May 022012


Twice Round the Daffodils gets it UK DVD début from Studio Canal, 50 years after it was first released in 1962. The film stars Juliet Mills, Donald Sinden, Donald Houston,Kenneth Williams, Ronald Lewis, Andrew Ray, Joan Sims and Jill Ireland, and was directed by Gerald Thomas. Although it shares many of the stars of the famed Carry On films, as well as Thomas, who himself directed 30 of the Carry On series, Twice Round the Daffodils is not a Carry On film. Though you wouldn’t be able to tell from the marketing of the films.

The Carry On links don’t just end with the director and the cast. The Patrick Cargill and Jack Beale play, Ring For Catty, which the film is based on was itself adapted as a part of the Carry On series, with 1959’s Carry On Nurse, also directed by Gerald Thomas, and featured Kenneth Williams, Joan Sims and Jill Ireland. I’ve never been a fan of the Carry On films. It could just be a generational thing. I never found their innuendo heavy style to my liking, but as I say this is very likely due to a generational shift in filmic styles.

Twice Round the Daffodils is more subtle and emotional than the Carry On films however. Yes there are the “wink-wink” moments, but the comedy is less broad and there is more of an emphasis on looking deeper into the characters the story contains. This is reflected perfectly in the performance of Kenneth Williams. In the Carry On films he was mostly used for his camp line delivery and his catchphrase-like nature. In this film however he does not have to be that caricature. Here he could be more.

The film is the story of four new patients who have arrived at a tuberculosis sanitorium, joining the few patients that already inhabit the place. The film deals with how the men each deal with the varying stages of the illness, and the title refers to, how when you are getting better, your able to walk twice round the daffodils, a small flower bed in the hospital grounds. As well as sharing the same illness, the men also share the same symptom of, as Nurse Catty puts it “feeling sexy!”. This causes most of the men to form some kind of infatuation with the nurses. This is all dealt with in a very light hearted Sunday afternoon kind of way.

Twice Round The Daffodils is a very sweet and easily watchable film, that never takes itself to seriously, but also never ventures into the broad humour of its obvious source influence.

Twice Round The Daffodils is released on DVD 30th of April 2012 from Studio Canal RRP: £15.99 Best price found £11.99

Other Upcoming titles from Studio Canal

The Old Curiosity Shop

The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby 

Anyway peace out suckers!