Regardless - which I watched last night - is really quite a curio in the series. I probably don't need to bang on about the fact that it's essentially a portmanteau film - a series of short sketches tied together by the Helping Hands premise. Had I watched this immediately after Constable it could have been a bit jarring. Watching some Hudis-scripted episodes of Our House in their original chronological placement before diving into Regardless puts a different spin on things. In this context, the sketchy tone of the film feels quite organic. It's just like watching an episode of Our House with a bigger budget and some good guest stars. Which all adds weight to my feeling that the episodic nature of this film was heavily influenced by Hudis working on the TV series at the same time. This isn't the only factor at play here. There was a thirteen month gap between Constable and Regardless - the series' biggest to date. There would also be a thirteen month gap between Regardless and Cruising, meaning that Regardless exists in the kind of vacuum that is quite unusual for Carry Ons. While the randomness perhaps doesn't make for an overly satisfying experience compared with the other five Hudis films, the change of pace is refreshing as a one-off. And randomness is something that would become more acceptable in the series as time went on. With this in mind, what has really stood out for me this viewing is how broad things get in this series entry. While the actors each play one character throughout, there's the sense that they approach each task assigned their character in a different way, giving us motifs that would come to typify the series. A few examples: Joan Sims plays Lily with kind of down to earth likeability that most of her early characters have, but when she is required to attend a wine tasting function we get the first appearance of the deliberately faux RP that would recur in her characters throughout the series (frequently accompanied by her "queete neece" phrase). As in later films, her dignity quickly crumbles. Here it's under the influence of alcohol and - as in Teacher - she does trollied epically. Kenneth Williams as Francis is the well read upper middle aloof type that has typified his run so far, but there are more extremes here. When a modelling situation becomes vacant, his character's vanity is milked for all it's worth before he loses face altogether - a recurring motif for the rest of his run. Likewise, picking up from the department store confusion in Constable, Regardless's incident with Judith Furse and her schoolgirls sees his remarkably erudite character become tongue tied with miscommunication leading to his downfall. Perhaps most notably, Regardless has a moment where Kenneth breaks shamelessly into his "Snide" character. After some leering at women in various states of undress in Constable, Sid James's Bert in Regardless goes into full-on lecherous mode and seizes an opportunity to give a physical examination to a queue of underwear-clad nurses (the "explanation" for them being practically naked is an example of the Carry Ons' existing in a completely different universe to ours, but I doubt many complained). Charles Hawtrey's delicateness is played off to great effect with the boxing scene, and him chugging the body rub foreshadows the scene in Abroad where his character drinks the sunscreen (whether the Regardless scene was written as a pointedly deliberate satire of Hawtrey's alcoholism in the way that Abroad was is debatable. I like to think it wasn't). Liz Fraser's arrival brings a different kind of glamour to the series. The upmarket icy Hitchcock blonde embodied by Shirley Eaton and Jill Adams has been replaced by the more comical "dumb blonde" stereotype. So it's out with Grace Kelly and in with Marilyn Monroe. Which works better for the series is debatable. Personally I always felt that the "classier" female romantic leads brought an added dimension to the series, so I'm quite the fan of Angela Douglas and thought Jacki Piper struck a nice balance in her films. That said, it really doesn't have to be an either/or situation. Fraser has irritated me at times on previous watches, but last night I found myself enjoying her performance. She fits in well with the team and gives Delia a likeability. One moment where she kind of clicked with me was the scene where she was modelling underwear for a man to buy his wife when her client's wife arrived home unexpectedly. It took her quite some moments to realise why this could be a compromising situation, and this ingenuous quality made her very endearing indeed. I also enjoyed her character's friendship with Joan Sims's, which follows on from the "girls together" aspect of the Joan/Hattie relationships in previous films (and would have been the same here, presumably, had Hattie been well enough for more than her small but memorable role as the Sister). Had I watched this in 1961 it would have been easy to think this was the end of the Carry Ons. Not that Peter Rogers and the powers that be were thinking that way. Hudis threw everything at this including - in the final scene - the kitchen sink. Even if it had ended at this point, I think the Carry Ons would still be fondly remembered - if not quite as widely. But history tells this is just the beginning. And even Hudis still had one more trick up his sleeve.