User Reviews (26)

  • djb89632816 May 2002
    Ooh, saucy!
    This is a fun movie. Yes, it may be politically incorrect by today's standards. Sure. But who cares? What's funny is funny. I for one can find the humour in the CARRY ON movies -- and I was born after the last of the series was made! There's nothing explicit in GIRLS, nothing truly offensive (the makers poke more fun at the men than they do the women) and come on, it's just harmless boob and bum laughs, anyway.

    I love this movie because it makes me laugh, and makes me laugh every time I see it (which is quite a few times now). The jokes all hit the mark. There is an actual plot, unlike the comparable sex comedies being made today. The acting is fantastic. Sid James, Barbara Windsor and the usual gang know what they're doing and they do it perfectly. The only true weakness I would say is the directing and editing, though I would chalk that up to the obvious constraints of making films on a low budget.

    And, in conclusion, to all those who decry the CARRY ON films as being old sexist rubbish, let me just say, in the words of the late great Sid James: "Knickers!"
  • unclepete12 June 2000
    Contains the best gag in *any* Carry On film...
    Although this film is not the strongest in the series, it does contain the best gag (in my opinion) of any of the films - a devilish one liner from Councillor Fiddler concerning Fircombe's annual rainfall.

    Bresslaw is inspired as the cross dressing Peter/Paula Potter in a time of much lower political sensitivity.

    Harmless postcard humour - enjoy it!
  • world_of_weird15 August 2005
    Whatever anyone else says, this is a superb Carry On.
    Although it doesn't quite scale the dizzy heights of CARRY ON UP THE KHYBER and does suffer somewhat from an obviously farthing-scraping budget, GIRLS is still vintage stuff from the Carry On crew, with a fast-moving, pun-heavy script from the great Talbot Rothwell ("I want a nice warm room with hot and cold running chambermaids" - Sid James, one of his many classic lines), plenty of memorable characters including the dotty Miss Tewkes, the randy old Admiral, the punch-drunk bellboy...hang on, this is starting to sound like FAWLTY TOWERS! If the film has one insurmountable obstacle it's the casting of the ageing, dumpy and diminutive Barbara Windsor as a beauty queen. This isn't even believable in a comedy situation where Sid James is a babe magnet and the gormless Bernard Bresslaw gets jiggy with the statuesque Valerie Leon! The rest of the contestants (with the possible exception of future EASTENDER Wendy Richards) look the part, however, and Carry On regular Margaret Nolan is especially memorable as the busty Dawn Brakes, though the PC brigade would no doubt frown on humour the film derives from her buxom presence! There's also a short but priceless cameo from DAD'S ARMY's Private Godfrey, who has one of the film's funniest lines, and Jimmy Logan is hilarious, camping it up in a role that was evidently meant for either Kenneth Williams or Charles Hawtrey and winning the day with his sheer exuberance. There are some sequences that don't really fit the Carry On mould - the Windsor-Nolan cat-fight, for example, shows signs of desperation, and Kenneth Connor doesn't have enough screen time as the proudly dapper but eternally disgusted Frederick Bumble (a shame, as his performance is note-perfect throughout), but all things considered this is a fine example of seaside postcard humour, and much funnier than the cruder Carry On variations that followed.
  • nobita7 December 1998
    An old formular rejuvenated
    Despite that fact that this film was one of the last Carry On's to be made and the classic jokes and gags were rather tired by now, for some reason they seem especially funny. There is nothing very different from this carry on film to the countless others, except for the fact this time the material seemed to really work, even though everyone knows the jokes. This Carry On adventure is set in an English seaside town. Kenneth Connor is the rather inebriated town Mayor, with Sid James (in his usual character type) and June Whitfield (the mother in Absolutely Fabulous) on the committee. It has come to the committee's attention that the town is losing tourists and something must be done. Sid cracks the idea of holding a Beauty contests and soon all the leggy birds that 1973 could offer were swanning down to the sea-side Hotel owned by Joan Sims. And of course that's where the fun starts - a Hotel taken over by scantily-clad women being chased by dirty old men, etc. More fuel is added to fire by June Whitfield who plays a feminist assisted by a women who looks like a member of the Hitler Boy Youth (intentional, I take it). This is one of the funniest Carry On films, and one of the best to view.
  • crossbow010622 October 2008
    Typical Fun
    Except for the absence of Kenneth Williams, I would recommend this film to new fans of the Carry On series, as it is typical of the brand of humor that is a thread of all their films. The seaside resort town of Fircombe needs a boost so Sidney Fiddler (the always good Sid James) comes up with the idea of a beauty contest. This does not sit well with some of the ladies of the town, especially June Whitfield's character Miss Prodworthy (the names are, of course, all intentional). The film basically goes into the contest, with silliness, comic misadventures and double entendres. Not perfect, and not their best, its fun to watch. Except for the aforementioned Mr. Williams and Hattie Jacques, the gang is all here. Enjoy!
  • MARIO GAUCI9 February 2008
    CARRY ON GIRLS (Gerald Thomas, 1973) **1/2
    This latter-day "Carry On" entry doesn't feature such series stalwarts as Kenneth Williams, Hattie Jacques or Charles Hawtrey, but still manages to be great fun – if, in no way, a classic. Council member Sid James (tied up with hotel manageress Joan Sims) decides to drum up business for their modest town by organizing a beauty contest. Kenneth Connor (sporting a funny accent and fuzzy hair-do) is the long-suffering Mayor – who, apart from his office duties, has to contend on a daily basis with openly contemptuous wife Patsy Rowlands (theirs is inspired mismatch casting indeed). Another couple is James' best pal Bernard Bresslaw and his young wife Valerie Leon (initially made to appear frumpy-looking but who eventually undergoes a make-over when, unbeknownst to her spouse, she determines to enter the contest herself out of jealousy).

