Private Duty Nurses (1971)


Written and directed by George Armitage, this is the earliest film in the set. As you’ve probably guessed by this point, the storyline follows a trio of nurses who work in a hospital – a cute blonde named Spring (Katharine Cannon), a foxy black lady named Lola (Joyce Williams) and the more reserved brunette of the bunch, Lynn (Pegi Boucher). Like the other movies, the story is fairly vignette based, so it sort of branches off and tells the tale of each lady. First up is Spring who falls for Domino (Dennis Redfield), a Vietnam vet with some problems of his own who comes in to be treated after a nasty motorcycle accident. Lola decides to help out at a hospital in a tough black neighborhood and tries to help her boyfriend, also black, make it as a doctor in a white man’s world. Lynn hangs out with her boyfriend who is on a mission to reduce pollution in the oceans – she’s just sort of hanging around helping him out.

This one offers up the nudity and screwy situations you’d expect if you’ve made it this far into this review but doesn’t quite give up any more than that. The story is the dullest of the four in the collection and the girls don’t really stand out at all. They don’t act well, they don’t seem to fit together as well as the starlets in the other movies and they’re really just not given all that much to do here. The humor is scattershot at best and the dialogue never feels anything more than forced and tired. Some unintentional laughs come from a few awkward moments here and there but overall, this one is a bit of a disappointment.

The film does earn bonus points for containing a truly weird opening song performed by the band Sky that sounds like it could have been a seventies AM radio hit. Front man Doug Fieger would form The Knack in the years to follow and they’d hit it big with My Sharona. So there’s some interesting trivia for you, but overall this one feels like the rushed, cheap follow up to Student Nurses that it is and it’s more or less forgettable. The girls do look great naked, however, so it delivers on that level and it’s interesting to note the politics that pop up in this film as they compare to so many of Corman’s other seventies movies.

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