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The (intertwined) stories of student nurses (hence the title):
- Sharon (Elaine Giftos) takes care of a terminal patient (Darrell
Larson), who seems to have nothing on his mind but death. Sharon tries
pretty much everything, until she figures the only thing he might
actually need would be a good shagging. Now that works to keep his
mind off things, but the next day he dies just the same (after all, he
was a terminal patient).
- Priscilla (Barbara Leigh) falls for a hippie (Richard Rust), and the
two go on an acid-trip and have sex on the beach - unprotected sex I
might add. The next day, he's gone, but he has left her something
behind, something only an abortion can take care of. However, in the
early 1970's an abortion is not that easy to get, so she asks Doc Jim
Caspar (Lawrence P.Casey), a friend, to perform the operation
secretly, to which he agrees - and the whole thing ends quite
- Phred (Karen Carlson) has fallen in love with above mentioned Jim
Caspar and the two had a relationship going too - when she finds out
that he had performed the abortion on Priscilla, her flatmate
actually, and immediately falls out of love with him again, making
out with his colleague Mark (Paul Camen) almost on the spot.
- Finally there's Lynn (Brioni Farrell), who has an encounter with the
(communist) Chicano movement and falls in love with its leader Victor
Charlie (Reni Santoni) - but soon the two of them find themselves on
the run from the police.
At their graduation, the four student nurses meet each other again,
though Phred has meanwhile given up on becoming a nurse for real and
instead has decided to become Mark's secretary while Lynn doesn't want to
become a nurse in a hospital, but instead wants to - according to her
newfound communist believes - bring the hospital to the people.
The first film by Roger Corman's then newly found New World Pictures,
clearly an exploitation pic about four pretty nurses who are supposed to get
naked as often as possible (though Brioni Farrell as Lynn has no nude
scenes in this one), but only in R-rated situations - at least that's what
Corman wanted the film to be, knowing his audience. However, he did also
welcome and encourage certain left-leaning subplots (like Lynn's story) in
probably because his former employer AIP
(he had only just parted ways with the company) would have
opposed a thing like this - he never had any illusions though that a
certain leftist spirit would influence his box office takes in one way or
The film, which was a relative success at
the drive ins, actually did succeed to put New World on the map,
which followed this one with a string of similar as well as dissimilar,
great as well as trashy films, some of which cinematic milestones of one
sort or another.
Still, all of this isn't saying much about The Student Nurses as
such: Actually, the film is pretty much as silly as you would suspect it
to be and full of 1960's and 70's clichés ... but on the other hand it's
also well-paced, at times quite (self-)ironic and overall quite
entertaining - if in a silly way.
Nothing great maybe, but totally likeable - if you are into this sort