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Nurse on Wheels (1963)

Quietly competent young Joanna Jomes (Juliet Mills)  moves with her scatterbrained mother (Esma Cannon) to a country village to take up her first job as a District Nurse.

She soon overcomes the suspicion of her patients – her predecessor Nurse Merrick (Barbara Everest) was rather older – while becoming romantically involved with a local farmer called Henry (Ronald Lewis), until he tries to evict a newly-arrived expectant couple who park their caravan on his land.

Full of familiar British actors who had performed in many other Anglo-Amalgamated films of the day, Nurse on Wheels is a gentle comedy with eccentric characters, a dash of slapstick and a touch of romance.

Noel Purcell shines as the eccentric general store owner, Abel Worthy.

The film is loosely adapted by the early Carry On films scribe Norman Hudis from the 1961 novel/memoir Nurse Is A Neighbour by Joanna Jones (a pen name of John Burke).

Nurse On Wheels shares much with Carry On Nurse – not just the same writer in Hudis, but the same producer and director of the Carry On‘s – Peter Rogers and Gerald Thomas – and there’s even something of a callback to that film’s final daffodil gag here too.

Bearing in mind all those common links, it’s no surprise that the film’s poster takes great pains to liken Nurse On Wheels with the early Carry On feature.

The film is also blessed with a memorable score from Carry On composer Eric Rogers.

Some location scenes were filmed in Windsor and Little Missenden in Berkshire with interiors at Pinewood Studios.

Joan Sims was originally cast in the title role but gained weight before production started so producer Peter Rogers recast the part with Juliet Mills. He offered Sims any other role for the same top billing and salary, and she chose the part of Deborah, the vicar’s daughter.

Joanna Jones
Juliet Mills
Henry Edwards
Ronald Lewis
Deborah Walcott
Joan Sims
Abel Worthy
Noel Purcell
Mrs Jones
Esma Cannon
Vicar
Raymond Huntley
Miss Farthingale
Athene Seyler
George Judd
Norman Rossington
Dr Harold Golfrey
Ronald Howard
Mrs Wood
Joan Hickson
Mrs Beacon
Renee Houston
Mr Beacon
George Woodbridge
Tim Taylor
Jim Dale
Dr Golfrey Senior
David Horne
Nurse Merrick
Barbara Everest
Ann Taylor
Amanda Reiss
Mr Top
Peter Jesson
Miss Maitland
Virginia Vernon
Driving Examiner
Deryck Guyler

Director
Gerald Thomas