The Mirth Doctors Are Operating Again… And You’ll Be In Stitches!

The kids and I always enjoy a “Carry On…” film when they get shown on TV, and so the other evening we settled down to watch a film from the same producer / director team of Peter Rogers and Gerald Thomas, the 1963 comedy “Nurse On Wheels”.

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Juliet Mills
Juliet Mills

The movie tells the story of a young nurse, Joanna Jones (Juliet Mills – “Avanti!”, “Carry On Jack”) who, having narrowly and finally passed her driving test, moves to the sleepy country village of Blandley to take up the position of District Nurse.

Juliet Mills & Esma Cannon
Juliet Mills & Esma Cannon

Moving with Joanna is her scatterbrained mother (Esma Cannon – “Carry On Cabby”, “On The Beat”) and taking over the care of the patients previously looked after by Nurse Merrick (Barbara Everest – “El Cid”, “An Inspector Calls”).

Ronald Lewis
Ronald Lewis

We follow Joanna’s adventures – or rather misadventures – as she is introduced to the villagers and finds herself entering into a romance with local farmer and landowner Henry Edwards (Ronald Lewis – “Siege Of The Saxons”, “Twice Round The Daffodils”).

nurse_on_wheels_dupe2_210This relationship is threatened, however, when a young couple, Tim Taylor (Jim Dale – “Carry On Screaming”, “Carry On Spying”) and his wife Ann (Amanda Reiss – “Twice Round The Daffodils”, “The Rag Trade”), who are expecting their first baby any day park their caravan on one of Henry’s fields and he tries to evict them, much to Joanna’s disgust.

Juliet Mills, Raymond Huntley & Joan Sims
Juliet Mills, Raymond Huntley & Joan Sims

Other characters of note are the local Vicar (Raymond Huntley – “The Great St. Trinian’s Train Robbery”, “That’s Your Funeral”) and his daughter Deborah (Joan Sims – “Carry On Loving”, “Carry On Henry”).

Whilst not as risqué as the Carry On series, especially the later ones, the tone and humour found here is more in keeping with the earlier Carry Ons, such as “Carry On Constable”, though it’s probably gentler and less suggestive even than those.

Esma Cannon & Juliet Mills
Esma Cannon & Juliet Mills

Mills plays the sweet Nurse Jones with charm and beauty, but the star of the show, without doubt, is the fabulous Cannon as her mother – she steals every scene that she’s in with her priceless facial expressions and muddled actions. Brilliant.

Juliet Mills
Juliet Mills

The script is predictable, and not particularly action-packed. The location looks lovely and the move harks back to a simpler time – or at least that’s my interpretation. I wasn’t around back then but the romantic in me likes to believe that the world was a nicer and less threatening place then than it is now. Regardless, this light hearted film is very amusing and makes great family viewing…now1

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