Dawn Brakes (Margaret Nolan) is a minor antagonist in the 1973 English comedy film “Carry on Girls”.
Dawn is a beautiful but conceded beauty pageant member, who is unafraid to use her assets to get what she wants. It is learned that recently sabotaged a former pageant member and engaged in thievery.
The seaside resort of Fircombe is struggling to attract tourists, so Sid Fiddler (Sid James) proposes a beauty contest to draw some much needed guests into the town. He convinces the inept Mayor Frederick Bumble (Kenneth Connor) to agree, despite the protests of Miss Augusta Prodworthy (June Whitfield). She claims that “there can never be anything proper in young women shown off like cattle for sexual gratification of a lot of drooling men”.
The first one Sid calls is his friend Peter Potter (Bernard Bresslaw), in order to run the publicity for the beauty contest. Peter’s secretary is Paula Perkins (Valerie Leon), who is his fiancée. As a result, Peter is warry of saying yes, since Paula is the jealous kind. However, he agrees to come down and take the job. Next, Sid convinces his girlfriend Connie Philpotts (Joan Sims), to base the competition in her Palace Hotel.
We first catch up with Dawn as she arrives at the train station to catch her ride to Fircombe. She meets Peter Potter (Bernard Bresslaw) who is saying goodbye to his frumpy fiancée, Paula. Peter has been hired by Sid to run the publicity for the beauty contest, but has not told his wife about the gig. Dawn asks if this is the right train to the contest, and Peter says yes. When Dawn asks Paula if she is going also, she is met with “certainly not”. With that, Dawn takes a good up and down look at Paula, and noticing that she is not really “beauty contest” material, she says “Perhaps you’re right”. While Peter is saying goodbye to Paula hanging outside the window, the train shifts forward, causing him to fall backward into the sitting Dawn. This causes him to rip open her red blouse, revealing her large breasts barely contained with her white bra. The shift happens again, and Peter ends up face planted in between her large chest. Dawn makes the comment, “Why didn’t you wait until we were in the tunnel”, as if to imply that this type of behavior was warranted. Peter soon regains his composure, and when he asks for a goodbye kiss from Paula, she uses her purse to smack him across the face.
The organization of the beauty contest gains the ire of Miss Prodworthy, who rallies her league of feminists to scuttle the pageant. Miss Prodworthy engages her son Larry Prodworthy (Robin Askwirth) to serve as photographer and cover the preparations in order to uncover some misdeed which would allow her to put a stop to the whole event.
The Palace Hotel is soon taken over by scantily-clad women being chased by dirty old men. Connie is soon angered when the contestants show up and receive free rooms. The hotel, checks in gorgeous Dawn Brakes, who we learn is the current holder of the title, “Miss Dairy Queen”, for obvious reasons.
Sid soon catches the eye of former beauty queen winner Hope Springs (Barbara Windsor), with the title of “Miss Easy Rider”, which provides plenty of tension with Connie.
When Hope hears that Dawn Brakes is a part of the contest, she protests. There is obviously some history there, and we learn that the two have compteted against each other in several beauty pageants. Hope claims that Miss Brakes wears a falsie since one breast is larger than the other. She continued to tell Sid that the two of them were sharing a dressing room in the last contest. Hope had a silver bikini and when she stepped out she left it on the counter. The bikini later ended up missing when she returned.
Enter Dawn Brakes who is wearing a thigh high silk robe. She is invited to take the mount on top of a donkey in the hotel lobby. The rest of the contestants are ordered to gather around Miss Brakes as Larry prepares to begin taking publicity photos of the group of contestants. However, Dawn soon announces that they should wait while she takes off her robe. As she de-robes, it is revealed that she is wearing a much too small silver bikini, to which Hope Springs immediately calls her out for being a “thieving bitch”. Dawn completely denies the allegation, and responds that she “wouldn’t be seen dead in your old drag”. Hope tells her that she will be seen dead, if she doesn’t give it back to her. Sid immediately tries to come in between the quarrelsome girls, but Hope pushes him back into Dawn.
