Tuesday, June 10, 2008
WDIWLN?: Carry On Camping
What Did I Watch Last Night?
It's hot, yeah? We were knackered and wanted to watch something, but there was nowt on telly. I have certain TV viewing cues ( such as watching Enchanted Cottage, Angel Face or The Uninvited on a gray, cold, day - I know - not completely connected , but they're cues, not discipline) and the insularity of the AC against the mercury made me want to watch Carry on Camping. High Stupidity- Tanya Gold puts it well in her Guardian commentary:
"The Carry On films are not funny. They are parables about failure. The typical Carry On hero is an everyman who lives a life of misery, unrequited lust and boredom."
In looking it up, I was astounded to find that Sid James,
(who pretty much looked just like this at the time)
the male lead in the film (if there in fact can be one in this ensemble cast comedy) was actually on the eve of commencing an affair (or "tappin' that") with Barbara Windsor, the effervescent coquette usually found in a state of denouement as illustrated in the YouTube clip below:
Barbara was married to a gangster, Ronnie Knight, at the time, a real badass- who after a while had had enough and buried an axe in Sid's floor.
Way to send a message, Ronnie!
Ronnie and Babs
The question is: What was her motivation? Did her undercarriage crave hidden smoky aged baccala? Was she losing her sight, as well as sense of touch? Was Ronnie refusing to bury his axe in her floor, if you catch my drift?
Or are the British just sometimes insane, (let's face it - we Americans are) like the time Ian Fleming claimed Sid was his #1 choice to play James Bond:
"The screen test, included as an extra on the forthcoming DVD box-set of Bless This House, shows James brandishing a Walther PPK as he confronts the film's villain at the movie's climax. Apparently due to budgetary constraints, the other characters in the scene are played by James's regular Carry On co-stars. Barbara Windsor is Honey Ryder, a role that would eventually be taken by Ursula Andress. Kenneth Williams cameos as M, while Charles Hawtrey brings a silky menace to the character of Dr No."
Not kidding- Sid James as James Bond - full article here
So, uh, since I don't know where to go with this, go watch Carry On Camping, and revel in it's idiocy while reminding yourself it was the highest grossing film in the UK that year.
I will leave you with the Smiths album cover that infuriated Morrisey and Marr, but features Charles Hawtrey, who played Mr Muggins:
ooh! OOH! but now I don't want to stop, because I have a theory that J.K. Rowling saw this film as a youth, and got the name "Harry Potter" and the word "Muggle" from a scene in it where Mr. Muggins insinuates himself into the Potters tent and the introductions Go something like:
"I'm Harriet Potter and this is my husband Peter"
"Pleased to meet you I'm Mr. Muggins"
combining that with the fact that Hawtrey ( a raging drunk in real life, by the way) is Harry Potter-esque in his appearance.
Burned into her unconscious as a Dickensian situational semantic tool, no? If it happened.
So now I'll close with: J.K. baby! Get in touch and confirm/deny! Yeah!