Carry on Spying (1964)
And now I understand where Austin Powers came from…
There were a lot of similarities in my mind with 1984’s Police Academy.
Believe it or not, I would guess that Shawn and Marlon Wayans also probably really enjoy these movies.
It’s almost it’s own genre, more than just a spoof or satire, more than just a cheap, hastily made movie. I’m not even sure what you’d call this, but this movie formula has certainly been repeated time and time again.
It’s hard to say whether this is actually a bad movie or just representative of spy spoofs in general. It fits together pretty classically as a mocking narrative and I actually liked all 4 of the bumbling spies. They each brought a clearly defined character that stood out and yet was compatible with the rest. Were these movies cheaply made? Yes. Are they wildly original spoofs with clever lampooning and satirical wit? No. Were they critically acclaimed? No. But were they popular with audiences? Yes. And perhaps that last one is all that ever matters. Carry On never claimed to be more than what it was and perhaps being true to oneself is worth some gratitude.
It’s dumb and fun, maybe not always funny but fun. My worst criticism is that at points I found myself saying:
p.s. Kenneth Williams’ undiagnosed mental illness and personal misery are a sad counterpoint to this movie.