Carry on Camping is the 17th instalment in the series of British comedy films famous for their saucy seaside postcard humour and scripts filled with innuendo. Released in 1969 by the Rank Organisation, it features an all-star cast, including Sid James and Barbara Windsor, whose antics at a campsite lead to chaos and hilarity.
During 34 years of raucous comedy films in the franchise, the Carry On team are up for many different adventures and this time, it’s camping! However, the campsite isn’t quite what some of the campers expected – after mistakenly thinking they’re booking a week at a nudist camp!
Plumber Sid Boggle (played by Sid James) and his business partner Bernie Lugg (Bernard Bresslaw) take their girlfriends to the cinema, where they see a documentary about a nudist camp called Paradise. Sid has an unlikely idea that after seeing the film, the girls will want to take a holiday there!
Nothing could be further from the truth! Sid’s girlfriend Joan (Joan Sims) and Bernie’s girlfriend Anthea (Dilys Laye) are horrified at the sight of naked people putting up tents. Sid’s plan that a couples’ holiday there will lead to the girls lowering their moral standards backfires, and instead, they are disgusted.
Undeterred, Sid tells Bernie he’s booking a holiday at Paradise anyway, but tells the girls they’re going to an ordinary campsite – a plan that bumbling Bernie goes along with.
Arriving at the Paradise campsite, the two couples are greeted by landowner Josh Fiddler (Peter Butterworth) who gleefully takes their money. However, they soon realise it’s not the nudist camp of the documentary, but instead just an ordinary family campsite – and it’s far from paradise!
Unable to get a refund, Sid reluctantly agrees to stay, especially since their girlfriends are happy with the place. The boys’ flagging spirits are soon lifted when a party of glamorous young women from the Chayste Place finishing school arrive at the campsite, with their head teacher Dr Soaper (Kenneth Williams) and matron Miss Haggard (Hattie Jacques).
It makes Sid’s week when the scantily-clad girls complete an outdoor aerobics workout every morning, leading to student Babs (Barbara Windsor) reacting rather too enthusiastically when Dr Soaper tells them, “Let’s see those chests come out,” during a pecs workout.
In perhaps the most famous scene of any Carry On film, Babs flings her arms back – and her tiny yellow bikini top flies off and hits a shocked Dr Soaper!
Apart from Sid James and Barbara Windsor leading the ongoing plot of seedy Sid Boggle pursuing Babs behind his girlfriend’s back, there are plenty of sub-plots involving other Carry On regulars that keep the slapstick action bubbling along nicely.
Other guests at the site include reluctant camper Peter Potter (Terry Scott) and his bossy wife Harriet (Betty Marsden) – who has the most annoying laugh in history. During their stay, Harriet lets lone first-time camper Charlie Muggins share their tent after his is accidentally destroyed.
This results in Peter being pushed to breaking point and eventually pouring a pan of soup over hapless Charlie’s head! This is one of many slapstick scenes that represent Carry On humour at its best.
Written by Talbot Rothwell and directed by regular Carry On director Gerald Thomas, the film is full of saucy British humour. It is generally regarded as one of the greatest Carry On Films, before the jokes became too near the knuckle and bawdy for some fans in the late 1970s.
Fancy a camping holiday?
If you’re planning a camping holiday this summer at one of the UK’s more modern campsites, we’re sure it won’t be anything like the “Paradise” site in Carry On Camping! Get together with your friends and family and drive away in a Driveline motorhome for a great start to your dream holiday!