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Reviews & Ratings for
The Student Nurses More at IMDbPro »

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10 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

A REAL SLEEPER!

Author: Lana Falana from New York
4 April 2001

I rented a copy of this from my local Blockbuster expecting nothing much but the usual amount of T & A and sex. But after I watched it, I was surprised by how thoughtful it was, that it was about something after all.

I'm not going to go into the plot, because I think it's more effective if you enter into this film cold, knowing nothing about it.

This was the first film produced by Roger Corman's New World Pictures. Knowing Corman, I had figured that it would be low budget, but look like it cost more. I was right. Filmed on a budget of 150,000 it looks like it cost 1 million dollars.

The video box makes this film look like a sex romp. Anyone watching this film for sex alone is bound to be disappointed. This is a smart, sensitive film that deals with serious issues such as abortion, protests, independent living and moral conflict. One possible reason for this is "The Student Nurses" was directed by Stephanie Rothman, a woman. Therefore, it ends up being less sleazy and exploitative than if it had been directed by a man. Most exploitation films are sleazy, no brainers. It's great to see an exploitation film that makes you think when you finish seeing it.

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8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Women's Independence in "The Student Nurses"

10/10
Author: Jason "MacGregor" Roberts from United States
22 September 2005

"The Student Nurses" is an excellent film that deals with four women bonded by friendship and career. For the first time, one is able to see a realistic portrayal of relationships inside the work place, outside the work place, the risks of those relationships, and the consequences. This film also offers a rare chance to see veteran stage and television actress Katherine "Scottie" MacGregor as the nurses' instructor, "Miss Boswell." Ms. MacGregor is best known for her performance as "Mrs. Oleson" on the television series "Little House on the Prairie." The direction, music, and print color are very good as well as the opening theme song performed by Clancy B. Grass, III. This film offers a rare opportunity for those who enjoy themes centered around the late 1960s and early 1970s, which offers a "softer side to life" while appreciating the beauty of the female sex.

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9 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Healthcare 70's style

5/10
Author: anonymous from texas
22 July 1999

I was in Grade 9 when this movie came out in 1970. I always remembered it, as the ads in the local paper featured a pouty young nurse with her uniform falling off her shoulders. Pretty hot stuff for a junior high school student in Western Canada in 1970! Naturally, I couldn't go see it, as it was rated "restricted adult", and in the years after the ardour faded and I never got around to viewing it until recently.

Thanks to good ol' cable and their willingness to screen almost anything, I finally got a chance to view this 'hot' artifact of my adolesence. The result, a chance to drift down memory lane and view a classic early 70's youth flic.

The plot needs not be repeated here, as the title basically says it all. The student nurses are young, attractive, rebellious, and, of course, sexually liberated. Various turgid plot devices keep things going between romps in bed. Sundry nude scenes help remind us how actresses looked prior to the era of breast implants. Everybody is groovy, everything is cool, except when 'the man' representing adult authority rears his ugly head.

In spite of the above, though, I couldn't help but like this film. Perhaps it's my age, but it personifies an era that seems so much more innocent and fun than the slasher flics or hard edged teenage exploitation films of today. Soft drugs, unprotected sex, and a basic 'nice' approach to life personifies the earnest strivings of the Student Nurses, and captures a side of the late '60's and early '70's that actually did exist for a few years. I was too young to participate, but I witnessed it, and like many boomers, I mourn it's passing.

See the flic if you get a chance. If you're over 40, it'll bring back memories. If you're under 30, you'll get a chance to see the warmer, softer side of the 60's that your parents remember.

5 out of 10 for nostalgia.

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Typical early '70's Youth Sexploitation Flic, But Kinda Fun Anyway

5/10
Author: johnv-3 from texas
19 July 1999

I was in Grade 9 when this movie came out in 1970. I always remembered it, as the ads in the local paper featured a pouty young nurse with her uniform falling off her shoulders. Pretty hot stuff for a junior high school student in Western Canada in 1970! Naturally, I couldn't go see it, as it was rated "restricted adult", and in the years after the ardour faded and I never got around to viewing it until recently.

Thanks to good ol' cable and their willingness to screen almost anything, I finally got a chance to view this 'hot' artifact of my adolesence. The result, a chance to drift down memory lane and view a classic early 70's youth flic.

The plot needs not be repeated here, as the title basically says it all. The student nurses are young, attractive, rebellious, and, of course, sexually liberated. Various turgid plot devices keep things going between romps in bed. Sundry nude scenes help remind us how actresses looked prior to the era of breast implants. Everybody is groovy, everything is cool, except when 'the man' representing adult authority rears his ugly head.

In spite of the above, though, I couldn't help but like this film. Perhaps it's my age, but it personifies an era that seems so much more innocent and fun than the slasher flics or hard edged teenage exploitation films of today. Soft drugs, unprotected sex, and a basic 'nice' approach to life personifies the earnest strivings of the Student Nurses, and captures a side of the late '60's and early '70's that actually did exist for a few years. I was too young to participate, but I witnessed it, and like many boomers, I mourn it's passing.