    Barbara Windsor is "Miss Easy Rider"(!) and she's involved in rivalry throughout – erupting soon enough into a catfight in Sims' hotel lobby – with ex-roommate Sally Geeson. June Whitfield is the feminist council member who opposes the contest; to this end, she engages photographer nephew Robin Askwith (later star of several naughty "Confessions" films – I've never watched any, but am on the point of acquiring a few) to cover the preparations in order to uncover some misdeed which would allow her to put a stop to the whole 'debasing' event. Jack Douglas as the hotel concierge incorporates his hilarious twitching routine (also seen in CARRY ON ABROAD [1972] and "Lamp-Posts Of The Empire", an episode from the CARRY ON LAUGHING [1975] TV series). The finale – in which the contest is systematically sabotaged by the puritanical female townfolk (including the Mayor's own wife!) is an undeniable highlight of the film but is, essentially, a direct lift from a much earlier entry in the series – the superior CARRY ON TEACHER (1959)!
  • jamesraeburn200321 May 2004
    "Very saucy and all the better for it."
    In a run down English seaside town, Sid Fiddler (Sidney James) persuades the pompous mayor (Kenneth Connor) to hold a beauty contest in order to improve it's image.

    Above average farce in that it is often hilariously funny despite retreading every British sex joke in the book - very saucy and all the better for it. There is one hilarious moment where Sid James has Barbara Windsor in his room in her nighty and his nagging wife Joan Sims comes in and Sid has to hide her. However, he overlooked the nighty and puts it on in a pathetic attempt to persuade his wife that it's his. Cracking stuff! The Carry On team was beginning to break up by this stage, but while Sid James, Joan Sims, Barbara Windsor and Kenneth Connor were still there, they could carry the film without Charles Hawtery and Kenneth Williams though they are sadly missed.
  • Spikeopath23 September 2009
    The team have feminists in their sights.
    The seaside resort of Fircombe is struggling to attract the tourists, so Sid Fiddler (Sid James) proposes a beauty contest to draw some much needed punters into the town. Getting the inept Mayor (Kenneth Connor) to agree was easy enough, but opposition comes in the form of Augusta Prodworthy (June Whitfield) and her league of feminists.

    Lurid, smutty and just about average in the pantheon of the Carry On series. No Kenneth Williams for this one, but a point of interest is that Robin Askwith appears for the only time. Askwith ironically would become the star of the "Confessions" series of film's which would take the sex comedy to a whole new plateau from 1974 onwards. Carry On Girls has its moments, Bernie Bresslaw in drag brings quite a few gags, while Peter Butterworth as a lecherous old man steals the film.

    Also pleasing for the franchise faithful is that the Sid James and Barbara Windsor (Hope Springs) pairing gets a nice arc befitting the relationship the pair built up during the series. Beauty contests and feminist whiles are given the treatment in Talbot Rothwell's screenplay, and the dying seaside town in need of a boost has a certain warmth to it (filmed on location in Brighton on England's South Coast). But really it's mild Carry On fare outside of the flesh and double entendres that are laced in humorous stereotypical cheapness. 5/10
  • Leofwine_draca7 September 2015
    Sauciest Carry On ever
    CARRY ON GIRLS is probably the one CARRY ON film that cements this film series's reputation as the 'smutty postcards' of the film world. It's certainly the sauciest of all the CARRY ON films to date, using the excuse of a beauty contest to reveal the flesh of as many girls as possible, and indeed the fresh beauty of the starlets (in particular Valerie Leon, Margaret Nolan, and Wendy Richard (!)) puts everybody else, the regular team included, into the shade.

    The story is some silly thing about scheming councillors (Sid James playing himself, and a delightfully stuffy Kenneth Connor) arranging a beauty contest only to have their efforts thwarted by the local women's lib, led by an enjoyable June Whitfield. In reality, though, what we get are endless innuendos, risqué sight gags, and plenty more besides. It's a film in which Peter Butterworth's groping old bloke is played for laughs, so what more can you say?