Dawn is thrown off of the donkey and lands on the ground, much to the amusement of Hope. Hope then calls her “Rotten Cow”, and begins chasing Dawn around a coffee table in the middle of the room. After several spins around the table, Dawn makes a dash for the sofa, where she is immediately tackled from behind. This flips the sofa over, as the rest of the contestants cheer with glee. The frumpy Paula who was sitting on the couch, ends up with her legs in the air, as the two girls continue on with their catfight.
Dawn momentarily crawls out of the way and around the wreakage. However, she is soon caught from behind by Hope who rips off her hair extension wig and throws it on an unsuspecting old lady knitting and watching in a nearby seat. Next, Hope pulls Dawn down and rips her bikini top off throwing it back at the Admiral (Peter Butterworth) who catches it by surprise. The fight is not over, Hope then begins to go to work at Dawn’s bikini bottom, while the poor girl does everything she can to not reveal her now exposed large breasts. Sid finally grabs Hope by the waist and picks her up kicking and screaming for more, while Hope is comforted by Peter who offers his coat to cover her up. Hope breaks free and tackles Dawn and Peter from behind, and has to be pulled back once again. As the scene comes to an end, Dawn accidentally pulls down the pants of the Mayor.
Next we see Dawn ask Larry to do her a favor and take some nude pinup photos of her for a magazine. The two engage in a photo shoot with Dawn in a bikini under a large umbrella down at the beach. The Admiral shows up to take a closer look, and we see Dawn take her bikini top off and hand it to Larry. The shocked Larry looks stunned as he looks at the bikini and then back at the now topless Dawn. Dawn asks if there is something wrong with them, to which Larry is unable to form a complete sentence. The photoshoot is disrupted when the Admiral using his telescope to check her out, falls off the pier and on top of the umbrella. All we see is Dawn pinned under the umbrella with her feet kicking frantically.
Connie’s regular guests begin to leave the hotel from being uncomfortable with the scantily clad girls in the lobby. When she arrives at Sid’s room to complain to him, she finds Hope in his closet.
Sid lands a television spot with a magazine program that wants to take film of the girls in a publicity sort of spot. In order to drum up even more publicity, Sid decides to have Peter dress up as a man and pretend to be one of the contestants under the assumed name of Patricia Potter. Sid then anonymously calls Miss Prodworthy and tells her that one of the contestants is really a man. With this information Miss Prodworthy could destroy the contest.
The jealous Paula eventually shows up at the hotel in order to keep her husband under a close eye. However, she checks into a room without telling her husband, wanting to surprise him.
Later the contestants appear down in the lobby for publicity photos in their evening gowns. Dawn appears in a gold dress that once again, shows off her ample cleavage. The Admiral is seen hiding behind a potted plant in order to use his telescope to get a closer look at her plunging neckline as she leans over to adjust her high heels. Soon, the telescope is smoking, and he has to blow on it. When Peter arrives, he stumbles up on stage and nearly rips Dawn’s dress. She is able to catch him and keep from losing it.
As the organizer Cecil Gaybody (Jimmy Logan) makes his way down the line of girls, he reminds them to “throw your thingie-ma-bobbers out”. However, when he makes it down to Dawn, he immediately sees her large chest, and tells her “Not right out darling, it’s not an educational program”.
Miss Prodworthy arrives at the hotel along with the mayor and two inspectors. She intends to expose the fraud and shut the contest down. She demands that each of the contestants strip down to their underwear to show that they are indeed a woman. This is when Peter makes a run for it. As he rushes out of the room, his dress is ripped off by one of the officers. Peter ends up changing his clothes and pretends to make out with Hope to get the police to leave. However, in the process, Paula walks in while he is kissing Hope, and gets the wrong idea.
Paula eventually undergoes a make-over when, unbeknownst to her future spouse, she is determined to enter the contest herself out of this jealousy. She goes under the assumed name of Patricia Potter, to take the spot that Peter held. When the police show up to take a look around the hotel, they find Paula as Patricia all made up, and she is definitely no man. Peter is furious with her, but is also impressed with how beautiful she is.
