Friday 6 November 2015

My Favourite Scene: Carry On Again Doctor

I have been writing an occasional series of blogs looking at my favourite scenes in each of the original Carry On films made between 1958 and 1978. Hot on the heals of profiling Carry On Doctor last week, comes this blog about its unofficial sequel, Carry On Again Doctor.

Again Doctor was made in the Spring of 1969 and set to capitalise on the success of the 1967 medical-themed film. It also marked the last Carry On film for regular actor Jim Dale until Columbus in 1992. Without a doubt, Jim's absence from the films that followed is keenly felt. I don't know if they were aware at the time that Jim was moving on, but Again Doctor feels like a tribute to him and he is heavily featured throughout. The film belongs to him.

As Dr Jimmy Nookey, he is at his accident prone, goofy best. He careers about the hospital on a trolley, falls down stairs and makes machinery explode to great aplomb. He also works well with Kenneth Williams and Barbara Windsor throughout. Again Doctor is really a film of two halves, the first based in the familiar confines of a district hospital and the second out in Ellen Moore's medical mission, before returning to the fat farm for the finale. At the time it was quite unheard of for the main star of the film (Sid James) not to appear until half way through the movie, but that's exactly what happened.

My favourite scene in Again Doctor sees the magnificent Sid and Jim get together in the medical mission. Sid's Gladstone Screwer quite obviously wants rid of Jimmy Nookey as he's on to quite a cushy number with all his wives, a plentiful supply of whisky and cigarettes and no patients whatsoever! The scenes between the two Carry On giants in the medical mission are an absolute joy and I know Jim Dale often hails them as his favourite in his entire Carry On career. They really are an absolute delight. It's very much a scenario of age old experience versus youthful physicality and it works a treat.

Again Doctor is often overshadowed by other medical Carry Ons like Matron and Doctor but it's definitely worth a watch. JIm is on fine form, carries the film with ease and looks at his physical peak throughout. And who can forget his first entrance on screen. I bet Kenneth and Patsy enjoyed that view ;)

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