Feeds

Carry On producer Peter Rogers dead at 95

Carried off

Remote control for virtualized desktops

The man behind the Carry On franchise died yesterday at the age of 95.

Peter Rogers was the producer for every one of the 31 movies, which kept Brits in stitches and foreigners baffled from the 50s through to the 70s. Or even the 90s if you include Carry On Columbus.

Rogers died after a short illness at his home in Buckinghamshire, not a million miles away from Pinewood Studios, where the cast and crew recreated everything from the French Revolution, Henrician England, Ancient Rome and Egypt, to the WC Boggs factory lavatory factory and the infamous Mediterranean holiday resort of Elsbels.

Born in 1914, Rogers had stints as a journalist, in the theatre and working on religious instructional films. He ended up at Pinewood Studios in the early 50s, where amongst other projects, he kicked off the Carry On series.

The series started quite innocently with 1958's Carry On Sergeant, which featured Kenneth Williams and Ken Connor, who both stuck with the series to the end. The film was a fairly standard ensemble piece, perhaps most unusual for featuring Williams as a bookish national service man who gets a girlfriend by the end.

The following year's Carry On Nurse which featured a more subversive anti-establishment theme and somewhat bawdier humour, as inmates of a hospital rebel and begin carrying out their own surgery.

Sid James joined the cast with 1960's Carry on Constable. With the 60s, the films became ruder, with James, a South African Jew reborn as an archetypal music hall Londoner/lothario, often taking centre stage. Barbara Windsor became part of the company, and was regularly parted from her underwear.

Other British comedy greats, including Jack Douglas, Bernard Bresslaw, Terry Scott, June Whitfield, Jim Dale, Hattie Jacques, Charles Hawtrey, Joan Sims and Frankie Howerd, all did their bit (or squandered their talent depending on your point of view). The series even tempted US comedy legend Phil Silvers to appear in Carry On Follow That Camel, in which Camber Sands did a turn as the Sahara.

While James Bond presented a glamorous if cynical and worldly view of Britain to the world, the Carry On films presented a more recognisably English view of the UK. They were probably never part of the UK Tourist Boards culture list, and were all the better for it.

By the early 70s, the series was running out of steam, with a late peak being 1974's Carry On Dick. Carry On England and Carry On Emmanuelle, later in the decade, were raunchier, but cruder and ultimately forgettable. And then in the 1990s, there was Carry On Columbus, which was greeted with mixed reviews.

Even Rogers was moved to say: "They were all alike, weren't they? We made 31 films out of one gag." But what a gag.

To the end, apparently, Rogers always declared his intent to produce another in the series, though with virtually all the original team no longer with us, and Babs busy running the Queen Vic in Walford, it seems the Carry On Films have finally gone the way of ATV, Music Hall and Eagle Magazine. ®

Bootnote:

Due to an age related error and earlier version of this story named Jack Benny as the star of Carry On Follow that Camel. Thanks to all that pointed this out, and especially to the reader who suggested it could actually have been Buddy Holly, as he wore glasses too.

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
MEN: For pity's sake SLEEP with LOTS of WOMEN - and avoid Prostate Cancer
And, um, don't sleep with other men. If that's what worries you
Jim Beam me up, Scotty! WHISKY from SPAAACE returns to Earth
They're insured for $1m, before you thirsty folks make plans
Now: The REAL APPLE NEWS you need to know
OMG! Gravity's totes amazeballs. Calm down, George Clooney, not your film
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
Let's make an app that POSTS your POO to APPLE HQ
Plus: It's OPEN WARFARE in the Linux greybeard world
FedEx helps deliver THOUSANDS of spam messages DIRECT to its Blighty customers
Don't worry Wilson, I'll do all the paddling. You just hang on
Adorkable overshare of words like photobomb in this year's dictionaries
And hipsters are finally defined as self-loathing. Sort of
Not a loyal follower of @BritishMonarchy? You missed The QUEEN*'s first Tweet
Her Maj opens 'Information Age' at the Science Museum
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.