Carry on Cabby (1963) starring Sid James, Hattie Jacques, Kenneth Connor, Charles Hawtrey, Esma Cannon, Liz Fraser, Bill Owen, Jim Dale, Amanda Barrie directed by Gerald Thomas Movie Review

Carry on Cabby (1963)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Hattie Jacques and Sid James in Carry on Cabby (1963)

Cruising Cabby's Carry On Flirting

Charlie Hawkins (Sid James - Carry on Cruising) loves his job, running his own cab firm, so much so that he spends more time out on the road or tinkering with cars than he does with his wife Peggy (Hattie Jacques - Carry on Regardless). Understandably disgruntled by the lack of attention Peggy decides to teach Charlie a lesson and secretly sets up her own cab business, Glamcabs, employing sexy young women as cab drivers. Soon it becomes war as Charlie loses business to the sexy women who steal his customers and sets about sabotaging his competitors unaware that it is his own wife Peggy behind things.

One of the biggest criticisms that people have of the "Carry On" movies is that they are all the same and rarely have anything close to a proper storyline. And in a way they are right because the better known "Carry On" movies from the second half of the 60s and 70s are sparse on storyline and are little more than a series of set piece gags stuffed with innuendo. But then if you watch the earlier "Carry On" movies such as "Carry on Cabby" you will be surprised because they are built around a storyline, often simple but also effective. And so whilst "Carry on Cabby" has plenty of humour as women taxi drivers flirt and flash their legs to get customers it's not the bawdy, innuendo filled, set piece comedies which the "Carry On" movies became. In fact it would be fair to say that "Carry on Cabby" is one of the best with a decent storyline, plenty of the "Carry On" regulars and scene after scene of innocent fun plus a wonderful harmonica soundtrack reminiscent to the British car movie "Genevieve".

Amanda Barrie in Carry on Cabby (1963)

So as already mentioned "Carry on Cabby" is one of those earlier "Carry On" movies which is built around a reasonable storyline rather than just being a series of gags. It's a very simple storyline as Peggy, fed up of being ignored by her husband, so sets up Glamcabs her own rival cab company, employing sexy women to steal her husbands business. As I said it's not the most complex of storylines but because all the jokes are built around the storyline rather the storyline around the jokes it works so much better. And to be honest it is fun because you have Peggy out witting her husband every time he tries to sabotage his new competitor before finally delivering an expected happy ever after ending.

What makes "Carry on Cabby" so enjoyable are those set pieces built around the storyline and whilst you have the various sexy women, such as Amanda Barrie, dressed up in figure hugging outfits, the sexual puns are kept to a minimum so that the comedy ends up more family friendly. And that means you get a mixture of comedy from some simple slapstick featuring the accident prone Charles Hawtrey as Terry 'Pintpot' Tankard through to Kenneth Connor as Ted Watson dressing up as a woman to hide in the competition's yard. It's all very simple, for the most very innocent and most importantly fun thanks to the clever writing and brilliant delivery.

As for the performances, well with several "Carry On" regulars it is a case of the likes of Sid James, Hattie Jacques, Kenneth Connor and Charles Hawtrey playing to type with maybe the exception of Sid James who in these earlier "Carry On" movies wasn't playing the dirty old man. But "Carry on Cabby" is as much fun for what the regulars bring as it is for what the guests bring to the movie. Once more Esma Cannon is just wonderful as Flo Sims, bringing an almost nervous energy to her role and Amanda Barrie in her first "Carry On" movie delivers so much fun by being both sexy and posh.

What this all boils down to is that "Carry on Cabby" is for me one of the best "Carry On" movies because quite simply it has a storyline and the jokes are built around it rather than being the other way around. On top of that it is great fun with so many great performances from the "Carry On" regulars as well as the guests. Basically "Carry on Cabby" is one of the better Carry on movies.

Tags: Carry On Movies