Jungle drama, sort of based on a real incident, aims to show resourcefulness and character development of crew of callow nurses. Addition of jiggle factor, though, results in something that’s more like a cross between “MASH” and “Charlie’s Angels.”
Nurses are on their way to a clinic in the remote stretches of the Mexican jungle when one of their three light planes crashes; film shows efforts to rescue the survivors and get them to big city for treatment.
Before it’s over, younger nurses have grown up emotionally, and senior nurse Elizabeth Hahn (Lindsay Wagner), recovering from a failed marriage to a prominent cardiologist, comes to terms with herself. And, of course, lives are saved.
Script by Norman Morrill and Andrew Laskos interestingly interjects an almost supernatural aura to those proceedings involving noble but culturally backward locals, as when one mysteriously appears with a package containing precisely the right medicine, and at the end, where what ap-
pears to be an entire civilization lights up the runway with torches.
Serious intent of film is largely negated by incidents in which (for instance) nurse Jill (Paula Marshall) sees a snake and, right out of a B movie, starts screaming. Wagner gets one of the funniest lines (unintentionally?) when her daughter (Hilary Edson) asks where she learned Spanish. “In the kitchen,” she replies with a straight face. “You learn a few things as an affluent housewife.”
Well into the pic, Nurse Fran (Farrah Forke) reveals that she was almost booted from nurse school, because “they think I’m not nurselike enough.” As she’s saying that, Fran is cutting the legs off a pair of jeans: Insect bites and potentially dangerous jungle foliage be damned when there’s some gam to display.
Robert Loggia plays crusty Dr. Daniel Perrin as if understudying George C. Scott; David Clennon’s Dr. Rulon Beesley is somewhat less cliched.
Pic looks nice, with d.p. Robert Primes using considerable Bodycam work to good effect.