Carry On Abroad (1972) **

Even if it’s not your personal favourite as it is mine, this has no place outside of any Carry On top five.
Like Camping, it's just a lucky accident, where nothing much new is added to the formula, but it all comes out of the bottle just right, and endless harmony of perfectly judged jokes and performances, placed in exactly the right setting.
Directing the unsatirical blancmange-filled kid-glove at weekend package holidays, with Butterworth giving his best performance as the harrassed manager of a still-incomplete Spanish hotel, the film offers us the definitive incarnations of Williams, as obsequious courier Stuart Farquhar ("Stupid what?" asks Butterworth), James, as Vic Flange, hoping to get away with Babs but stuck instead with Sims ("This is the wife - don't laugh"), Connor as the randy husband of sexless Whitfield, Bernie as a monk with little grasp of asceticism and a roving eye for Carol Hawkins, Babs as Babs ("I just adore old prints. I've got a couple of beauties"), Hawtrey as an alcoholic weirdo well versed in the sex habits of hamsters, and Douglas flinging his pints of beer about.
But if the main reason why it is so especially satisfying is simply that Rothwell and the gang both happen to be on top form, another is that the characters really seem to get to know each other, and Rothwell has provided a last act in which their problems are actually resolved and they find contentment, which isn't the sort of thing you expect to get from this kind of rubbish at all. The last scene, a reuinion back in England, should bring a tear to the eye of anyone who laughed their way through Love Story. And another reason is Sally Geeson.