Norman Hudis, 1923 – present
When discussing the people behind the Carry On series, many people forget writer Norman Hudis. It was Norman Hudis who wrote the first six Carry On films.
Norman Hudis,was born 27th July 1923 in Stepney, England. He was the son of Isaac Hudis, a tailoring production manager and Beulah(Reuben) Hudis.
In 1956 he married Marguerita Robinson a registered nurse and technical advisor, he would later draw on her knowledge for his script writing. They had two children, Stephen Robin and Kevin Franklin.
He started his writing career on a local newspaper, the Hampstead & Highgate Express. When World War II broke out Hudis joined the RAF and served in the Middle East where he wrote for Air Force News. Like many other post-war writers his first steps into the world of entertainment came writing for camp concerts.
After the war it was a slow start for the aspiring writer, deciding to become a playwright, unfortunately only one of his plays Here Is The News met with critical success. However, this small success was enough to get him noticed by Pinewood Studios, who offered him a job as trainee screenwriter.
He spent two years with Pinewood, but failed to get any of his screenplays into production.
Hudis left Pinewood to became a freelance writer and soon to became a prolific screenwriter of B movies during the 1950s. He was the writer for the biopic The Tommy Steele Story.
It was in 1957 when he met film producer Peter Rogers, who offered him the job of writing another screenplay for Tommy Steele (The Duke Wore Jeans), which was to be directed by Gerald Thomas.
Producer and director team of Peter Rogers and Gerald Thomas chose Norman Hudis to rewrite the screenplay to R. F. Delderfield’s The Bull Boys. He obliged and the screenplay became the first of the enormously successful Carry On… film series as Carry On Sergeant.
Following the success of this Carry On début, Hudis wrote a further five Carry On’s (Carry On Nurse; Carry On Teacher; Carry On Constable; Carry On Regardless and Carry On Cruising) the highpoint being his second, Carry On Nurse, which was the UK’s top grossing film of 1959. It was whilst writing Carry On Nurse that Hudis would draw on his wife’s nursing experiences to help with the gags.
In 1963 Talbot Rothwell took over writing duties for the franchise, but Hudis continued to write.
In 1966 Hudis decided to move permanently to the U.S. as he’d received offers of work following the commercial success of Carry On Nurse over there. His US TV writing credits include, The Wild Wild West, The F.B.I., The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (The Karate Killers), Hawaii Five-O, Cannon and Baretta.
Norman Hudis continues to write for film, TV and theatre. He is the co-writer of the long-running play Seven Deadly Sins Four Deadly Sinners, which has played around the world since 2003 and he has also written the one-man play Jeffrey Archer’s Prison Diaries by FF 8282, the authorised adaptation of Jeffrey Archer’s intensely personal diaries which were written during his time in prison, both of which are produced by Marc Sinden Productions. He also wrote the semi-autobiographical play Dinner with Ribbentrop about his time working with the notoriously anti-Semetic actor Eric Portman.
DON’T FORGET “NOT GOING OUT” RETURNS TONIGHT AT 9.30PM !