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Carry On Matron (Special Edition) [DVD] 
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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.
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
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There is much to love about this one, with all of the other stars cast in the roles we loved them the most as, Sid James is the rogue, Kenny Williams is the confused, almost deranged bureaucrat and Barbara Windsor is the dollybird, I never thought Babs could act for toffee, but this is one of her better performances, she and Jim Dale work well together together with a lot of chemistry. So, all the actors in 'Carry On Matron' are here as we remember them best.
As for the film, it's a laugh out loud gem. Criminal mastermind Sid Carter (Sid James) leads a pair of hap-less crooks (Bernard Bresslaw and Kenneth Cope), both of them intent on stealing a huge order of birth control pills. Sir Bernard Cutting (Kenneth Williams), to the outside world is an utmost professional man, in reality, he is a hypochondriac. He asks Dr Goode (Terry Scott) for advice, who tells him the only cure is to assert his manhood, enter the hospital matron (Hattie). Complete with a funny cameo from Wendy Richard (in pre 'EastEnders' days), if you have yet to see 'Carry On Matron', you are in for a treat. This is easily my favourite of all the medical 'Carry On' films.
Like all of the 'special edition' Carry On DVD releases, there is a wealth of exclusive bonus material, including an audio commentary with Jackie Piper, Valerie Leon and Patsy Rowlands, trivia notes, a token episode of the '70s ITV series 'What A Carry On' ('And in My Lady's Chamber'), and a collectable booklet featuring profiles of all the main players.
CARRY ON AT YOUR CONVENIENCE (1971) was the first flop of the series which was mainly down to its (what some people considered) attack on the working class and its patronising attitude with it. However the film is an out and out comedy that does not attempt to address any serious social issues but to use it as a basic back plot as an excuse for all of these caricture actors to run around, have a ball, be British and be totally silly. The film is all fun and games and the scene where they all head of to Brighton is great fun. Most of the famiar faces are here such as JOAN SIMS, KENNETH WILLIAMS, SID JAMES, HATTIE JAQUES, CHARLES HAWTREY, BERNARD BRESSLAW and PATSY TOLANDS. Other familiar faces to crop up are Kenneth Cope (total contrast to his role in Matron), Jaki Piper and Richard O' Callaghan. Sid James and Hattie Jaques are in fine form in this. Hattie Jaques in particular is an unusual role here, playing a scatterbrained house wife who talks to her budgie all day along only to discover that the budgie predicts the winners in horse racing. amusing stuff. A good film on the whole and one worth watching.
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