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Operation Petticoat (1959)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 8,262 users  
Reviews: 52 user | 33 critic

World War 2 comedy about a submarine commander who finds himself stuck with a decrepit (and pink) sub, a con-man executive officer and a group of army nurses.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: Operation Petticoat (1959)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Operation Petticoat (1977–1979)
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It's hijinks on the high seas when a U.S. submarine has to take on a collection of female nurses. Somehow or another, the sub gets painted pink in the process.

Stars: Melinda Naud, Jim Varney, Richard Brestoff
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Joan O'Brien ...
Lt. Dolores Crandall RN
...
Gene Evans ...
...
Ens. Stovall (as Richard Sargent)
...
Robert F. Simon ...
Robert Gist ...
...
Ernest Hunkle
George Dunn ...
The Prophet
Dick Crockett ...
Harmon
Madlyn Rhue ...
Lt. Reid RN
...
Lt. Colfax RN
Clarence Lung ...
Sgt. Ramon Gillardo (as Clarence E. Lung)
Edit

Storyline

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 <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Submerged with 5 Girls...No wonder the S.S. Sea Tiger turned a Shocking Pink! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 December 1959 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Sirenas y tiburones  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Eastman Color)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to the memoir "Mislaid in Hollywood' by Joe Hyams, referred to in the biography "Cary Grant - A Class Apart" by Graham McCann, " . . . Grant found his burgeoning enthusiasm for his therapeutic use of LSD increasingly hard to contain, and, eventually, while he was shooting the movie "Operation Petticoat", he could hold back no longer. Two reporters - Joe Hyams and Lionel Crane - both prepared for the usual amusing but scrupulously bland Grant interview, were stunned to find him unusually relaxed, open and keen to share with them the extraordinary experiences he had undergone . . . He talked about his desperate desire to change his character so that he could be reunited with Betsy Drake." See more »

Goofs

The map on the wall of the office where Cary Grant and his superior are discussing the damages the submarine suffered during the Japanese raid at the beginning of the movie is clearly a mid '50s world map. The borders of European countries are clearly post war and the same about India and Pakistan that didn't exist as countries on 1941. See more »

Quotes

Ens. Stovall: Wow! That's what I call scavenging! Uh, what I mean is, I'm sure they could be used for something.
Lt. Cmdr. Matt T. Sherman: I could think of any number of uses but not here and now. Mr. Stovall, Lt. Holden's influence upon you is starting to worry me. I suggest you "wow" less and "tsk tsk tsk" a little more!
See more »

Connections

Remade as Operation Petticoat (1977) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Top talent makes this a winner.
6 April 2004 | by (honolulu, hawaii) – See all my reviews

There's really no reason to expect that this easy-going military comedy should hold up so well after almost 50 years. While extremely popular as a Christmas release in '59, it then boasted two top box office stars to bring in the crowds, which most critics agreed were the primary attraction supporting some rather thin and predictable material. But the merits are considerably more than reviewers originally gave credit for, and the film endures as a cleverly crafted entertainment on several levels. Its uncomplicated premise accommodates humor less derived from incident than from character and situation, making it seem far less pretentious than most films of its kind. Service comedies of this period tend to follow a pattern set by MR. ROBERTS, which was based on a hugely successful stage play and quite reverent to those origins. PETTICOAT is far more spontaneous, so even if plot threads tend to be a bit familiar, its the delivery rather than the content which holds our attention. Of course it doesn't hurt to have Cary Grant at the peak of his powers, hitting all the right notes, balancing the role of naval officer with innate dedication combined with his own charismatic charm and seemingly effortless humor, a performance which is both naturalistic and funny. Curtis, too, had found his groove at this point (he had just completed his tour de force for Billy Wilder, SOME LIKE IT HOT) contributing just the right balance of ingenuousness and star-of-the-month savvy to make his `second banana' role a success. But the lion's share of the credit must go to Blake Edwards, then in the early stages of his most successful period as a master comedy craftsman, boisterous yet sophisticated, among the last of a breed of Hollywood stylists on the rise at a time when the old studio system was nearing its end.


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