First of all this represents a time when hospitals were run by Matron, whose word was law and who even scared many Doctors. No managers mismanaging budgets in those days, everything scrupulously clean and well run, I watched this with great nostalgia for those days as first of all, this does depict a hospital accurately as they were run in those days and that added to the film. However, add in a great script and fabulous performances from all the cast and this is a marvellous film. It could have been over melodramatic, but, the cast, script and direction keep it from falling into that pit. As a previous reviewer noted Dr Sophie Dean is a 21st Century woman, a strong role played superbly by Googie Withers, James Donald, as always is superb in an understated way and Petula Clark is sympathetic as the frightened rookie nurse. Cannot fault the movie except for the rather pointless storyline with Basil Radford as the chap with the bad back, the film would have lost nothing if it hadn't been included. Top class film that will never get shown on TV again because they would rather fill the schedules with cheap and lazy reality programmes featuring Dominic Littlewood.
I saw this film when I was 12 years old, I was besotted with Michael York (still am) and an elderly aunt took me to the cinema. We both enjoyed it although, she admitted she was not sure how much of it I could understand regarding what happened to Mrs Scarlett. It has never, in the near 40 years since it's release it has, to my knowledge, never been on British TV. Why not? It is much better than many films they do show, especially from that era of British films in the 1970's and it was only by buying the DVD I was able to see it again after such a long time. I was not disappointed either, yes, it is basically a stage play that has been filmed, but, the performances are excellent all around. Stacy Keach pulls off one of the best British accents by an American actor. It drew me in and held my attention throughout, sadly, the very end is done weakly, but, that is a small complaint. Time for it to be shown on TV methinks
I love the gentle comedies that came out of the British film industry in the late 1940's to the mid 1950's. The Ealing comedies being a prime example of these, but, other studios were also producing them as well. This little movie is an example of such comedies, but, what a strange one as the first half was pretty flat, but, it perked up in the second half. Bill and Petronella go on a boating holiday and accidentally sink Tony Rackham's boat, they agree to take him to France to pick up some 'goods', but, it is clear Tony is no sailor and up to no good. Bill and Petronella wind up becoming embroiled in his scheme, this is the film's greatest weakness as Bill comes across as a 'blithering idiot' for allowing this to happen and it doesn't make sense (by the way, there is a part of the film where the term 'blithering' is cringingly over used) Luckily for us, the movie picks up and turns into a rather charming road movie involving ponies and is a very likable film by the end, although, it feels like they ran out of ideas of how to end it completely satisfactorily. The cast is very good, with solid performances all around, I have to admit the usually excellent and reliable James Donald isn't given much to work with and it shows, Jean Lodge is good, a last minute replacement for Audrey Hepburn and coincidentally, the producer's wife,but,still good. Kenneth More is always good and this is no exception and this has to be my favorite Charles Hawtrey performance. For me, the weakest point is the dialogue, the storyline is sweet and I love the sequence with the bus, the men getting off the bus brings back memories of day trips my street went on in the 1970's (although, how could Bill and Petronella not heard the crash?) Charming and a nice way to spend just over an hour,but, no Genevieve although with better dialogue and direction could have been closer to a classic like that movie.