    Yes, the format feels a little tired and stale by now, with Bernard Bresslaw's cross-dressing antics bringing to mind those of Kenneth Cope in CARRY ON MATRON and a general seen-it-all-before sense to the proceedings. But, for better or worse, CARRY ON GIRLS provides one of the most unforgettable set-pieces of all the franchise, and I'm talking about THAT eye-popping cat-fight between Barbara Windsor and Margaret Nolan. People always remember the exercise scene from CARRY ON CAMPING but this goes considerably further and once watched is difficult to erase from the memory banks.
  • BA_Harrison30 July 2013
    Saucy seaside shenanigans from the Carry On team.
    Setting a Carry On in a UK seaside town seems so obvious—after all, the series had been using the saucy style of humour found on British holiday postcards for years—yet it wasn't until 1973 that the team took a trip to the coast for their 25th film, Carry On Girls. Set in the rundown resort of Fircombe (actually Brighton), 'Girls' sees Sid James as councillor Sidney Fiddler, who decides to boost the town's failing tourism trade by organising a beauty contest. However, not everyone is as keen on the idea as Sidney, with the local women's libbers, led by prudish councillor Augusta Prodworthy (June Whitfield), planning to sabotage the event.

    Such a plot allows for plenty of innuendo and bare female flesh, with the sexy contestants stripping to their undies, indulging in cat-fights, and occasionally bursting out of their swimming costumes, much to the delight of the town's randy male populace. Carry On regular Babs Windsor plays Hope Springs, focus of Sid's attention, but being in her mid-30s and a touch wobbly, she is easily eclipsed by most of the other beauties in the show. Margaret Nolan as busty Dawn Brakes easily outdoes her in the chest department, and when voluptuous beauty Paula Perkins (Valerie Leon) enters the contest, the rest of the girls might as well give up and go home.

    As well as an endless tirade of fit dolly birds, this caper also provides the obligatory 'man in drag' moment (Bernard Bresslaw entering the competition in one of Sid's crazy publicity stunts), Jack Douglas doing his hilarious 'Tourette's Syndrome' routine (Waheyyy!), the Confessions series' Robin Askwith as a newspaper photographer, and James Logan as the impossibly camp TV presenter Cecil Gaybody. Subtle it may not be, but it ain't 'alf funny.
  • w22nuschler1 July 2009
    Solid entry in the Carry On films. Sid James is great!
    Warning: Spoilers
    Sid James plays the hotel owner of a town. He wants to bring people to his town and liven it up. He suggests a beauty contest to the town council. The women are against it, but the men vote for it. Joan Sims plays Sid's fiancé and she is always watching his every move. Sid calls his friend in another town(played by Bernard Bresselaw). He wants him to help judge the contest. His girlfriend(played by Valerie Leon) wants to go, but he convinces her to stay home. She is not aware that he is to judge a beauty contest. Barbara Windsor plays a lively character who rides into town on a motorcycle. She has come to enter the contest. I am not really attracted to her body. She does not have the best body in the world. The women try to destroy the contest and the men try to add publicity where ever they can. Valerie Leon decides to visit and finds Bernard kissing another woman. She finds out it was nothing. Valerie has a scene in her undies and a bikini. She looks great. The women sabotage the contest and Sid makes an exciting escape in a motor cart. He and Barbara leave town on her bike. Good ending to the last of the Carry-On's before they got too risqué.
  • Paul Evans25 August 2015
    A vibrant, loud, over the top romp.......I love it!!!
    I'm stunned to see how bad some of the reviews are for it, and how as of today it has a score of 5.4.

    I'm definitely standing up for Carry on Girls, I love it, from the opening credits, and it's opening music, to the very end. I understand that it's totally non Politically Correct, a phrase that didn't really occur in the 70s, but it's all harmless fun. A bit saucier then the usual Carry on Films, but it's hardly offensive.

    It has a great cast, and all are on top form, oh my days Joan Hickson literally has me in tears, she is so funny!! I wish she'd appeared in many more of them... 5 was not enough

    Margaret Nolan was simply jaw dropping, what a stunning girl, she had a much more substantial role then in her previous appearances, the fight scene with Babs was big fun. Patsy Rowlands also had a much more substantial part, she was fun.

    I don't think there was a standout performance, all were on good form, possibly Sid's charisma gives him the edge.

    Of course it's the finale that you're waiting for, it doesn't disappoint, Peter Butterworth's reactions are hilarious, alright it's not the absolute best entry, but it makes me laugh out loud and i've seen it hundreds of times, 8/10
  • IanPhillips6 August 2015
    The 25th Carry On Film...
    Warning: Spoilers
    Carry On Girls (1973) was the 25th entry in this staggeringly long-running British comedy film series. Many don't seem to hold 'Girls' in much regard, but I really like it. The Carry On's were beginning to slide in popularity at this stage; whereas at one stage at least two or three Carry On films were made per year, by 1973 the production rate had slowed down to just once a year.