The finale ends with hijinx at the Pier Theatre of the Miss Fircombe Contest, in which the feminists sabotage the whole affair. It starts when the mayor’s wife, Mildred Bumble (Patsy Rowlands) crosses over and joins Miss Prodworthy and her women libbers. She burns her bra, and the group begins putting their operation in motion. Connie Philpotts is also involved in the operation while she takes the tickets for the entire show. She plans to get back at her cheating husband. While several of the women are outside holding picket signs to boycott the beauty contest on grounds of decency, a number of others are getting into position behind the curtains and up in the upper stage scaffolding. Miss Prodworthy runs the entire plan with walkie talkies, and the first plan is to have two of the libbers dressed as cleaning ladies, enter the dressing rooms and place itching powder in the contestants bikinis.
Dawn is the first contestant to be introduced, and she appears in a yellowish green one-piece swimsuit that has buttons up the front revealing her bellybutton. Her hair is again worn in a beehive with her hair extensions. After making her way down the steep runway she settled over by Peter who is introducing the contestants. Patricia is the next contestant, who appears in a blueprint one piece. Dawn’s rival, Hope Springs makes her way down the runway in a green bikini that is attached in the middle. Suddenly, the itching powder takes effect, and we see Hope followed by the other two contestants begin itching themselves in inappropriate areas. The audience begins to pick up on this, and begins laughing hysterically. Sid and the mayor wonder if they have fleas or something. Miss Prodworthy tells the girls over the walkie, “Well done section A”.
Next, Geraldine Page (Angela Grant) is introduced as holding the title of “Miss Bangor”. Miss Prodworthy tells Section B to commence “Operation Downfall”. At this, the girls above the stage begin shaking pepper in the air, and Geraldine begins sneezing. Soon all the other girls including Dawn begin sneezing as well. Dawn ends up sneezing so hard that her buttons holding her bikini together pop open revealing her impressive cleavage. Sid attempts to help her out by trying to button them back up, and is slapped by Dawn. The audience is enjoying the girls getting humiliated, and they can hardly control their laughter.
Before the next contestant, Susan Brooks (Zena Clifton) is introduced, one of the ladies squirts the ramp with some sort of lubricant, making Susan slip and fall on her butt in her yellow bikini. Sid orders Peter to get the rest of the group on quickly, and introduces Eileen Denby (Laraine Humphrys), wearing a once piece print suit, followed by Maureen Darcy (Carol Wyler), who is wearing a blue bikini. Eileen makes it down the ramp, but Maureen is less successful, falling twice. Next, Gloria Winch (Pauline Peart) and Julia Oates (Barbara Wise) are introduced. The remainder of the girls are introduced, including Frances Cake (Mavis Fyson), Ida Downs (Wendy Richards), and Mary Parker (Caroline Whitaker).
Miss Prodworthy gets on the walkie and announces all sections to commence “Operation Cloudburst”. Suddenly, the fire sprinklers came on over the stage, and the girls began getting soaked. However, that was just the start of the humiliation, as the girls in the scaffolding began dumping dirt over the drenched beauty contestants below. The women libbers seemed to enjoy this job the most, as they were finally getting back at the well-endowed counterparts. The girls were screaming and trying to find a safe place to go, but they were being pelted from all directions. The crowd was laughing at the girls’ humiliation, until Miss Prodworthy turned on the sprinkler system over them as well. Now the show was truly over as the crowd quickly exited out of the disaster area. The mayor attempted to calm down the fleeing crowd, but his wife opened up the trap door on the stage, which swallowed him up. The girls continued to crawl up the slick ramp to the backstage. This is the last we see of the lovely ladies including Dawn Brakes. No winner was crowned, and Sid escaped in a go-cart with an angry crowd demanding their money back. He stopped at the ticket booth only to find that Connie had taken the money to pay for all the damages at her hotel. The film ended with Hope Springs and Sid riding on a motorcycle and leaving town together.
- Margaret Nolan is best remembered for her non-villainess role of Dink in the 1964 James Bond film "Goldfinger", and also appeared in the title sequence of the golden painted girl on the bed in that film.
- Margaret Nolan appeared as Mrs. Elliot in the 1966 episode "Parallel Lines" for the TV series "Secret Agent".