Follow TV Tropes


Film / Carry On Matron

Go To

Carry On Matron is a British film from the Carry On series and was released in 1972. It stars regulars Sid James, Joan Sims, Kenneth Williams, Kenneth Cope, Kenneth Connor, Bernard Bresslaw, Bill Maynard, Hattie Jacques, Barbara Windsor, Terry Scott (in his last film in the series) and Charles Hawtrey. Being the fourth Carry On that's set in a hospital, it's amazing that none of the critics claimed it was another sequel to Carry On Doctor, but that might've been because Jim Dale wasn't in it.

Instead, the movie focuses on a gang of thieves, led by Sid Carter (James) and including his cohorts Ernie Bragg (Bresslaw) and Freddy (Maynard) trying to steal medicine from a maternity hospital run by Sir Bernard (Williams) and the Matron (Jacques), as well as the horny Dr Prodd (Scott) and Dr Goode (Hawtrey). The thieves manage to smuggle in Sid's son Cyril (Cope) to pose as an intern nurse who shares a room with nurse Susan Ball (Windsor).


There's also expecting couple Mr and Mrs Tidey (Connor and Sims), who have been waiting for almost a month for the baby to be born. This has caused the wife to binge-eat.

For the other Carry On films that are hospital-based, see Carry On Nurse, Carry On Doctor and Carry On Again, Doctor.

Tropes Included:

