Publicity

 


Story

Sid Carter (Sid James) and his gang of small time crooks plan to steal Finisham Maternity Hospital’s entire stock of contraceptive pills for sale overseas.  The key to Carter’s plan is his son, Cyril (Kenneth Cope) disguising himself as a nurse and infiltrating the hospital.  Finisham is governed by the neurotic Sir Bernard Cutting (Kenneth Williams), who becomes increasingly convinced that he’s turning into a woman; a conviction which is compounded by psychiatrist Dr F A Goode (Charles Hawtrey).  Meanwhile, Matron (Hattie Jacques) has more than enough to contend with on the wards.  Mrs Tidey (Joan Sims) is long overdue but appears to be quite content to lie in bed and dine on hospital food while her husband (Kenneth Connor) waits patiently in the waiting room. 

 

A Peter Rogers Production
Directed by Gerald Thomas

1972
Colour

Screenplay: Talbot Rothwell
Music: Eric Rogers
Certificate A/PG
87 minutes

Sid Carter
-
Sid James
Sir Bernard Cutting
Kenneth Williams
Francis Goode -
Charles Hawtrey
Matron -
Hattie Jacques
Mrs Tidey -
Joan Sims
Ernie -
Bernard Bresslaw

Dr Prodd

-
Terry Scott
Nurse Susan Ball -
Barbara Windsor
Mr Tidey -
Kenneth Connor
Cyril Carrier -
Kenneth Cope
Freddy -
Bill Maynard
Evelyn Banks -
Patsy Rowlands
Sister -
Jacki Piper
Arthur -
Derek Francis
Mrs Jenkins -
Amelia Bayntun
Jane Darling -
Valerie Leon
Ambulance Driver -
Brian Osborne
Frances Kemp -
Gwendolyn Watts
Miss Smethurst -
Valerie Shute
Tucker -
Margaret Nolan
Miss Willing -
Wendy Richard
Reporter -
Bill Kenwright
Expectant Father -
Jack Douglas
Mrs Pullitt -
Madeline Smith
Mrs Putzova -
Marianne Stone
Mrs Bentley -
Juliet Harmer

 

 

"Carry On Matron is one of the very best loved of all Carry Ons - largely because of Hattie Jacques' marvellous performance in the title role.

Carry On Matron finds the team on top form in Finisham Maternity Hospital. Sid James leads a team of less than professional crooks intent on stealing a huge hoard of birth control pills.

If your funny bone is in need of tickling, this is the prescription you need.

GOVERNMENT HEALTH WARNING: Carrying On can seriously improve your sense of humour."
 

Review

At the heart of Carry On Matron is a new dynamic.  Sid’s criminal mastermind is a much darker character than he’s played in the past.  He’s not in it for a bit of fun and a flash of skin.  In fact, the closest Sid and his goons get to the opposite sex is a bit of light cross-dressing but even that is driven by criminal intent.  Sex, or rather having it, is the furthest thing from Sid’s mind.

The team at Finisham, on the other hand, are carrying on like they always have.  Dr Prodd terrorises the young nurses, Cyril’s busy trying to keep his stockings up, Matron and Dr Goode share an altogether stranger passion and Sir Bernard’s convinced he’s turning into a woman.  That’s all traditional, farcical, wonderful Carry On fare but thrown into that familiar world is a much darker plot.  It’s a brilliant way of mixing things up.  The hospital scenario is both the film’s foundation and its undoing.

Despite these shortcomings, Carry On Matron is a lovely, funny film.  Part-heist, part-hospital comedy and all Carry On, it manages to take an old idea and inject new humour, tension and lovability into a series which, so far, shows no evidence of running out of steam.