The Carry On team’s homage to Dixon of Dock Green hits the floor running while the likes of Williams, Hawtrey and Connor are happily set in their familiar characterisations.
The film’s basic premise is vintage Norman Hudis, dealing with the urgent need for replacement police staff to plug the gap caused by absentees during a flu epidemic.
Sgt Frank Wilkins (Sid James) becomes the amazed authority figure because of his love for the job and his need to cover the sheer bull-headed incompetence of his superior (Eric Barker).
Together with his only real ally, the coyly loving and similarly minded Sgt Laura Moon (Hattie Jacques), they welcome three new recruits in the shape of Kenneth Williams, Kenneth Connor and Leslie Phillips.
Into this bubbling cocktail of madness and mayhem stumbles experienced but camply unsuitable Special Constable Gorse (Charles Hawtrey).
Although James stands firmly at the centre of this film, it is the playful and dubious misadventures of Williams, Connor, Hawtrey and Phillips that signal most of the fun.
Williams is back to his high-and-mighty, superior self, mocking old-fashioned policing methods and dedicating his life to spotting the criminal by mere observation, while Connor twitches in the background, living his life through astrology, jittering around in his zodiac pyjamas and frequently rubbing his rabbit’s foot.
The redemption of the four bumblers comes with a tense operation in a deserted house in search of a criminal gang.
Our intrepid coppers stagger around the building and eventually save the day, see Sid promoted to Inspector, find permanent positions at the station and bring Hattie’s love for Sgt James out in the open.
Sgt Frank Wilkins
PC Stanley Benson
Sgt Laura Moon
PC Charlie Constable
Special Constable TimothyGorse
PC Tom Potter (“none hotter”)
WPC Gloria Passworthy