Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
United Kingdom, 1967. The Rank Organisation. Screenplay by Talbot Rothwell. Cinematography by Alan Hume. Produced by Peter Rogers. Music by Eric Rogers. Production Design by Cedric Dawe. Costume Design by Yvonne Caffin. Film Editing by Alfred Roome.
Halfway through the lengthy career of the Carry On films, they’re still winning at the box office and, in this case, still tickling the ribs. A hospital must deal with the various concerns of its patients, not to mention the romances springing up between the male and female wards, while managing a team of doctors and nurses who are even more problematic: Jim Dale is the handsome young doctor who makes the ladies swoon, Barbara Windsor is a nurse with a passion for doctor Kenneth Williams (who is downright hilarious) and Hattie Jacques is marvelous as the tough matron who provides the iron fist for the ailing patients but puts on a velvet glove for Williams as well. What gets the madness underway is the appearance of Frankie Howerd as a self-help charlatan who is checked in with a bad back but then accidentally mistakes a doctor’s diagnosis for an announcement of his impending death; meanwhile, Dale tries to save Windsor from what he thinks is suicide but is instead accused of being a peeping tom. Slapstick pratfalls, witty double entendres and cheeky sex farce material is thrown into the blender and what comes out is smooth and wholly satisfying, as skillfully directed as it is performed.