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

At one point Kenneth Williams asks "Oh, what's the bloody point?" of his fellow actors. That was the last line Williams wrote in his diary before he died from an overdose of barbiturates. See more »

Goofs

During the latter part of the film, which is set in 1976, Sid's wardrobe assistant says she has been asked to take part in the making of the James Bond film You Only Live Twice, which was made in 1967. See more »

Quotes

Kenneth Williams: I turned on International Cabaret last night and heard canned laughter. They'd smothered me in canned laughter, and I recognised it. It's the same tape the use for all the sitcoms. They use it on Bless This House. You can actually recognise individual morons cackling away like the living dead. I realised with some horror they could well have been laughing at Sid. Didn't know who to feel sorrier for, them or me. The mindlessly guffawing away through eternity or me. Slogging my guts out for ...
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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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