Carry On Henry VIII (1971)

*. Around halfway through Carry On Henry VIII there’s a bit of dialogue where Henry’s queen sees Henry escorting a young beauty out to the garden for a tryst. The queen asks Cardinal Wolsey “Why is he taking her out into the garden?” Wolsey, running cover, replies “Oh, I expect just to get a little air, ma’am.” The queen rejoins: “How many more heirs does he want?”
*. That’s the only line in this movie that I even got a smile out of. By this point the Carry On series has pretty much run its course and was starting to feel out of date as well as tired. Apparently this one, the 21st if you were keeping count, was actually criticized for its attitude toward women. Something that you’d think was superfluous given their track record, but the hunting of the buxom lass really is disappointing, even for this lot.
*. A prefatory notice tells us that, as history, the movie we’re about to see is complete cobblers. This is a British expression having its origin in Cockney slang that I had to look up. Basically we’re in a sort of alternative universe where Henry VIII has just sent one wife to the block and wants to get rid of the next, Marie of Normandy. Don’t try to make any sense out of it, as cobblers it is.
*. Ding-dong, the gang’s all here: Sid James, naturally, is Henry, riffing off of Charles Laughton in tearing apart a chicken and doing his best for England in the bedroom. Kenneth Williams is Cromwell, Joan Sims is Queen Marie, Charles Hawtrey is Sir Roger de Lodgerley, Terry Scott is Cardinal Wolsey. The jokes are the usual bits of innuendo and bawdy puns, with a few topical references thrown in. The final line is a dig at the Labour Party. There’s also a joke about a new sin tax Henry wants to impose that I feel has to be referring to something going on in England at the time, but I don’t know what.
*. I’ve heard the coat worn by James is the same as the one worn by Richard Burton in Anne of the Thousand Days. And that the original alternative title was going to be Anne of a Thousand Lays. But I guess that was taking things just a bit too far, never mind that it made no sense. The long title (at least in the UK) was Carry on Henry or Mind My Chopper! Which, you’ll notice, also isn’t funny at all.
*. Were they thinking of doing the same baby gag as at the end of Follow That Camel and cut something at the last minute? It really looks like a shot was taken out, and it’s obvious that this was the joke they were setting up. But I don’t know enough about the production of the film to say.
*. Not worth bothering with unless you’re a hardcore fan, which I don’t suppose there are very many of these days.

25 thoughts on “Carry On Henry VIII (1971)

    1. Alex Good

      You shouldn’t be thinking of things like this when you’re driving 100 miles to get to the kirk. You’ll end up sitting in the Pew of Shame again.

      1. tensecondsfromnow

        Sigh. It’s this pitiful sub-schoolboy humour that has led to you being banned from my website and made you a social outcast. Carry On Dick is the title of this film, and it’s a good one in the sequence. Next?

      2. Alex Good Post author

        I can’t begin to address the contradictions in this. Especially as it’s that blessed time of day. Now you get to church and no more thinking about you know what.

      3. tensecondsfromnow

        Is it cold in the shadow of great writers like myself, Booky and Fraggle? Do you ever wonder what you could be if you ever tried to write in anything other than bullet points? Would a paragraph be too much to ask? But no, you just keep screenshotting Carry On films, keeps you off the streets….

      4. Alex Good Post author

        Plenty of Alex to enjoy in non-point form on the Internet. If I wrote these notes all in emojis would you be able to make it to the end of some of them? Or do you just look at the pictures?

      5. Alex Good Post author

        Well, we know where you set the bar for humour, which is somewhere south of Benny Hill apparently. Cor and blimey. To each their own. Do you have a favourite Dick joke you’d like to share?

      6. Alex Good Post author

        I can’t believe you’re saying such things in church! I think the elders are going to want to have a talk with you.

    1. Alex Good Post author

      Should have. But then they wouldn’t have put out Eddie’s favourite. Personally, I’m not as big a fan of Dick as he is but I don’t judge others, only the movies themselves.

      1. Bookstooge

        I judge others, a lot. Why else do they exist if not for me to sneer at and look down upon?

        I thought this Tudor’y thing was only going to last a week? Or did you start on Monday? Movies all look the same to me….

      2. Alex Good Post author

        Sort of turned into two weeks. Plus there are the regularly scheduled interruptions of Shakespeare Tuesdays and Quiz Fridays. Though I thought I worked in Shakespeare pretty nimbly with the Tudor theme last Tuesday.

        Still got a few to go! Then on to other fun themes!

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