    Charles Hawtrey (who had been disposed of after his drunken antics on the Carry On Abroad set and after continual disagreements with producer Peter Rogers over wanting his name elevated above the title which no Carry On star was ever rewarded), Kenneth Williams and the formidable Hattie Jacques are all sorely missed, but there is surprisingly enough fun, laughter and games to enjoy throughout.

    In 'Carry On Girls', the typically thin plot is centered around a tacky, end-of-pier beauty contest which immediately faces opposition from the town's women's lib action group, led by Councillor Prodworthy, played marvelously by June Whitfield. Sid James organises the contest and lets the girls (which includes Margaret Noland and Wendy Richard) stay at the hotel run by his girlfriend, Chloe (Joan Sims) for free! Sid's eye soon strays onto the bubbly Barbara Windsor whom arrives on a motorbike in complete tomboy mode, yet reveals a far more glamorous, feminine side when taking part in the first promotional photo shoot.

    The film's climax is where it really scores best with the beauty contest ending in complete disaster. The girls costumes are all laced with itching powder, the floor is made slippery leading the contestants to tumble down on to the stage and to top if off Councillor Prodworthy turns on the sprinklers that soaks the entire audience. This is followed by a fun go-kart chase as Sid James flees all of the enraged customers who all demanding their money back after having been soaked in the theatre. Barbara Windsor is hot on Sid's trail on a motorbike. The last scene sees Sid James and Barbara Windsor riding merrily along a motorway on Barbara's scooter. Silly but great fun.

    The cast are all on top form, though any scene which Sid James and Barbara Windsor share raises a smile and a laugh with their undeniable chemistry shining through. This is really Sid and Babs film.

    Yet again, Joan Sims is underused and unfairly pigeon holed into a supporting performance which she plays straight and efficiently, where as Kenneth Connor plays the town's bumbling Mayor, a blatantly incompetent and pompous figure whom causes some amusement though is mainly the butt of a joke. Playing opposite Connor, and inadvertently stealing any scene she's in, is Patsy Rolands, whom has a far meatier part in this Carry On and comes into her own. She plays the Mayor's frustrated and down-trodden wife to utter comic perfection and her character rebels in the end joining forces with June Whitfield's team of women's lib group.

    Lovable giant, Bernard Bresslaw pops up as Sid James sidekick in organising the beauty contest. The scenes where he dresses in drag, deliberately to attract attention from the media in a bid to drum up publicity and generate interest in the contest, are quite hilarious! The sultry Valerie Leon plays his dowdy fiancé who reluctantly ends up joining the beauty contest in the end and is transformed into the glamorous and stunning beauty she always truly was/is. For some odd reason, however, all of Valerie Leon's lines are dubbed over by June Whitfield! Bizarre! Then there's Jack Douglas bubbling away in the background as the hotel porter, William. His nervous twitching is something of an acquired taste, and while Douglas is clearly a talented performer who fit in nicely in the 70s Carry On's, it can become tedious and just annoying at points.

    All told, I definitely consider 'Carry On Girls' a classic entry in the series and a highly enjoyable one at that.
  • Tweekums25 March 2012
    A guilty pleasure at best
    Warning: Spoilers
    By the early seventies the Carry On films had lost their innocent charm and instead aimed for the sauciness of McGill's famous postcards. Here that sauciness is provided by a beauty contest arranged by Sidney Fiddler, councillor in the seaside resort of Fircombe. The idea of a beauty contest isn't approved of by everybody though councillor and women's libber Augusta Prodworthy strongly objects to such sexist activities in the town. In order to make the contest a financial success Sid invites the contestants and publicity agent Peter Potter to come down a week before, staying free at his fiancée's hotel. Of course it isn't long before they are getting the sort of publicity money can't buy as a fight between contestants Hope Springs and the ample chested Dawn Brakes leaves the mayor with his trousers round his ankles! That is just the first thing to hit the front pages; the mayor is once again left trouserless in an incident involving a fire engine and Peter Potter is persuaded to disguise himself as a women to enter the contest! The arrival of so many beautiful young women has an effect on the hotel's regular clientèle; some of whom decide to leave and others such as the Admiral who can't get enough of them! As the film reaches its conclusion the contest begins to open when the protesters strike.

