Carry On Spying (1964)

The Carry On series has 31 movies from 1958-1978, with another made in 1993), 4 holiday specials, a 13-episode TV series and 3 stage plays, all in the British music hall tradition of bawdy parody. Made on the cheap, they are the second-longest British film series, eclipsed only by James Bond. So it makes sense that during this month of Bond, we finally get to a Carry On movie.

From cowboys and horror to army films, cruises and even Emmannuelle, these films hit every angle. And now, it was time for Bond.

STENCH (the Society for the Total Extinction of Non-Conforming Humans) has stolen a secret formula, which means that agents Desmond Simpkins (Kenneth Williams, who appeared in 26 of these films), Harold Crump (Bernard Cribbins), Daphne Honeybutt (Barbara Windsor) and Charlie Bind (Charles Hawtrey) must get it back.

There’s also the evil Dr. Crow and SNOG (the Society for Neutralising Of Germs), which we all could use some more of right now. There’s also BOSH (The British Operational Security Headquarters) and SMUT (The Society for the Monopoly of Universal Technology).

Bond producer Albert “Cubby” Broccoli threatened a lawsuit over the character name James Bind agent 006½, which led to the change in name to Charlie Bind and his title Agent Double 0-Ohh. He also demanded that the poster be reworked as it was too close to From Russia With Love.

The STENCH henchman The Fat Man was the voice of SPECTRE number 1 — Blofeld — in From Russia With Love and two of the henchwomen have hair that looks just like Modesty Blaise.

Interestingly, this film’s cinematographer Alan Hume who would later work on the Bond movies For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy and A View to a Kill.

This film — the last Carry On in black and white — was the first Bond parody to hit the screen. So many jokes in it would become parts of other films, like the name Charles Bind being used in Lindsay Shonteff’s Bond ripoffs, the restaurant tape recorder being used in For Your Eyes Only and The Living Daylights outright replicated this film’s plot, including an enemy agent with exploding milk bottles.

I also love that this movie was inspired by the fact that a Bond picture was filming at Pinewood Studios at the same time.

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