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Quietly competent young Joanna moves with her scatterbrain mother to a country village to take up her first job as District Nurse. She soon overcomes the suspicion of her patients used to someone rather older, while becoming romantically involved with a local farmer - at least until he tries to evict a newly-arrived expectant couple who park their caravan on his land. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <email@example.com>
Nurse on wheels is directed by Gerald Thomas and adapted to screenplay by Norman Hudis from the novel Nurse Is a Neighbour written by Joana Jones. It stars Juliet Mills, Ronald Lewis, Joan Sims, Noel Purcell, Esma Cannon, Raymond Huntley, Athene Seyler and Norman Rossington. Music is by Eric Rogers and photography by Alan Hume.
With much of the production team and some of the same actors coming from the British institution that is the Carry On series of films, Nurse on Wheels has been marketed over the years as being an unofficial Carry On movie. Even the Region 2 DVD release proudly proclaims that it is "funnier than Carry On Nurse" (1959), while the back of the cover wrongly states that folk legends like Sid James and Charles Hawtrey also star in the movie! It certainly feels like a Carry on movie in production terms, from Eric Rogers' musical score to the characterisations on show, it carry's the same attributes. What it doesn't have, however, is the bawdy nature and dialogue innuendos so firmly ensconced in Carry On lore.
Nurse on Wheels is a throw back to a quaint time in British cinema, where comedy structure was simple and the actors enjoyed their work. The plot takes young new District Nurse Joana Jones (Mills) into the village of Blandley (hee hee), where she has the unenviable task of replacing the previous, older and much trusted, nurse of the village. Not only does she have to put up with gossip and suspicion, but also the attentions of red blooded males; some unwanted, one other encouraged. It holds absolutely no surprises and the comedy, even with the odd slapstick moment, is as gentle and harmless as it gets. With its eccentric characters, a sweet affecting backdrop of village life and all round warm glow, it's perfect afternoon viewing for the family really. The stalwart cast are faultless, with Mills utterly lovely and Cannon lighting the screen up with another of her jumping-bean performances. While Gerald Thomas was a good pro, and here he once again proves to be unobtrusive with his direction.
It's more about putting a smile on your face and a glow in your belly than splitting your sides, and there's nothing wrong with that. 7/10
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