HUDIS, Norman

Carry On, Nurse

N.p.: N.p., 1958


116 typed mimeographed pp., secured by staple press to left edge, housed in a manilla folder with 'CARRY ON, NURSE Working Title Draft Script 19.9.58'. Some rusting around staple press, age-toned, occasional slight wear and closed tears to page edges, extensive wear and tearing to (oversized) folder.


DICK VOSBURGH'S COPY OF THE DRAFT SCREENPLAY OF ONLY THE SECOND CARRY ON FILM, WITH OCCASIONAL PENCIL ANNOTATIONS IN HIS HAND.

In 1958 Carry On, Sergeant, an unassuming comedy set in an army barracks, was filmed at Pinewood. Produced by Peter Rogers and directed by Gerald Thomas, the film had a screenplay by Norman Hudis and was an enormous and unexpected hit. A second film employing many of the same cast and crew was rushed into production the same year.

Carry On, Nurse was adapted by Hudis from a play called Ring For Catty by Jack Beale and Patrick Cargill. The squaddies from Sergeant -- Kenneth Connor, Kenneth Williams, Charles Hawtrey -- became patients in Nurse; Hattie Jacques swaps khaki for a matron's uniform; Joan Sims makes her Carry On debut as a clumsy trainee nurse. Shot at Pinewood at the end of 1958, the film became the UK'S highest-grossing film of 1959, and a franchise was born.

The screenplay is dated 19 September 1958. It's probably the final draft: shooting began in November, and the finished film follows this text closely, with only the occasional sequence cut (notably an anaesthetic-induced dream sequence featuring Shirley Eaton as a harem dancer), and with the final scenes re-ordered so that the film ends not with a romantic resolution but a comic one.

Freelance comedy writer Dick Vosburgh worked as a script doctor on Carry On, Nurse, and later provided the same service on Carry On Regardless [1961] and the quasi-Carry On, Watch Your Stern [1960]. The occasional pencilled notes by Vosburgh are minor, and suggest an authorial/directorial hand rather than an actor's.

The folder in which the script is housed bears the Rank Organisation logo on the front panel, and the Organisation's name at the foot. Both are just discernible through the tape which covers them.

A wonderful survivor: such substantial material from so early in the Carry On canon is very, very scarce.




Keywords: Norman HUDIS"

£950.00


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