    I must admit that I didn't have high hopes of this when I sat down to watch it, mainly watching it for completeness; perhaps because of that I rather enjoyed it. Sid James gave his standard performance as Sydney Fiddler which was just what the role demanded, Joan Sims did a fine job playing it straight as Sid's Fiancée and Peter Breslaw was good as Peter Potter. I was less sure of Barbara Windsor though; her sense of fun and mischievous laugh are always charming but she didn't really have the necessary beauty queen look. Kenneth Connor's performance as the mayor had its moments but for the most part he was out performed by Patsy Rowlands who played his put upon wife. To my mind however the worst character was William, the hotel receptionist played by Jack Douglas; a one joke character who will only amuse those who find speech problems and physical impediments funny. While not employed for their acting talents the contests were suitably attractive; especially Margaret Nolan who had difficulties keeping her top covered as Dawn Brakes! I admit the humour is fairly puerile but it made me laugh far more than I expected and in the end that is what makes a comedy; I'd certainly recommend this to fans of the series but be warned some parents might think there is too much flesh on display and too much innuendo despite its PG certificate.
  • TheLittleSongbird28 February 2011
    Uneven, but has its moments
    The Carry On series does have worse entries such as England, Emanuelle and Columbus, but with Screaming, Cleo and Up the Khyber the series has better too. Carry on Girls doesn't fit in either best or worst categories, instead it is content with a spot in the low-ish middle category. While the costumes and sets are good, the editing isn't particularly, some scenes look as though they have been edited on a bacon slicer. The story is also rather unfocused with an attempt to combine gentle social satire and smut and sauciness, and it keeps jumping to and fro with uneven results. Also I did miss Kenneth Williams and Charles Hawtrey. However, the direction isn't too bad, neither is the music, while Talbot Rothwell's script is fluid and has some good moments that make up for the uneven focus in story. And the cast do give it their all, Sid James and June Witfield are a lively pair of adversaries and Kenneth Connor, Joan Sims and Patsy Rowlands are splendid as well. Overall, a very uneven film but not one without its moments. 6/10 Bethany Cox
  • m_pratt18 November 2006
    A good film but not a great carry on
    This film is good but not the best carry on. The film lacks Kenneth Williams and Charles Hawtrey, without Kenny and Charles this film just doesn't seem to work. The only reason this film became a success was because Sid and Bernie where i it. If they where not in this film it could be down to the level of Carry on Behind. Hattie Jacques is also missing from this film. With three of the regulars missing this film doesn't meet usual carry on standard. The action takes place at a run down rain sodden resort somewhere down in the south of England a place called Fircombe. The plot of the film is about a beauty contest that is held to try and liven up the town and bring more tourists in. The beauty contest fails and everything goes to pot. The film ends with Sid and Babs driving off on a motorbike. Joan Sims does not have a massive amount of screen time.Peter Butterworth plays the dirty old man of the town funny but not really him. Robin Askwith ( from Bless this house ) makes his only carry on appearance. This marked 25 years of the series but was not a great fitting tribute to 25 years. Overall the film is satisfactory but not a brilliant film. 7/10
  • JohnHowardReid25 September 2017
    Gerald Thomas rides roughshod again!
    Warning: Spoilers
    A Peter Rogers Production. Copyright 1973 by Peter Rogers Productions. Not copyrighted or theatrically released in the U.S.A. U.K. release through Rank: 13 January 1974. Australian release through British Empire Films. 7,921 feet. 88 minutes. (Available on an excellent Carlton DVD).

    SYNOPSIS: Sidney Fiddler bullies the council of Fircombe, a seaside resort, into staging a beauty contest as a publicity stunt. The idea meets with opposition from his lady-friend Connie Philpotts — in whose hotel Sidney intends to lodge the contestants — and is also opposed by the redoubtable Mrs. Augusta Prodworthy, councillor (sic) and leader of the local Women's Liberation group.

    COMMENT: Despite its promising premise, this 25th "Carry On" is something of a letdown. Many fans were disappointed that regulars Charles Hawtrey, Kenneth Williams and Hattie Jacques were noticeably absent.

    All the same, this one starts off agreeably enough, with Sid James and Joan Sims perfectly cast as a couple of battling suitors, Jack Douglas as a crazy porter and Margaret Nolan as a buxomly soft- voiced beauty contestant.

    Even Kenneth Connor's over-precise, egotistic mayor is tolerably funny. But once the brazenly raucous-voiced Barbara Windsor comes on, about halfway through, the film loses direction, slipping firmly into tediously frantic but totally unfunny slapstick on the one hand, endless verbal ear-bashing on the other.

    Just about every hoary slapstick routine from "The Bride Goes Wild" (1948) back to "Charley's Aunt" (1892) is laboriously introduced.

    After a couple of ineptly drawn-out Keystone Comedy free-for-alls, the film ends abruptly — but not before most of its undemanding and uncritical audience has already deserted the theater. It's sad to see genuine comedy talents served up in this ill-deserving and indigestible dish.

