Carry On Abroad

Carry On Abroad is a 1972 British comedy film, the 24th release in the series of 31 Carry On films (1958–1992). The film features series regulars Sid James, Kenneth Williams, Joan Sims, Bernard Bresslaw, Barbara Windsor, Kenneth Connor, Peter Butterworth and Hattie Jacques. It was the 23rd and final appearance for Charles Hawtrey. June Whitfield returned after appearing in Carry On Nurse 13 years earlier. Jimmy Logan and Carol Hawkins made their first of two appearances in the series.

Carry On Abroad
Original UK quad poster
Directed byGerald Thomas
Produced byPeter Rogers
Written byTalbot Rothwell
StarringSid James
Kenneth Williams
Charles Hawtrey
Joan Sims
Bernard Bresslaw
Barbara Windsor
Kenneth Connor
Peter Butterworth
Jimmy Logan
June Whitfield
Hattie Jacques
Music byEric Rogers
CinematographyAlan Hume
Edited byAlfred Roome
Distributed byThe Rank Organisation
Release date
15 December 1972
Running time
88 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

Along with the previous film in the series (Carry On Matron), it features the highest number of the regular Carry On team. The only members missing are Jim Dale and Terry Scott, both of whom had the left the series by this point (although Dale would return belatedly for Carry On Columbus in 1992) and, as a result, were never in a Carry On film together.


The film opens with pub landlord and frequent holidaymaker Vic Flange (Sid James) openly flirting with the sassy saucepot widow 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 Elsbels (a pun on the slang expression "Hell's Bells") which is on the Costa Bomm, 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 representative of Wundatours Travel Agency, and his sexy, seductive assistant, Moira Plunkett (Gail Grainger), welcome the motley passengers. Among them are the henpecked and sex-starved Stanley Blunt (Kenneth Connor) and his overbearing, conservative, frigid 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 Lily and Marge (Sally Geeson and Carol Hawkins respectively), who are each hoping to find a man to fall in love with; and a party of monks, including Brother Bernard (Bernard Bresslaw) a timid young monk who has difficulty 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 myriad different guises – the manager, the doorman and the porter – and the chef is his irate, ill-tempered wife, Floella (Hattie Jacques), who battles repeatedly with the temperamental stove while their handsome, womanising son Georgio (Ray Brooks) idles behind the bar. The hotel also hides an assortment of faults and Pepe is soon overrun with complaints: Evelyn finds Mr Tuttle in her bath, 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 the smoke from the burning food in the kitchen, which forces the motley group of holiday-makers to open the windows, prompting the 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 Bernard develop an innocent romance. Meanwhile, Stanley 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. Vic tries to put Bert off Sadie by telling him that she is a black widow who murdered her two previous husbands, when in fact both were firemen who died on the job.

The next day, while most of the party go off on an excursion to the nearby 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 Elixir", 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 after having a brief affair with Georgio. 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 Elixir. 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 then shifts forward an unspecified period of time, and shows an Elsbels reunion at Vic & Cora's pub. All the guests are happy and reminisce about the holiday they barely survived.



  • Screenplay – Talbot Rothwell
  • Music – Eric Rogers
  • Production Manager – Jack Swinburne
  • Art Director – Lionel Couch
  • Editor – Alfred Roome
  • Director of Photography – Alan Hume
  • Camera Operator – Jimmy Davis
  • Continuity – Joy Mercer
  • Assistant Director – David Bracknell
  • Sound Recordists – Taffy Haines & Ken Barker
  • Make-up – Geoffrey Rodway
  • Assistant Art Director – Bill Bennison
  • Set Dresser – Don Picton
  • Hairdresser – Stella Rivers
  • Costume Designer – Courtenay Elliott
  • Dubbing Editor – Peter Best
  • Assistant Editor – Jack Gardner
  • Titles – GSE Ltd
  • Processor – Rank Film Laboratories
  • Producer – Peter Rogers
  • Director – Gerald Thomas


The film's opening credits also include 'Sun Tan Lo Tion' (sun tan lotion) as 'Technical Director'.

The brothel keeper is played by Olga Lowe, one of the first actresses to work with Sid James when he arrived in the UK in 1946. Lowe was also the actress on stage with James on the night he died in Sunderland.

Filming and locations

  • Filming dates – 17 April-26 May 1972 (The previous entry – Carry On Matron – was released during filming)

Interior/Exterior film locations:

Bagshot, Surrey: Road to the airport.

High Street, Slough: Wundatours travel agency shop (site has since been redeveloped and is now Cornwall House)

Pinewood Studios: Elsbels hotel interior and exterior scenes. The hotel was constructed in the studio backlot with a matte added to represent the upper floors and sections of scaffold.

Elsbels Airport: The security block at Pinewood Studios was used to represent the Elsbels Airport terminal building.

The Whippit Inn: Pinewood Studios


  1. Kenneth Williams's character refers to her as "Miss Maggs"

Further reading

  • Davidson, Andy (2012). Carry On Confidential. Miwk. ISBN 978-1-908630-01-8.
  • Sheridan, Simon (2011). Keeping the British End Up – Four Decades of Saucy Cinema. Titan Books. ISBN 978-0-85768-279-6.
  • Webber, Richard (2009). 50 Years of Carry On. Arrow. ISBN 978-0-09-949007-4.
  • Hudis, Norman (2008). No Laughing Matter. Apex. ISBN 978-1-906358-15-0.
  • Sheridan, Simon (2007). Keeping the British End Up: Four Decades of Saucy Cinema (3rd ed.). Reynolds & Hearn Books.
  • Ross, Robert (2002). The Carry On Companion. Batsford. ISBN 978-0-7134-8771-8.
  • Bright, Morris; Ross, Robert (2000). Mr Carry On – The Life & Work of Peter Rogers. BBC Books. ISBN 978-0-563-55183-6.
  • Rigelsford, Adrian (1996). Carry On Laughing – a celebration. Virgin. ISBN 1-85227-554-5.
  • Hibbin, Sally & Nina (1988). What a Carry On. Hamlyn. ISBN 978-0-600-55819-4.
  • Eastaugh, Kenneth (1978). The Carry On Book. David & Charles. ISBN 978-0-7153-7403-0.
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