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Carry On Cabby Review

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Charlie Hawkins is so obsessed with his taxi business (‘Speedee Cabs’) that he neglects his wife Peggy, which drives her to set up her own rival firm (‘Glam Cabs’), employing dolly-birds in tailored uniforms to undercut the likes of Ted Watson and ‘Pintpo

★★★★★

Perhaps because it was scripted by Talbot Rothwell as a standalone script entitled Call Me A Cab and then reworked as a Carry On, this is a rare entry in the popular series with more interest in having a proper plot than tossing off gags every line. It’s the friendliest of the films, built around the relationship between a cackling but good-hearted Sid James and an unusually touching Hattie Jacques. Some of the later Carry Ons go beyond saucy postcard humour to become grumpily misogynist, but this has what could almost be labeled a feminist storyline – with Jacques given more to do than be the butt of hefty battleaxe jokes.

Among the expected Carry On bits: Kenneth Connor in drag, Jim Dale as a nervously expectant father, Amanda Barrie in a corset, Charles Hawtrey in a leather jacket as a devout rambler (‘we like to go as far as we can’), Liz Fraser as Connor’s perky intended. Kenneth Williams is missed, but his role as the obnoxious shop steward (Carry On producer Peter Rogers never missed a chance to be nasty about the unions) is ably taken by Norman Chappell. With familiar faces Bill Owen, Peter Gilmore (The Onedin Line), Milo O’Shea, Peter Byrne (Dixon of Dock Green), Renee Houston and Michael Ward as the tweedy businessman who has apparently left a pearl earring in the back of Connor’s cab.

One of the few Carry On's to focus more on plot and sympathetic characters than saucy gag quota.