Private Duty Nurses (1971)

R | 80 mins | Drama | November 1971

Director:

George Armitage

Writer:

George Armitage

Cinematographer:

John McNichol

Editor:

Alan Collins

Production Company:

Crest Films
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HISTORY

The film's working titles were Young L. A. Nurses, The Young Nurses and Sunshine Ladies. Private Duty Nurses was one of several "nurses" films produced by Roger Corman. Although there is a copyright statement for New World Productions, Inc. on the film, Private Duty Nurses was not registered for copyright. George Armitage's onscreen credit reads "written and directed by" and John Armitage's credit reads "Assistant editor, Properties." Although several songs were heard in the film, their names and composers have not been identified. A Modern source adds Brent Armitage to the cast. Private Duty Nurses marked the feature film debut of television actor Herbert Jefferson, Jr. and the directorial debut of Armitage. ...

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The film's working titles were Young L. A. Nurses, The Young Nurses and Sunshine Ladies. Private Duty Nurses was one of several "nurses" films produced by Roger Corman. Although there is a copyright statement for New World Productions, Inc. on the film, Private Duty Nurses was not registered for copyright. George Armitage's onscreen credit reads "written and directed by" and John Armitage's credit reads "Assistant editor, Properties." Although several songs were heard in the film, their names and composers have not been identified. A Modern source adds Brent Armitage to the cast. Private Duty Nurses marked the feature film debut of television actor Herbert Jefferson, Jr. and the directorial debut of Armitage.

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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
1 Nov 1971
---
Filmfacts
1972
pp. 101-02
Los Angeles Times
11 Oct 1971
Section IV, p. 14
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
PRODUCER
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Key grip
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
Ladies ward
MUSIC
Mus
SOUND
Boom man
Sd eff
VISUAL EFFECTS
Titles des by
Opt eff
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod asst
Scr clerk
Prod asst
Addl motorcycle footage
STAND INS
Motorcycle stunts
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Sunshine Ladies
The Young Nurses
Young L. A. Nurses
Release Date:
November 1971
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 8 Oct 1971
Production Date:

Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Metrocolor
Duration(in mins):
80
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

Student nurses Spring, Lola and Lynn rent an apartment together at the beach after being assigned to a new, innovative nursing program at South Bay Hospital. On orientation day, the nurses meet Dr. Setton, the crusty hospital administrator, and Lola, who is black, is shocked when she witnesses Setton slam his office door shut after Elton Sanders, a black physician, tries to confront him because he has been rejected for a position on the hospital staff. Later, Spring is assigned to the case of Domino, a bitter Vietnam veteran suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, who has had a plastic plate inserted into his head as a result of a war injury. Dr. McClintock, Domino’s physician, warns Spring that Domino must refrain from any vigorous activity, which means giving up his love for motorcycle racing. Lola, meanwhile, visits Elton at his ghetto clinic and volunteers to work there. Elton welcomes her, but warns that South Bay Hospital will never allow blacks to work on staff. One day, as Lynn is strolling along the beach, she sees a drowning victim pulled out of the water. Soon after, Dr. Doug Selden, a doctor at South Bay who was summoned to treat the drowning victim, declares the man is dead and comments that the victim’s body is covered with oil. While bicycling on the beach bike path one day, Spring spots Domino, who has been released from the hospital and is now working on his motorcycle. Defiantly refusing to give up bike racing, Domino roars off and does a wheelie on his bike. After Lola and Elton team up to save a little ...

