Carry On at Your Convenience
Carry On at Your Convenience – 1971 | 90 mins | Comedy | Colour
The Carry On team throw caution to the wind and present an hour and a half of good, clean lavatorial humour. This was the first sign of impending decline in the series and the major flop during a seemingly indestructible purple patch. Cascading with lavatorial gags, references, and, indeed, lavatories, everything in the film is totally over-played and flamboyantly characterised. While I’m All Right Jack was a huge box-office success, Convenience died a death. However, the Boulting Brothers satire was a cleverly written social comment on the unionists’ problems, giving both management and workers eccentric figures.
Kenneth Williams is W.C. Boggs, the troubled owner of a small company trying to manufacture fine tolietware. Williams represents the established world of British industry, clinging on to authority while facing threats to traditional ideals. The incompetent management are constantly at loggerheads with a bolshie’s union, led by the ultimate workforce hero, Sid Plummer (Sid James). Williams’ son, Lewis (Richard O’Callaghan), is the young romantic lead who chases and eventually wins the girl, Myrtle (Jacki Piper), who is also Sid’s daughter, thus joining work-force with management. The lightweight villain of the piece is Vic Spanner (Kenneth Cope), an irritating little man of union dreams and constant strikes, full of communist thoughts and petty minded authority. The film goes through every corny gag in the book, while the team delight in overtly stereotyped performances. There is a treasurable domestic running gag between Sid and his wife, Beattie (Hattie Jacques), and their budgie Joey, creating the tongue-in-cheek, 1970s’ ‘women in their place’ attitudes towards Beattie’s lazy and bumbling antics. After the factory day-trip finale, the unionists are slapped on the wrist and all’s right with the world.
Review© Robert Ross: Carry On Companion.
Gerald Thomas: Director
Lionel Couch: Art Direction
Ernest Steward: Cinematography
Courtenay Elliott: Costume Department
Alfred Roome: Editing
Stella Rivers: Makeup Department
Geoffrey Rodway: Makeup Department
Eric Rogers: Original Music
Peter Rogers: Producer
Talbot Rothwell: Script
Ken Barker: Sound Department
JWN Daniel: Sound Department