What a Carry On! The Best and Worst of the Movies
Carry On Matron (1972)
Finisham Maternity Hospital is the setting for the series’ last real gem, a topical tale of a consignment of birth control pills featuring Kenneth Cope as a cross-dressing ‘nurse’, as well as series regulars Sid James, Kenneth Williams, Charles Hawtrey, Joan Sims, Hattie Jacques, Bernard Bresslaw, Barbara Windsor and Kenneth Connor, and Terry Scott, his last of seven Carry Ons.
Best gag: Matron (Hattie Jacques): [handing Sir Bernard envelopes] “By the way – your mail”. Sir Bernard Cutting (Kenneth Williams) : “Yes, I am! And I can prove it, d’you hear! Prove it!”
Carry On At Your Convenience (1971)
As if in an attempt to use up all the toilet gags in one go, this misfiring send-up of the topical theme of industrial relations features Kenneth Cope as Vic Spanner, union representative at a sanitary ware manufacturer who will call a strike at the drop of a hat, to the annoyance of owner WC Boggs (Kenneth Williams). Perhaps misjudging the audience’s feelings about unionism, this was the first Carry On film to lose money at the box office, only breaking even in 1976 after television deals and distribution rights had been sold.
Best gag: Agatha Spanner (Renee Houston): “This is a respectable and refined neighbourhood AND DON’T YOU BLOODY FORGET IT.” Vic Spanner (Kenneth Cope): “How can I, when you keep reminding me of it so nicely?”