See the flic if you get a chance. If you're over 40, it'll bring back memories. If you're under 30, you'll get a chance to see the warmer, softer side of the 60's that your parents remember.

5 out of 10 for nostalgia.

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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

For those who dig 70's exploitation flicks

Author: lazarillo from Denver, Colorado and Santiago, Chile
20 June 2009

This is an early entry into what became a veritable genre of low-budget exploitation movies focusing on a group of sexy young women working as nurses, teachers, flight attendants, models etc. These movies offered some sop towards the women's liberation movement of the era, but were usually far more interested in liberating the gorgeous actresses in them from their clothing. As you might expect, this movie is about the lives and loves of student nurses. The blonde is torn between gynecology and psychology (and two handsome doctors that work in each field). The Hispanic girl (Brioni Ferrell) gets involved with a Chicano activist and ends up on the lam from the police. The sensitive redhead falls in love with a terminally ill patient. And the hippie girl (Barbara Leigh) goes to a "love-in", drops acid, and gets pregnant after a one-night stand with a hippie creep.

This is definitely a pretty dated movie. There is a whole abortion subplot that seems pretty jarring by today's standards (but are things really so much better today in movies where everybody has lots of sex but nobody ever seems to get pregnant and has to make these hard choices?) The director of this was the underrated Stephanie Rothman who directed stuff like "The Velvet Vampire" and "Sweet Sugar". Rothman has never gotten her due as a great female director because she never really emerged from the Corman exploitation school, but then she also never sold out like Penelope Spheeris or Katherine Bigelow (who started out with stuff like "Decline of Western Civilization" and "Near Dark", but ended up making the worst Hollywood crap imaginable after they finally "made it"). This is one of Rothman's first movies, and definitely not her best, but I always have time for one of her movies.

The most recognizable actress here is probably Barbara Leigh who was once slated to be "Vampirella" in a tragically aborted Hammer production. Leigh is absolutely gorgeous, but is much more famous for her many celebrity love affairs (Elvis, Steve McQueen, ad infinitum) than any acting she ever did. She does have a great LSD freakout scene on a beach here (and it helps to no small extent that she's naked the whole time). My personal favorite though was Brioni Farrell, who regrettably was the only one of the quartet not to get naked. Actually though, I wouldn't really recommend this as a nudie/soft porn movie, but I would recommend it to anybody that digs 70's exploitation flicks.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

The first and best of the 70's nurse movies

9/10
Author: Woodyanders (Woodyanders@aol.com) from The Last New Jersey Drive-In on the Left
1 May 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Four lovely young nurses in their last year of nursing school experience all kinds of turmoil and excitement in their lives: sweet Susan (winsome brunette Elaine Giftos) tries to comfort the bitter, terminally ill Greg (a moving performance by Darrell Larson), eager, but neurotic Phred (lovely blonde Karen Carlson) romances handsome gynecologist Jim Caspar (affable Lawrence Casey), free-spirited hippie Priscilla (the stunningly gorgeous Barbara Leigh) gets impregnated by laid-back drug dealer Les (the solid Richard Rust), and compassionate Lynn (nicely played by Brioni Farrell) helps out angry Mexican revolutionary Victor Charlie (the excellent Reni Santoni). Despite the fact that this film was made for Roger Corman's legendary exploitation outfit New World Pictures, it's anything but your standard mindless piece of leering soft-core schlock. Instead, it's a very pleasant, charming and even often thoughtful time capsule of the social and political upheavals of the groovy early 70's (the subplot involving Lynn and the revolutionaries is especially potent and provocative). Special kudos are in order for director Stephanie Rothman, who brings a welcome and refreshing intelligence and sensitivity to the material. Moreover, the four attractive and appealing female leads all turn in sound and praiseworthy work. Scottie MacGregor likewise impresses as wise supervisor Ms. Boswell and ubiquitous 70's trailer voice guy Ronald Gans supplies the off-screen voice of a psychiatrist. Stevan Larner's polished cinematography, the fantastic rock soundtrack, and the flavorsome folksy'n'funky score by Clancy B. Grass III are all up to speed. A real sleeper.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Sexploitation from the Feminine Perspective

8/10
Author: Anne Heller (cfood3000@gmail.com) from Austin, Texas
2 July 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

