Operation Petticoat (1959)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Romance, War  |  1959 (UK)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 8,844 users  
Reviews: 52 user | 35 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.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Director: Delmer Daves
Stars: Cary Grant, John Garfield, Alan Hale


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 ...
Lt. Reid RN
Lt. Colfax RN
Clarence Lung ...
Sgt. Ramon Gillardo (as Clarence E. Lung)


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


It all started when they smuggled 5 girls aboard their submarine! See more »


Comedy | Romance | War


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

1959 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Sirenas y tiburones  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)


(Eastman Color)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Nurse Barbara (Dina Merrill), the love interest for Tony Curtis' character, was played in the 1977 remake by Curtis' daughter, Jamie Lee Curtis. See more »


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 »


Lt. Cmdr. Matt T. Sherman: Subject, Toilet paper. One: on 6 June 1941, this vessel submitted a requisition for 150 rolls of toilet paper. On 16 December 1941 the requisition was returned with stamped notation, 'Cannot identify material required.' Two: the commanding officer of the USS SeaTiger cannot help but wonder what is being used at the Caviti Supply Depot as a substitute for this unidentifiable material once so well known to this command.
See more »


Referenced in White Collar: Prisoner's Dilemma (2010) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Among the Finest Blake Edwards films made.
14 February 2007 | by (Central City, Kentucky) – See all my reviews

I have read this film called "fluff" with which I can most certainly not agree. I first saw in in first run forty seven years ago and it remains just as fresh and delightful today after many more viewings. Tony Curtis is at his very best in this picture as a shore-side con man reassigned to sea duty aboard the USS Sea Tiger in the opening days of WWII. Suave Cary Grant is as always flawless in his performance as the captain of the badly damaged sub, trying to keep it in the war with bailing wire and sealing wax. Edwards uses tight camera shots, well cut to maintain the illusion of the claustrophobic conditions of the sub, and witty dialog to keep the plot rolling. The chemistry between the principals and the supporting cast make this one of the best ever. That Edwars would go on to many other comedy triumphs is not at all surprising after seeing this film. I must see for anyone with a funny bone.

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