Carry On Constable

The cult British comedy series of Carry On films was still in its infancy when Carry On Constable was released in 1960. With a unique brand of saucy seaside postcard humour, the film takes you on a rip-roaring comedy ride through the streets of suburbia.

As the fourth in the series, Carry On Constable featured an all-star cast that included Sid James’ debut appearance in the franchise, alongside regulars such as Hattie Jacques and Joan Sims.

The Carry On series of films continued for 34 years, with the team up for many different adventures. With ongoing visual and verbal humour throughout, the films stuck to the tried and trusted formula of a regular cast getting into a variety of ridiculous scrapes.

 

Plot and cast

A rampant flu epidemic has left police officers thin on the ground, so three bumbling new recruits arrive at Inspector Mills’ police station, straight out of training school.

PC Stanley Benson (Kenneth Williams), PC Tom Potter (Leslie Phillips) and PC Charles Constable (Kenneth Connor) don’t seem to fully understand what policing is all about.

PC Benson thinks he’s an intellectual psychologist, while PC Potter is a former playboy who’s decided to stay on the straight and narrow and PC Constable is ridiculously superstitious. When they’re let loose on the streets, the unsuspecting public had better beware.

They are joined by WPC Gloria Passworthy (Joan Sims) and Special Constable Tim Gorse (Charles Hawtrey) to wreak havoc on the innocent townsfolk, while letting the criminals escape. Sergeant Frank Wilkins (Sid James) and Sergeant Laura Moon (Hattie Jacques) do their best to control the situation, but it gets increasingly out of hand.

Carry On cast

 

Best bits

The tone is set when the new recruits are on their way to the police station to start their first shift. The police constables inadvertently help a gang of bank robbers to get into their getaway car and escape. To say they are embarrassed when they learn the truth is an understatement.

Once on the beat, Benson thinks he’s being clever by making his first arrest – not realising he’s tailing a plainclothes detective. Meanwhile, Constable is convinced he’s heard a murder being committed, but after tearing in to make some arrests, he finds he’s been listening to a radio show!

Potter is sent to investigate a report of an intruder. However, he’s surprised to find a woman in the bath instead and ends up engaging in a conversation with her about the break-up of her relationship, with all thoughts of his police work having gone out the window!

Despite all their mishaps, they redeem themselves when they bravely tackle a gang who are attempting a wages robbery and successfully recover the money.

Following his successful debut in Carry On Constable, Sid James remained with the franchise for 19 years. He had become a member of the team by chance after the original actor chosen to play Sgt Wilkins, Ted Ray, was unable to take up the role due to contractual obligations with a rival studio, so his loss was James’s gain.

 

Production

The exterior shots were filmed around the streets of Ealing in London. The building used for the exterior of the police station was Hanwell Library. Other scenes were filmed outside FH Rowse department store at the junction of Green Man Lane and Uxbridge Road, which has since been demolished.

As part of the Metropolitan Police Service, Ealing police are a hardworking and dedicated bunch, who run community initiatives, such as the Safer Neighbourhood Team. Their policing style is nothing like that of the officers in Carry On Constable – thank goodness!

Crown Sports Lockers supplies a range of lockers that are perfect for the police force.

The emergency services are under continual pressure to respond rapidly to 999 calls and having a well-organised locker room and a safe place to store their uniform is crucial. Call us on 01803 555885 for further details of our products and services.