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A submarine newly commissioned is damaged in the opening days of WW II. A captain, looking for a command insists he can get it to a dockyard and captain it. Going slowly to this site, they find a stranded group of Army nurses and must take them aboard. How bad can it get? Trying to get a primer coat on the sub, they have to mix white and red in order to have enough. When forced to flee the dock during an air attack, they find themselves with the world's only Pink submarine, still with 5 women in the tight quarters of a submarine. Written by
John Vogel <email@example.com>
The nurses wonder why the toilet is called "the head." It's because on earlier sailing ships, the toilet for enlisted sailors was a series of holes, like an outhouse, that was perched out over the bow - the "head of the ship." This location was for practical reasons as the wind was always blowing from the aft; therefore, any "offensive odors" were blown away from ship. The officer's toilets were near the stern or back of the ship within the "quarter gallery", the part of the stern that hung over the water on either side. See more »
The destroyer shown attempting to sink the Sea Tiger is the USS Wren, DD-568, which was not commissioned until 20 May 1944. See more »
As long as you don't expect anything substantial, "Operation Petticoat" works quite well as light entertainment, thanks to a lively script with some pretty good material, two good leading performances by Tony Curtis and Cary Grant, and a solid supporting cast. While the whole story has very limited plausibility, it has its own internal logic and consistency, rather like the better of the more manic screwball comedies of an even earlier era.
The submarine setting is used creatively, and it has just enough realistic detail to keep it from getting too silly. Grant and Curtis have rather different styles, yet they work well together in setting the right tone for everything, and in involving the rest of the cast. While it would be hard to single out any of the other cast members, since none of them have a particularly large or important role, they all do well enough, and they make the secondary characters a solid part of the story.
There are plenty of amusing highlights, such as the pink paint and Curtis's scrounging expeditions. For all that it is just fluff, it fits together well, making for an entertaining, unpretentious movie.
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