carry on cabby

When the proprietor of a business becomes absorbed in his work to the exclusion of all else, including his domestic responsibilities, it usually bodes ill for the long-suffering little woman at home. Not that Peggy Hawkins (Hattie Jacques) can be described as 'little' in the strictly literal sense, but all the same she suffers all the frustrations of loneliness common to "business widows".

Peg's husband Charlie (Sidney James), is the owner of Speedee Taxis Limited, a flourishing concern plying for hire in a suburban town. Charlie is a rough diamond that success has not spoiled, and he is still ready - too ready - to take the wheel of a taxi and do a bit of 'cabbing' to keep his hand in, forgetting that Peg is waiting for him at home.

Trying always but vainly to keep the peace between Charlie and Peg, is general manager Ted Watson (Kenneth Connor). Ted does not, however, allow their stormy interpretation of married bliss to deter him from playing court to attractive Sally Green (Liz Fraser), who runs the cab=yard canteen. There is a most hilarious interlude when a new driver turns up seeking a job. His name is Pintpot (Charles Hawtrey), and the best that can be said of his driving is that it is more enthusiastic than skilful.

Charlie and Peg have arranged a little celebration to mark their wedding anniversary, but as usual business intervenes and Peg finds herself 'celebrating' alone. At the end of her patience, she decides to take aggressive action and, in partnership with Flo (Esma Cannon) the wife of one of the drivers, she goes into the taxi business on her own account in opposition to Speedee Taxis. Peg and Flo have a gimmick which they hope will put them ahead of Charlie and the boys. They call their own organisation 'Glamcabs' and recruit a corps of gorgeous girls as drivers. These are attires in snappy, revealing uniforms and after a period of training are let loose on a delighted public. Speedee Taxis soon find themselves losing custom to Glamcabs.

Charlie is stunned by this unexpected turn of events, little knowing that his wife is the mastermind behind the rival company which, incidentally, is being financed by his own capital, since all his money is in Peg's name. Charlie and Ted promptly declare war on Glamcabs and from simple acts of sabotage a full-scale feud develops.

When his pin-pricks fail to daunt his lovely competitors, Charlie plans an all-out assault on the opposition's cab-yard. Unfortunately for him, Peg has a fifth columnist at Speedee Taxis in the person of Sally who keeps her well informed of all that goes on. The result is that Peg and Flo are able to organise a warm reception (or a cold one to be more accurate!) for the boys when they arrive. Much more excitement has to follow before Charlie and Peg resolve their differences and peace reigns once again in the Hawkins homestead.

Carry On Cabby is in the great laughter tradition of its six side-splitting predecessors created by producer Peter Rogers and director Gerald Thomas. Another cracking performance from Sid James who is well supported by Hattie Jacques. Hattie, deservedly, has a bigger part in the film than usual. As the impish Flo, Esma Cannon is a sheer joy, while good work comes also from Kenneth Connor and Charles Hawtrey. Yes, everything points to the firm belief that the Carry On series will be carrying on for a long time yet.