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  Sensuous Nurse, The For Whatever Ails You
Year: 1975
Director: Nello Rossati
Stars: Ursula Andress, Duilo Del Prete, Mario Pisu, Daniele Vargas, Carla Romanelli, Marina Confalone, Stefano Sabelli, Luciana Paluzzi, Lino Toffolo, Jack Palance, Attilio Duse
Genre: Comedy, SexBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Twice a week since his wife died, Leonida Bottacin (Mario Pisu) has visited her grave to lay flowers - or at least that's what his family think. When his nephews Benito (Duilo Del Prete) and Gustavo (Daniele Vargas) arrive at the graveyard one day to pay their respects, they are surprised to be called into the undertaker's house by the undertaker's wife, and even more surprised to be met with the sight of Leonida in bed and in a coma after suffering a heart attack. Far from dismayed, the nephews are delighted - after all, at last they can get their hands on their uncle's fortune and his wine business. However, Leonida proves rather stubborn when it comes to shuffling off this mortal coil...

A typical Italian sex comedy of the seventies brought to you by legendary producer Carlo Ponti, The Sensuous Nurse, or simply L'Infermiera in its original title, was one of those films where a character is somehow invited into the life of a family, only to cause chaos. Something like Teorema, say, only this time the chaos is already in full swing by the time the nurse makes her entrance, and she doesn't seduce the whole lot of them either. Just about half of them. Scripted by director Nello Rossati with Claudia Florio, Roberto Gianviti and Paolo Vidali, it certainly supplies the nudity, but the laughs don't exactly come thick and fast.

Perhaps you have to understand the original Italian dialect for the film to be best appreciated, but if it's the nudity you're watching for then you will probably be more satisfied. Just as Britain was churning out this kind of thing at the time, Italy had its own version of the genre too, and there's a naked woman onscreen about every ten minutes, honestly, you can set your watch by it. The selling point here is nude appearances by two ex-Bond Girls, namely star Ursula Andress and supporting actress Luciana Paluzzi, although Andress takes the lion's share of such scenes.

The main joke, which the whole story centres around, is that Benito and family need to see to it that Leonida passes away, thinking it's their best chance to see him off, and Benito hires a nurse, Anna (Andress), to send the old cove into a state of death-inducing, sexual over-excitement. This presumably won't be difficult considering he seems to be fantasising in his coma, muttering away lewdly to himself. Anna isn't entirely happy about this, and has to be coached by Benito in how to act provocatively around her patient in a bizarre scene where he demonstrates on war-obsessed Gustavo.

There are complications, of course. Benito is so convinced his uncle is about to join the choir invisible that he starts running the wine business, which cues a bizarre appearance from Jack Palance as a sinister, cigar-chewing American businessman keen to invest. Palance also gets a scene where he has to fondle a naked woman while on the telephone, which may be the reason he took the part as he's hardly in the film otherwise. Then there's the teenage son who Benito is suspicious has cottoned on to the devious plan and has to be silenced by Anna in a manner I'm sure you can imagine. Wit and imagination are sadly lacking, but The Sensuous Nurse isn't a chore to watch, and most of those seeking it out now won't be interested in the jokes anyway. Music by Gianfranco Plenizio.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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