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Student nurses Spring, Lola and Lynn rent an apartment together at the beach after being assigned to a new, innovative nursing program at South Bay Hospital. On orientation day, the nurses meet Dr. Setton, the crusty hospital administrator, and Lola, who is black, is shocked when she witnesses Setton slam his office door shut after Elton Sanders, a black physician, tries to confront him because he has been rejected for a position on the hospital staff. Later, Spring is assigned to the case of Domino, a bitter Vietnam veteran suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, who has had a plastic plate inserted into his head as a result of a war injury. Dr. McClintock, Domino’s physician, warns Spring that Domino must refrain from any vigorous activity, which means giving up his love for motorcycle racing. Lola, meanwhile, visits Elton at his ghetto clinic and volunteers to work there. Elton welcomes her, but warns that South Bay Hospital will never allow blacks to work on staff. One day, as Lynn is strolling along the beach, she sees a drowning victim pulled out of the water. Soon after, Dr. Doug Selden, a doctor at South Bay who was summoned to treat the drowning victim, declares the man is dead and comments that the victim’s body is covered with oil. While bicycling on the beach bike path one day, Spring spots Domino, who has been released from the hospital and is now working on his motorcycle. Defiantly refusing to give up bike racing, Domino roars off and does a wheelie on his bike. After Lola and Elton team up to save a little boy’s life, Lola invites Elton out to celebrate, but he becomes angry when she takes him to Schlumfeders, an all-white bar on the beach, then leaves. Spring gradually befriends Domino, even though he asserts that he will never give up racing because it is the one thing that makes him feel confident. Spring passes the information along to Dr. McClintock, who criticizes her for encouraging Domino to risk his life. Angry with Elton, Lola goes to confront him about his behavior at the bar, but they end up having sex. Afterward, Lola admits that she wanted to be a doctor instead of a nurse, but her application for medical school was rejected. Elton observes that the reason she was rejected is that there is a quota limiting the number of black students. At the clinic one day, Elton informs Lola that he plans to open his own hospital and wants Lola to work as his nurse. In response, Lola announces that she has decided to reapply to medical school, but Elton objects, asserting that black men, not women, should be given the first opportunity to become doctors. Upon meeting Lynn at the hospital, Doug invites her to go sailing on his boat, where they discuss the increasing pollution of the bay. Later at the hospital, Doug suggests investigating the cause of death of the drowned man, and they begin to show his photograph to various people in hopes of identifying the man. Spring continues to date Domino, but when she mentions that she is spending the summer in South Dakota to work with the Indians, he criticizes her for being a “missionary." Later, they reconcile by making love. Determined to force South Bay Hospital to hire a black doctor, Elton organizes a protest with two other doctors, one called Dr. Wasp and one Dr. Black. Although she is still angry about Elton’s sexism, Lola lets them slip in through the hospital back door after which they proceed to Dr. Setton’s office and announce that they are staging a sit-in. However, when Lola overhears Setton telling hospital security not to notify the press because nobody cares about discrimination, Lola becomes angry and joins Elton to help contact reporters about the situation at the hospital. Spring, meanwhile, is watching Domino race when he loses control of the bike and crashes. Domino is rushed to the hospital, where Dr. McClintock diagnoses that the plastic plate has slipped and that as a result, Domino must immediately undergo surgery. Continuing their quest to identify the drowning victim, Lynn and Doug show the photograph to the bartender at Schlumfeders, who remembers seeing the man in the company of a curly-haired man. Upon returning to her apartment, Lynn is attacked and raped by the curly-haired man, who warns her to stop playing detective. Terrified, Lynn hurries to tell Doug, who then questions the bartender again and learns that the curly-haired man is named Ahmed. When Lynn and Doug go to Ahmed’s apartment, Ahmed pulls out his gun and shoots Doug. Lynn runs out into the street, and as Ahmed chases her, he is shot by Kirby, a narcotics officer who has been watching Ahmed’s apartment. Kirby explains that Ahmed and the drowning victim were narcotics smugglers and that after the man died of cholera, Ahmed dumped his body in the ocean. As the reporters converge at the hospital, meanwhile, Setton, to save face, agrees to hire a black doctor if Elton will testify that the sit-in was a misunderstanding. Elton at first refuses, but Lola convinces him to accept the offer. The critically wounded Doug is transported to the hospital in an ambulance and swept into surgery as Lynn sits in the waiting room. Soon after, a woman arrives, approaches Lynn and introduces herself as Doug’s wife. Lynn, who was unaware that Doug is married, barely has time to deal with the news when Setton enters the room to inform Mrs. Selden that her husband has died in surgery. Spring, however, gets good news when Dr. McClintock emerges from surgery with the news that Domino will recover. As their term ends, Lola moves in with Elton, still determined to enter medical school. Now mentally and physically recovered, Domino decides to give up racing to join Spring in South Dakota while Lynn, who has no plans, sits alone on a bench.

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Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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