Saturday, 14 May 2011
The Carry On Legacy. Carry On Dick - 1974
Carry On Dick was the 26th Carry On Film. It was released in 1974 and marked the end of an era for the series. It featured the last appearances of Sid James after 19 entries in the series. It was also the last appearance for Hattie Jacques after 14 entries in the series. Although both would make a further appearance in the Carry On Laughing TV series. Carry On Dick was also the 20th and final Carry On to be scripted by Talbot Rothwell. This was also Barbara Windsor's final acting role in a Carry On film although she would co-present That's Carry On! three years later. Other regulars in Carry On Dick were Kenneth Williams, Bernard Bresslaw, Joan Sims, Kenneth Connor, Peter Butterworth and Jack Douglas. The story is based on the Dick Turpin legend and features Turpin (Sid James) as an anti-hero, attempting to evade capture by the authorities.
Highwayman Big Dick Turpin (Sid James) is terrorising merrie olde England with his henchmen Harriet (Barbara Windsor) and Tom (Peter Butterworth)--(Tom, Dick and Harry.) When they rob the powerful Sir Roger Daley (Bernard Bresslaw) and his prim wife (Margaret Nolan), the befuddled Bow Street Runners are determined to track him down. Captain Desmond Fancey (Kenneth Williams) and Sergeant Jock Strapp (Jack Douglas) are ineptitude-personified and can't see through Dick's disguise as the local Reverend Flasher. The Reverend's faithful housekeeper, Martha Hoggett (Hattie Jacques) is also blind to his mischievous double life.
However, with a tip-off from the greasy old hag, Maggie (Marianne Stone) Fancey and Strapp discover their man has a curious birthmark on his manhood. Strapp wastes no time in carrying out an inspection in the public convenience of the Old Cock Inn and is unceremoniously dumped into a horse trough for his troubles. Madame Desiree (Joan Sims), a travelling show-woman with her Birds of Paradise (Laraine Humphreys, Linda Hooks, Penny Irving and Eva Rueber-Staier), having been robbed by Dick Turpin, also fails to make the connection with the kindly Reverend. However, Desiree does swallow his story that the undercover Bow Street Runner, Fancey, is, in fact, the wanted highwayman!
The girls pull down his breeches but fail to find an incriminating birthmark. Miss Hoggett begins to put two and two together when Mrs Giles (Patsy Rowlands), apparently sick and used for a cover-up story for Dick's raids, is seen fit and well at the church jumble sale. Not only that but Harriett is caught wearing Lady Daley's bracelet. With the net tightening, the Reverend Flasher gives an elongated sermon before outwitting his would-be captors and making a speedy getaway with Harriett and Tom across the border.