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Operation Petticoat (1959)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 7,816 users  
Reviews: 51 user | 32 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)

Operation Petticoat (1959) on IMDb 7.3/10

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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:

It all started when they smuggled 5 girls aboard their submarine! 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:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

'USS Balao' SS-285 was painted pink and was used for exterior shots in and around Key West. 'USS Archerfish' SS-311 (originally 'USS Archer-Fish', renamed at 1952 recommission) wore the standard colors of gray and black, and was used for interior and exterior shots in and around Key West. 'USS Queenfish' SS-393 was used in opening and closing scenes, and was used for the "at sea" shots filmed in and around San Diego. See more »

Goofs

A late 1950s vintage car - possibly a Dodge or Chrysler is visible through an open door in one of the rooms at the naval base. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Cmdr Matt T. Serman: Sir, Sea Tiger was built to fight. She deserves a better epitaph than 'Commissioned 1940, sunk 1941, engagements none, shots fired none.' Now, you can't let it go that way. That's like a beautiful woman dying an old maid, if you know what I mean by old maid.
Capt. J.B. Henderson: Did you ever sell used cars?
lt. Cmdr. Matt T.Sherman: No, Sir.
Capt. J.B. Henderson: I've got a hunch you missed your calling.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Pink Panther Story (2003) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
We All Live In A Pink Submarine
31 March 2007 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

In Tony Curtis's filmed tribute to Cary Grant for TCM he made much of his well known idolatry of the man who made him want to become an actor. As a kid growing up in the mean streets of New York, young Bernie Schwartz saw in Cary Grant all he ever wanted to be up there on the silver screen.

During naval service on board a submarine in World War II he got to see Cary Grant in Warner Brothers Destination Tokyo. As Curtis said, life has a funny way of working things out. What happens; Tony Curtis gets to star with Grant years later in a World War II service comedy that is set aboard a submarine.

Destination Tokyo was not one of Grant's best films, but Operation Petticoat definitely is. Right after World War II starts, Grant's new ship, the Tigerfish is sunk right in her berth in a remote Pacific Island. Grant persuades Admiral Robert Simon to make whatever repairs he can and try and get the ship back to Pearl Harbor for repairs.

Among other things Grant gets is a new officer Tony Curtis who hasn't exactly seen much sea duty, but he's quite the operator. The two develop quite an interesting relationship on the voyage.

And it's one thing after another on that memorable shakedown cruise back to Pearl Harbor. But Cary Grant is as unflappable and charming as ever, though even he seems a bit put out at times.

There are some pretty hilarious moments in Operation Petticoat, the sinking of a truck, the painting of the Tigerfish pink and then having to leave it that way until Pearl Harbor. And who can forget how they are saved from friendly fire at the climax of the film.

Operation Petticoat was one of the biggest commercial and critical hits that Cary Grant had in Hollywood. Coming right after North By Northwest it could well be argued this was the high point of his career.

The film holds up very well today, I think today's audience would laugh just as hard as they did in 1959.


22 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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