Dramatisation of the love affair between Sidney James and Barbara Windsor, played out against the backdrop of the 'Carry On' films during the 1960s and 1970s.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jacqueline Defferary ...
Sally
Geoffrey Hutchings ...
David McAlister ...
Jason Round ...
Clapper Loader
...
...
Bernard Bresslaw
Hugh Walters ...
...
Alan Barnes ...
1st Assistant Director
Maria Charles ...
Charlie's Mum
Chrissie Cotterill ...
...
Imogen
Alice Bailey Johnson ...
Alice
Derek Howard ...
Kenneth Connor
Richard Vanstone ...
Alf
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Storyline

Star actors in the popular British 'Carry On' screen farces Sid James and Kenneth Williams have disliked each other since they acted on radio in the mid-1950s. Ten years later the feud still continues. Chirpy young actress Barbara Windsor arrives to appear in the series and Sid, though married, pursues her. Believing that he will be satisfied after a one night stand Barbara goes with him but this is the start of an affair which will last until the mid 1970s, shortly before Sid's death whilst touring in a play. After Sid's demise Kenneth assures Barbara that she was not responsible and she, in turn, encourages him to enjoy life more. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Drama | Romance

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24 April 2000 (UK)  »

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1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Based on Terry Johnston's play "Cleo, Camping, Emmanuelle and Dick", performed in the Royal National Theatre in London, UK. Many members of the original cast - including the three leads Samantha Spiro, Geoffrey Hutchings and Adam Godley - reprised their original stage roles for this adaptation. See more »

Goofs

Kenneth Williams says he watched himself on International Cabaret the week before Sid James died. James died in April 1976, but Williams last hosted International Cabaret in December 1974 after which the series went into hiatus and was not broadcast again until January 1978. See more »

Quotes

Kenneth Williams: This bloody script is just one long relentless stream of badly written jokes cobbled together with disdain for the actors and complete contempt for the audience. One of the most morally and aesthetically offensive pieces of work I think I've ever read. I think I'll just camp it up.
Barbara Windsor: That's what I admire about you, Kenny. Always searching for an original approach.
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Connections

References Doctor Zhivago (1965) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Carry on remorseless
16 July 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Almost every bit as saucy, bawdy and occasionally seedy as the "Carry On" movies themselves, this warts and all encapsulation of the doomed relationship between older man Sid James and bright young thing Barbara Windsor provided captivating entertainment. Commencing brightly and convincingly with some cute camera perspective tricks, perhaps demonstrating the illusory and ultimately false world of entertainment and entertainers, the story contains just about the right mix of drama, pathos and humour throughout, helped by convincing portrayals of almost all the leading players, themselves so familiar to a generation of us who can still hardly turn on the TV here without one of the series beaming out at you (my personal favourite? - "Carry on Cowboy"!).

Although concentrating naturally on the James/Windsor axis, (to the exclusion of both protagonists' spouses), the third side of their love triangle turns out surprisingly to be the acerbic, extrovert but ultimately self-loathing Kenneth Williams, acting as a lightning-rod to James' adulterous excesses (which seemed to extend to bedding every available young female on set) and comforting-board to Windsor as she agonises whether to give in firstly to his physical desire and then later emotional need for her. It's impossible of course to know the full extent of the emotional complexities of this troubled group of actors, besides the accurate extensions of their obvious on-screen personas, but given that Ms Windsor was on board here as a consultant and contributed a cameo piece as herself, I'm prepared to accept what I saw as true-to-life.

One or two James fans might demur at his portrayal as a serial philanderer but I still found his lovable rogue depiction sympathetic. The acting is universally excellent, all the leads capturing the trademark vocal and physical characteristics of their precedents (as indeed is the case with minor characters too) and it was fun to see accurate on-set recreations of famous "Carry On" scenes, including Windor's famous bikini-bursting scene from "Carry on Camping". The dialogue throughout was natural and seemed to me wholly in character, with many witty aphorisms especially, as you'd expect, from the Kenneth Williams character.

All in all, a convincing insight into the lives and far from starry lifestyles of UK national acting treasures and a worthy celebration of a long-standing British cinematic institution.


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