  • Actor Allusion:
    • The plot of the episode of Show Within a Show The Surgeons which Dr Goode and Matron sit down to watch is lifted from the 1946 film Green for Danger, starring Alastair Sim, Trevor Howard, and, in her first film appearance, Hattie Jacques (in an uncredited, voice-only role).
    • Susan doesn't want to be known as a gangster's moll. In Real Life, Barbara Windsor was married to gangster Ronnie Knight. She was also acquainted with the notorious Reggie Kray and his brother Charlie.
  • All Men Are Perverts: Dr Prodd tries to sleep with every attractive female patient or nurse that turns up in the hospital.
  • Advertisement:
  • Ambiguously Jewish: Sir Bernard is a worrying hypochondriac and is even nicknamed "the rabbi" in a fit of rage from one of his employees.
  • Apron Matron: Matron, as in the previous medical Carry On films, is physically imposing and a tough, no-nonsense boss to the nursing staff, but she is also very defensive of them, particularly against the lecherous advances of Dr Prodd.
  • Attempted Rape: Dr Prodd tries to flirt with the disguised Cyril throughout the movie, but then just jumps at him when he has the chance. Luckily, Cyril manages to escape unscathed, leaving a dishevelled Prodd to mumble, "God, what a woman!"
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: When Cyril goes undercover in the hospital disguised as a female intern-nurse, he immediately attracts the attention of the lecherous Dr Prodd, who won't take "no" for an answer.
  • Bait-and-Switch: One of Dr Prodd's patients, Mrs Tucker, has previously been to see him to explain that she's not sure if her new 88-year-old husband is able to conceive. Prodd suggested at the time that she take in a lodger nearer to her own age to improve her chances, and Mrs Tucker reveals that it worked and she's now pregnant, to her husband's delight. As for the lodger... she is pregnant as well!
  • Big Eater: Mrs Tidey is expecting a three-week overdue baby and is in no real hurry to give birth because she sees her stay in the hospital as an excuse to gorge herself on a seemingly endless banquet of hospital food.
  • Bound and Gagged: Dr. Prodd is knocked out, tied up, gagged and left in an ambulance.
  • Brotherhood of Funny Hats: Bernard is about to thrash Goode over their perceived shared affection for Matron ... until it emerges that they are both members of the Grand Order of Newts (Sir Bernard in the Watford "pond", Dr. Goode in the Wapping "pond"), whereupon they begin reciting the Newts' loyalty oath in unison.
  • Buxom Is Better: When the gang sees Cyril in disguise for the first time, Freddy and Ernie suggest they fill up his chest a bit more but defied by Sid when he reminds them that the point is for Cyril to go unnoticed.
    "If you make 'em any bigger, everyone's gonna start gawking, ain't they?"
  • Car Meets House: When Dr Prodd comes to after being coshed and Bound and Gagged in an ambulance by Sid's gang before the robbery, he struggles to free himself and accidentally starts the ambulance, which ploughs through the entrance of the hospital and demolishes the reception desk before finally coming to a stop.
  • The Casanova:
    • Dr Prodd chases after anything in a skirt (including the unfortunate Cyril). As his first scene with Nurse Ball demonstrates — she brings him a patient's urine sample, he jokes that she can't tempt him with strong drink, she notes that she said that to him when they first met, he says he'll get her eventually - rebuffing his advances just makes him try harder, and once he's made a sexual conquest (and put a framed photo of the girl in question on his bedroom wall), he moves on to the next one. When we last see him, he is in the background at Sir Bernard and Matron's wedding, chatting up a young nurse.
    • The husband of the actress that Cyril and Prodd pick up is seen waving her off in the ambulance, and then rushing back into their mansion to join his mistress.
  • Clothing Damage: When Sir Bernard is about to give Dr Goode a damn good thrashing for being his perceived rival for Matron's affections, his secretary, Evelyn Banks (Patsy Rowlands),note  tries to get between them. Sir Bernard ends up ripping her dress off in trying to get her out of the way, and she quickly flees the room with what's left of it.
  • Cloudcuckoolander:
    • Dr Goode. Upon being introduced, he is seen hypnotizing himself.
    • Ernie has a rather loose grip on reality. When Sid's gang go in for the pill heist, Ernie is disguised as a pregnant woman (his "baby" is really explosives and other burglary equipment) and keeps forgetting that he isn't (and, indeed, biologically cannot be) actually pregnant, asking what happens if he goes into labour while Sid and Freddy are looking for the storeroom key.
  • Crying Wolf: Mrs Tidey has a baby three-weeks overdue waiting inside her. She binge-eats while she waits, leading to her calling out that her waters have broke, when it turns out to be wind or indigestion.
  • Derailed Train of Thought: As Sid, Freddy, and Ernie are looking over the plans for the hospital, they fall into a collective case of this trope. When Sid explains that the pills are in the basement of the hospital, Ernie asks where the babies are, and a frustrated Sid tells him they're in the wards - "where do you think!?" Ernie explains that it's not as obvious as Sid thinks; for example, he was born on the top deck of a Number 73 bus in Brixton High Street. Freddy argues that Number 73 goes from Marble Arch to Putney and Wimbledon, not to Brixton at all, and when Sid tries to get things back on track, he pauses mid-sentence and then says they're both wrong, Number 73 goes to Holloway - and he should know, as his wife did at least one stretch in the women's prison there, and he used to take that bus to visit her.
