Yes Nurse! No Nurse!

Candy-colored musical camp from Holland, inspired by a children's television show that aired during the '60s. Cheerful, no-nonsense Nurse Klivia (Loes Luca) runs a rest home for peculiar patients on a bustling side street. The antics of her charges — sweet-natured but graceless Jet (Tjitske Reidinga), who longs to be a performer; the Engineer (Beppe Costa),...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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Candy-colored musical camp from Holland, inspired by a children's television show that aired during the '60s. Cheerful, no-nonsense Nurse Klivia (Loes Luca) runs a rest home for peculiar patients on a bustling side street. The antics of her charges — sweet-natured but graceless Jet (Tjitske Reidinga), who longs to be a performer; the Engineer (Beppe Costa), who's always cooking up some explosive concoction in the basement; and odd boys Bertus (Edo Brunner) and Bobby (Lennart Vader) — enrage their miserly landlord, Barend Boordevol (Paul Kooij), who lives in the attached house next door and is always trying to evict them. Even his cat is nasty. Boordevol dreams of running his own rest home for rich, quiet, sick old people, whom he envisions stacked in bunk beds, six or seven to a room. The Engineer is dying to try out his latest invention, a pill that makes nasty people nice, on Boordevol, but Nurse Klivia disapproves. She also disapproves of stealing, but agrees to take in cat burglar Gerrit (Waldemar Torenstra) when he promises to reform; she even helps him return the watch he pilfered from Boordevol before seeing the error of his ways. Kindhearted Klivia can neither resist his tale of woe — he's an orphan who was raised by his grandpa (Frits Lambrechts), and she has a special soft spot for grandpas — nor help noticing that he and Jet have eyes for each other. Meanwhile, Boordevol's old boyfriend, Wouter (Paul de Leeuw), from their days in the globe-trotting Travel Society, opens a hairdressing salon across the street. They had a bitter falling out years earlier, and Boordevol is not one to let go of a grudge. The complications kick in when the Engineer slips Boordevol one of his pills. He does indeed become a kind, generous, hospitable person — he even tries to patch things up with Wouter — but when the pill's effects wear off, Boordevol reverts to form, redoubling his efforts to throw Klivia and her misfit brood out on the street. And this time it looks as though he might succeed. Director Pieter Kramer successfully reproduces the bright colors and cheerful ambiance of musical comedies of the 1950s and '60s, and choreographer Suzy Blok's dance numbers are charmingly old-fashioned, starting with the Busby Berkeley-style precision dance number for Klivia and a bevy of comely nurses that accompanies the opening credits. Be warned: The silly songs are damnably catchy, from Gerrit's ode to the 17 pigeons he keeps in a rooftop coop, which he sings while sporting a very tight set of white undergarments, to the rousing "Ja Zuster, Nee Zuster" ("Yes Nurse, No Nurse"). (In Dutch with English subtitles.)

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  • Released: 2002
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Candy-colored musical camp from Holland, inspired by a children's television show that aired during the '60s. Cheerful, no-nonsense Nurse Klivia (Loes Luca) runs a rest home for peculiar patients on a bustling side street. The antics of her charges — sweet… (more)

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