“If I hadn’t had to go to the gents to pin up my knickers, it wouldn’t have happened.”
Carry on Matron is one of the most popular films in the Carry On Series. This is due, in part, to the fact that the cast contains all the regulars–including the extremely popular Hattie Jacques as the Matron. When the story begins, crook Sid Carter (Sid James) gathers together his gang to plan the next heist. The gang’s goal is to steal birth control pills from the hospital and sell them on the black market. But first they need to know where the pills are stored. Sid’s son Cyril (Kenneth Cope) is sent into Finisham Maternity Hospital undercover as a nurse. Cyril immediately comes to the attention of the amorous, playboy Dr. Prodd (Terry Scott)-a man who “collects nurses like some men collect big game trophies.”
Kenneth Williams shines in his really funny role as the head of the hospital–the hypochondriac temperamental Sir Bernard Cutting. When he’s not imagining the symptoms of the latest disease, he starts imagining that he’s changing into a woman, and this has hilarious results. Hospital psychiatrist Dr. Francis A. Goode (Charles Hawtrey) listens to all of Bernard Cutting’s woes, and offers some interesting solutions. Bouncy, giggly Barbara Windsor stars as Nurse Ball, and Kenneth Connor stars as the long-suffering Mr. Tidey–a man whose pregnant wife (Joan Sims) is having a great deal of fun eating everything in sight. The wonderful, much-loved comedienne, Hattie Jacques is marvelous as the steely, disapproving Matron–a woman whose starchy uniform covers a heart that beats for Bernard. Some of the best scenes and lines occur in her bedroom when Bernard arrives to “prove himself.”
For those unfamiliar with Carry On films–these were a series of extremely popular lowbrow British comedies that were made over a period of several decades. The Carry On team was composed of a core group of comedians, and then new faces were added for each film. Cliche ridden, and full of double entendre, Carry On films succeeded so well partially thanks to the immense popularity of the stars.