July 25, 2014

Films

Carry On Teacher – 1959 | 86 mins | Comedy | B&W

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Plot Synopsis

Carry On Teacher

Following the pattern of earlier films, Carry on Teacher was a coy, cosy look at the world of mortar-boards and chalk dust. Naturally enough it is the main team members who inject touches of manic humour and delightful prat-falling to the scenario, but with the exception of moments of babyish bickering between Hawtrey and Williams, these characters are not the clumsy eccentrics of the initial films. Even the ultimate dithering science master, Kenneth Connor, is a brilliant and clever teacher who battles with love sickness and tongue-tied spoonerisms to create a likeable figure of bumbling nervousness. Both Hattie Jacques and Joan Sims crusade through the blinkered men’s world of education with comments about beating the men at their own game and sorting out the school’s problem for the feminist course. Jacques’ wildly uncontrolled math’s mistress is the chief harridan of cane mad authority. The film’s chief asset is an inspired tooth-and-nail battle of one-upmanship between Hawtrey’s music master and the flamboyant English master played by Kenneth Williams. Their tense relationship is strained even further through disagreements over the school play, Romeo and Juliet.

The disastrous staging of the Bard forms the, by now standard, explosive Carry On, Ted Ray’s amazed and totally dumbfounded headmaster sinks deeper and deeper into his front row seat and literally eats his handkerchief in embarrassment. The tear-jerking finale has the children’s bad behaviour explained away as a plan to distress the visiting school inspector and thus destroy Ted Ray’s dreams of leaving Maudlin Street School. Teacher is a delightfully naive vision of the education system and was another top money earner for the Carry On stable. The team had developed a style of outrageous retelling of the same story through similar characters in various locations and occupations.

Review© Robert Ross: Carry On Companion.

Production Team

Gerald Thomas: Director
Lionel Couch: Art Direction
Reginald H Wyer: Cinematography
Laurell Staffell: Costume Dept
John Shirley: Editing
George Blackler: Make-Up Department
Bruce Montgomery: Original Music
Peter Rogers: Producer
Norman Hudis: Script
Leslie Wiggins: Sound
Robert T MacPhee: Sound
Gordon K McCallum: Sound

Cast

Ted Ray: William Wakefield
Kenneth Connor: Gregory Adams
Charles Hawtrey: Michael Bean
Kenneth Williams: Edwin Milton
Hattie Jacques: Grace Short
Leslie Phillips: Alistair Grigg
Rosalind Knight: Felicity Wheeler
Joan Sims: Sarah Allcock
Cyril Chamberlain: Alf
Richard O’Sullivan: Robin Stevens
Carol White: Sheila Dale



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