdon), the working class Mike Weston (Owen), the multilingual Francis Courtenay (Williams), the clumsy Gabby Dimple (Hawtrey), the brassy Lily Duveen (Sims), and the more reserved Delia King (Fraser).

They are given a succession of ludicrous jobs, such as Francis becoming a translator for a bilingual married couple and looking after a monkey, Lily becoming drunk in a wine-tasting event, Gabby entering the boxing ring, Sam confusing phone calls and a group of nuns being sent to a hospital. Hilarity Ensues.


Did we mention there was a monkey?

Tropes Included:

  • The Cameo: Series regular Hattie Jacques appears briefly as — what else? — a hospital nurse (though not the head matron, for once).
  • Cigarette of Anxiety: Sam, who is trying to quit smoking, but is so stressed he dashes out and buys a pack of cigarettes.
  • Cool Old Lady: Miss Cooling.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: After tormenting a nationally-famous boxer, Gabby willingly steps into the boxing ring and headbutts him unconscious.
  • Cunning Linguist: Francis can speak sixteen languages. He's the only one who can understand the landlord.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: Francis with a monkey and struggling to be taken seriously by passers-by.
  • Fanservice: Liz Frazer trying on lingerie and nurses in their underwear.
  • Framing Device: The film is essentially a series of short vignettes held together by the idea of the central cast working for an odd jobs agency.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • "Get stuffed" was considered strong language for 1961, but the script found a way to sneak it in obliquely in the film's first scene while Bert and Miss Cooling are lamenting the initial lack of replies to their "help wanted" advert:
      Miss Cooling: Never mind, Mr Handy, I'm sure you'll get staffed.
      Bert: Eh?? (realises, smiles) Oh, "staffed".
    • When the seven employees accidentally receive the wrong addresses for the jobs to which they have been assigned, Gabby ends up going to a strip club instead of an aviary. The following conversation results:
      Proprietor: What do you want?
      Gabby: Your birds, and I can't wait. Tell me, what sort are they?
      Proprietor: What sort d'you like?
      Gabby: Blue tits.
      Proprietor: Eh?
      Gabby: Have you got any?
      Proprietor: No, no, this place is centrally heated.
  • Intoxication Ensues: Lily gets drunk through the wine tasting because she doesn't understand that she has to sip, then spit out the wine.
  • Last-Name Basis: Miss Cooling.
  • Mistaken for Cheating: One of the first requests sent to Helping Hands comes from Mr Delling, who needs a woman who wears the same size clothing as his wife so that she can model a large number of clothes he is buying as a surprise present; Delia fits the bill and is sent to the Delling home. Mrs Delling comes home in the middle of the modelling session, and Delia hides in the wardrobe. However, when the suspicious Mrs Delling opens the wardrobe, Delia has put on some of Mr Delling's clothes and pretends to be a workman, then makes a quick getaway.
  • Mistaken for Pedophile: Francis is told to meet Chinese immigrants at the train station. He approaches a chaperone with a group of young schoolgirls, wondering why they didn't look Asian or why they spoke English. The chaperone calls security and they carry a kicking and protesting Francis away.
    Francis: I'm a linguist!
    Policeman: [disgustedly] Oh, is that what they call 'em now?
  • Mistaken for Prostitute: In Lily's eyes, that is. She arrives at a famous actor's mansion, who asks her to take her clothes off, telling her how much he'd pay her. She shoves him into an armchair and marches out of the house in disgust.
  • Mistaken for Special Guest: When wealthy scrap metal merchant Sir Theodore employs Bert to hold his place in the waiting room queue at the local hospital (as rich as he is, he still insists on using the NHS), the staff mistake Bert for a visiting diagnostician, and invite him to take a look at various patients.
  • Not in Front of the Parrot: Mike arrives at an aviary, thinking it's the strip club he's going to be a bouncer for. When he asks the woman where the half-naked women were, the woman replies that no one strips "in here", cuing the parrot in the cage nearby to say, "She only strips when she goes to bed." The woman barks at it to be quiet.
  • Omniglot: You name a language, Francis probably speaks at least a few words of it. Many of the jobs sent his way require him to speak a language other than English.
  • Open-Fly Gag: In the room of silence, Sam spots a businessman with his trouser buttons unfastened. He tries several times to play charades with the man, until he eventually decides to make a buzzing noise, gesture to the buttons on his waistcoat, and point as he pulled his hands down his stomach towards his groin, making the businessman check himself and then rush out of the room in embarrassment.
  • Operation: Jealousy: Sam is called out on a babysitting job, but this turns out to be a ruse by the customer, Mrs Panting, who just wants a man to make her husband jealous, thereby re-igniting their marriage. It works, although Sam ends up with a black eye for his trouble.
  • Out of Focus: Though this is nominally an ensemble film, we see very little of either Montgomery Infield-Hopping or Mike Weston outside of sequences involving all seven employees (such as the Ideal Home Exhibition or the mass address scramble), while Delia and Lily get one solo vignette each; most of the jobs are taken by either Sam or Francis.
    • Charles Hawtrey had the start of a long running disagreement with Peter Rogers concerning his billing, stating that "He was a comedian", but Rogers was having none of it, and in fact Hawtrey had less to do in this film than he might have liked.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Severely inconveniences rather than kills, but Sam gets what he thinks is an assignment for a secret meeting on the Forth Bridge, so he boards a train to Edinburgh and jumps off as the train is crossing the Firth of Forth. However, the assignment was actually asking for a fourth for bridge.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The six unemployed jobseekers, who go through comedic jobs and tasks in order to find the right one for them.
  • Serial Spouse: The famous actor that Lily visits claims to have just ended his fifth marriage and promises to maker her number six. Naturally, she's having none of it.
  • Shout-Out: The Forth Bridge sequence parodies a sequence in The 39 Steps.
  • Smoky Gentlemen's Club: Sam is requested to work at one with a rule of "silence". Unfortunately all of the old gentlemen keep doing things that make him laugh and he has a hard time keeping a straight face.
  • Title Drop: Done in a somewhat contrived way in the film's final scene. When the Helping Hands crew end up half-demolishing the house their landlord has asked them to clean, he arrives and, as translated by Francis, tells them he is planning to demolish it anyway to make way for a block of flats. So there's only one thing for them to do: carry on, regardless.
  • The Unintelligible: The agency's landlord is played by "Professor" Stanley Unwin, who speaks entirely in his made-up language of "Unwinese". The language itself involves assorted creative twists on English words, but he speaks so quickly that only a careful listener will be able to follow him. In-universe, Francis is the only one who can understand him, but he is away the first and second time the landlord tries to explain to Bert that he has had a better offer for their premises, and they must leave by the end of the month.
  • Water Guns and Balloons: The result of malfunctioning water pipes at a half-demolished house.


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