Written by: Michael Den Boer on August 9th, 2005
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, December 19th, 1975
Director: Nello Rossati
Writers: Claudia Florio, Roberto Gianviti, Nello Rossati, Paolo Vidali
Cast: Ursula Andress, Duilio Del Prete, Mario Pisu, Luciana Paluzzi, Jack Palance
DVD released: August 30th, 2005
Approximate running time: 101 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono Italian, Dolby Digital Mono English
DVD Release: No Shame
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.95
Synopsis: Leonida Bottacin is a wealthy widower whose sexual drive has only increased with age and when he has a heart attack after his latest sexual escape that leaves him in a come his loving family have only one thing on their mind “How long tell he dies”. Benito Varotto is Leondia’s nephew and the ring leader behind the greedy family members who has arrange to sell his uncle’s wine business to American tycoon Mr. Kitch (Jack Palance). Only he has one problem he can’t sell until he uncle passes away so he concocts a plan to bring his uncle Leonida back to health so that he can hopefully be sexually aroused into having a second and more fatal heart attack. To make the plan work Benito brings in the voluptuous Anna (Ursula Andress) to not only be his uncle’s nurse, but to help increase his uncle’s sex drive forcing him into one last fatal heart attack.
The Sensuous Nurse brings together to former Bond girls Ursula Andress as Anne the nurse and Luciana Paluzzi in a minor but extremely effective performance as Jole Scarpa one of the dying man’s relatives. Even though Ursula Andress doesn’t appear until well over twenty minutes into the film it is still her character that the film is built up around. Ursula Andress who was nearing forty years old around the time she made The Sensuous Nurse retains most of her natural beauty that we had first exposed to in Dr. No in which she played James Bond’s love interest Honey Rider. Her wiliness to disrobe is evident through out the film she at one time of another is naked in bed or in the vicinity of every male cast member before the films tragic and ironic conclusion. Andress as actress never really strays far away from the image she created with the Honey Rider character and in the fourteen years since her appearance in Dr. No she has essentially played the same character over an over.
Luciana Paluzzi who appeared in the Bond film Thunderball makes full use of her limited screen time as she plays a sexually repressed woman who is on the verge of a nervous breakdown if she has to wait much longer to satisfy her sex drive. Jack Palance makes an all too brief appearance as the sleazy businessman Mr. Kitch. The film is filled with colorful characters like the alcoholic butler and the housekeeper that everyone tries to get into her pants by getting her drunk to loosen her up Gustavo Scarpa is another delightful character who is obsessed with war and he even uses recordings from actually battles to help him with his arousal problems. 1994’s Greedy which stars Michael J. Fox and Kirk Douglas shares many themes The Sensuous Nurse and it wouldn’t surprise me if it didn’t serve as source material for Greedy.
Besides being blessed with a great cast The Sensuous Nurse is filled with several wonderful comedic moments that in most cases are derivative of sexual innuendos. Of course let’s not forget Mario Pisuq who plays Leonida Bottacin the aligning uncle. Most of the time he isn’t required to much more then repeat the word “Pussy” over and over, still he has an uncanny ability to say so much with his eyes and body language. He is probably most remembered for his performance in Federico Fellini’s Juliet of the Spirits. Outside of a few moments of visual splendor Nello Rossati direction is often low key as he lets the material and performances speak for themselves.
No Shame presents The Sensuous Nurse in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves its original 1.66:1 aspect ratio. This high definition transfer has been sourced from original vault negatives and it is available for the first time ever on DVD in its original aspect ratio and uncut. The films colors will not as vivid as some of No Shame’s other releases they are in good shape as they look nicely saturated with no problems of colors bleeding into each other. The black levels look strong as details look just as sharp in darker scenes as they do in lighter daylight scenes. The print is virtually free on any blemishes as there are only a few minor nicks and specs of dirt. There is plenty of flesh on parade in this film and flesh tones look natural and healthy. There is some noticeable grain through, still nothing that ever becomes distracting or excessive. There are no problems with compression or artifacts and edge enhancement is kept to a minimum. This DVD transfer is interlaced. Overall the image remains stable as there are no noticeable problems ghosting or blurring. Also one more thing about the transfer there are a few scenes in the movie that have burnt in subtitles in Italian.
This DVD comes with two audio options the films original Italian language track and an English dubbed track both are presented in a Dolby Digital mono. Both audio sources are in pretty good shape with no problems with hiss or distortion. The dialog is easy to hear as the effects and music never drown each other out as they sound evenly mixed. The Italian audio track is the preferable of the two as the English dubbed track makes some of the characters sound more outrageous and campier then there come across during the Italian track. English subtitles have been included that are easy to follow and understand.
No Shame goes the extra mile once again as they add some juicy extras that are sure to please fans of The Sensuous Nurse. Extras for this release include the films original theatrical trailer and a poster & a brief still gallery that plays music from the film in the background. Other extras include a collectable booklet that includes liner notes & bios for Ursula Andress and Jack Palance that were written by Richard Harland Smith. Once again Richard Harland Smith gives some fascination background details that are always chalked full of insightful information as the film and cast. Rounding out the extras is a twenty three minute documentary titled “Calling the Nurse” which includes interviews with brothers Nello Rosatti the director and Tony Rosatti the costume designer. Both men are upbeat as they vividly remember working on The Sensuous Nurse. It is a shame that Ursula Andress who is still alive and well at the age of sixty nine couldn’t be tracked down for her thoughts on this film. No Shame continues to release exceptional DVD’s as they deliver another definitive DVD edition. The Sensuous Nurse is a delightful sex romp that has just the right amount of humor mixed, recommended.