Hattie Jacques finally got to the play the title role in 1972 when Carry On Matron immortalised the character she had developed during several previous outings, most notably in Carry On Doctor. And she seized it with gusto. This is no one-dimensional performance, but a very human portrait of a woman doing her best to retain her authority in the face of mounting chaos--a raid planned by Sid James to steal the hospital's supply of contraceptive pills. Certainly, she's obsessed with regular bowel movements--this wouldn't be a Carry On film otherwise--but she remains a majestic figure of dignity with a touch of human warmth. Occasionally, too, a real hint of irony peeks through the slapstick and the innuendo.
Surely scriptwriter Talbot Rothwell had his tongue lodged firmly in his cheek when he gave Barbara Windsor--then married to Ronnie Knight--the line, "I don't fancy being a gangster's moll!" Terry Scott makes a guest appearance and Sid James is at his most conniving and lecherous. Theatre impresario Bill Kenwright has a cameo role and there's an early appearance from Wendy Richard as a prototype Pauline Fowler. But it's the female stalwarts who shine. Joan Sims and Hattie Jacques were truly comic actresses of the highest order. --Piers Ford
If your funny bone is in need of tickling, this is the prescription you need. Carry On Matron finds the team on top form in Finisham Maternity Hospital where the kindly Matron (Hattie Jacques), panic-stricken surgeon Sir Bernard Cutting (Kenneth Williams) and wacky psychiatrist Dr. F.A. Goode (Charles Hawtrey) rule the roost. Its action stations when Sid Carter (Sid James) leads a gang of incompetent crooks intent on stealing a huge hoard of birth control pills. Joan Sims shines as the expectant mother in this beloved Carry On favourite.
Sid James Carry On Matron