It was back to basics in more ways than one with this, the final film in the linear 20-year run of the original Carry On series.
It’s a return to innocent sexual banter and tongue-in-cheek innuendo; even though sex makes up the bulk of the film’s plot it is treated with comic awareness and not smutty leering.
The film returns to the tried and tested corny gags and enjoyable larger-than-life performances from its experienced team.
Kenneth Williams minces around the production as Emile Prevert – the ferociously camp, impotent and flagrantly over-the-top French Ambassador to Britain, giving a stunning star performance complete with appalling gags and overplayed continental angst.
Williams goes into overdrive, throwing innuendo-encrusted lines all over the place, resurrecting the snake sequence from Carry On Up The Jungle (1970) and spending the majority of the film in limp-wristed mode. Only at the close does he successfully re-bed his delicious wife and partake in the joyous fun and games with his old colleagues.
Popular 1970s glamour-girl Suzanne Danielle (pictured above) is certainly the ideal Emmanuelle and gives an impressive and stylish performance, swaying gracefully through the over-the-top camp and innuendo with a delightfully casual attitude to her flamboyant sexual activities.
However, the real heart of the film is provided by Emile’s class-aware, sexually open below-stairs staff.
While Emmannuelle gradually sleeps her way across London, the comic sparring and perfectly-timed innuendo from the staff is inspired – not surprising, when they are made up of four Carry On survivors from the golden age: Kenneth Connor, Peter Butterworth, Joan Sims and Jack Douglas.
Sims is Mrs Dangle – a po-faced, stern, anti-fun figure who eventually throws herself into sexual enjoyment; Butterworth (in his final screen appearance before his death in 1979 from a heart attack) shuffles around the place as Richmond in an inspired portrayal of dithering old age, struggling to hear and see the action going on around him, while Douglas gives his finest film performance as the upright figure of authority, Lyons the butler.
Thus, all the best moments come with the experienced comic banter between the four Carry On servants, even when they drag through a lengthy re-examination of their favourite amorous experiences!
Parts are so gloriously awful that they make you shudder, but the performances enhance the sub-Rothwellian innuendo with endearing characters and richly delivered dialogue.
The audience knows it’s in good company, playing the game for the last time and having a ball.
Kenneth Williams apparently disliked the script and only did the film because he got an extra £1000 and they kept asking him.
Leyland/voice of Harry Hernia