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a right carry on

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carry on matron 1971

rating

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cast
 

Sid Carter Sidney James
Bernard Cutting Kenneth Williams
Dr F A. Goode Charles Hawtrey
Matron Hattie Jacques
Mrs Tidey Joan Sims
Ernie Bernard Bresslaw
Nurse Susan Ball Barbara Windsor
Mr Tidey Kenneth Connor
Doctor Prodd Terry Scott
Cyril Carter Kenneth Cope
Sister Jacki Piper
Freddy Bill Maynard
Evelyn Banks Patsy Rowlands
Arthur Derek Francis
Mrs Jenkins Amelia Bayntun
Jane Darling Valerie Leon
Ambulance Man Brian Osborne
Frances Kemp Gwendolyn Watts
Miss Smethurst Valerie Shute
Mrs Tucker Margaret Nolan
Pearson Michael Nightingale
Miss Willing Wendy Richard
Au Pair Girl Zena Clifton
Reporter Bill Kenwright
Mr Darling Robin Hunter
Twitching Father Jack Douglas
Mrs Pullitt Madeline Smith
Mrs Bentley Julie Harmer
Nurse In Bath Gilly Grant
Shapely Nurse Lindsay March
Nurse Laura Collins
   
Screenplay Talbot Rothwell
Producer Peter Rogers
Director Gerald Thomas

plot

The job is a cinch, Sid tells his gang, a motley bunch compromising his son Cyril, Ernie and Freddy. Finisham Maternity Hospital, the joint they're casing, has a gigantic stock of the birth pill. All they've got to do is get inside, grab it - and they'll make a fortune selling the haul to certain foreign contacts.

But first one of them has to get into the place and steal the hospital plans. Although he's far from keen on the idea, before he can say 'bra', Cyril is tottering into the hospital decked out in a wig, make up, false bosoms, nurses uniform, stockings and high heels.

The disguise is most effective. In fact, he's hardly had time to straighten his seams before he’s being goosed by a groping gynaecologist named Prodd and then, he is mistaken for a new student nurse and checked in a nurses' quarters’ room with Nurse Susan Ball.

But if Cyril has got his problems, so has Finisham Hospital. Sir Bernard Cutting, the chief surgeon and well-known hypochondriac, is worried that he's changing sex and nothing Matron does can ease his mental turmoil. Consultations with the resident psychiatrist, Dr. Goode only confuse matters even more. In fact, visitors might be forgiven for believing that the only normal thing about Finisham Hospital was the patients - were it not for Mrs. Tidey, who is now weeks overdue and enjoying every minute of it, much to the chagrin of her husband.

Sir Bernard's own romantic inclinations towards Matron suffer a serious set back when he goes to her room intent on proving his manhood - and finds Dr. Goode hiding in her wardrobe.

In the meantime, Cyril's fortunes are taking some most alarming turns. Apart from trying to keep the amorous Dr. Prodd at bay, he finds himself in the embarrassing limelight as something of a 'star nurse' when he is called upon to deliver film star Jane Darlings triplets during an emergency ambulance drive.

But Cyril does finally manage to get his hands on the hospital plans and soon Sid and the rest of the gang arrive for the great pill robbery. Naturally they are suitably disguised - Sid as the bearded Dr. Zhivago, Ernie as an outrageously pregnant young lady, and Freddy as an ambulance driver.

They manage to infiltrate the hospital without much trouble, there’s no problem finding the basement storeroom where the pill stocks are kept. But in the process of blowing the storeroom door they waken the entire hospital. Their getaway bid is a frantic chase around the corridors and wards with Matron, staff and an army of Mums-to-be in hot pursuit.

They're finally cornered, but Sid's still got a trick up his sleeve. After all, it wouldn't do for one moment if it got out that the celebrated nurse who delivered Jane Darlings triplets was really a 'he'!

Matron has no alternative but to let the gang go in exchange for their silence. The outcome pleases everyone - especially Cyril and Susan, who have fallen in love.

There are wedding bells in the air for Matron and Sir Bernard too...

review

After Convenience flopped at the pictures, the Carry On's had to get bums back on seats, so a prompt return to medical matters was called for. This is the last of the the medical Carry On's and is also the lewdest, featuring such eyebrow raising character names as Dr. Prodd, Nurse Ball, Dr F A. Goode, Miss Willing, Mrs Pullitt etc.

The plot of Matron is a slight departure from the previous medical outings focusing on Sid and his gangs attempts to steal contraceptive pills from Finisham Maternity Hospital, rather than everyday medical matters. It's a mix of pregnancy gags, sexy nurses, lusty blokes chasing girls, cross dressing and randy doctors chasing blokes dressed up as girls, so no change there then.

Only one patient gets a look in as far as plot is concerned, and that’s the ever reliable Joan Sims as the constantly eating and moaning Mrs. Tidey accompanied by Kenneth Connor as the ultimate in expecting husbands. All the other patients are reduced to 'blink and you'll miss them' appearances amongst them Wendy Richard, Madeline Smith and Valerie Leon.

Kenneth Williams is perfectly cast as the hypochondriac Bernard Cutting and the on-off relationship between him and the Matron character finally results in marriage at the end of the film. Elsewhere Charles Hawtrey minces about brilliantly as Dr. Goode, Hattie Jacques is again outstanding as Matron, however through no fault of his own (it’s the script's) Terry Scotts character is more creepy than funny and just doesn't work as well as the rest. A shame really as this was his last Carry On work due to the fact that the 'Terry and June' precursor 'Happy Ever After' was going into production and thus kept him busy for the rest of the series. Kenneth Cope portrays a much nicer character than the bolsie Unionist he portrayed in the previous film and finally gets the girl in the shape of Barbara Windsor.

Minor quibbles aside, this is another excellent Carry On and takes the title as the best medical outing (just beating Carry On Doctor by a whisker). Most of the regulars are all present and correct and any film with Bernard Bresslaw dragged up as a pregnant woman has got to be worth seeing.

other information

Having last appeared in Carry On Up The Jungle as Leda, Valerie Leon had then been on a two-year hiatus in which she filmed such classics as Blood From the Mummy’s Tomb. She brought herself back to the memory of Peter Rogers and Gerald Thomas by writing them a letter and was assured that they'd always be interested in "all her talents".

Jack Douglas makes his first appearance in the films as the 'Twitching Father'. Jack claims he was paid in Champagne due to production costs having been finalised before he was awarded the role, however Peter Rogers denies this.

Look out for theatre mogul Bill Kenwright as a reporter.

Amazingly this film managed to finish six and a half days ahead of schedule.

bloopers

When Cyril arrives in drag, Arthur says, "Over to the desk girls". Watch carefully because his mouth isn't moving.

Mrs. Tidy and the lady in front of her are in Bunn ward. But when Matron is telling Nurse Ball to take Nurse Carter to bed, if you look on the left, the lady who was in front of Mrs. Tidy is in Oven ward.

When Sir Bernard pulls Miss Banks' dress off he throws it behind her. She then runs into her office with it held in her hands.

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