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Film / Carry On Teacher

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"Taking the P!"
Sarah Allcock
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Carry On Teacher is the third Carry On film and was released in 1959. It starred Ted Ray, along with Joan Sims, Kenneth Connor, Leslie Phillips, Rosalind Knight, Hattie Jacques, Kenneth Williams and Charles Hawtrey. This movie probably wouldn't have existed if its prequel Carry On Nurse hadn't done as well as Carry On, Sergeant. Once that film became popular, the creators were offered a five-film contract to continue the Carry On series and destroy the box-office. Luckily, this movie was popular enough in the summer of 1959 to carry on the series.

Teacher stars Ted Ray as a replacement head teacher named William Wakefield, who leaves his old school, despite the protests of his students, and applies for a job at Maudlin Street, a secondary modern school that has children running amok.

The tired teachers - who include English master Edwin Milton (Williams), music master Michael Bean (Hawtrey), PE mistress Sarah Allcock (Sims), science master Gregory Adams (Connor), and maths mistress Grace Short (Jacques) - are delighted that he's arrived but soon have to deal with Ofsted-like school inspectors Alistair Grigg (Phillips) and Felicity Wheeler (Knight) turning up, all while trying to deal with problems amongst themselves in the staff room.

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Meanwhile, the students are conspiring to keep Wakefield, of whom they are particularly fond, from taking a job back at his old school by sabotaging the inspection at every opportunity.


Tropes Included:

  • Adorkable: Gregory Adams, par for the course for Kenneth Connor. He is the shy, awkward science master at Maudlin Street, and becomes a stammering wreck in the presence of Miss Wheeler, on whom he develops an immediate (and reciprocated) crush.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Sarah Allcock breaks down and begins wailing in despair when the teachers discover the difficult way that, far from stopping their pranks, the students have merely lured them into a false sense of security before launching a salvo of mischief that results in Mr Adams getting the phone receiver glued to his hand (and boot polish all over his ear), Mr Milton getting hit by falling flour bags, Mr Bean falling through a hole in the staffroom floor, and Miss Short and Mr Grigg being electrocuted by the staffroom door.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
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    • This:
      Felicity Wheeler: Are you satisfied with your equipment, Miss Allcock?
      Sarah Allcock: Well, I've had no complaints so far!
    • The page quote.
    • The characters seem inordinately fond of emphatically pronouncing the second syllable of Miss Allcock's name.note 
  • The Good Old British Comp: Even though the school is a secondary modern, it has all the trappings of the stereotypical comprehensive school - uniforms, troublemaking students who are masters of comic book-style pranks, teachers who wear academic robes and, in some cases, mortar boards and are only addressed as "Sir" or "Miss" by the students, canings given out as punishment, and so forth.
  • Intoxication Ensues: One of the students' pranks involves putting alcohol in the kettle in the staffroom. When Mr Milton, Mr Bean, Mr Adams, Miss Allcock, and Miss Short take their morning tea break, they get completely smashed and play a raucous game of Musical Chairs while singing a variation on "Ten Green Bottles". When Miss Wheeler and Mr Grigg walk in during the game and Miss Wheeler declares Miss Allcock to be drunk, the latter challenges her to a fight, but her lack of co-ordination means she hits Mr Grigg instead, causing Mr Milton to roar with laughter.
  • Punny Name: Sarah Allcock.
  • The Show Must Go Wrong: It certainly must as far as the students are concerned. The school's performance of Romeo and Juliet is deliberately engineered by the players to be a disaster throughout, with numerous flubbed lines and "mistakes" that derail the play instead of being glossed over.
  • Wardrobe Malfunction: Miss Allcock's gym shorts split when she's teaching her PE class, as the students have replaced her usual pair with one that is several sizes too small.

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