Watch The National Health, or Nurse Norton's Affair
- 1 hr 35 min
The National Health, also known as Nurse Norton's Affair, is a 1973 British black comedy film directed by Jack Gold. The film takes place in a large, overcrowded National Health hospital in London and follows the lives of the doctors and nurses who work there. The story begins with a new surgical consultant, Dr. Ellis Quick (played by Colin Blakely), arriving at the hospital. He is immediately met with resistance and hostility from the hospital staff, who fear that he will take over their jobs. In particular, the head nurse, Matron (played by Joan Hickson), is very protective of her nurses and is wary of Quick's intentions. Meanwhile, a young nurse named Nurse Norton (played by Lynn Redgrave) is involved in an affair with a married doctor. She is also struggling to cope with the demands of her job and the emotional toll it takes on her. As the film progresses, the doctors and nurses are shown dealing with a variety of patients with different illnesses and injuries. Some of these patients include a man with a stick of rhubarb lodged in his throat, a woman who believes she is pregnant with a rabbit, and a man who has been impaled on a fence. Throughout the film, there are also several comedic scenes that poke fun at the bureaucracy and inefficiencies of the National Health system. For example, one scene shows a group of doctors and nurses struggling to move a patient from one bed to another while the hospital administrator looks on, more interested in filling out paperwork than helping. Despite its comedic tone, the film also tackles some serious issues related to the National Health system, including overcrowding, understaffing, and the emotional toll that working in such a high-pressure environment can take on healthcare workers. The performances in the film are excellent, with Lynn Redgrave providing a standout performance as Nurse Norton. Colin Blakely is also very good as Dr. Quick, striking the right balance between arrogance and vulnerability. Overall, The National Health is a well-made, entertaining film that offers a satirical take on the British healthcare system while also highlighting some of the serious issues it faces.