Operation Petticoat (1959)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Romance, War  |  1959 (UK)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 8,845 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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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


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?


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 »


When Lt. Holden tells the Marine guard about the "blackout regulations," he says the order came from Adm. Nimitz. If this is set in mid-December 1941, Adm. Nimitz wasn't commander-in-chief, yet. He took command on 31 December 1941. See more »


[Lt. Barbara Duran climbing down a ships ladder]
Lt. Barbara Duran, RN: Am I uh, going down right?
Lt. Cmdr. Matt T. Sherman: Is she going down right?
Lt. Watson: She sure is.
See more »


Featured in The 42nd Annual Academy Awards (1970) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Curtis and Grant at their peak.
9 August 2003 | by (North Carolina) – See all my reviews

A wry and lighthearted look at the U.S. Navy in 1941. Cary Grant and Tony Curtis shine amongst a wonderful supporting cast in this fictional story inspired by an actual incident that occurred during WWII. So many war movies are depressing, while others are completely ridiculous. This film, while full of sexual innuendo and lighthearted humor, still manages to keep it's humanity, with one foot planted firmly in the reality of the Pacific theater.

A jaunty tale of an injured sub, a few army nurses, a group of lonely sailors, and some pink paint. The direction is above par for the time period and genre, the writing is bright and witty, even for today's standards, and the performances are thoroughly entertaining.

This is a recommended must-see for fans of Curtis and Grant. Grab the popcorn and soda and enjoy! I give this charming 1959 classic a 7 out of 10.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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