Cast & Crew
Joanna Jones, an attractive young woman, is the new district nurse in the rural community of Blandley. Many of the villagers subject her to unkind gossip and compare her with her predecessor, Nurse Merrick. She becomes friends with Dr. Golfrey and his son, Dr. Harold, and is also accepted by the local storekeeper, Abel Worthy. When her car collides with one driven by farmer Henry Edwards, they meet and fall in love. They soon quarrel, however, when Henry wants to evict a destitute young couple whose caravan is parked on his land. Joanna objects because the woman is pregnant. Joanna delivers the couple's baby out in the fields and wins the respect of the rest of the community.
Colin Le Mesurier
Nurse on Wheels -
District nurses are an institution in England, providing home health care services to people recently discharged from hospitals and those with chronic conditions who might not otherwise be able to live at home. The practice began in 1858 as a charitable concern before becoming part of the National Health Service on its creation in 1948. Similar positions exist in other Commonwealth nations. The nearest U.S. equivalent is the community health nurse.
The Carry On films started in 1958 with Carry On Sergeant and continued for 29 more films through 1978's Carry On Emmannuelle. There was also a brief revival of the series in 1992 with Carry on Columbus. The first film was produced by Frank Bevis and Peter Rogers, directed by Gerald Thomas and written by Norman Hudis, who performed the same duties for Nurse on Wheels. Other behind the camera talent from the Carry On films includes cinematographer Alan Hume, art director Lionel Couch and costume director Joan Ellacott, while composer Eric Rogers would work on later entries after his work here. Rogers and Thomas would work on all of the series' films, while Hudis would be replaced by Talbot Rothwell in 1963.
The connection to Nurse on Wheels was almost even stronger. When Bevis and Rogers decided to film an adaptation of John Burke's comic novel (published under the main character's name, Joanna Jones), they wanted Carry On regular Joan Sims to take the female lead. By the time production began, however, she had put on some extra weight, and the producers decided to replace her with the younger and slimmer Mills, daughter of John Mills and older sister of Hayley. They offered Sims any other role she wanted and she chose to play the veterinarian's daughter, who thinks the new nurse is trying to romance the local doctor, whom she loves. Along with Sims, other actors from the Carry On series include Esma Cannon, Norman Rossington, Renee Houston and future Carry On actor Jim Dale, in only his third film. Two other familiar faces are character actress Athene Seyler, best remembered for Curse of the Demon (1957) and The Inn of the Sixth Happiness (1958), and Joan Hickson who 20 years later would win fans as Miss Marple in the popular BBC series.
Mills had made her film debut as an infant in her father's In Which We Serve (1942). She made her stage debut as a teenager in Peter Shaffer's first hit, Five Finger Exercise, which she played in London and on Broadway. After playing Michael Redgrave's daughter in No, My Darling Daughter (1961), she had her first starring film role in Twice Round the Daffodils (1962), produced by Rogers, directed by Thomas and written by Hudis. That made her a natural to star in Nurse on Wheels when they decided to replace Sims. She would follow her family to Hollywood in the mid-'60s and become a U.S. citizen in 1975. She starred in the hit comedy series Nanny and the Professor, won an Emmy for the mini-series QB VII and spent nine years as witch Tabitha Lenox on the NBC daytime drama Passions. Since then she has guested on Hot in Cleveland as Jane Leeves' mother, appeared in the British series Wild at Heart as sister Hayley's sister and toured Australia with husband Maxwell Caulfield and Hayley Mills in the comedy Legends.
Director: Gerald Thomas
Producers: Frank Bevis, Peter Rogers
Screenplay: Norman Hudis
Based on the novel by John Burke
Cinematography: Alan Hume
Score: Eric Rogers
Cast: Juliet Mills (Joanna Jones), Ronald Lewis (Henry Edwards), Joan Sims (Deborah Walcott), Noel Purcell (Abel Worthy), Esma Cannon (Mrs. Jones), Raymond Huntley (Vicar), Athene Seyler (Miss Fathingale), Norman Rossington (George Judd), Joan Hickson (Mrs. Wood), Renee Houston (Mrs. Beacon), Jim Dale (Tim Taylor)
By Frank Miller
Nurse on Wheels -
Released in Great Britain in June 1963.