Carry on Nurse (1959)
The Carry on Crew Play Doctors and Nurses
Come come, Matron. Surely you've seen a temperature taken like this before? - The Colonel
Yes Colonel. But never with a daffodil! - Matron
With her daily walk through the ward Matron (Hattie Jacques - Carry on Sergeant) is a formidable character and all the nurses jump when ever she is around but they also have their hand's full with the current bunch of male patients. From Jack Bell (Leslie Phillips - I Was Monty's Double) the lady's man through to the well educated Oliver Reckitt (Kenneth Williams) the nurses are kept on their toes especially with the Colonel (Wilfrid Hyde-White) in a private room being a constant nuisance with his bell ringing. But that is nothing compared to when the men manage to get themselves drunk and decide to head down to the operation room to do some late night DIY surgery.
When you think of the Carry on movies you would most likely think of Sid James, Barbara Windsor and Joan Sims in British comedies full of sexual innuendo and you wouldn't be far wrong especially those from the 1960s onwards. But if you look at the early "Carry On" films which came before the 60s they feel different, less risque yet still amusing with a greater variety of comedy. With "Carry on Nurse" being the second movie in the "Carry on" franchise it has that wider variety of jokes whilst still having some nurse based innuendo tucked in there with future Bond girls Shirley Eaton and Jill Ireland often being at the end of the innuendo.
But the thing about "Carry on Nurse" is that it feels lighter on story than the first Carry on movie with more focus on the humour and the set piece gags surrounding the exploits of the men and nurses at the hospital. In truth the switch to being more joke orientated works especially as we have a variety of characters as it keeps things light rather than feeling too contrived or focused in on just one of the characters. Having said that how everything comes together as the male patients decide to take matters into their own hands and perform surgery certainly does a nice job of bringing every part of the movie together.
What this does mean is that "Carry on Nurse" puts more emphasis on the various characters and it allows the cast to really get in to defining some stereotypes which they would go on to play in other movies. As such we have Hattie Jacques being formidable which Leslie Phillips gets to turn up the devilish charm. But whilst there are numerous Carry on regulars in "Carry on Nurse" with Joan Sims makes her Carry on debut it is those actors who you don't necessarily think of as a Carry on who make the movie, seeing Bill Owen as a patient sparking up in a hospital bed is even more funny now than it probably was back in 1959 and it is scenes and jokes like this which make the movie.
What this all boils down to is that "Carry on Nurse" may not be full of the sexual innuendo which graced the later "Carry On" movies but in many ways it is better. The various medical situations are amusing and with so many recognizable faces contributing in various characters it feels more of a comedy collaboration rather than a comedy surrounding just the regulars which was too often the case during the later "Carry On" movies.
Tags: Carry On Movies
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