6 November 2010 | hitchcockthelegend
If you've got a heart of oak, it's got a worm in it.
Carry On Jack is directed by Gerald Thomas and written by Talbot Rothwell. It stars Bernard Cribbins, Kenneth Williams, Juliet Mills, Charles Hawtrey, Donald Houston & Percy Herbert. It's the 8TH of the popular film franchise that would eventually finish at 31.
Albert Poopdecker (Cribbins) is all set to finally take up assignment on HMS Venus when he loses his uniform in a house of ill repute. Press ganged the next day onto the Venus, nobody believes him and he is forced to serve his time on board as a menial worker. However, there's mutiny afoot and Albert soon finds himself at the centre of all sorts of misunderstandings.
Not one from the series that is name checked by fans or critics, Carry On Jack is a little better than its reputation suggest it is. It's also a very important entry in the Carry On pantheon,for it was the first time Rothwell, the man who shaped the series, would be in sole charge of writing. It's also the first venture into historical parody, from where the series would get its best ideas and promptly make the best film's of the run. This one clearly revels in sending up Mutiny On The Bounty, HMS Defiant (using some of the same sets from that production) and the Hornblower writings. The absence of Sid James is very much felt since piracy and mutiny appear to be themes you would think suited him. But no Barbara Windsor is not an issue here, simply because there's only one female role of note, and Mills attacks it with gusto and delivers a fine performance. Cribbins, too, is full of life and raises enough laughs as he plays off of the reliable Hawtrey.
Not overtly smutty or as manic as some of the other historical parodies that followed it, Carry On Jack is a fun and tidy time filler. 6/10