Primarily enticed by the idea of Fenella Fielding (hubba hubba) in Carry On Screaming, I bought the Carry On series DVD set from Amazon the other day, and am gradually working my way through them. Last night I watched Carry On Cabby.
It was kind of cute. Hattie Jacques, who has had minor roles in the ones I’ve watched so far, was the female lead in this one; she plays the neglected wife of a cab company owner (Sid James) who decides to get attention by starting her own cab company, which (of course) almost ends up putting him out of business.
She does a great job; in turns appealing, plaintive, serious, pissed-off, empowered. Almost steals the show from that old mugger James.
The plot is okay, but the ending (as I suppose is pretty much inevitable in a ‘50s British comedy) dodges a real resolution of their conflict in favor of a chase scene when Hattie is hijacked carrying the payroll money. But the hijacking and subsequent chase actually builds suspense pretty well—it’s almost Dragnet-like, with James shouting instructions into a microphone as his fleet of (very slow) cabs scramble to divert and eventually surround the hijackers.
So—a forgotten classic of cinema? Heck no. But an amusing diversion whilst munching Cheetos in front of the tube? Sure! (and Hattie is surprisingly hot )