DVD review: Roger Corman takes on healthcare

The latest in Shout Factory's Roger Corman series compiles four movies from the early ‘70s — “Private Duty Nurses” (1971), “Night Call Nurses” (1972), “The Young Nurses” (1973) and “Candy Stripe Nurses” (1974) — directed by George Armitage (“Miami Blues,” “Grosse Point Blank”), Jonathan Kaplan (“Over the Edge,” “The Accused”), actor Clint Kimbrough, and Alan Holleb, respectively. There are no ongoing characters, though a few of the same actors show up in more than one entry.

Following a template inspired by “Valley of the Dolls” (as we learn in one of the supplementary short documentaries), each film intercuts the stories of three pals who all work together as nurses. In each, there are two white women — one blonde, the other brunette; the third is either black or Latina. One story will be essentially comic, one dramatic, and the third will touch on social issues. Each film has a specific amount of nudity and action, and the women themselves solve their problems without the intervention of a white knight.

Given that they range in length from 74 to 80 minutes, two films are on each disc; the only extras are two short documentaries totaling about 25 minutes, featuring Kaplan, Holleb, Corman, and his wife/coproducer Julie. Like everyone who's worked for him, Kaplan and Holleb each have their own wonderful Corman anecdotes.
"Roger Corman's Cult Classics: The Nurses Collection" (Shout Factory, DVD, 2 discs, $19.98)

ANDY KLEIN is the film critic for Marquee. He can also be heard on “FilmWeek” on KPCC-FM (89.3).

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