Carry On Films: Best to Worst

I have recently discovered that over the years, I have watched every single Carry On film. From watching my first as a child, I have now seen all 31, although not in order.

These low-budget British comedy films, all produced by Peter Rogers and directed by Gerald Thomas, had a regular cast and were a staple of British cinema for twenty years, from 1958 to 1978. The final film in the series, Carry on Columbus, was made in 1992.

This has led me to compile a list containing all 31 Carry On films, in my personal order of best to worst:

  1. Carry On Screaming! (1966)
  2. Carry On Camping (1969)
  3. Carry On Cleo (1964)
  4. Carry On Regardless (1961)
  5. Carry On Spying (1964)
  6. Carry On Doctor (1967)
  7. Carry On Cruising (1962)
  8. Carry On Cabby (1963)
  9. Carry On… Follow that Camel (1967)
  10. Carry On Henry (1971)
  11. Carry On… Up the Khyber (1968)
  12. Carry On Sergeant (1958)
  13. Carry On Nurse (1959)
  14. Carry On Up the Jungle (1970)
  15. Carry On Abroad (1972)
  16. Carry On Again Doctor (1969)
  17. Carry On Cowboy (1965)
  18. Carry On Jack (1963)
  19. Carry On… Don’t Lose Your Head (1966)
  20. Carry On Constable (1960)
  21. Carry On Teacher (1959)
  22. Carry On Loving (1970)
  23. Carry On Dick (1974)
  24. Carry On Behind (1975)
  25. Carry On Matron (1972)
  26. Carry On at Your Convenience (1971)
  27. Carry On Girls (1973)
  28. That’s Carry On! (1977)
  29. Carry On England (1976)
  30. Carry On Columbus (1992)
  31. Carry On Emmannuelle (1978)

Perhaps anyone who knows the Carry On film series will not be overly surprised by this list. The general public favourites are mostly at the top of this list, and the films regarded with less satisfaction are mostly at the bottom of this list.

  • Numbers 1 to 4 (Screaming, Camping, Cleo & Regardless) are my absolute favourites.
  • Numbers 5 to 15 are very good.
  • Numbers 16 to 22 are good.
  • Numbers 23 to 28 are okay.
  • Numbers 29 to 31 are poor.

The famous scene from Carry on Camping:

I would be very interested to hear other opinions of the Carry On films, so please let me know what you think of this list and the films in the comments below!

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About writingsuzanne

History graduate. Freelance writer and reviewer. Passionate about film, theatre and music (film soundtracks!).
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41 Responses to Carry On Films: Best to Worst

  1. I was never a great fan of the series, even though they contained actors I was or am very fond of. Having said that, there are certain scenes in some of them that always make me laugh!

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  2. The Craggus says:

    Ouch at Khyber being number 11 – it’s my personal favourite and I’d maybe put Abroad a bit higher but other than that, hard to argue with most of the placings. I quite fancy watching a few of them again now!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the comment. I knew when I posted this, that I would almost certainly get a comment telling me that Khyber should be higher, so thank you for fulfilling that! I do rank it as ‘very good’, and I really love Roy Castle being in it. There is also the famous dinner scene at the end – one of the most memorable and funny Carry On scenes!

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  3. Having seen the list my top three would be Screaming at one, Cabby at two and Spying at three.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jamie says:

    Yes, as someone above wrote, these films had some very talented actors in them and maybe the scripts didn’t always reflect this. I agree with your top choices, they show off a side of British humour at its best. Innocently and knowingly naughty.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on Writing Suzanne and commented:

    I am very pleased to be featured on Carry On Blogging (http://carryonfan.blogspot.co.uk/) with this post as a ‘guest blog’. Please check it out here: http://carryonfan.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/guest-blog-carry-on-films-best-to-worst.html and you can follow Carry On Blogging on Twitter: @CarryOnJoan

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  6. Pingback: Carry On Blogging! | Writing Suzanne

  7. theswitz says:

    Looks like I’m going to have to keep with the Hallowe’en season and check out Carry On Screaming!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Love the Carry On flicks and keep thinking I need to feature one. Perhaps your feature will give me the nudge I needed. So many fun players in this series that worked there magic perfectly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the comment – completely agree! Have you got a favourite Carry On film?

