What's Up Nurse! (1978) Poster

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Another "Oh, its not as bad as all that ...." comment
sep10516 March 2008
If you were to categorize all the comments on IMDb you would end up with a large group of "Oh, it's not as bad as all that..." comments. Inevitably the film in question has a few modest "good" points but ends up being described as the "worst film ever made". Some lonely poster feels called upon to try and put some perspective back into the discussion. That is all just a preamble to saying that What's Up Nurse isn't really as bad as all that.

Young Doctor Todd (Nicholas Field) has an embarrassing encounter with Olivia Ogden (Felicity Devonshire) on the train to his new hospital appointment. This sets up his meeting with her father, the senior surgeon, Doctor Ogden (John Le Mesurier), the hospital orderly Carthew (Graham Stark - also an associate producer of this film) and the hospital Matron (Kate Williams). He obtains lodging with the young widow Helen Arkwright (Angela Grant) and starts work at the hospital. His work leads him to a gentleman who believes he has a "frog" in his throat (Mr. Newberry - Keith Smith), a gentleman who has an unfortunate problem with an inanimate object ("The Jam Jar Man" - Ronnie Brody) and local confidence man Flash Harry Harrison (Bill Pertwee). Along for a variety of other roles are actors from the Carry On film series (Peter Butterworth and Jack Douglas) and assorted British television comedies (i.e. Anna Karen "On The Buses", Frank Williams "Dad's Army", Andrew Sachs "Faulty Towers" - a waiter again!).

There appears to be three basic criticisms of this film: its degrading for established British comedy actors to appear in a "sex comedy", that the film does indeed contain sex and that finally that it isn't all that funny. For the first point it should be noted that many established British actors appeared in sex comedies during this period (a relatively lean period for the British film industry). In this film the established actors (i.e. John Le Mesurier et al) don't really appear in any of the sexy bits but are more concerned with the hospital aspects of the script. On the second point, there is nudity in the film but it isn't any more than I see in mainstream Hollywood movies today. Its mostly handled by the fetching Angela Grant, apparently Felicity Devonshire was four months pregnant during the filming of this movie, and a nudist camp stumbled into by Dr. Todd in his search for Mr. Newberry' s frog! The third point is a matter of personal taste. British comedy is often the comedy of embarrassment and any combination of sex and the indignities of hospitals offer opportunities for comedy.

I'm not here to argue this is a great movie. In addition to the points above, the younger actors (i.e. Field, who reminds me of a young James Villiers, and Devonshire) are rather bland. However there is a steady stream of comedy, admittedly more of embarrassment than of wit, and little of it very original. In addition the film will appeal to the fans of the plethora of beloved British comedy actors who are doing their bit.
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Broom handle
missapril754 November 2004
I guess it helps to have a sense of humour to appreciate this kind of movie.......I recall seeing it and laughing so much that I saw it again the week after. It's EXACTLY like the Carry On movies....just a little ruder. Maybe it would seem dated now.....what from the seventies doesn't??? But that scene with the broom, plaster of Paris and gurney was one of the funniest things I ever saw. Graham Stark was in many a movie of this type and some were really bad. I never saw the follow up...never even knew there was one. It could have been awful. But sequels often are.
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Barrel-scraping addition to the British sex comedy genre
Leofwine_draca26 May 2017
Warning: Spoilers
WHAT'S UP NURSE! is a forgettable, low budget addition to the British sex comedy genre, written and directed by Derek Ford. The film stars Nicholas Field as a somewhat bumbling, skirt-chasing doctor causing a ruckus in his new job, so it feels very much like CARRY ON DOCTOR except with added nudity. And truth be told, the film isn't really very funny at all, going for the lowbrow, silly scenario throughout and feeling tired and cheesy as a result.

Felicity Devonshire is a good choice for the love interest and her vibrant personality comes to the fore here. However, the supporting British character actors are poorly served by the script. John Le Mesurier is off-form and the tag-team of Peter Butterworth and Jack Douglas are a welcome presence but get too little screen time. The likes of Anna Karen and Andrew Sachs barely get a scene between them, and likewise for the inimitable Bill Pertwee. In the end, WHAT'S UP NURSE! is one of the barrel-scraping examples of this overworked genre, and even fans of this era's "classics" are likely to be disappointed by it.
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Insulting and unfunny British smut with a capital S!
uds314 September 2002
Now 70 years old, and coincidentally born and bred but 15 minutes drive from my own childhood home in Kent, here is a Director with a resume to die for - in other words, he should have been put out of our misery before he ever came close to picking up a camera. About the only decent thing he ever achieved was to write an episode of THE SAINT in 1962.

Utter and complete crap farce - a wannabe DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE/CARRY ON DOCTOR without the budget, actors, script or production resources. Very sad to see accomplished old stagers Graham Stark and John Le Mesurier prostituting their art in this woeful and trashy piece of celluloid. Relevant perhaps of the film's stature that no-one in all these years has sought to comment on it! Like its sequel WHAT'S UP SUPERDOC? this realistically should carry a minus rating!
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