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Dr Nookey is disgraced and sent to a remote island hospital. He is given a secret slimming potion by a member of staff, Gladstone Screwer, and he flies back to England to fame and fortune. But others want to cash in on his good fortunes, and some just want him brought down a peg or two. Written by
Simon N. McIntosh-Smith <Simon.N.Smith@cs.cf.ac.uk>
The 18th of the Carry On series and the third of the medical themed adventures, plot finds Jim Dale as Doctor Nookie, who is stitched up by his superiors and sent to a tropical Beautific island to tender medical treatment to the natives. What he actually finds when he gets there is a rainy windswept isle that has no need for his services at all. The compound is run by Gladstone Screwer (Sid James), a crafty old sort who deals in whisky and cigarettes and has a wife for every day of the week. Screwer also has something else of interest that perks up the flagging interest of Nookie, a potion that considerably aids weight loss. Nookie senses an opportunity to make a financial killing back in Blighty whilst simultaneously getting one over the superiors who had him sent to his island misery.
This was the last of 10 Carry On films for Jim Dale before he returned for the ill conceived "modern" reinvention that was Carry On Columbus in 1992. I don't know if the makers knew that Dale would be leaving the series and thus made him the lead character in this jovial farce? But it proves to be a smart move. One of the unsung heroes of the series, Dale's energy and comic reactions to plot situations were always a joy to watch, and here, with James in customary wise cracking support, he lifts the film above the ordinary with a show of endearing buffoonery. He also did his own stunts and broke his arm on this production. Director Gerald Thomas keeps things brisk, with the double location axis of the plot stopping things from stagnating visually, Charles Hawtrey goes undercover in drag to provide the last third of the film with some quality laughs and the likes of Barbara Windsor and Valerie Leron raise the pulses considerably.
Thin of plot but big on charm and laughs, one of the better Carry On movies. 7.5/10
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