The Young Nurses, released in 1973, is a completely typical Roger Corman nurse movie.
Of course the most important thing was to find pretty actresses prepared to do nude scenes. In the early 70s it would have been more difficult to find young actresses who were not prepared to shed their clothes. There was absolutely no need for the actresses to be able to act. In fact it was better if they couldn’t - actresses who could act were likely to ask for too much money and if there was one thing Roger Corman disliked it was spending money on unnecessary luxuries like acting talent. In this particular movie the three actresses can’t act at all but two of them get naked frequently.
The three nurses in this movie are Kitty (Jeane Manson), Joanne (Ashley Porter) and Michelle (Angela Gibbs). Kitty rescues a rich handsome young yachtsman who has fallen off his yacht. One of Michelle’s patients died of a drug overdose but it’s a rare and exotic drug and she decides to play amateur detective to find the source of the drug. Joanne wants to be more than a nurse - she wants to play doctor.
The beachside setting helps. At least there’s nice scenery to look at as well as pretty girls.
There are some attempts at humour, mostly not overly successful.
This was Clint Kimbrough’s only movie as a director, which is probably just as well. To say that he does an uninspired job would be an understatement.
Howard R. Cohen wrote the screenplay (and wrote several other movies for Corman) and it would be unfair to blame him for the way the movie turned out which was mainly due to the directing and the acting. He knew the ingredients Corman wanted and he provided them.
While Angela Gibbs and Jeane Manson are just routine bad actresses Ashley Porter is something else again. It’s no surprise that this film launched her film career, and sank it as well. On the other hand she looks good without her clothes on.
The casting of black actress Angela Gibbs seems to have been an attempt to cover more exploitation movie bases by adding some blaxploitation elements - she rides a motorcycle and gets involved in a drug-smuggling sub-plot.
Look out for legendary director Sam Fuller as a drug lord.
There’s not much to say about the three sub-plots. The Michelle segment does offer a few action scenes although somehow it seems like it belongs to a different movie.
The Joanne sub-plot is excruciating and heavy-handed as Joanne battles an uncaring system that just doesn’t recognise that she knows far more about medicine than a mere doctor. They should just put her in charge of the whole hospital.
The only sub-plot that really works is the one involving Kitty. Even though Jeane Manson can’t really act she does have some actual charm, and it has to be said that her body is pretty stunning. And Kitty is a nice girl and you can’t help hoping she snares her rich boy. It’s just a light love-conquers-all romance plot but it’s harmless.
This is a movie with a lot of things wrong with it. It just doesn’t have quite enough energy or quite enough of the sense of fun that it needed. The intercutting between the three unconnected plots which vary wildly in mood is also unsettling. It really does feel like three totally different movies spliced together.
There is however plenty of nudity. There’s also a scene in which a young lady is undergoing a vaginal examination which, depending on your tastes, you might find uncomfortable or titillating. Or even both.
The DVD transfer (the movie is included in the Shout! Factory four-disc nurses set) is a good one.
The Young Nurses is a bit of a disjointed mess. But maybe I’m being too hard on it. It is what it is, and what it is is a Roger Corman nurseploitation movie. You expect nurses taking their clothes off and that’s what you get. There are probably better movies of this type but if you just can’t get enough of sexy nurses and you’ve bought the four-movie set anyway then I guess it’s worth a look.