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Operation Petticoat (1959)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Romance, War  |  1959 (UK)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 8,752 users  
Reviews: 52 user | 34 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 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


20,000 Laughs Under The Sea! See more »


Comedy | Romance | War


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

1959 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Sirenas y tiburones  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)


(Eastman Color)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Of the three boats to portray the 'Sea Tiger', one-the 'USS Archer-Fish', SS-311-was present at the Japanese surrender which ended WWII in the Pacific Theater. The 'USS Wren', DD-568, which was shown as the destroyer attacking 'Sea Tiger', was also present. See more »


Off and on throughout the film, Lt. Cmdr. Matt T. Sherman wears what appears to be a signet ring on the third finger of his left hand. See more »


Destroyer officer: [Examining the bra fished out of the water] The Japs don't have anything like these!
[turns to the depth charge crew]
Destroyer officer: Cease fire!
See more »


Featured in The 76th Annual Academy Awards (2004) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Works Quite Well as Light Entertainment
1 November 2004 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

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.

22 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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