Carry on Dick (1974)
Big Dick Just Doesn't Quite Satisfy
All this talk of Big Dick. I've had enough of it! - Lady Daley
With Highwaymen causing issues, Captain Desmond Fancey (Kenneth Williams - Carry on Abroad) is given the mission to bring them all to rights. With his right hand man Sergeant Jock Strapp (Jack Douglas) they are quite successful expect for one, Big Dick Turpin (Sid James - Carry on Girls) who is the most illusive, even escaping once captured. Determined to catch Big Dick, Fancey and Strapp head to Upper Dencher pretending to be highwaymen in order to infiltrate Dick's gang. What they don't know is that when Big Dick isn't robbing from the rich he is the local Reverend and is one step ahead of their every move.
Being a Brit born in the early 70s some of my earliest movie memories come from the "Carry on" movies which revelled in saucy humour and titillation. They were the sort of movies that as a young teen you would love because of there risque nature and countless sexual innuendoes. But whilst they are a much loved part of my childhood it has to be said that as a rule "Carry on" movies could never be classed as great and "Carry on Dick" is a prime example of a good but an ultimately forgettable one. All the elements are there, the familiar faces such as Sid James, Barbara Windsor and Kenneth Williams as well as the saucy humour which peaks with Barbara Windsor in a see through top but something is missing which prevents "Carry on Dick" being that memorable.
Like some of the other "Carry On" movies from the early 70s "Carry on Dick" delces into the history books with its take on the legend of Dick Turpin. But whilst "Carry on Dick" is about the legendary highway man you would never look at it for historical accuracies as the whole movie is about the jokes, the one liners and risque double entendres. Strangely "Carry on Dick" is actually one of the weakest when it comes to the storyline as it ends up becoming unimportant and rather dull as we watch Dick Turpin try to evade arrest by Captain Desmond Fancey and his police force. It also ends up repetitive and you literally switch off from following it as you end up just finding fun from the gags.
And strangely again the actual jokes in "Carry on Dick" don't quite work. Oh there are some fun one liners and the opportunity to make jokes about Big Dick are endless but it seems to have gone past the fine line between being pure innuendo to actually bordering on the smutty. The scene where Barbara Windsor disrobes to just a see through undershirt is a prime example of it going too far as is the bell ringing scene where her top bursts open. It's a shame as "Carry On" movies were the masters of the risque joke but with "Carry on Dick" it ends up lacking that mastery and even intelligence, making it obviously forced.
What is nice is that Sid James, Barbara Windsor and Kenneth Williams were all back together for "Carry on Dick" and it certainly helped. Sid James was perfectly cast as Dick Turpin allowing him to deliver that dirty old man persona perfectly as he delivers dodgy one liners and Barbara Windsor delivers every ounce of sauciness as Harriet a wench and one of his highway men. Plus of course there is Kenneth Williams who delivers po faced humour as Captain Desmond Fancey. Whilst their return is good they are let down by the writing, the storyline and the gags. Of course Sid James, Barbara Windsor and Kenneth Williams are not the only "Carry On" stalwarts to appear and there is a whole host of regulars including Hattie Jacques, Bernard Bresslaw, Joan Sims and Kenneth Connor.
What this all boils down to is that "Carry on Dick" is one of the weaker "Carry on" movies but will still make you smile. Compared to others it is lacking in the writing department as the storyline becomes unimportant and the jokes border on the smutty rather than risque. But Sid James, Barbara Windsor and Kenneth Williams do the best they can with what they are given and manage to make a lot of it still good fun.
Tags: Carry On Movies
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