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Carry On Jack (1963)



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With Carry On Jack, writer Talbot Rothwell made the series' first historical farce, which immediately became the standard and constitute some of the most popular installments. This particular one, however, is not well regarded, perhaps because of how many Carry On regulars were missing. Of the dozen or so regulars, only Kenneth Williams and Charles Hawtrey appear, plus Jim Dale in a brief but hilarious scene.

But I quite like this episode. The fresh cast gives it a little different flavor, and it's got a great look to it, too, with all the period dress and sets. The story, such as it is, involves a newly commissioned midshipman, a woman who sneaks aboard posing as him, and an assortment of run-ins and mishaps with the enemy Spanish fleet.

The romantic leads are guest stars Bernard Cribbins and Juliet Mills, both of whom do a fine job. Cribbins was possibly filling in for Kenneth Connor, but he makes the role his own. Mills is absolutely charming. Neither are the kind of comedic actors that the series regulars are, but in a way that helps: they're funny not so much by being funny but by playing their roles straight amidst the madness.

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