Warm British comedy
Byron Kolln | the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood | 04/08/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"An unofficial entry in the "Carry On..." franchise, NURSE ON WHEELS (1963) is a delightful comedy which will endear itself to audiences thanks to it's strong cast and warm-hearted premise.
New district nurse Joanna Jones (Juliet Mills) and her dotty mother (Esma Cannon) move to the small village of Blandley. Joanna finds herself competing with the peerless reputation of her predecessor, while her mother quickly sets about playing matchmaker with rich landowner Henry Edwards (Ronald Lewis).
While NURSE ON WHEELS was originally marketed as part of the "Carry On..." series (and features many of it's regular faces), the humour in the movie is far more gentle and character-based. It's not a laugh-a-minute film by any stretch of the imagination, but it's well-put together and the cast gives it a freshness which is most appealing.
Juliet Mills, who also played the female lead in "Carry On Jack" (released the same year) is a delightful presence, though most of her scenes are mercilessly stolen by talented comedienne Esma Cannon (best-remembered in "Carry On Cruising" and the BBC series of "The Rag Trade") as Joanna's dotty old mum. Other "Carry On..." favourites like Joan Sims and Jim Dale, are also fun.
It's a sweet title for "Carry On..." fans, but casual viewers will enjoy it just as much."