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Film / Carry On Doctor

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"A Bedpan-aramma of Fun!"

"I don't need doctors, I don't need medicine... and nor will you, if you just think: "Nothing... nothing will happen to me," and believe me... nothing will!"
Francis Bigger, Tempting Fate.

Carry On Doctor is the fifteenth film in the Carry On film series.

It was released in late 1967, and starred famous British comedian Frankie Howerd, Sid James, Kenneth Williams, Charles Hawtrey, Jim Dale, Barbara Windsor, Hattie Jacques, Joan Sims, Anita Harris, Bernard Bresslaw, Peter Butterworth, and Dilys Laye.

This was the second Carry On to be about the medical profession or set in a hospital; the first being Carry On Nurse back in 1959. It focuses on the antics of the patients and the medical staff in a hospital, who have lots of personal problems either in their private lives or with each other.

Firstly, faith leader Francis Bigger (Howerd), who tours around the UK promoting positive thinking about health, is admitted to hospital after falling off the stage at one of his lectures - a thing that he loathes because he doesn't believe in medical care - but he is rather grateful that he is away from his deaf assistant Chloe Gibson (Sims).


Secondly, there are the patients in the ward: Charlie Roper (James) is a lazy workshy man who constantly finds ways to make himself seem worse off than he is; Mr. Barron (Hawtrey) is thought to be suffering from prenatal depression due to his wife Mildred (Gwendolyn Watts) waiting patiently for her labor to commence, so is sent to have pregnancy classes with expecting mothers; Ken Biddle (Bresslaw) is suffering from a broken leg after falling off the surgery table during his appendix operation, who also has feelings for Mavis Winkle (Laye) in the female ward; and Mr. Smith (Butterworth) who has had a lump removed.

Finally, there's the staff: Dr. Kenneth Tinkle (Williams), who doesn't believe in Charlie's ongoing illness because his blood tests show healthy results; Matron (Jacques) who has feelings for Dr. Tinkle; Dr. Jim Kilmore (Dale), who is secretly hated by Dr. Tinkle and Matron; Nurse Clarke (Harris), who has feelings for Dr. Kilmore; and Nurse Sandra May (Windsor), who also has feelings for Dr. Tinkle.


To see the critically acclaimed medical Carry On "sequel", see Carry On Again, Doctor. Also see Carry On Nurse and Carry On Matron for other hospital-based movies.

Tropes Included:

  • Accidental Pervert: Dr Kilmore, while attempting to stop Nurse May from jumping from a roof, ends up in a nurse's bath, which leads to his firing.
  • The Alcoholic: If Roper's wife is anything to go by, she says that he will let the kids go to pot, so long as he gets his beer.
  • All for Nothing: Francis misheard Tinkle's line to Chloe that he was given a week at the most, and thought he had days left to live. In fact, Tinkle meant he could only stay in hospital for a week. This creates a Sustained Misunderstanding that goes on for most of the film, and causes Francis to try and make it up to Chloe and he decides to marry her despite not really liking her. It's not until the end of the film that Tinkle tells Francis directly that he meant that Francis could only stay in the hospital for a week. Francis is furious at the fact that he married "that old bag" (Chloe) for nothing.
  • Annoying Patient: Mr Bigger, definitely, due to his phobia of medical science.
  • Ass Shove: Charlie Roper's enemas, as well as the one at the end that Tinkle is (almost) subjected to.
  • Bait-and-Switch: When Nurse Clarke goes to Kilmore's office early on, she hears him talking romantically to someone. It turns out he's practising doing so from a book calling "Wooing To Win" and talking to a skeleton. She walks in on him as he's talking to him.
  • Battleaxe Nurse: Matron.
  • Big "NO!": Matron, upon being told by Mavis that she is about to be given a blanket bath.
  • Blatant Lies: Early on, Matron asks Roper if he's been smoking. Holding his breath, he shakes his head. Matron removes the bedclothes to reveal a cloud of smoke and the cigarette he had hidden there.
  • Bookends: The film starts with Francis having to go to hospital for injuring his back. He then does it again at the end, on purpose this time, so he won't have to live with Chloe for a while.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: The last line of the film. Francis does this at the end in mid-sentence when he has to go back to hospital after injuring his back again, deliberately this time so he doesn't have to live with Chloe. He laments, "I shall be here for months!", before turning to the camera and adding, "With any luck."
  • Brick Joke: The boy with a bedridden grandfather. First, the boy arrives at the hospital with his grandfather's bedpan on his head, and after it gets removed, he drops it on the way out and his mother steps in it and gets her foot stuck. At the end of the film, the grandfather himself is admitted.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Charlie Roper, who's faking a serious illness so he doesn't have to go home to his family and go back to work. The doctors soon get him back.
  • Butt-Monkey: Francis. He injures his back and is admitted to hospital, which he doesn't approve of because he doesn't believe in medical care, is annoyed by the noise in Fosdick Ward and is admitted to a private ward instead, he is Shot in the Ass by accident with a syringe (that was his own fault, however, he threw a pillow to the floor and Kilmore stepped on it, causing the injury), his X-ray goes wrong and injures him further, he misheard Tinkle talking to Chloe and thinks he has only days left, married Chloe despite not liking her (to try and make it up to her) and looks to be a Henpecked Husband at the end. He is also furious when he learns he married Chloe for nothing, so he injures his back again so he can try to avoid her.
  • The Cameo: Series regular Dilys Laye as the love interest to Ken, Mavis.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Mr Barron.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Charlie Roper and Francis Bigger get some really good one-liners in.
  • Disabled Love Interest: Chloe and Francis try to invoke this in case Francis becomes paralyzed from his fall and isn't desirable to women.
  • Disguised in Drag: Biddle does this to get past the nurses in order to visit his crush in the opposite ward.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Charlie's revenge. When he is (deservedly) punished with an ice bath for faking illness, he rallies the other patients to avenge the staff, including throwing Dr Tinkle on the operating table and cutting him up, making him watch everything.
  • Dogged Nice Girl: Nurse Clarke to Dr Kilmore. She's a Type 2.
  • Dr. Jerk: Subverted with all the doctors, who are actually nice people. Downplayed in Dr. Tinkle and Matron's case, who secretly relish in Dr Kilmore's downfall and both seemed to have known that Charlie was faking his illnesses the whole time to punish him with an ice bath, leading to Charlie wanting vengeance.
  • Drama Queen: Francis in hospital because he is skeptical about medicine and hospitals.
  • Drives Like Crazy: The ambulance staff. The driver makes Francis' bed shoot out the back and through the entrance.
    Ambulance staff: Blimey! 'E's in an 'urry!!
  • Either/Or Title: Carry On Doctor or Nurse Carries On Again or Death of a Daffodil or Life Is a Four-Letter Ward or A Bedpanorama of Hospital Life.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: Early on, Hardcastle asks Tinkle what the time is. Tinkle responds that he can't find his watch, but that he remembers he had it on when he started to sew up a patient. The Oh, Crap! happens when he realises the watch must have come off inside the patient.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: Francis' actions and behaviour towards hospital staff.
  • For Want of a Nail: Francis only ended up in hospital in the first place because, in a moment of carelessness, he fell through the stage curtain and injured himself.
  • Goofy Print Underwear: Francis wears underpants with bikini-clad women on them, as seen when the Matron forcibly removes them soon after he is admitted. She snarkily says she now understands his reluctance to take them off.
  • Harmless Electrocution: Francis' X-ray goes horribly wrong.
  • Henpecked Husband: Charlie Roper, so much so that when his wife won't stop complaining at his bedside, he sticks a stethoscope in his ears so he can't hear her, and practically shoos her out when the visiting session is over.
    • At the end, it looks like Francis is due to be one thanks to Chloe, who seems to have gotten over her deafness when she says, "Why shout?" He deliberately injures his back again so he won't have to put up with one for a while.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Francis only ended up in the hospital in the first place by falling offstage and injuring his back.
    • Francis ends up Shot in the Ass when he throws a pillow to the floor in frustration and Kilmore, holding the syringe, slips on it and he loses his balance.
  • Hospital Gurney Scene: Parodied when Francis Bigger hurts his back and is driven to hospital. He gurns and howls and looks up at an ambulance staff member, who asks:
    Ambulance Staff: Are you hurting?
    Francis Bigger: Oh no! Just something to while away the journey; that's all.
  • Hospital Hottie: Dr Kilmore and Nurse May.
  • I Can't Hear You: Francis decides to marry his assistant (despite not really liking her), and he hires a priest to conduct the ceremony by his hospital bed. Unfortunately, the priest's hearing aid battery is dying, and with a deaf priest and bride-to-be, Hilarity Ensues.
    Francis: [prompting his assistant] "I do".
    Chloe the Assistant: What?
    Francis: [a little louder] "I ... DO"!
    Chloe: "I do" what?