THE STUDENT NURSES is not a typical sexploitation movie. Sure, the nudity and sexual openness is there, but it's not all for laughs. Stephanie Rothman scripted a socially compelling, well-written tits & ass movie which confronts the topics of racism, socio-economic inequalities, rape, abortion, medical ethics, public health issues, human rights, the Vietnam war, free love, LSD and drug experimentation. Four sexy college roommates are taking their nursing internships at the same time. Sharon (Elaine Giftos) is assigned to the terminal care ward, Lynn (Brioni Farrell) to public health administration, Priscilla (Barbara Leigh) to gynecology and Phred (Karen Carlson) to psychiatry. These four beauties have ample opportunities to disrobe and fornicate, of which they take advantage, much to the delight of male viewers. These are liberated women at the height of the sexual revolution, after all, and are as intelligent as they are horny and beautiful. Visceral yet low-budget action sequences are interspersed throughout. There's a very bloody gunfight at the resistance movement headquarters in which two policemen are shot and killed, along with several members of the group. An anti-(Vietnam) war protest consisting of spookily-dressed young people of all races painted like skeletons becomes violent, with cops beating protesters. The effective trip sequence on the beach consists of beautiful, weird and confusing sensory and memory montages with hyper-sensual overtones. In short, THE STUDENT NURSES is a thoughtful and compelling reflection of the times, expressed through real women's perspectives (since it was written and directed by a woman). But, it's still fun and titillating, despite its sobering treatment of subject matter.

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Good to leave on while cooking dinner

5/10
Author: moonchildiva from Motown
27 September 2005

As usual, I only bought this film off ebay because Richard Rust is in it...as Les, the motorcycle vegan drug dealer, which makes not much sense, but one of the characters asked him how he can be a drug dealer AND a vegan and he had a pretty good answer. I was not disappointed, once again AS USUAL because he was not only HANDSOME but interesting in this movie, which although not an excellent film, is mildly amusing. I'm pretty sure I DID see it in the drive in, and was not surprised to see it called a Drive In Movie here and there on the internet. I have to admit I laughed out loud a few times. That's worth something! And truthfully, since there were a lot of movies like this one at that time, it has to be considered a genre! I would actually recommend this movie to some people.

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An Interesting Sexploitation Film

5/10
Author: Uriah43 from Amarillo, Texas
12 March 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This first movie in a set of five "Nurses" films, starts with four young women living together and working at a local hospital with the expectation of becoming nurses in the near future. Even though "Lynn" (Brioni Farrell) is almost raped by a patient she maintains her compassionate attitude towards those less fortunate and as a result eventually becomes involved with a militant activist which seriously threatens her career. "Sharon" (Elaine Giftos) also has great empathy and this leads her to develop feelings for a terminally ill patient. "Phred" (Karen Carlson) on the other hand is more self-involved and knows exactly what she wants. Unfortunately, she has a strict set of rules which may tend to cause obstacles for her. Last, but not least, is "Priscilla" (Barbara Leigh) who I think is the prettiest of them all but unlike Phred seems much more Bohemian and as a result she finds herself getting mixed up with a drug dealer who cares only about himself. This causes problems, not just for her, but for her three roommates as well. At any rate, rather than reveal any more of this movie and risk spoiling it for those who haven't seen it I will just say that this was an interesting "sexploitation film" which manages to portray a period in American history which was both odd and short-lived. Additionally, although it may have been marketed as being a bit risqué when it first came out the fact is that, while there is certainly some nudity, this film is relatively tame by today's standards. Now that's not to say that this film is appropriate for a general television audience by any means. However, those expecting something really explicit or on the cutting edge may be somewhat disappointed. I rate it as about average and recommend it to those who enjoy films related to the counter-culture movement during the 60's or drive-in exploitation films in general. Followed a year later by "Private Duty Nurses".

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

One of the best of Roger Corman's female-focused quickies...

5/10
Author: Dave from Ottawa from Canada
11 April 2012

... but still not really very good. The idea with this series was to weave together a story of young professionals trying to succeed amid the temptations of the swinging early 70s and within a fairly rigid institutional setting. The very attractive cast of unknowns included striking Playboy regular Barbara Leigh and former Miss Arkansas Karen Carlson, both of whom got quite a bit of work throughout the rest of the 70s, 'bouncing' from one TV show to another. The actresses acquit themselves pretty well despite the limitations of time and budget and their own comparative inexperience. The script also occasionally tried to work in a serious issue. For instance, one of the girls becomes pregnant at a party and has to go through a rather humiliating interview with an unsympathetic medical establishment to get approval for an abortion. This is quite a good scene and fits well with the strong anti- establishment tone of everything.

Mostly though, this was just an exercise in soft-core titillation, with the camera following attractive young women in their tight uniforms along hospital corridors, and then off to parties where they take off their tops, smoke dope and have sex. The script cross-cuts from one character's tribulations to another, but once each girl's central issue has played itself out, nothing really comes together. Movie does not have much of an ending. It just tapers off and stops.

Writer-director Stephanie Rothman tried her best to make the proceedings relevant and the dialogue probably sounded fairly hip at the time (or maybe it didn't) but it is pretty laughable now, as are the attempts to make the party scenes seem exciting by using a lot of way out psychedelic camera angles and edits (spins, tilts etc.). That stuff was a few years old by the time this movie was made and almost becoming clichéd.

The movie was a big drive-in hit at the time, of course, mostly thanks to a sexed-up ad campaign that promised more than the movie delivered.

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