A rare Carry On with more interest in having a proper plot than tossing off gags every line, Cabby is also one of the friendliest of the series, built around the relationship between a cackling but good-hearted Sid James and an unusually touching Hattie Jacques. Sid's so obsessed with his taxi business that he neglects his wife, spending their wedding anniversary driving expectant father Jim Dale to and from the maternity hospital on a false alarm that naturally pays off with a delivery in the back of the cab. This drives Hattie to set up her own rival firm ("Glam... Cabs"), employing dolly birds in tailored uniforms to undercut the likes of Kenneth Connor and Charles Hawtrey. It ends happily, with a pair of hold-up men trapped in a ring of taxis and the marriage saved. Among the expected Carry On bits: Connor in drag, Amanda Barrie in a corset, Hawtrey in a leather jacket as a devout rambler ("We like to go as far as we can"), Liz Fraser as Connor's perky intended. Kenneth Williams is missed, but his role as the obnoxious shop steward (Carry On producer Peter Rogers never missed a chance to be nasty about the unions) is ably taken by Norman Chappell. Other familiar faces are Bill Owen, Peter Gilmore, Milo O'Shea, Renee Houston and Michael Ward as the tweedy businessman who has apparently left a pearl earring in the back of Connor's cab. On the DVD: No extras, but it's a smashing widescreen presentation of a pristine black and white print. --Kim Newman [show more]
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