A Conversation for The 'Carry On...' films

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Post 1

There is only one thing worse than being Gosho, and that is not being Gosho

I've heard that the producers of the films paid even the main players a pittance - just enough to get them from one film to the next. The biggest stars like Sid James and Kenneth Williams had plenty of other sources of income and were pretty well off, but didn't Charles Hawtry die in near poverty?


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Post 2

wimblin

I did find a website that showed how much some of the actors were paid. You're right it wasn't much. As I said in another thread, Charles Hawtry was fired from the team for being drunk on set. This could not have helped him.


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Post 3

BillBoosey

The pay was appalling, about £3000 a picture for the likes of Charles Hawtrey. Even in the sixties this wasn't a huge amount. Sid and Kenny Williams got £5000 I think.
Most of the actors were doing stage work and TV/Radio to supplement this. Maybe even the other way round. The Carry Ons probably supplemented their other work.
Its worth remembering that its only fairly recently that movie stars and TV types like the Friends and Frasier people, have been able to demand ridiculous sums of money. Its hard to believe that in 1978 when Marlon Brando got paid $4 million for his 10 minutes in "Superman" all hell was let loose over this massive payout. Today, you'd be lucky (?) to get Courtney Cox in a movie for ten minutes for that amount, let alone the likes of a (1970s) Brando.

It was due to their relentless stage commitments that hardly any scenes for any Carry On were actually shot at night. The main stars would only work until 4pm in order to get to their theatres in time for the evening curtain up. This explains one reason why they never filmed very far away from Pinewood studios. I think the furthest they got was Snowden for Up the Khyber, and Camber Sands for Follow That Camel.
To acheive night-time shots, most noticable in Abroad and Dick, they used what is called "Day-for-Night" techniques, which involves something technical with the camera lens to make it look dark.

As for Charles Hawtrey dying in poverty, I think this was the case, but I don't think his low Carry On fees can be to blame. Hawtrey's last Carry On was Abroad in 1972, and apart from a cameo in "The Plank" (1979) and a role in Supergran (1985) he did no TV / Film work at all until his death in 1988. He may have worked the theatres, but this is a notoriously poorly paid profession. It's not suprising he was "broke". In every sense of the word.


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Post 4

Kerr_Avon - hunting stray apostrophes and gutting poorly parsed sentences

"they used what is called "Day-for-Night" techniques, which involves something technical with the camera lens to make it look dark."

AKA 'Putting a blue piece of plastic over it.".

smiley - ale


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