27 user 5 critic

Carry on Matron (1972)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Crime | 19 May 1972 (UK)
A gang of thieves plan to make their fortune by stealing a shipment of contraceptive pills from Finisham maternity hospital. They assume disguises and infiltrate the hospital, but everything doesn't go according to plan.


Gerald Thomas


Talbot Rothwell (screenplay)




Cast overview, first billed only:
Sidney James ... Sid Carter
Kenneth Williams ... Sir Bernard Cutting
Charles Hawtrey ... Dr. Francis A. Goode
Joan Sims ... Mrs. Tidey
Hattie Jacques ... Matron
Bernard Bresslaw ... Ernie Bragg
Kenneth Cope ... Cyril Carter
Terry Scott ... Dr. Prodd
Barbara Windsor ... Nurse Susan Ball
Kenneth Connor ... Mr. Tidey
Jacki Piper Jacki Piper ... Sister
Bill Maynard ... Freddy
Patsy Rowlands ... Evelyn Banks
Derek Francis ... Arthur
Amelia Bayntun Amelia Bayntun ... Mrs. Jenkins


A gang of thieves plan to make their fortune by stealing a shipment of contraceptive pills from Finisham maternity hospital. They assume disguises and infiltrate the hospital, but everything doesn't go according to plan. The hypochondriac consultant Sir Bernard Cutting, Matron and the doctors and nurses at Finisham have a habit of getting in the way. Written by Simon N. McIntosh-Smith <Simon.N.Smith@cs.cf.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

nurse | carry on | robbery | gang | father | See All (134) »


Comedy | Crime


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The original ending had the wedding between Kenneth Williams' doctor and Hattie Jacques' matron. Another ending would have had Charles Hawtrey looking at the camera and saying 'I do love happy endings don't you?'. See more »


When Sid blows the storeroom door, the dynamite explodes before he turns the handle on the detonator. See more »


Matron: I'm a simple woman with simple tastes, and I want to be wooed!
Sir Bernard Cutting: Ooh, you can be as 'wude' as you like with me!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Alternative Titles: "Womb at the Top" and "The Preggers Opera" See more »

Alternate Versions

Some prints have completely different music over the title sequence, particularly as the 'alternative titles' appear on the screen. See more »


Follows Carry on, Constable (1960) See more »

User Reviews

An average entry in the series with a poor plot but the odd classic moment in the subplots
19 April 2005 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

A group of thieves plan to make a killing by stealing a large shipment of contraceptive pills that have been delivered to Finisham maternity hospital. Sending young Cyril in undercover, nobody planned that he would end up dressed as a nurse, living in the nurse's dorms and trying to convince everyone that he is a woman – rather too well in the case of amorous doctor Prodd. Cyril keeps trying to find the pills while being helped by his father Sid and the rest of the gang. Meanwhile the staff of the hospital carry on a collection of less-than-subtle and sordid affairs behind closed doors.

With the 1970's came the gradual end of the Carry On series of films that had run since the 1950's and, although the seventies had one or two that were genuinely good, it also had a couple that barely reached the standard set by the poor sex "comedies" that were being mass produced by the UK during this decade. While Matron is not one of the latter, it certainly is not one the stronger films of the decade – although there are moments that are very enjoyable. The plot is pretty terrible and the robbery of pills fails to engage simply because it is so damn stupid from start to finish; I know it is a comedy but if ever a man was a less convincing woman than Kenneth Cope then I don't know who it would be – it is a problem that the lynch pin of the narrative is him passing himself off as a nurse. The subplots are actually better and the best scenes feature great witty interplay between series legends Williams, Hawtrey and Jacques. There are also some nice little additions such as Connor's waiting station master and little throwaway gags such as one of the wards being known as "The Bunn Ward"! These aspects threw up the odd laugh but anytime it fell back to the central narrative it tended to be weak and just be a series of obvious jokes and clumsy chases/pratfalls.

The cast are pretty good if they have the material – in particular the trio of Jacques, Williams and Hawtrey. Scott has a basic role but is quite entertaining in his last appearance in the series but you do have to feel for Sid James who is dumped on the edge of the film with the weak plot to carry with little help from Bresslaw and Maynard. Windsor does her usual stuff but Cope is poor from the start to finish and cannot do anything with the silly narrative and pratfalls. Sims has little to do but it is nice to have as many of the faces as possible in the film.

Overall this is an average entry in the series; the plot is weak and can't provide much in the way of structure or laughs but the subplots provide some classic moments and some good material for the cast members lucky enough to get it. There are much worse films in the series than this one but there are much, much better ones as well; fans of the series will enjoy the classic moments and be patient with the rest, but it is unlikely that this film will be the one to win converts to the series.

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Release Date:

19 May 1972 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Carry on Matron See more »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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