Carry On Film

A typical group of students[1]

Production Info
Director Gerald Thomas
Story by Norman Hudis
Screenplay by Norman Hudis
Producer Peter Rogers
Music Bruce Montgomery
Cimematography Reg Wray
Editor John Shirley
Release Info
Released 1959
Running Time 86 minutes
Colour or B&W? B&W
Certificate U
Release Order
Previous Nurse
Next Constable

Plot Edit


The pupils of Maudlin School lace the staff tea with alcohol, saw through the legs of the grand piano, dowse the headmaster's study with itching powder and stage an elaborate bomb scare - all in the cause of sabotaging their headmaster's application for a new post, so that they can keep him for themselves.[2]


There's a discipline problem at Maudlin Street Secondary Modern School - the teachers are always yelling, and the pupils are always rebelling. Young Robin Stevens (Richard O'Sullivan) is one of the worst offenders. He's sent to see the Headmaster William Wakefield (Ted Ray) for a dressing down, but Stevens has dressed up for the occasion. Expecting a whack, he's put a wad of magazines down his trousers, but the liberal leaning head sends the problem pupil with a flea in his ear rather than a welt on his backside!

Later that afternoon there's a staff meeting. All the teachers are present, although science master Mr Adams (Kenneth Connor) is there in body if not in spirit - he's preoccupied with his design for a rocket. The redoutable Miss Short (Hattie Jacques), meanwhile, knows all about going ballistic - she's a fierce disciplinarian who uses the cane whenever she can! Moderate Mr Milton (Kenneth Williams), on the other hand, has more liberal ideas, and calls the rest a 'reactionary lot'. Then there's the effete French and Music Teacher Mr Bean (Charles Hawtrey) and the delectable Miss Allcock (Joan Sims), a flirtatious games teacher who certainly doesn't need any physical instruction!

The matter at hand, however, is a serious one. Wakefield is determined to apply for a job as head of a new school in the country. In the meantime, the Ministry of Education has dispatched an inspector to Maudlin Street, who will be working alongside a radical child psychologist, Alistair Grigg (Leslie Phillips). Grigg is conducting fieldwork for his latest book, Contemporary Juvenile Behaviour Patterns.

Grigg is totally opposed to caning, so Wakefield decrees that, for the duration of his visit, there will be no corporal punishment. How will the pupils react once they learn that the slipper has been given the boot, and that the rod has been ruled out?

Miss Short is in no doubt - she reckons that staff control will fall apart, the inspector's report will be damming, and that Wakefield will have to abandon his ambitions of a new job in the country.

As the teachers discuss the merits of corporal punishment, scheming schoolboy Stevens is loitering by the door, eavesdropping on every word. He's soon in deep discussion with a bunch of his pals on how to cause maximum disruption during the inspection!

Meanwhile, Mr Grigg and fearsome inspector Miss Wheeler (Rosalind Knight) have arrived to begin their investigations. Grigg spots Allcock in the corridor, and there's no doubt he'd be game for some homework from her!

Alas, duty calls, and he's ushered in to observe Bean's teaching technique, but the children have made sure that the music lesson is hardly harmonious. The piano dramatically collapses while Bean's playing it - amusing the pupils, but leaving a rather off-key impression on Grigg and Wheeler!

Next up it's Miss Allcock's gym instruction, and the inspectors get to see a lot more of her then they'd expected when her shorts split during a bending exercise. Earlier her pupils had replaced her usual kit with with much smaller slips!

The chaos continues in Mr Milton's class. Wheeler and Grigg enter during a lesson on Shakespere, and there's a couple of students that Milton would like to see bard!The tykes bombard Grigg with saucy questions about romeo and Juliet. One wants to know what a wedding bed is, and another asks why Juliet wasn't up before the beak, given that she was just 14! The Officious Miss Wheeler looks mortally offended, but Mr Grigg reckons the session was a marvellous demonstration of adolescent curiosity, logically focused.[3]


  • After his appreance here, Ted Ray was replaced in the Carry on series by Sid James. Anglo-Amalgamated were distributors without their own cinema circuit in which to release their films, so they had a working arrangement with Associated British (ABC, later EMI, later to become Cannon, later to become Weintraub). Ted Ray had been under contract to ABC for several years, without being given a film so, consequently, ABC were more than embassassed to see an unused ex-contract star of theirs turning up successfully in someone else's film. This feeling was passed to Stuart Levy, together with a request for Peter Rogers to drop Ted Ray, which Rogers reluctantly complied with, rather than running the risk of ABC refusing to release any future films made by Anglo. Ted Ray was never told why he had been dropped, as Rogers felt it might result in Anglo and ABC being taken to court.[4]
  • Real itching powder was used in the staffroom attack sequence.[3]



  1. Cast Images
  2. What A Carry On Page 82
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Classic Carry On Film Collection Issue 25"
  4. Peter Rogers related the story in the Producer's note for the Carry On Teacher entry in What a Carry On