Carry on Camping (1969)
Babs has big tits. It’s so unfair it’s causing mayhem. Sid wants a look, which is why he’s parked outside his tent at seven in the morning. Bernie just wants whatever Sid wants, while girlfriend Joan thinks it’s absolutely disgastin’. Her mate Anthea feels sick at the thought and her mother’s en route from suburbia to put a stop to any shenanigans. Chance would be a fine thing for Terry, whose missus glories in his castration. Even knock-kneed Charlie has more of a chance of getting some than he does. Failing to keep a lid on all this is Dr Soaper, for whom it raises issues he’s never confronted. Miss Haggard senses it…if only he’d see past the heaving pinafore she’s every inch the tempestuous woman just waiting to be set free from her matronly cage.
None of this would happen on a French campsite – unless it was full of English people – where we may bear in mind the people once rose up and decapitated the feudal beast which had infantilised them. The Carry Ons, we like to say, are quintessentially English, where to have more or less than your neighbour without valid excuse is a mortal sin and to be sexual is to drop a grenade down the undergarments of the social order. It matters not where it manifests – in the army, on a hospital ward, at a colonial outpost or in the realms of an historical epic – Talbot Rothwell infants’ circus brings with it a reminder of the bittersweet pain of being born in these islands, and of the consolation that – whether your funny bone be low or high-brow – it’s still plausible that for these very reasons we really may have the best sense of humour in the world.