  • Disguised in Drag: Cyril reluctantly dresses up as an intern-nurse to get closer to the medicine cupboard.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Male on Male: Cyril, who has infiltrated a hospital disguised as a female nurse, is continually pursued by Dr. Prodd, who goes as far as locking "her" in a room, ignoring "her" screams and making "her" aware that he "was a boxing champion at university". Furthermore, the scene turns out like it would be fairly funny even if the victim really were female. note 
  • Dragged into Drag: Cyril is made to dress up as a female intern at the hospital his father's trying to steal from, getting unwanted attention from Dr Prodd.
  • Gasshole: Played With by Mrs Tidey; she only burps the one time in the film, but it's referenced in her first appearance that almost all of her apparent contractions in the last three weeks had turned out to be bouts of gas, when they weren't attacks of indigestion. Justified in that she's eating constantly; no wonder she's bloated and gassy.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: As part of his cover as "Doctor Zhivago", Sid peppers his conversation with Matron with foreign words; however, he changes languages every few words, going from German ("Jawol") to Spanish and French ("Sì, sì, madamoiselle") to Italian ("Arrivederci") in the space of about 15 seconds.
  • Here We Go Again!: After his plan to steal the pills fails miserably, while watching the wedding of Sir Bernard and Matron from a parked car over the road, Sid sets his eyes on a nudist camp where millionaires go to relax, if he can get someone on the inside to gather intel. Freddy and Ernie jump out of the car and run away.
  • Honey Trap: When Sid and his gang arrive at Finisham in an ambulance to carry out the pill heist, they see Dr Prodd on duty in the lobby. Cyril, still in drag as a nurse, goes in and leads him to believe that he will give him the night of passion he has been seeking since they first met as a way of making up for the Shot in the Ass incident the previous night. The lecherous Prodd follows Cyril outside, whereupon he is shanghaied and Bound and Gagged to the steering wheel of the ambulance.
  • Hospital Hottie: Susan, as is typical for Barbara Windsor's roles in the Carry On films, is the object of attraction for numerous male characters. Dr Prodd has been trying, unsuccessfully, to seduce her since she began working at Finisham, while Cyril is also fascinated by her, but is so determined to keep up his disguise as a female nurse that he flees the room when Susan begins undressing. His restraint is part of what ultimately attracts Susan to Cyril as well.
  • Hypno Pendulum: Hypnotherapist Dr Goode is seen hypnotizing himself before being walked in on.
  • Hypochondriac: Bernard, whose face is always in a medical book, wondering what's wrong with him. At one point, he believes he's turning into a woman.
  • I Know Karate: When trying to force himself onto the disguised Carter, Dr Prodd warns him that she shouldn't think about trying to retaliate his advances because he learnt how to box in university.
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog: When Sid and Freddy are searching Matron's bedroom for the key to the storeroom where the birth control pills are kept, they hear Sir Bernard knock at the door, and they both hide. Eventually Matron herself returns, and as she and Sir Bernard sit on her bed, they hear Freddy screaming beneath it. He rolls out and, as he is dressed in a worker's uniform, he excuses himself by claiming that gas meters are kept in the strangest places sometimes. Having previously found Dr Goode in Matron's wardrobe, an irate Sir Bernard opens the wardrobe again to find Sid, who knocks on the side of the wardrobe and tells Matron it definitely has woodworm, and he leaves with a promise to send her an estimate. Sir Bernard and Matron are so shocked that, at first, they accept these obvious lies, but when the shock wears off, they chase after the thieves.
  • I'm a Man; I Can't Help It: Ernie teases Cyril over being chosen to be the woman, and makes suggestive comments about women's underwear and clothing. He dismisses Sid's death glares with this point.
  • Last-Name Basis: Mrs Tidey is only ever known by that name, although that makes sense given she's in a hospital and being something all of a difficult patient who treats the whole affair as a holiday cum free all-you-can-eat banquet.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Sid Carter and his son Cyril are both thieves, though Cyril is anxious to go straight and has even had a job offer at an insurance company. But, as Sid never tires of reminding him, he promised his mother on her deathbed many years earlier that he would follow in his father's footsteps.
  • Like Father, Unlike Son: Cyril knows that his dad's business ways are illegal and hopes to persue a career in insurance, which is why Sid constantly uses Cyril's mother's deathbed as emotional blackmail to get him to do what he wants.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: The stern Reasonable Authority Figure Matron and neurotic hypochondriac Bernard are a romantic version of this trope. There's also the Matron and mild-mannered Cloudcuckoolander Dr. Goode, who are the platonic version, although Bernard starts off thinking otherwise.
  • Meaningful Name: Dr Prodd, because he prods attractive patients and nurses.
  • Moll: When finding out that Cyril is really the son of a gangster, Susan threatens that he should try to sabotage the plan if he wants to be her boyfriend because she doesn't want to end up as this trope.note 
  • Mythology Gag: Among the photos on Dr Prodd's wall of sexual conquests are publicity stills of Fenella Fielding as Valeria in Carry On Screaming! and Shakira Baksh as Scrubba in Carry On Again, Doctor.
