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Carry On Sergeant [DVD] [1958]

Kenneth Williams , Charles Hawtrey , Gerald Thomas    Universal, suitable for all   DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
Price: £9.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Carry On Sergeant [DVD] [1958] + Carry On Teacher [DVD] + Carry On Constable [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Kenneth Williams, Charles Hawtrey, William Hartnell, Shirley Eaton, Eric Barker
  • Directors: Gerald Thomas
  • Writers: John Antrobus, Norman Hudis, R.F. Delderfield
  • Producers: Peter Rogers
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Warner
  • DVD Release Date: 27 Aug 2001
  • Run Time: 81 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005MFJF
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 32,483 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



The first of the Carry On movies, 1958's Sergeant is rather different from its successors, much more a film of its time (the latter days of National Service) and rather less a bawdy picture postcard. Sergeant Grimshaw (William Hartnell long before Doctor Who) is about to retire and hopes that he can get his last platoon into shape as Champion Platoon of its intake. Unfortunately, the new recruits include the clumsy Golightly (Charles Hawtrey), the barrack-room lawyer Bailey (Kenneth Williams) and the hypochondriac Horace Strong (Kenneth Connor). Love interest is provided by Bob Monkhouse and Shirley Eaton--newlyweds separated by the call-up and reunited by her taking a job in the canteen--and by the pursuit of Horace by Dora Bryan's Nora. The film relies heavily on a mixture of slapstick and paradoxical revelations of character complexity--the obnoxious Bailey nonetheless takes the trouble to coach the incorrigibly dense Herbert (Norman Rossington); the series' later obsession with low comedy only really emerges in the scenes between Horace and the medic Captain Clark (Hattie Jacques). The platoon's eventual coming together as other than total incompetents is predictable, but likable.

On the DVD: The DVD has no frills whatever except for a widescreen picture and chapter selections; it has been cleaned up however so that we get a remarkably crisp mono picture and mono sound, which brings out the quality of the military-band score by Bruce Montgomery, who was also the writer Edmund Crispin. --Roz Kaveney

Product Description

DVD Special Features:

Interactive Menus
Scene Access
Dolby Digital
Subtitles: none

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Arghhhhhhhh 22 Mar 2002
Format:VHS Tape
This was the first Carry on, they didn`t know at the time that they were going to make more. Any film that contains Kenneth Williams going Arghhhh!!! earns the first star. Ironically, the basic training scenes are closer to reality than many a war epic. Bob Monkhouse makes his first and last apearance in a Carry on, and he puts in a good and funny performance. Kenneth Connor is superb, as always he is always in bother. Charles Hawtrey is brilliant. Kenneth Williams plays it straight, and his snapping and snotty one liners are delivered like nobody else could. A Carry On film without Kenneth Williams is like a lamp without a bulb. This film is a must for Carry On fans, it is the first and one of the best, and all the jokes are fresh.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A subtle start to the carry on series 15 April 2008
Somehow I had managed to miss this over the last 50 years. So to see it in 2008, having seen many of the later Carry On films was something of a surprise. The nudge nudge element, I suppose best represented by Sid James, is mostly missing, and the film in black and white still mainly looks as though it was made just after the end of the second world war.

Its humour is more restrained than the later films. In many ways this is a good thing, because when Kenneth Connor and Kenneth Williams do appear the link to the later Carry On films falls into place. The fact that both Connor and Williams are both recruits in the Army tells you all you need to know.

The cast all give fine performances, and its well written and directed. I also wondered whether this was an influence on the writers of Dads Army. Kenneth Connor's character in particular had many of the traits that Corporal Jones would use ten years later. Whilst this may not be as good as Carry on up the Kyber its still a much better film than you might expect.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Carry On 13 May 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
As always a great film from the Carry On stable. Being the first of it's kind makes it special and in some ways it is the best of the bunch, not quite so silly as some of the later James/Windsor style, but still extremely funny.
A very enjoyable film.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Broad, cheery and un-p.c. fun 23 Aug 2007
A group of misfits undergo Army basic training under the eye of an irascible but ultimately goodhearted sergeant. No, it isn't Stripes. It's Britain in the Fifties, and this was the first of a string of Carry On movies that numbered well over 20 and lasted, I think, until the Seventies. Charles Hawtrey, Hattie Jacques, Kenneth Williams, Kenneth Connor and several others made a pretty good living appearing in the series.

And the movie's not bad. Corny, with broad humor, good spirits, and with a nice, sentimental ending. It's the last platoon the sergeant will train before he retires. Will they win the outstanding squad cup after the final parade? Plus it has all the instantly recognizable cliche characters...the unconsummated newly wed (with his bride who gets a job on base), the nervous hypochondriac, the stumble-foot innocent, the hip guitar player. All very un-P.C.

Nice jobs by William Hartnell who plays the sergeant and by Eric Barker who plays the officer in charge who doesn't have the firmest grip on reality. Not least, the movie opens and closes with a really first-rate, rousing march.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Carry on watching 17 Oct 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
CARRY ON SERGEANT is the first and in my opinion the best of
all the carry on films. It set the standard for all those that
followed on. Worth seeing over and over again, so CARRY ON WATCHING.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Carry on Films. 30 July 2011
This Film is one of the best carry on film's Iv ever seen. And It's full of the Laugh's and the Main Carry on Team. Love it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the best "Carry On" 14 Nov 2010
I have always loved this film which I personally consider to be the best of the "Carry On" series. It is the first one and although a slightly bawdy comedy it has a heart. This together with Carry On Spying and Carry On Screaming are my favourites in the series. This DVD is in exemplary condition and definitely good value and not "a dirty great heap of chits".
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Very First Carry On Film 22 May 2006
When Carry On Sergeant hit cinemas in 1958 nobody could have predicted how long the series was actually going to run. The very first Carry On film saw Peter Rogers as the producer and Gerald Thomas as the director (together they made all 31 Carry on films). A low budget farce, the film doesn't entireley encapsulate the feel of a typical Carry On film though gave mere hints of what was to come over the next 20 odd years. An army based comedy where strict, no-nonsense drill sergeant, William Hartnell (who was not a bit unlike his ferocious character in real life) attempts to train a bunch of eccentric, accident-prone young men into soldiers fit for fighting the war. Of course when you have the likes of Kenneth Williams, Charles Hawtrey and Kenneth Connor amongst the cast you pretty much can guess what happens. Several slap-stick mishaps raise a chuckle with the flamboyantly camp characterisations of Kenneth Williams and Charles Hawtrey causing the most amusement. The film does hold a surprisingly refreshing sentimental ending which was not untypical of 1950's British comedies. Amongst the rest of the cast is the delightful Hattie Jaques who is given a supporting role, Bob Monkhouse in his first and only Carry On (who also receives top billing), Leslie Phillips and the glamorous Shirley Eaton (a one-time Bond girl) who provides the sexual charisma that would later more famously be provided by Barbara Windsor. An entertaining first entry in the series.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars carry on sergeant
it is years since i saw this film. i really enjoyed was as stated .and on time .happy memories of the army days
Published 2 months ago by ronald michael jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgic
My reason for purchasing this DVD was the fact that I had discovered that the outdoor scenes had been filmed at Stoughton Barracks, Guildford, Surrey. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Colin Styles
5.0 out of 5 stars happy
i was very happy with the service and it was worth waiting for will use them again for sure thank you
Published 8 months ago by dawn
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favourite
This is the very first of the carry-ons and it's my absolute favourite carry on film. Watching this is a fine way to while away a wet Saturday afternoon. heart warming.
Published 8 months ago by ladygrinningsoul
4.0 out of 5 stars Carry on Sergeant
This was new to me as hadn't seen this Carry On film. Having done National Service I appreciated the film which I thought was very well done.
Published 9 months ago by Paul Scriven MBE
5.0 out of 5 stars the first of many
The first of the 31 Carry on films I was told it's the hardest one to get hold of I bought it for my mate who collects the Carry on films.
Published 18 months ago by Frank Arden
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic
I believe this was the first, and certainly one of the best, of the Carry On films. I remember seeing it the first time around and thoroughly enjoying it. Read more
Published 19 months ago by P Blamires
4.0 out of 5 stars Bliss
A carry on film without Sid James and Barbara Windsor is something to be treasured.

What a shame the series got dumded down so much.
Published on 14 Feb 2012 by Mr Viewer
3.0 out of 5 stars First and one of the best
This is the first of the fantastic Carry On series and one of the best. Whilst many of the regular faces we came to love (Simms, James, Dale, Bresslaw, Butterworth and Windsor) are... Read more
Published on 29 Sep 2011 by Lord Anon
4.0 out of 5 stars one of the best
this vhs tape was well worth buying its the only carry on to feature bob monkhouse in the title roll. Read more
Published on 30 May 2011 by scorpio
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