The Sensuous Nurse
Ursula Andress film clips
(tomorrow: the other women in the cast.)
God bless those guys at NoShame Films, whoever they
might be, for bringing The Sensuous Nurse to DVD. They did everything
The Sensuous Nurse is one of the great Italian sex
farces of the 60s and 70s, but nobody has known that for a couple of
reasons. First, it has never been available on DVD. Second, the available
video tapes were not only of inferior quality, but were significantly
expurgated as well. Although the film runs more than 100 minutes long,
various video versions have been as short as 77 minutes. This DVD not only
restores the film to its original full length, but also preserves the
original widescreen aspect ratio, and has been digitally re-mastered from
the vault negatives. The DVD even includes a 23 minute featurette about
the film. Such a feature is rare for any 30-year-old film, let alone one
which originally ran in Italy's "seconda visione" circuit (roughly the
equivalent in quality of America's drive-in circuit).
The low IMDb rating is just crazy. I have to assume that
the people who assigned those low grades must have seen the truncated
versions, and that those versions must have been edited down to
incoherence. The full version not only looks good, but it works quite
well, both as a lowbrow comedy and as erotica. There are sexy scenes;
there are funny scenes; and there are funny sex scenes. Oh, sure, the
humor is crude. It consists mainly of mugging and lowbrow hijinks. The
liner notes mention that this film is basically like a Benny Hill sketch
expanded to feature length, and that's true, but it's such good-natured,
irreverent, over-the-top fun that I found myself laughing out loud several
times, almost against my will. The politically incorrect comedy is just
the icing on the cake, because the primary appeal of the film is not one
but two naked Bond girls: Ursula Andress (Dr. No) and Luciana Paluzzi (Thunderball).
Luciana didn't remove her panties, but I think this movie presents your
only opportunity to see her ample bosom. Ursula showed it all, again and
again, and looked magnificent doing so. Pretty Carla Romanelli also
supplied full frontal and rear nudity in a comic role, and one other woman
stripped stark naked just to get her nipples tweaked by Jack Palance while
he was making a phone call.
The plot concerns a rich old man who has a heart attack
during sex with a younger woman. Expecting his imminent demise, his family
has just about divided his possessions when the family doctor presents
them with the bad news: he might recover. The doctor has two things to
add: (1) the old man would surely die if he had a second heart attack; (2)
he will need constant care and, given his financial status, can and should
be attended by a full-time nurse. His scheming nephew thinks about these
medical recommendations and realizes that if the two points were to be
combined into one, it would be a sinister and profitable plot. What if the
old man had a full-time nurse so gorgeous that he would have to mount her,
thus causing his second heart attack?
Enter Ursula Andress.
Andress eventually comes to realize that the old boy is
quite a good fellow, while his family consists of a bunch of greedy
sycophants, so she backs out of the scheme, falls in love with the old
man, and ...
... well, I think you can probably take it from there.
Some of the family members are hilarious. One of the
nephews is a retired war veteran who seems to think he's still in the
army, and re-creates various military exercises and maneuvers around the
grounds of the estate, complete with military music played on a powerful
sound system. His nemesis is the local drunkard, who loves to play pranks
on him by sabotaging his equipment. Those two characters, and their
rivalry for the affections of the gorgeous maid, fuel much of the comedy.
Without really thinking it through, I started watching
the film in English with English sub-titles, and that turned out to be a
great idea, because the translations were radically different, and
sometimes one of the two came up with a much funnier way to translate the
Italian jokes into English equivalents. You will miss some of the humor if
you choose only one or the other. The American English dubbing is
surprisingly good - not good in the sense of "co-ordinated with the lip
movements," but good in the sense of "actually employing real actors with
a deft comic touch." Although I lack sufficient skills to understand the
Italian soundtrack, I have to think the American actors probably did an
excellent job at conveying the humor of the original Italian script.
I thought I was watching this film in order to record
the nudity dutifully, but I ended up enjoying the hell out of it, dumb
though it was. I recommend this DVD if you have any interest in the
Italian sex farces of that period, or in the beautiful women in the cast.