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Carry On Teacher (1959)

The third in the Carry On series, Carry on Teacher was a coy, cosy look at the world of mortar-boards and chalk dust set in the inner-city Maudlin Street School.

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Naturally enough it is the main team members who inject touches of manic humour and delightful prat-falling to the scenario, but with the exception of moments of babyish bickering between Hawtrey and Williams, these characters are not the clumsy eccentrics of the initial films.

Even the ultimate dithering science master, Kenneth Connor, is a brilliant and clever teacher who battles with lovesickness and tongue-tied spoonerisms to create a likeable figure of bumbling nervousness.

Both Hattie Jacques and Joan Sims crusade through the blinkered men’s world of education with comments about beating the men at their own game and sorting out the school’s problem for the feminist course.

Jacques’ wildly uncontrolled math’s mistress, Grace Short, is the chief harridan of cane mad authority.

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The film’s chief asset is an inspired tooth-and-nail battle of one-upmanship between Hawtrey’s music master, Michael Bean, and the flamboyant English master Edwin Milton played by Kenneth Williams.

Their tense relationship is strained even further through disagreements over the school play, Romeo and Juliet.

The disastrous staging of the Bard forms the, by now standard, explosive Carry On, Ted Ray’s amazed and totally dumbfounded headmaster, William Wakefield, sinks deeper and deeper into his front-row seat and literally eats his handkerchief in embarrassment.

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The tear-jerking finale has the children’s bad behaviour explained away as a plan to distress the visiting school inspectors (Rosalind Knight and Leslie Phillips) and thus stop Wakefield from leaving Maudlin Street School.

Teacher is a delightfully naive vision of the education system and was another top money earner for the Carry On stable.

Among the child actors in the film are Richard O’Sullivan (later to star in Man About The House) and Larry Dann who became a regular on The Bill.

carryonteacher_025William Wakefield
Ted Ray
Gregory Adams

Kenneth Connor
Michael Bean

Charles Hawtrey
Alistair Grigg

Leslie Phillips
Sarah Allcock

Joan Sims
Edwin Milton

Kenneth Williams
Grace Short

Hattie Jacques
Alf

Cyril Chamberlain
Robin Stevens

Richard O’Sullivan
Sheila Dale

Carol White
Felicity Wheeler

Rosalind Knight

Director
Gerald Thomas

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