There can be no doubt in my mind that Norman Hudis was one of the great script-writers of the 20th Century. True his films were always saccharine-sweet and always followed a forula which was relatively predictable, but those failing are actually, to my mind anyway, the very things that make his fiolms so enjoyable.
The 'Carry On' label is enblazoned on the cover of this DVD and, yes Hudis wrote the first 6 of those films; true also that this has Peter Rogers and Gerald Thomas at the managerial helm, but don't buy this film expecting a romp in that manner. This is a much more sedate and gentle sort of film and it does have a lip-quivering-prick-at-the-back-of-eyes-lump-in-the-throat moment or two along the way.
Leslie Phillips leaves behind his lusty lotharia persona behind and instead shows that there was more to his acting talent than and Carry On would ever really allow of him; and Geraldine McEwan delights as his wife, although their on-screen chemitry never truly smoulders as well as it potentially could have done.
The diminutive Esma Canon makes an appearance as a deaf district nurse, which is startlingly similar to the cameo she makes in Carry on Constable, and Joan Hickson turns in a fine performance of a drunken cook, again, similar to the role she enjoyed in Constable. The future Miss Marple steals the show really with some truly amusing moments of inebriated battle with a wonderullyt self-rigteous June Jago as the Matron.
The film follows a plotline which, as said before, pretty much advertises the next scene as it goes and, like so many of Hudis' films, the scene is set so very quickly in the opening few minutes that if you blink you'll miss it and wonder how one has got from one state of affairs to the next. Also, the ending seems to be somewhat rushed as the few threads left are swiftly tied up; although Peter Rogers' infamously miserly approach to film-making may have sliced innumerate pages off the script to keep it under budget. That said, this is a film I am glad to have bought and will enjoy watching many more times.