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Miss Nightingale (1974)

Theatrical-style interpretation of the life of history's most well-known nurse.


David Reid


John Bowen (by)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Janet Suzman ... Miss Nightingale
Renée Asherson ... Fanny Nightingale (as Renee Asherson)
Robert Flemyng ... W.E. Nightingale
Frances Cuka ... Parthe Nightingale
Ursula Howells Ursula Howells ... Aunt May
Deborah Makepeace Deborah Makepeace ... Miss Nightingale As A Girl
Denise Buckley Denise Buckley ... Marianne Nicholson
James Faulkner ... Henry Nicholson
Joss Ackland ... Lord Palmerston
Charles Kay ... Sidney Herbert
Lynn Farleigh ... Liz Herbert
Justine Lord Justine Lord ... Lady Lovelace
Ruth Rosen Ruth Rosen ... Lady Canning
Valerie White Valerie White ... Lady Castlerosse
Maureen Pryor Maureen Pryor ... Mrs. Fullalove


Theatrical-style interpretation of the life of history's most well-known nurse.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Biography | Drama







Release Date:

15 September 1974 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Southern Television See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Talky period biopic, which stays reasonably close to the facts
4 February 2019 | by freydis-eSee all my reviews

First point to make: this is not a movie, not even a TV movie. It's a British TV drama, and more like a stage play, very static and almost entirely people sitting talking. Janet Suzman is a classically trained stage actor in the great British tradition. She was once Oscar-nominated and is reasonably reliable but her approach is more mannered than method, and the cast generally follow this, making the whole thing feel a bit stuffy.

The '70s director tries to be avant-garde: there's a lot of hopping around in time, showing Nightingale as a girl, an old woman and at various stages of her career; actors deliver monologues to camera, and so on. This is mostly just confusing. There's even a strand with a modern (well 70's) student writing a paper on Nightingale. At one point this student describes her life as 'boring' and, apart from the confused treatment, this is the main problem here. Nightingale wasn't a very sympathetic character, nothing dramatic ever happens and, unless the subject matter itself grips you, boring is how you may find it.

However it sticks fairly well to the facts of this life. Nightingale was a campaigner, who achieved great things through influencing others, rather than her own actions. Through various politicians she had an important role in revolutionising the medical profession and establishing the position and status of nurses. If you don't know a lot about this subject, you may find this play-movie quite interesting.

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