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Carry On Abroad (1972)

aka Carry On Abroad

Directed By: 
Written By: 
Details: 88 mins · English


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Small Vic Flange
Small Stuart Farquhar
Small Eustace Tuttle
Small Cora Flange
Small Brother Bernard
Small Sadie Tomkins
Small Stanley Blunt
Small Pepe
No_movie_poster Bert Conway
Small Evelyn Blunt
Small Floella
No_movie_poster Brother Martin
No_movie_poster Lily
No_movie_poster Georgio
No_movie_poster Marge


No_movie_poster Gerald Thomas Director
No_movie_poster Talbot Rothwell Writer
No_movie_poster Peter Rogers Production
No_movie_poster Alfred Roome Editing


The film opens with pub landlord and frequent holidaymaker Vic Flange (Sid James) openly flirting with the sassy saucepot, Sadie Tompkins (Barbara Windsor) as his battleaxe wife, Cora (Joan Sims), looks on with disdain. Their twitching friend, Harry (Jack Douglas) arrives and lets slip that the package holiday Vic has booked to the Mediterranean island Els Bels (a pun on the slang expression "Hell's Bells") also includes Sadie, much to Cora's outrage. Cora, who avoids holidays because she hates flying, suddenly decides to accompany her boorish husband on the trip, to ensure he keeps away from Sadie.

The next day, Stuart Farquhar (Kenneth Williams), the nasally representative of Wundatours Travel Agency, and his seductive assistant, Moira Plunkett (Gail Grainger), welcome the motley passengers. Among them the henpecked and love-starved Stanley Blunt (Kenneth Connor) and his prudish, overbearing wife, Evelyn (June Whitfield); a drunken, bowler-hatted mummy's boy, Eustace Tuttle (Charles Hawtrey); brash Scotsman, Bert Conway (Jimmy Logan); young and beautiful friends Marge and Lily (Sally Geeson and Carol Hawkins respectively); and Brother Bernard (Bernard Bresslaw), a timid young monk who has difficultly fitting into his new path of life.

Unfortunately, upon their arrival they discover their hotel is only half-finished; the builders have just quit suddenly for unspecified reasons, leaving the remaining five floors unfinished. Distraught manager Pepe (Peter Butterworth) desperately tries to run the place in a myriad of different guises - the manager, the doorman and the porter - and the chef is his shrewish wife, Floella (Hattie Jacques), who battles repeatedly with the temperamental stove while their Lothario son Georgio idles behind the bar. The hotel also hides an assortment of faults and Pepe is soon overrun with complaints: Vic discovers Sadie naked in his shower; Lily and Marge's wardrobe has no back to it, allowing them to be accidentally seen by Brother Bernard in the opposite room; sand pours out of Moira's taps; the lavatory drenches Bert. The phone system itself is faulty and the guests end up complaining to each other for much of the time. Nevertheless, Stuart is determined to ensure everyone has a good time.

Dinner the first night is foul and made even more unpleasant by an arrival of mosquitos. Although agreeing to play leapfrog with Tuttle, Lily and Marge have their eyes on other things. Marge takes a shine to Brother Bernard, while Lily lures the dashing Nicholas (David Kernan) away from his jealous (and implied gay) friend, Robin (John Clive), and Marge and Brother Bernard develop an innocent romance. Meanwhile, Stanley Blunt attempts to seduce Cora whilst his nagging wife is not present, but Cora is more interested in keeping Vic away from Sadie, who grows fond of Bert Conway.

While most of the party go off to the village, Stanley ensures his wife is left behind so that he can spend the day attempting to woo Cora. Vic samples a local drink, "Santa Cecelia's Elixer", which blesses the drinker with x-ray vision and he is able to see through women's clothing. However, the tourists are arrested for causing a riot at Madame Fifi's (Olga Lowe) local brothel after Vic, Bert and Eustace annoy the girls there; left-behind Evelyn is seduced by Georgio, which leads to her abandoning her frigid manners.

In the local prison, Miss Plunkett seduces the Chief of Police, and the tourists are released. Back at the hotel, Mrs Blunt resumes her sex life with a surprised Stanley. The last night in the hotel starts as a success, with all the guests at ease with each other thanks to the punch being spiked with Santa Cecelia's Elixer. Midway through the night it begins to rain, and the hotel is shown to have been constructed on a dry river bed - as the hotel begins to collapse Pepe finally loses his patience and sanity with the guests, who party on, oblivious to the disintegrating hotel.

The film shifts forward an unspecified period of time, and shows an Els Bels reunion at Vic & Cora's pub. All the guests are happy and reminisce about the holiday they barely survived.