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      • It’s been a while since I’ve watched them. They kind of blur together. I recall the older black and whites like Cabby are fun but not as risquรฉ. Screaming was fun because I like the monster films of the classical era. The raunchiness of Dick can be amusing. For me it’s more the vignettes with guys like Sid James, Kenneth Williams or Miss Windsor and Hattie Jacques that stand out.

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  9. First of all, thanks for the follow!
    Secondly, Cleo is a big favourite of mine, if only for the scene where Charles Hawtrey falls off a balcony whilst dressed as a giant vase and the crowd ask him “who are you?” and he replies with “Just call me Urn.”

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Martin says:

    Love this post. I’ve got a soft spot for Carry On Cowboy. When I was about six a carry on film on telly was the most exciting thing that could possibly happen (this was 1975) and I still can feel my distress when about twenty minutes into Carry On Cowboy there was a power cut (again – it was the 70s!) and I missed the rest. With only 3 channels, no videos,DVDs, Internet etc you had to wait about another three years until it came on again. I was inconsolable.

    Thanks for the follow.
    M

    Liked by 1 person

  11. beetleypete says:

    I mostly love all the Carry On films. Something about them being so British, and having that cosy feel of the same regular cast. And because of my age, it might have had something to do with all those stocking tops, and Liz Fraser in a bullet bra or Balconette corset!
    My own favourite is ‘Cabby’, which only made number 8 on your list. I agree that the later ones started to get quite lame.
    Thanks for following my blog. It is greatly appreciated.
    Best wishes, Pete.

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  12. Paul says:

    Carry on at your convenience I think is a good one.it would be a lot higher on my list.
    I agree emmanuel one is the worst.even though I havent seen it all.
    Abroad I would put higher up along with cabby lower down spying and screaming.for me.

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    • Paul says:

      I also liked dont lose your head when I first saw it and is one of my favourites.when I met my girlfriend who later became my wife.she had them all on video.a few yrs later I bought her the whole dvd collection.she likes carry on screaming.it is hard to put them in order and as much of a fan I have been I havent seen them all.bad reviews on columbus put me of.like I mentioned before emmanuelle ive seen about half of it and its awful.of the later ones I would say carry on behind when windsor davies replaced sid james was ok.the older ones are better.camping.doctor.dick to would be up there for me.

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  13. Ken Hodges says:

    Interesting list Suzanne! I couldn’t agree more that ‘Screaming’ and ‘Camping’ should be right up there at the top of the list, but ‘Kyber’ and ‘Dont Lose your Head’ should also be there with them!. ‘Cleo’ I always thought was over-rated, and ‘Spying’ wasn’t that good either! ‘Doctor’ was the best of the medical romps and ‘Follow that Camel’ was let down by Phil Silvers who was totally out of place! ‘Behind’ was better than it was given credit for, despite that some of the regulars were missing! ‘Regardless’ was good, but patchy and ‘Jack’ was poor and should be further down the list. The bottom three on list deserved to be there!

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    • Thanks for the comment! So if you had to pick Screaming or Camping as no.1, what would you choose?

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      • Ken Hodges says:

        Thtat’s really a tough one, and I hate not being able to give you a precise answer at this stage, but if it’s anything to go by, I have probably seen ‘Camping’ more than ‘Screaming’
        I think it was Barry Norman though who once said that any ‘Carry On’ without Sid Jame suffered as a consequence, but he was so wrong because Harry H Corbett who replaced James in ‘Screaming’ was superb!

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        • One of my reasons for picking Screaming as first is how much I enjoy Corbett in that role – I imagine it very differently with Sid James. But I love Sid James in Camping!

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          • Ken Hodges says:

            Fenella Fielding was also a great asset in ‘Screaming’ I don’t think she appeared in any other ‘Carry On’ apart from a brief appearance in one of the sketches in ‘Regardless’

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  14. Felicity says:

    Thank you for sharing your list. I remember watching these as a child on tv in the late 80s early 90s. They just popped into my head for some reason and I have a yearning to watch them. I can barely remember anything about the show itself but all the positive associations of that time in my life. My husband is American so I was telling him about them and we are going to watch a few together will be fun to see if he finds them funny! Your list will help us watch one that isnโ€™t a dud!

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    • Thank you for your comment! Once you and your husband have watched a few, you’ll have to let me know if they’re as you remember, and if you agree with my list ๐Ÿ™‚

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