    The Director: The bane of regular picturegoers and professional critics, Thomas was a thoroughly efficient but often stolidly unimaginative professional, who managed to ingratiate himself with producers by his confidently commercial approach. Sometimes — and more often than he is given credit for — he actually surpassed himself with movies like Venetian Bird, A Tale of Two Cities, Helter Skelter, Appointment with Venus, No Love for Johnnie, Conspiracy of Hearts.
  • robertshingo20 August 2017
    A Underrated Great Film
    Sidney James triumphs in the part of a lusty town councillor in the dull seaside town of Fircombe. Barbara Windsor shows us her assets, Bernard Bresslaw is in drag (again), Kenneth Connor excels in his role of the bumbling Mayor and Jack Douglas twitches his way through the entire film. What's not to like? The lazy, dowdy Mayor's wife is Patsy Rowlands's best part in the series and June Whitfield's performance is sublime.

    Definitely a one to watch.
  • penseur3 June 2006
    One of the weakest in the Carry On series
    The opening scene of the beach at Fircombe while amusing in itself, unfortunately provides a suitable metaphor for the film - insipid and washed out. It is actually not as corny as most of the others in the Carry On series, but maybe because of that doesn't really deliver much fun. It's a fair bet that the title will appeal to fans of the Benny Hill show but those looking for attractive females in bikinis and miniskirts, while they will see some in this, will probably enjoy some of the other titles in the series, such as "Carry On Abroad" or "Carry On Up the Jungle" more. The emergence of early 1970s feminism is used as a plot device which seems rather self-defeating.
  • Dawnfrancis20 April 2003
    Poor outing for Carry On fans
    This is definitely one of the weaker of the series of Carry On films. It lacks the usual fun and sparkle and even the cast seem embarrassed by the poor dialogue. By the time this came out, the series was in terminal decline and boy does it show! If you're coming fresh to this series, avoid this one till near the end.
  • bob the moo29 October 2004
    Really cheap and humourless stuff – no wit or effort but lots of unfunny sexual antics that even Benny Hill would look down his nose at
    As his name suggests, Sidney Fiddler is a bit of a wheeler-dealer who never misses a chance to make a buck. So when he suggests to the town's mayor that a beauty contest would be a good way to make money and raise the tourist appeal of the seaside resort. With a literal bevy of beautiful women in the line up things look like being a winner; however even the best plans cannot account for a mayor unable to keep his trousers on, an angry women's rights group and ill-judged attempts to win publicity.

    OK, lets be honest here – Carry On films are hardly great works of art and even the best films in the series are only crude and funny without being that good by my usual standards. However, (and apologies to Mark Kermode for the theft) 'Girls' makes even the average entries in the series look like Citizen Kane. Those familiar with British film comedies from the 1970's will know (with heavy hearts) that Girls falls into this genre with a very basic and crude collection of sexual 'japes' and very cheap production values. The script sets up sub-Benny Hill antics that are rarely funny and are all the worse for lacking any sense of wit or subtlety that the better films in the series have. The ending (a go-kart chase) is a perfect example of the silly material and it just falls in with being as bad as films like the 'Confessions' series – a series that makes Carry On films look like Oscar Wilde at his finest!

    The cast try hard but those that remain of the Carry on regulars find themselves having to work hard to cover the weaknesses in the humour. James and Windsor try hard by both doing their usual stuff to good effect, but the rest of the cast is weak. Sims has little to do, Connor has simple humour and does as little with it as he was expected to. Bresslaw has rubbish material; he was never the greatest of the team but dressing him in underwear here is stupid and his subplot is too badly done as well. Whitfield is average but amusingly dubbed Leon all the way through the film (not sure why!) and the rest of the cast just take off their dresses as requested and add nothing more than lazy sexual 'humour'.

