Secrets of a French Nurse (1958)

  |  Comedy, Crime, Drama



5.7/10
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28 February 2011 | dbdumonteil
A hospital you would not like to be taken to.
This movie reportedly got into trouble when it was theatrically released :it did contain a certain unfriendly look at the hospitals and their staff.The surgeons smoke here ,there and everywhere -it was probably allowed at the time -,one of them sleeps with a new nurse (played by Stephane Audran,future actress of Chabrol's best movies:she has no line to say),and it's a wonder the patients survive in this place where carelessness reigns.

"LA Bonne Tisane" features two apparently independent plots -unless a short scene in a tobacco shop counts-: -one of them involves a routine gangsters tale we have seen a thousand times or more and it takes all the talent of the actors to make it work all the same :Bernard Blier as a Gabinesque gang leader who makes his comeback ,Madeleine Robinson as his moll (speaking to the dancers/singers of her nightclub,Robinson delivers the best line of the movie : "people don't care about your singing,they wanna see you stark naked!")and Carné's friend, Roland Lesaffre, as their chauffeur.

-the second plot is much less derivative for it tells the first night of a new nurse.An idealist ,she's horrified by the way her colleagues and the doctors behave ,scandalized by their cynicism.If the medical profession was angry with the movie,there was REALLY something to complain about!The young virtuous nurse (played by absolutely gorgeous Estella Blain whose fate was tragic:she committed suicide in the early eighties after the failure of her career)will spend a "night to remember" ....

....for the two plots meet,halfway through,when Blier is seriously injured and taken to the hospital,as it may have been expected .Half farce ,half film noir,the last part loses steam in the final sequences but yet features an incredible scene where all the patients watch the cops/robbers settlement of scores from the windows of their hospital.

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Genres

Comedy | Crime | Drama | Thriller

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