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Carry On Cruising Review

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Captain Crowther despairs when he discovers that he'll be accompanied on his 10th anniversary cruise aboard the S.S. Happy Wanderer by novices Leonard Marjoribanks, Arthur Binn and Wilfred Haines.

★★★★★

Fresh off Carry On Regardless, Gerald Thomas and Peter Rogers embarked on the musical comedy, Raising the Wind, which featured many series regulars, as well as Eric Barker, whom they had previously encountered on the nautical romp, Watch Your Stern (1960). Indeed, it was Barker's suggestion that the next franchise outing should be set aboard a luxury liner and he received a story credit, although the screenplay was again produced by Norman Hudis.

Much to everyone's surprise, Rogers managed to secure a budget of £140,000 and the announcement that the picture was to be made in colour convinced many of the cast that they were finally going to shoot on a glamorous location. However, they were summoned to Pinewood, as usual, with the notable exception of Charles Hawtrey.  


A veteran of British screen comedy, Hawtrey resented the fact that he was billed below Sid James and Kenneth Williams and he not only demanded that Rogers rectified the situation, but also placed a silver star on his dressing-room door. The producer's response was to replace him as the seasick chef with an eccentric taste for the exotic with Lance Perceval, who acquitted himself admirably in his only Carry On appearance.  


As with Hudis's previous five scripts, the emphasis is very much on community, although there's still time for some deliciously skittish scene-stealing by the inimitible Esma Cannon and for ship's doctor Kenneth Connor to fall for Dilys Laye's singularly unimpressed passenger before the company rally to celebrate the captain's anniversary.  


 The film ends with Crowther rejecting a commission with another line, which became all the more ironic when Hudis announced that he was decamping to Hollywood - much to the fury of Williams, who always believed that the Carry Ons were beneath him and he despaired for a further 16 years of his continued involvement.

All the usual faces except Charles Hawtrey who was in a strop about something.