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Carry On Doctor (1968)

Courtesy of ITV Global Entertainment

Main image of Carry On Doctor (1968)
35mm, colour, 94 minutes
DirectorGerald Thomas
Production CompanyAdder Productions
ProducerPeter Rogers
ScreenplayTalbot Rothwell
PhotographyAlan Hume

Cast: Frankie Howerd (Francis Bigger); Sidney James (Charlie Roper); Kenneth Williams (Doctor Tinkle); Charles Hawtrey (Mr. Barron); Jim Dale (Doctor Kilmore); Barbara Windsor (Sandra May); Joan Sims (Chloe Gibson); Hattie Jacques (Matron); Bernard Bresslaw (Ken Biddle)

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The patients at an NHS hospital retaliate when Dr Tinkle conspires to get the accident-prone Dr Kilmore fired from his job.

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Carry On Doctor was made at a time of transition for producer Peter Rogers. After making twelve Carry On films for Anglo-Amalgamated, he had taken the series to Rank, but had been unable to retain the Carry On prefix. This led to the release of Don't Lose Your Head (d. Gerald Thomas, 1966) and Follow that Camel (d. Gerald Thomas, 1967), Carry On films in all but name, but which saw a considerable drop in box office revenue.

Faced with the prospect of the end of the series, he returned to the tried and tested formula of one of the series' first hits, Carry On Nurse (d. Gerald Thomas, 1959). Frankie Howerd, in one of the few in-jokes of the series, refers to its notorious daffodil joke when approached by a nurse holding a flower ("Oh no you don't - I saw that film!"). Playing a demanding patient, Howerd fulfils the same role played by Wilfrid Hyde-White in the earlier film, while Hattie Jacques returns as the overpowering Matron, both films climaxing with the patients taking over the operating theatre. Inspiration also came from Rank's popular Doctor films - which were produced by Rogers' wife Betty Box and directed by Gerald Thomas' brother Ralph - with a portrait of its mainstay James Robertson Justice plainly visible in hospital foyer. By the time the film was released, an agreement was reached for the continued use of the series name and it was subsequently added to the two made without it.

Carry On Doctor features the return of Barbara Windsor, last seen in Carry On Spying (d. Gerald Thomas, 1964), although the romantic lead opposite Jim Dale is actually played by Anita Harris. In comparison with Nurse it is interesting to note how the tone has shifted from one of harmony and group consensus to one of ribaldry, open disobedience and anarchy.

Sergio Angelini

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Video Clips
1. 'This is a madhouse' (3:03)
2. Nurse May (1:20)
3. Doctor's rounds (2:53)
4. Once a weak man (3:37)
Original poster
Production stills
Monthly Film Bulletin review
Bresslaw, Bernard (1934-1993)
Dale, Jim (1935-)
Jacques, Hattie (1922-1980)
James, Sidney (1913-1976)
Jones, Peter (1920-2000)
Nichols, Dandy (1907-1986)
Roome, Alfred (1908-1997)
Rothwell, Talbot (1916-1981)
Sims, Joan (1930-2001)
Windsor, Barbara (1937-)
Carry On
The Carry On Legacy