I haven't had much time of late to update this. I'm going to try a bit harder to at least post once a week from now on.
Carry On films then, I'm always a bit surprised when I find out other people don't like them as much as I do. I guess that, much like Bond, I grew up with Carry On films and they caught me at an impressionable age before I could pick up my "cool gland". Actually, to be honest, I never did develop that "cool gland" which probably goes a long way to explaining many of my Top 5 choices. Anyway, Carry On films will always be, for me, a glorious institution, mining that rich vein of farce, puns and double entendres that is peculiarly British.
Here's my favourites;
1. Carry On Cabby (1963) - The first of the Carry On films written by Talbot Rothwell who was screenwriter throughout the "classic" period of the films. Hattie Jacques launches an all female Cab company to rival her husband's (Sid James) firm. Liz Fraser is one of many busty beautiful blonds. A glorious ending as hundreds of Cabs converge on a field to capture a group of crooks.
2. Carry On Up The Khyber (1968) - All the regulars now well and truly established, this is possibly the ultimate Carry On film. Kenneth Williams plays Rhandi Lal, the Khasi of Kalabar attempting to incite a rebellion against the the Devils in Skirts after Private Widdle (Charles Hawtrey) is found wearing underpants after an encounter with Bungdit Din (Bernard Bresslaw). This made the BFI's top 100 films in 1999. How can you not find this stuff funny?
3. Carry On Cleo (1964) - Another historical parody in which the Romans invade a wet and miserable Britain. Kenneth Williams (as Julius Caesar) does his stuff as various people attempt to kill him off, resulting in the famous "Infamy! Infamy! They've all got it in for me!". Amanda Barry is gorgeous as Queen Cleopatra.
4. Carry On Camping (1969) - The film's tone is set early on when Sid takes his wife (Joan Simms), best pal (Bresslaw) and best pal's girlfriend (Dilys Laye) to see a film about nudist camping. Joan is not impressed "You told me this film was all about camping!" to which Sid replies "It is, those are tents aren't they?". Famous for the Barbara Windsor bra-popping scene on which she based her entire career.
5. Carry On Sergeant (1958) - The first Carry On film, and very different from the films made at it's zenith. A more subtle romantic comedy starring Bob Monkhouse and Shirley Eaton (of Goldfinger fame). Kenneth Williams did appear though he was only paid £800 for his role as James Bailey.
A footnote about Carry On Screaming which is reputed to be one of the best of the series. For one reason or another I've failed to see yet but as soon as I do I'll add an update to this list. Check out The Whippit Inn or the official Carry On site if you want to know more about the series.