Carry on's Maternity Fraternity
Sid Carter (Sid James - Carry on Henry) has a plan to rob Finisham Maternity Hospital of their stock of expensive contraceptives but first he needs to discover where they are kept so he talks his son Cyril (Kenneth Cope - Carry on at Your Convenience) into masquerading as a female nurse. But whilst Cyril learns of the stocks whereabouts and fends of a randy doctor it seems that Sid and his robbers may have more to worry about thanks to the bungling ways of the hospitals staff.
Whilst I enjoy the earlier "Carry On" movies I've always found those which came around the start of the 70s to be weak and all very samey with their reliance on sexual innuendo more than a story. But I have to say that "Carry on Matron" is an exception to the rule as whilst it was released in 1972 and is fuelled by plenty of sexual innuendo it also has a storyline which drives the comedy. Okay so it's not a great storyline but at least it is the basis for all the set piece gags as we watch a gang of robbers trying to steal contraceptives from a maternity hospital. Yes that sounds stupid and "Carry on Matron" is gloriously stupid but it will make you laugh especially with all the carry on favourites appearing in various roles.
Okay so the main storyline to "Carry on Matron" borders on the barmy as you have a robber masquerading as a female nurse to steal contraceptives but it's also very funny. Of course it's all very obvious as he has to try and keep his identity hidden not only from a randy doctor but also an attractive nurse but by being obvious it just means you get to laugh at all the stupidity. And puffing up the storyline you also have various subplots from a hypochondriac doctor and an expectant mother who is well past being due. Simplistic is the best way to describe the storyline but it does drive the comedy rather than it being the other way around.
As for the comedy well it is stereotypical "Carry On" with plenty of sexual innuendo and moments of slapstick. Again it's all very obvious and you know with Barbara Windsor appearing as a nurse there will be a scene where she strips to her underwear but in a way you expect nothing else. But it is fun be it overdue mother to be Mrs. Tidey suffering terrible wind which she thinks may be labour pains through to Terry Scott playing a randy doctor who tries to get his end away with the nurses. Of course with Cyril dressing as a nurse and a randy doctor means there are plenty of amusing near misses but it works.
And to be honest when it comes to the performances it is all very stereotypical with Kenneth Williams playing a pompous doctor and Hattie Jacques once again delighting with her iconic performance as Matron. But in a way you expect the regulars to play their usual sort of roles and so the fun of "Carry on Matron" is in the guests from Wendy Richards as the less than happy mother leaving the hospital through to Bill Maynard as one of the robbers. But it is Kenneth Cope who makes "Carry on Matron" so much fun with him spending most of the movie in a nurses outfit trying to stop his socks falling out of his bra.
What this all boils down to is that on one hand "Carry on Matron" is your stereotypical "Carry On" movie with plenty of humour built around sexual innuendo and slapstick. But where as other "Carry On" movies from the 70s were little more than a series of set piece gags "Carry on Matron" does have a storyline which drives the humour even if it is both very obvious and weak.
Tags: Carry On Movies