  • Panicky Expectant Father: Mrs Tidey's husband, who nearly falls over when he rushes into the hospital on news of a possible childbirth.
  • Punny Name: The hospital is named "Finisham Maternity", and its head surgeon is Sir Bernard Cutting.
  • Putting the "Medic" in Comedic
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Out of the staff of the hospital, the Matron is the closest thing to an Only Sane Employee, trying to deal with troublesome patients and coworkers. Although she ends up in the middle of an Imaginary Love Triangle with her boss Bernard and Dr. Goode.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: In the final scene, Sid's gang are watching Sir Bernard and Matron's wedding from Sid's car over the road. Since the birth control pill robbery was thwarted, Freddy and Ernie ask what their next job will be. Sid explains that he's read about a millionaire's nudist camp, and he needs someone on the inside to gather information. Freddy and Ernie jump out of the car and run off up the road as Sid yells after them.
  • Seinfeldian Conversation: When Ernie, Sid and Freddy are coming up with a plan to rob the hospital, Ernie mentions how his mother gave birth to him on top of a bus "Number 73. bang in the middle of Brixton high street". They begin arguing over which buses go where.
  • Shot in the Ass: As in Carry On Doctor, that's "shot" as in "injection". In the ambulance with an expecting mother, a panicked Cyril accidentally injects Dr Prodd in the backside with a dose of sedative when he fumbles around for painkillers. Can be seen as a blessing in disguise, because God knows what would've happened after the mother was wheeled out into another hospital. At this point in the movie, Cyril had just got away from Prodd's AttemptedRape...
  • Show Within a Show: Matron and Dr Goode meet once a week in secret to watch the glossy TV drama The Surgeons.
  • A Simple Plan: Sid cases the hospital to plan the heist of birth control pills, but when he attracts too much attention from the nursing staff, he decides Cyril should go undercover as a nurse so that he can get a plan of the hospital and find out where the pills are kept. Simple, as long as Cyril keeps a low profile. However, the elastic on his underwear breaks, and he accidentally goes into the Gents' toilet to fix it, where Dr Prodd finds "Cyrille" and targets "her" as his next sexual conquest. Though Cyril is able to use this to his advantage to get the information Sid and his gang need, Dr Prodd is then called out on an emergency to deliver a film star's premature baby, and grabs Cyril as the first available nurse when he happens to walk by. Cyril accidentally injects Dr Prodd with a sedative and is forced to perform the delivery himself in the back of the ambulance, an event captured by reporters and photographers for multiple newspapers. Sid has to move the heist forward as a result, but the rushed planning once again means the thieves attract too much attention, and the doors are locked before they can escape, resulting in an entire hospital of pregnant women, doctors, and nurses chasing after them.
  • Take That!: The reliability (or lack thereof) of the British railway system has always been a popular target for British comedy, and this film provides a good example in a conversation between Mr Tidey (a railway porter) and Matron:note 
    Mr Tidey: Matron!... well, what's happened?
    Matron: Oh, I'm afraid it was another false alarm, Mr Tidey, you may as well go back to work.
    Mr Tidey: Go back to work!? It was due three weeks ago!
    Matron: Well, I'm sorry, Mr Tidey, but babies tend to arrive when they feel like it. There's nothing we can do about it.
    Mr Tidey: It's a fine state of affairs, innit, eh? [scoffs] We'd soon be in a right old mess, wouldn't we, if we ran the railways like that!
    Matron: [unamused] I was under the impression that you did.
  • Tap on the Head: Sid knocks Dr. Prodd out before he and the gang enter the hospital.
  • They Do: In the film's final sequence, Sir Bernard Cutting and Matron have just been married, and Cyril and Nurse Ball are contemplating taking the same step at some point.
  • Trash Landing: When escaping from the hospital staff and patients, Sid and his gang climb into a chute that slides them into a bin full of used nappies.
  • Tuckerization: The book that Bernard consults is The Psychology of Jealousy by Ernest Steward this being an in joke as he was the director of photography.
  • Verbal Backspace: Dr Prodd tells a patient, Mrs Smethurst, that he has good news for her. She corrects him - it's Miss Smethurst. Dr Prodd's smile fades, and he says in that case, he has bad news for her, and she leaves the room in tears.note 
  • Villain Protagonist: Sid's gang are portrayed as the heroes, even though they plan to do drug dealing abroad with stolen birth control pills.
  • "Which Restroom" Dilemma: When Cyril arrives at the hospital dressed as a female nurse, the elastic on his underwear breaks, and he asks the receptionist for a safety pin to repair it. However, he forgets that he's disgiused as a woman and goes into the gents' toilet to make the necessary adjustment; Dr Prodd finds "her" in there and initially thinks he's walked into the ladies' toilet by mistake.
  • White Sheep: Sid Carter is a career criminal, and his late wife is implied to have been the same (Sid reveals she spent time in HM Prison Holloway), meaning Cyril has been expected by both parents to follow in their footsteps. However, he doesn't have the stomach for a life outside the law, and has successfully applied for a job in insurance. Sid persuades him to make the birth control pill theft his One Last Job.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: