12 September 2008
Our guide to the collectables produced to celebrate the popular 'Carry On' series. ...
Britain’s most enduring and popular series of comedy films recently celebrate its 50th birthday – here we present a quick trip through some of the Carry On goodies that are worth spending your cash on.
Ultimate Carry On DVD Boxset
All of the films are now available on DVD, but the ultimate collector will surely want to treat themselves to the 30 DVD set of virtually all of the movies. No Carry On Columbus in there, though (although you can pick it up on DVD)! The set retails for £200, but it’s not too tricky to find it cheaper. The truly dedicated collector may want to track down the different guides that have been released over the years, with earlier DVDs and videos available at surprisingly modest prices.
In Your Pocket
You might have seen these gadgets for other franchises. The Carry On iteration has six buttons, each of which utters a choice phrase or sound from the films. And yes, Sid James’ dirty laugh is present and correct! Expect to pay no more than £8.
As you’d expect, there are many to choose from here. 2008 alone will see a 50 Years Of Carry On book in the Autumn, as well as biographies of Hattie Jacques and Norman Hudis. The Kenneth Williams Diaries, as private as they are, are also a goldmine for the Carry On fan. Further back, Robert Ross’ The Carry On Story is well worth digging out, while there are even novelisations of some of the films for real enthusiasts, that were released in 1996.
Part of the charm of the Carry On films was surely the music that accompanied them. Some of this music has found its way onto CD, including a 20 Years Of The Carry On Films disc released by Silva Screen in 2004, and The Carry On Films, a single-disc White Line release from 1999. The latter is out of print, and thus fetching a higher asking price, but you should still get change from £20.
As part of the 50th birthday celebrations of the Carry On films, Royal Mail is issuing commemorative stamps to mark the occasion (and also to tie into the same anniversary for Hammer). Carry On Cleo, Carry On Sergeant and Carry On Screaming are those chosen to appear. They are available now.
Believe it or not, there’s even a figure from the Carry Ons that you can pick up! The one we tracked down was a figure of Kenneth Williams in his Julius Caesar pose from Carry On Cleo, which also speaks a few infamous phrases! Expect to pay around a tenner for it.
Sadly, a bit of a smell of cash-in about this one. It’s one of those infernal DVD games that we all seemingly have to suffer every Christmas, running at a snail’s pace to add to the irritation. We’ve not tried the Carry On Quizzing DVD, granted, but from what we’ve heard, there are better ways to spend a couple of quid.
Autographs and Lobby Cards
If you want a real pie of movie memorabilia from the film series then how about some lobby cards. A set of six original cards can be picked for around £95 and individual cards can be picked up from a dealer for around £25 a pop.
If your budget can stretch even further you can get original posters - £355 will get you an orginal Kyber poster and £450 for the ever popular Carry of Camping version.
This article is taken from a feature celebrating 50 years of Carry On films printed in the August 2008 issue of TV Film Memorabilia. To order a copy of the TV Film Memorabilia Annual 2010, click here.