    A poor entry in the series that sadly just emulates the basic sexual antics and crudities of other British 'comedies' of the period. Carry On's are hardly that good at the best of times but this film lacks any wit, effort or real laughs. The film looks cheap and crude and was just part of the pathetic whimper that marked the final days of the series.
  • Jackson Booth-Millard4 January 2009
    Carry On Girls
    Warning: Spoilers
    I will admit I didn't pay full attention to everything going on in this film, but to be honest, I don't think it would have mattered. Basically local councillor Sidney Fiddler (Sid James) persuades the incompetent Mayor Frederick Bumble (Kenneth Connor) of Firecombe to hold a beauty contest, to improve the town's image. They face opposition from women's liberationist Augusta Prodworthy (June Whitfield) trying to sabotage the contest, but they do have publicity agent Peter Potter (Bernard Bresslaw) and Palace Hotel owner Connie Philpotts (Joan Sims). Soon enough the young, beautiful wannabe models show up, including Hope Springs (Barbara Windsor), Paula Perkins (Valerie Leon), Dawn Brakes (Goldfinger's Margaret Nolan), Debra (Sally Geeson) and Ida Downs (EastEnders' Wendy Richard). When the girls have cat fights, it does draw away regular residents, but after quite a while of some plodding not that funny innuendos and William (Jack Douglas) having over-active twitches, it does finally reach the competition, and it's just afterwards I couldn't be bothered. Also starring Patsy Rowlands as Mildred Bumble, Peter Butterworth as Admiral, Joan Hickson as Mrs. Dukes, David Lodge as Police inspector, Angela Grant as Miss Bangor, Arnold Ridley as Councillor Pratt, Robin Askwith as Larry, Patricia Franklin as Rosemary, Jimmy Logan as Cecil Gaybody and Dad's Army's Bill Pertwee as Fire brigade chief, Charles Hawtrey had obviously quit the Carry Ons, but where's Kenneth Williams? I suppose seeing Babs and young, beautiful looking Pauline Fowler in bikinis, but for comedy value, this fails miserably, and the overuse of the swanny whistle just gets on your nerves. Pretty poor!
  • James Hitchcock1 January 2014
    In 1973 They Did Things Differently
    Watching "Carry On Girls" recently, for the first time in many years, made me realise what a strange decade I grew up in. (I was a teenager in the seventies). In 1953 (to say nothing of 1943 or 1933) a film like this would never have got past the British Board of Film Censors, and in 1963 would probably only have scraped through in bowdlerised form. By 1983, however, humour like this was already starting to look a bit passé, and in 1993 (to say nothing of 2003 or 2013) would have been regarded as sadly outdated (as well as offensive to women). In 1973, however, they did things differently.

    The story concerns a beauty contest held in the seaside town of Fircombe and the efforts of a group of feminists to disrupt it. (The name "Fircombe" was probably intended as a double-entendre in itself, but someone obviously got cold feet and told the cast to pronounce it "Fir- coom", with the second syllable rhyming with "room". The alternative pronunciation "Firk'em" was presumably too near the knuckle). There is something very seventies in that storyline in itself. Beauty contests were big news in the seventies, but although they are still held in Britain few people take much notice of them- not the television channels, not the tabloid press, which once covered them avidly, and not the broadsheet press, which once equally avidly thundered against them in the name of women's equality. Even feminists no longer feel it worthwhile to disrupt them.

    The "Carry On" films relied heavily on character-based humour, featuring as they did a team of "regulars", several of whom played essentially the same character in every film they appeared in. These included:-

    A lecherous, dodgy Cockney wide-boy, generally played by Sid James and often named "Sidney" in his honour. Here James plays the appropriately named Sidney Fiddler, the organiser of the contest. (For those not conversant with British slang, "fiddler" literally means a violinist, but in colloquial usage can also mean "cheat" or "swindler").

    A saucy Cockney trollop, invariably played by Barbara Windsor. Windsor and James were lovers in real life, and their characters (as here) are often portrayed as being romantically involved. It was a running joke in the series that Windsor was an irresistibly gorgeous sex-siren, although the idea of this rather plain actress as a beauty queen might strike some people as the only funny joke in this film, especially as some of the other contestants, notably Margaret Nolan and Valerie Leon, are genuinely attractive. Leon's character is another comic stereotype, the dowdy, severe-looking secretary who inevitably turns out to be a real beauty when she takes off her spectacles and lets her hair down.

    A formidable female battleaxe, normally played by Hattie Jacques, but here by June Whitfield as Councillor Augusta Prodworthy, the leader of the protesters. Rather unusually for a seventies feminist, Mrs Prodworthy is played as an upper-middle-class grande dame; Whitfield seems to have modelled her portrayal on Margaret Thatcher.

    A camp and effeminate character, normally played by Kenneth Williams or Charles Hawtrey, but here Williams was unavailable and Hawtrey had been sacked from the series the year before, apparently because of his heavy drinking. Jimmy Logan steps into the breach as a television presenter named Mr Gaybody, occasionally mispronounced as "Gayboy". (An early example of the word "gay", in its modern sense, being used in a British comedy context).

    A pompous but ineffectual character played by Kenneth Connor. (Mr Bumble, the mayor of Fircombe).

    A blowsy middle-aged nymphomaniac played by Joan Sims. (Hotel manageress Connie Philpotts. The object of Connie's lust is Sidney Fiddler, which suggests just how desperate she must be).

    A dull, frumpy woman played by Patsy Rowlands. (Mrs Bumble).

    In the early episodes of the "Carry On" series the humour was very traditional; in "Carry On Constable" from 1960, for example, the scriptwriters were still trying to get laughs out of a man slipping on a banana skin, a gag which was probably corny even in the days of Laurel and Hardy. Between the early sixties and the early seventies, however, a revolution had taken place in British comedy. Banana skins were out, sexual humour was in.

