Do not be fooled, Twice Round the Daffodils is directed by Carry On
Do not be fooled, Twice
Round the Daffodils is directed by Carry On director, Gerald Thomas, but is not
considered to be one of the official Carry On films. It does have the same tone and saucy humour,
with the odd moment of slapstick and gals getting caught short in their undies,
but it also has some poignant moments.
Now the movie comes to DVD in its 50th Anniversary.
Twice Round the Daffodils is a classic comedy, based on the
play Ring for Catty by Patrick Cargill and Jack Beale. It stars some well-known British actors, including Carry On
legends Kenneth Williams and Joan Sims, both of whom would go on to
star in Carry on Nurse in 1959, a
film based on the same play. Four
male patients join some others in a sanatorium to be treated for TB. Not knowing how long they may be
incarcerated for, we see each of them try to adjust to life as a patient. In the meantime, some of them begin to
take a fancy to particular nurses.
The title of the film refers to the idea that, when the
patients are well enough to leave, they should be able to walk twice around the
bed of daffodils in the hospital garden.
Juliet Mills is wonderful as
Nurse Catty, playing her as very sweet, down to earth and caring and it is the
centre of most of the poignant moments in the film. One of the patients, John (Donald Houston), used to life as a hard-working miner providing for
his family, does not adapt well at first to life as a patient and in his
delirious state of illness begs Nurse Catty to end his misery. She calmly talks him down and this is
quite a moving scene.
Twice Round the Daffodils is not the most hilarious film you
will see, but it is definitely good for a few giggles. There is the ideal amount of comedy
capers and in-jokes to make you chuckle, without it becoming rude or overly
engaged in the naughty Carry On style.
Kenneth Williams is his usual wonderfully camp self as Henry Halfpenny,
with his hilarious gestures and facial expressions and provides a nice comedic
centre for the movie, backed up by Joan Sims as his forgetful, but sweet
sister, Harriet. There is one
particularly amusing scene where Henry and George (Lance Percival) are trying to make an illicit meal in the hospital
kitchen without being caught, but people keep coming in and out, forcing them
to hide in a cupboard, clutching pots and pans, bags of food and half-made
Even aside from Williams, Sims and Mills, this film is packed
with British acting talent. British
film and television staple, Sir Donald
Sinden plays Ian Richards, the frisky patient with a penchant for blonde
nurses. There are some nice cameos
aswell from the likes of Sheila Hancock,
Nanette Newman and Jill Ireland, young and fresh faced and
near the beginning of their careers.
Twice Round the Daffodils is easy to watch and is good for a
bit of light entertainment. There
are not any extras on this DVD which is a bit of a disappointment, however the
film is nice enough on its own and is great for a fan of the Carry On movies or
a fan of good old-fashioned British comedy gold.