Set in Haven Hospital where a certain men's ward is causing more havoc than the whole hospital put together. The formidable Matron's debut gives the patients a chill every time she walks ... See full summary »
Set in Haven Hospital where a certain men's ward is causing more havoc than the whole hospital put together. The formidable Matron's debut gives the patients a chill every time she walks past, with only Reckitt standing up to her. There's a colonel who is a constant nuisance, a bumbling nurse, a romance between Ted York and Nurse Denton, and Bell who wants his bunion removed straight away, so after drinking alcohol, the men decide to remove the bunion themselves! Written by
Graeme Huggan <email@example.com>
When the film was released, Wilfrid Hyde-White's agent threatened to sue, on the grounds that the backside used in the daffodil gag belonged to someone other than his client. The action was dropped when it was revealed that the whole thing was done by suggestion, and that no backside is seen. See more »
When the Nurse says to Mr Bishop "What a big fuss about such a little thing" - her lips are saying something completely different. See more »
Amusing but never funny enough to really make it stand the test of time
In Haven Hospital an entire ward is made up of men, ranging from the snooty Oliver Reckitt, the distracted Hinton, the gambling Colonel to the injured boxer Bernie Bishop. With nothing but men around young female nurses things could easily get out of hand but luckily the nurses are ruled by the Sister who in turn lives in fear of Matron, who rules the hospital with an iron fist. However when discipline is so strict, it is only a matter of time before the patients start to act out and rebel.
This is one of the earliest Carry On films in the long running series and it stands out from Constable and Sergeant because it has a much more ensemble feel to it and more of a rambling narrative that works better than the "serious story surrounded by sketches" stuff that the others had tries at doing. In this regard it does seem to keep up a constant tone and is amusing even if it rarely made me actually laugh out loud. This is the problem with a lot of the earlier films in the series they lack the wit and cheeky humour of the films made in the heyday of the series and thus feel quite stiff and perhaps almost dull at times. There are enough amusing moments here to make it worth seeing but two or three good laughs in 90 minutes is not really enough I'm afraid.
The cast are the same from the first film with a few additions and yet still lacking some of the names that are synonymous with the series (Sid James in particular). Connor is OK in a simple role; Eaton is pretty to look at even if she has few laughs to her name; Hawtrey seems to be in his own film but is fun regardless; Phillips does his usual stuff but familiarity has not bred contempt in me and I enjoyed him; Hyde-White is good value and has the famous final scene to himself while Joan Sims runs around a lot in the way she did in the early days. Owen is OK but the film is stolen by a typical but funny turn from Williams and the very famous Matron character as played by Jacques, who suits the larger than life domineering character well.
Overall this is not a great film and it has not dated well at all. It is amusing but yet rarely that funny a problem when it seems to be trying to be wacky and outrageous at each step. Time has not treated it well and it is the structured but cheeky Carry On films that have lasted the best. Fans of the series may like it and the cast certainly make it worth a look but this is nothing that special and were it not part of this famous series I doubt it would be seen that often by many viewers.
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