    Apart from screamingly obvious puns and innuendo, there is not a lot of verbal humour. Topics such as breasts, bottoms, effeminate men, butch women, toilets, men losing their trousers, donkeys defecating on a hotel carpet and dirty old men lusting after nubile young dolly birds were all assumed to be automatically funny. The scriptwriters did not need to strain themselves to come up with amusing jokes involving breasts, bottoms, effeminate men, butch women, toilets, men losing their trousers, donkeys defecating on a hotel carpet and dirty old men lusting after nubile young dolly birds. They merely assumed that they only had to mention such matters for the audience to fall about helpless with laughter.

    Perhaps in 1973 this sort of thing was regarded as the last word in sophisticated wit and audiences really did fall about helpless with laughter every time Kenneth Connor's trousers fell down or Patsy Rowlands made mention of her weak bladder, or when Margaret Nolan sneezed and her swimsuit flew open, revealing her cleavage. I don't know; I didn't see the film until the late eighties, by which time the "Carry Ons" were assumed to have gone the way of the dodo – we didn't realise that their last hurrah, "Carry On Columbus", was just around the corner- and this sort of humour was starting to look like the last word in crass vulgarity. If anything, it looks even crasser today than it did then. 4/10 (A mark which would have been lower but for the fact that some of the cast, notably Whitfield, do show evidence of some genuine comic talents).
  • IndianaDoctor3 February 2015
    A little too crude in places
    Carry On Girls was the beginning of when over the top smut entertained the Carry On's, what probably killed off the Carry On series in the end. There's nothing wrong with a bit innuendo however you can go too far with it, the Carry On's were made for a family audience. It was like a pantomime on screen and in pantomime you don't see many extremely crude gags or even nudity. Now I am fan of what they call alternative comedy like "Bottom" but of course there not something I'd probably watch in front of the whole family, however like I said the Carry On's are made for family viewing.

    Anyway Carry On Girls is set in the fictional broken down seaside town of Firecombe, which is having problems luring tourists to its town. One of the Councillors Sid Fidler played by of course Sid James, as come up with idea of having a beauty contest based in there town. Sid has already managed to convince the Mayor to go with this idea played by Kenneth Connor, while a rival Councillor Ms Prodworthy played by June Whitfield is complete up against this idea who happens to be running a women's right campaign.

    Eventually the contest is given the green light and Sid manages to convince his Girlfriend Connie played by Joan Sims to base the competition within her hotel, though she's got to give away the rooms free to the contestants much to her anger.

    Sid later on calls down his mate Peter Potter played by Bernard Bresslaw to help arrange the competition. Eventually all the contestants turn up, one of them being Hope Springs played by Barbara Windsor a previous beauty queen winner who somewhat catches the eye of Sid. The three them all come up with different schemes to make the contest more controversial to get more publicity for the contest. While at the same time Ms Prodworthy and her women's right's group also come up with different schemes to sabotage the contest.

    Okay it's not one of the greatest of Carry On plots, the directing of this film looks dirty and seems to be directing in the same style of the other comedy British franchise films which was the Confession films, which at this time was becoming a rival to the Carry On's, and it appears for some reason the Carry On's wanted to start copying. Which if you haven't seen a basically not a comedy for the family put it that way.

    Everybody in this is playing there usual role, Sid of course his the scheming dirty old man whose after chasing birds and earning a buck or two. Bernie is of course is Sid's mate who is somewhat a bit more panicky and doubting most of Sid's ideas but of course is somewhat still lured into his ideas, Babs of course eye candy and is forming a relationship with Sid and Joan of course is Sid's girlfriend who owns the hotel who is becoming more jealous of Sid's and Babs relationship and getting more angry of Sid ruining her business.

    Sounds like a normal Carry On whats wrong with that? Yeah it is, it's funny places there's some good gags but it just seems to be too crude for a Carry On, especially for a family audience. There is moments in this where it goes to far, especially during a fight scene between Babs and the gorgeous Margaret Nolan, where we see a little bit too much! wow Maggie as certainly got a big pair! anyway that scene does go a little too far, it's a funny scene yeah but as I keep mentioning for a family flick it shouldn't be there, when your watching it with family it becomes quite an awkward scene.

    Okay I'm being a bit too negative about this, okay this a funny Carry On. It is crude but it is watchable, it's not maybe quite as crude as say Emmannuellle or England but of course they are simply un watchable. Carry On Girls is probably a right Carry On to watch to a much mature audience, so I wouldn't say this quite a family flick.

    As I mentioned it is funny, this is a good British comedy but as a Carry On not the greatest. I admit I've watched Carry On Girls a few times being as it is funny and a perfect film for the lads ;)

    Most of the Carry On gang are present though I've got to say absents of both Kenneth Williams and Charles Hawtrey is quite noticeable. Kenneth Williams was unavailable working on a another project, while Hawtrey of course had been sacked from this series, which was probably biggest mistake the series had made.

    Anyway as I said Girls is a good comedy, give it a look in as Carry On not it's finest hour. A five out of ten for me.
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