Written by: Michael Den Boer on December 7th, 2009
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1976
Director: Nando Cicero
Writers: Nando Cicero, Franco Milizia, Marino Onorati
Cast: Edwige Fenech, Alfredo Pea, Dante Cona, Alvaro Vitali, Mario Carotenuto, Gianfranco D’Angelo, Carlo Delle Piane, Nino Terzo, Grazia Di Marzà, Alfonso Tomas, Renzo Ozzano, Lucio Montanaro, Guerrino Crivello, Dante Cleri, Tom Felleghy, Mario Meniconi, Angelo Pellegrino, Jimmy il Fenomeno
DVD released: January 12th, 2010
Approximate running time: 93 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English, Dolby Digital Mono Italian
DVD Release: Mya Communication
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $24.95
The Lady Medic (La dottoressa del distretto militare) is the first in a series of three films in which Edwige Fenech would be cast as an army nurse. The other two films are as follows, La soldatessa alla visita militare and La soldatessa alle grandi manovre. Even though their similarities between the three films. Her character name in The Lady Medic was Elena Dogliozzi and in the other two films (La soldatessa alla visita militare and La soldatessa alle grandi manovre) her character’s name was Eva Marini. All three of these films were directed by Nando Cicero, who previous had worked with Edwige Fenech on the film The School Teacher.
At the core of this film’s plot is a story about military recruits who have been forced into serving their countries military. These recruits concoct every imaginable illness they can dream up, in hopes of being discharged from the army. The film’s features a few subplots like a crocked doctor who is trying to get the military to help him seal a deal with an American medical company. They key subplot involves this crooked doctor’s new assistant Elena Dogliozzi, who is flawlessly portrayed by Edwige Fenech. Of course a lot of the humor revolves around sex with some of the finer moments including tea enemas, a blind man peeing on a tollbooth officer, an obese nymphomaniac and a recruit who fart’s bubbles after accidentally being given a detergent enema. The film’s most satisfying comedic payoff is the film’s climax.
Even though Edwige Fenech is billed as the star of this film, her character Elena doesn’t appear until about twenty four minutes into the film. And what a superb entrance she is given, as the camera follows the hypnotic rhythm of her ass. This scene also quickly establishes how her curvaceous body turns everyman in her presence into babbling idiots. During the 1970’s Edwige Fenech was without a doubt the most prominent actress working in sexually themed comedies in Italy and The Lady Medic is another classic example of her undeniable allure. Her standout moments are a pair of dream sequences. As absurd as these dream sequences are, it is not difficult to identify with Gianni’s desires.
As mentioned before while Edwige Fenech may be the film’s most recognizable name. The actor who actually has the most screen time is Alfredo Pea, whose character Gianni Montano is the main focal point of the story at hand. His performance offers a good balance to the rest of the cast who primary ham things up. The Lady Medic was not Alfredo Pea’s first teaming up with Edwige Fenech. They had previously worked together on The School Teacher. Another performance of note is Alvaro Vitali, who often appeared in many Italian sex comedies from this era like The Virgo, the Taurus and the Capricorn, Taxi Girl and A Policewoman in New York. Ultimately The Lady Medic does a good job tailoring itself to its leading lady. Fans of Edwige Fenech and Italian sex comedies are sure to the get the most mileage out of this film.
The Lady Medic is presented in an anamorphic widescreen that retains the film’s original aspect ratio. This transfer has been flagged for progressive playback. Colors and flesh tones look accurate. Black levels generally fare well. There are some instances of print debris and other minor blemishes. Also the image looks a tad too soft at times. It should be noted that there are a few dream sequences in the film and they are intentionally soft focus photography.
This release comes with two audio options, a Dolby Digital mono mix in English and a Dolby Digital mono mix in Italian. This release opens with a disclaimer explaining that a few scenes are only available in Italian and like Mya Communication’s release for Four Flies on Grey Velvet; these Italian language only moments are subtitled. The rest of the Italian audio mix is not subtitled. The English audio mix has some minor instances of background noise and there are a few audio drop outs. Besides these flaws the English audio mix is a more than serviceable track. The Italian audio mix is in better shape of the two audio mixes.
Extras for this release are limited to an image gallery which is made up of stills, posters and lobby cards. Overall The Lady Medic makes its North American DVD debut via a satisfactory DVD release from Mya Communication.