Carry On Doctor (1967)

*. The fifteenth Carry On movie, which puts it right in the middle of the pack (there were 31 total). Apparently they were thinking of winding things up, as the two previous films — Don’t Lose Your Head and Follow That Camel, both released the same year as this — hadn’t done well. But box office for this entry was good, and next up was Carry On . . . Up the Khyber, often regarded as the high point of the series.
*. The Carry On movies can be characterized as either exotic in time and place or domestic. This is one of the domestic features, and it’s really quite circumscribed. It might have still worked, but there’s a sense of tiredness to the proceedings. Sidney James was recovering from a heart attack and spends most of the film in bed. Frankie Howerd joins the cast in a leading role but other members of the gang are relegated to minor parts. Charles Hawtrey is Mr. Barron, a husband suffering from sympathetic pregnancy symptoms. He has no good lines or role to play. Joan Sims is Ms. Gibson, a deaf nag. Peter Butterworth is . . . someone with something wrong with him. He’s that marginal.
*. There’s little plot, even by Carry On standards, and a lot of stuff that isn’t funny at all. I was particularly mystified by what anyone could have thought was funny about Ms. Gibson being deaf and having to have everything repeated for her. Then there’s a later scene where she gets married to Howerd by a deaf priest, which is even less funny. Not because picking on deaf people is politically incorrect, but because it isn’t funny. In fact, it’s downright annoying. And I say I find this mystifying because I don’t see how anyone involved here couldn’t see that. I can only imagine Howerd and Sims looking over the script and asking “Where’s the joke?”
*. This isn’t one of the better Carry On movies, at least in my book. Though if you’re nostalgic for this style of humour, punctuated with exclamations like “Crikey!” “Cor!” and “Phwoar!”, you might get a smile out of some of it. To me it just seems lazy and tired. That the series still had so much longer to run is, in hindsight, remarkable.

23 thoughts on “Carry On Doctor (1967)

    1. Alex Good

      I’m not doing the series! I’ve posted notes on a couple of other Carry On movies too. It’s just random posting for these guys. I could have started with that one set in the toilet store . . .

      1. Alex Good Post author

        The library actually has a whole shelf of these movies. But there was no way I was going to plow through all of them at once. So I’m just going to post notes on them here and there. I think Up the Khyber is next. In general I think the historical ones are better than the ones set in modern times.

      2. Alex Good Post author

        All taxpayer funded. You take the good (health care) with the not-so-good (Carry On movies). But you should get over here soon because movies that don’t get borrowed very often have a way of finding themselves on the $1 per DVD rack or in the annual Friends of the Public Library sale.

      3. Alex Good Post author

        Every now and then you find a buried treasure in there. They were getting rid of the Criterion Third Man a few years ago. But mostly it’s really bad stuff that nobody wants. If you don’t have a dollar they’ll just give it to you.

      4. Alex Good Post author

        I doubt you have a loonie anywhere in your house. You have those strange Scottish banknotes with Robbie Burns on them. And the library won’t take them.

    1. Alex Good Post author

      Because Friday is quiz day, I don’t start a new series on a Thursday! Critters will begin on Saturday! There’s a program here!

      And I thought the Carry On gang were worshipped as gods in the UK. Was I misinformed?

      1. fragglerocking

        Ok Saturday is fine. And yes you were misinformed. Carry On movies and Norman Wisdom movies are revered by a lot of people I admit, but I find them silly and puerile.

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