Once Is More Than Enough.
- Twice Round the Daffodils review by NC
It actually starts off quite well. A group of disparate men are thrown together in a T.B. ward, with no escape until they can walk twice around the daffodil garden. There's Kenneth Williams, slightly more subdued than his frenetic Carry On roles, chess-obsessed but with no-one to play with, eager for letters and visits from his sister (Joan Sims) whilst making out he couldn't care less. There's Ronald Lewis, in love with his childhood sweetheart, whilst her feelings for him have cooled, but she lacks the courage to tell him so. There's Donald Sinden, playing the part he's played a hundred times. Lance Percival isn't really given much of a character - he seems to be there to make the numbers up, and for others to use him as a sounding board. There's Andrew Ray, weak, sickly, lonely, shy. The most interesting character is Donald Houston's Welsh miner, with archaic convictions of what a man should be, refusing to countenance his illness, and constantly goading Andrew Ray's 'lack of masculinity'. Juliet Mills is an impossible angel, never off duty, always saying exactly the right thing - and did nurses ever wear high heels?
It could have been a nice little film, with the varying personalities meeting and colliding in an inescapable space, and to begin with that is what happens to a mildly competent extent. But then about half-way through, for some reason, the interesting issues are either resolved or put on the back burner, and the film becomes one of those boring, predictable British comedies about stuttering romances, (between patients and nurses), along with sexist scenes involving Jill Ireland.
Gerald Thomas and the scriptwriters manage to turn a pleasant bed of flowers into a bit of a midden.
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