    Francis: No no! He's done the, "Do you take thee etc etc"!
    Chloe: Oh! I do!
    Francis: A little louder, please.
    Chloe: [louder] I do!
    Francis: SHE DOES!!
  • Imaginary Love Triangle: Matron and Nurse May are convinced that Dr Tinkle is secretly in love with the other.
  • Innocent Innuendo: Roper points out to a nurse that a thermometer might explode, and she replies that it won't be the case because "the Matron doesn't appreciate banging in the wards."
  • Jerkass:
    • Francis, who plays up the Annoying Patient to a T.
    • Matron and Tinkle, despite their hatred towards Kilmore, are downplayed.
    • Charlie, meanwhile, fits the bill, particularly when he gets caught out.
  • Landing in Someone's Bathtub: Kilmore falls off the roof and lands in a bath in a nurse's house, who is really convinced that he was trying to attack her, landing him in investigation for sexual harrassment.
  • Lazy Bum: Roper. His wife accuses him of this on a regular basis and how he must love it in hospital because he doesn't have to do anything for himself, not even "walk to the lav".
  • No Name Given: Subverted with the two ambulance drivers. Their names aren't revealed until the end of the film, when Tinkle refers to them as Sam and Henry.
  • Oblivious to Love: Kilmore is seemingly unaware of Nurse Clarke's crush on him until Matron reveals it, and this was after she (Nurse Clarke) had kissed him.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Francis has one when he thinks at first he only has a week left to live.
    • Kilmore has one after he tells Nurse May where Tinkle's room is, then realising after she leaves that she isn't allowed up there because female staff must not enter male staff's rooms.
    • Matron has one at the end when Mavis tells her she's about to be given a blanket bath.
    • Tinkle has one at the end when he realises he's about to be given an enema.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise:
    • Biddle disguises as a nurse to get past the nurses on his frequent visits to the female patient ward. It's rather amazing that the 6'7 Biddle is able to get past the staff.
    • Biddle does this again to visit the woman during visiting hours by dressing up in his visitor's clothes. His friend (now dressed as a lonely patient) is fed a mixture of laxatives, which is obviously for Biddle, and the friend staggers out of the hospital, clutching his clothes once Biddle returns.
  • Parental Neglect: During one of the visiting sessions, Roper's wife accuses him of letting their children go to pot, because at least then it will mean that Roper can have his beer.
  • Playing Sick: Roper does this, and it backfires horribly.
  • The Pratfall: Biddle slips over because of his bad legs and lands on his bottom.
  • Punny Name:
    • Dr Kilmore can be seen as a play-on-words of "Kill more", whereas Tinkle could link to urinating in a bedpan.
    • Also Mavis Winkle. She tells him not to laugh before she reveals her surname.
  • Putting the "Medic" in Comedic
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Sid James would've gotten a bigger role, but he'd recently had a heart attack, which is why his character is constantly in bed.
  • Science Is Useless: Francis believes this for definite, optioning for positive thinking and household remedies.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!:
    • Kilmore knows that Tinkle and Matron both hate him and don't want him around, so gets fed up of them and decides to resign. He ends up reinstated at the end of the film.
    • The man from Cox & Carter sees the madness unfolding around him at the hospital when going there to ask about the size of rubber sheets they need. It Makes Sense in Context, but due to being Locked Out of the Loop, he, like Francis had done earlier in the film, dismisses the hospital as a madhouse and decides they don't want rubber sheets, they want straitjackets, and leaves.
  • Series Fauxnale: There were rumours that this would've been the last film in the series, as the previous two entries had made the least money in the series at the time. It's probably why many familiar faces reappear that haven't been in the series for at least three years or more.
  • Shot in the Ass: In this case, "shot" meaning "injection". Being a difficult patient, Francis throws his pillow at Dr Kilmore, who trips over it while preparing to give him an injection, and the syringe sticks into his bottom.
  • Shout-Out: When the Cox and Carter man visits Francis Bigger's room, the theme music from Alfred Hitchcock Presents is played.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: Dr Tinkle.
  • Strapped to an Operating Table: As part of Charlie's vengeance, Dr. Tinkle is strapped to an operating table so that the patients can take their time to operate on him. They only let him free when he blurts that Francis has healed up and can leave in the morning.
  • Suggestive Collision: Matron and Kilmore land like this after eavesdropping on a conversation and tipping over once the door they were leaning on is opened.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Francis carries this attitude around all the doctors and nurses he meets, and openly sneers at all the other patients in the ward that are grateful to the staff for making them well again.
  • Sustained Misunderstanding: Tinkle tells Chloe that Francis has a week at the most (he meant that Francis could only stay in the hospital for a week), causing him to panic and think he is going to die. This causes him to marry Chloe out of impulse despite not liking her, and no one is any the wiser, making for a funny scene where a man from Cox & Carter is measuring Tinkle's bed for the size of rubber sheets and Tinkle wakes up and thinks that he is being measured up for a coffin. It is not until the end of the film that he realises his mistake and that he is not going to die, though he is still very angry that he married Chloe for nothing.
  • Take This Job and Shove It: Kilmore more or less references the trope name when he resigns, shouting that they can stick the job in the "Wanted" column.
  • A Taste of Their Own Medicine: The hospital wards club together to get their revenge on Matron and Dr Tinkle. Roper is full of fury because he's been prescribed cold baths because of his imaginary "high temperature".
  • Those Two Guys: The ambulance drivers that bring Francis to hospital.
  • Too Kinky to Torture: The patients attempt to persuade Dr. Tinkle by placing him in cold water. Unbeknownst to them, he takes cold baths every morning.
  • Tuckerization: The Caffin Ward in the film was an in joke for costume designer Yvonne Caffin.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Mr Barron has prenatal depression because of his wife's pregnancy complications, so he is assigned prenatal classes with pregnant women, who don't look fazed when he's doing yoga alongside them.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: Subverted. Francis thinks this applies to him due to a Sustained Misunderstanding, and such as thinks he barely has a week left to live. It's not until the end of the film that he realises the truth.


Video Example(s):


Nurse May Turning Heads

Nurse Sandra May quickly earns a reputation on her first day at the local hospital.

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Example of:

Main / HospitalHottie

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