IMDb > Operation Petticoat (1959)
Operation Petticoat
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Operation Petticoat (1959) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
7.3/10   7,744 votes »
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Down 3% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Stanley Shapiro (screenplay) and
Maurice Richlin (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Operation Petticoat on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
18 December 1959 (Japan) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
20,000 Laughs Under The Sea! See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
I can't find enough good things to say about this movie See more (51 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Cary Grant ... Lt. Cmdr. Matt T. Sherman

Tony Curtis ... Lt. JG Nicholas Holden
Joan O'Brien ... Lt. Dolores Crandall RN

Dina Merrill ... Lt. Barbara Duran RN
Gene Evans ... Chief Molumphry

Dick Sargent ... Ens. Stovall (as Richard Sargent)

Virginia Gregg ... Maj. Edna Heywood RN
Robert F. Simon ... Capt. J.B. Henderson
Robert Gist ... Lt. Watson

Gavin MacLeod ... Ernest Hunkle
George Dunn ... The Prophet
Dick Crockett ... Harmon
Madlyn Rhue ... Lt. Reid RN

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

Frankie Darro ... Pharmacist Mate Dooley
Tony Pastor Jr. ... Fox
Robert F. Hoy ... Reiner (as Robert Hoy)
Nicky Blair ... Seaman Kraus
John W. Morley ... Williams

Arthur O'Connell ... Chief Mechinist's Mate Sam Tostin
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Hal Baylor ... Military Police Sergeant (uncredited)
William Bryant ... Crewman (uncredited)
Bert Byers ... Bowman (uncredited)
Dick Callinan ... Lt. Morrison (uncredited)
Gordon Casell ... Col. Higginson (uncredited)
Malcolm Cassell ... Sailor (uncredited)
H. Haile Chace ... Soldier (uncredited)
Tony Corrado ... Fireman Lye (uncredited)
Dale Cummings ... Military Policeman (uncredited)
Francis De Sales ... Capt. Kress (uncredited)
Vince Deadrick Sr. ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Alan Dexter ... Navy Chief (uncredited)
Tusi Faiivae ... Witch Doctor (uncredited)
Paul Frees ... Un-named Colonel in Jeep on Cebu (voice) (uncredited)
Bob Gibson ... Seaman (uncredited)
Larry Gilliland ... Sailor (uncredited)
Preston Hanson ... Lt. Col. Simpson (uncredited)
Fred Harflinger II ... Sailor (uncredited)
Harry Harvey Jr. ... Soldier (uncredited)
Vi Ingraham ... Pregnant Filipino Woman (uncredited)
Glenn Jacobson ... Control Tower Staff (uncredited)
Robert Keys ... Military Policeman (uncredited)
Joseph Kim ... Filipino (uncredited)
William Kinney ... Minor Role (uncredited)
James Lanphier ... Lt. Cmdr. Daly (uncredited)

Nelson Leigh ... Adm. Koenig (uncredited)
Leon Lontoc ... Filipino Farmer (uncredited)
John James Russell ... Sailor (uncredited)
Alan Scott ... Chief of Demolition (uncredited)
Bob Stratton ... Marine Lieutenant (uncredited)
Nino Tempo ... Crewman (uncredited)
Howard Venezia ... Soldier (uncredited)
Francis L. Ward ... Petty Officer (uncredited)
Robert C. Youmans ... Lieutenant (uncredited)
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Directed by
Blake Edwards 
 
Writing credits
Stanley Shapiro (screenplay) and
Maurice Richlin (screenplay)

Paul King (suggested by a story by) and
Joseph Stone (suggested by a story by)

Produced by
Robert Arthur .... producer
 
Original Music by
David Rose 
Henry Mancini (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Russell Harlan (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Frank Gross 
Ted J. Kent 
 
Art Direction by
Alexander Golitzen 
Robert Emmet Smith  (as Robert E. Smith)
 
Set Decoration by
Oliver Emert (set decorations)
Russell A. Gausman 
 
Costume Design by
Bill Thomas (gowns)
 
Makeup Department
Larry Germain .... hair stylist
Bud Westmore .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Edward Muhl .... in charge of production
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Frank Shaw .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
Leslie I. Carey .... sound
Vernon W. Kramer .... sound (as Vernon W. Cramer)
 
Special Effects by
Don Wolz .... special effects (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Ray Austin .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Clifford Stine .... special photography
 
Editorial Department
Henri Jaffa .... color consultant
 
Music Department
Joseph Gershenson .... music supervisor
 
Other crew
Lucius H. Chappell .... technical advisor (as Rear Adm. Lucius H. Chappell U S N Ret.)
Wayne Fitzgerald .... title designer (uncredited)
Paul Frees .... looping voices (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
  • Department of Defense, The  we wish to thank: for their assistance in the production of this motion picture (as The Department of Defense)
  • United States Navy, The  we wish to thank: for their assistance in the production of this motion picture (as The United States Navy)
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
124 min | Germany:100 min | Canada:120 min (Ontario) | Portugal:117 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Certification:
Canada:PG (Ontario) | Finland:K-12 | Germany:6 (re-rating) | Iceland:L | Portugal:17 | UK:U | USA:Approved (PCA #19345) | West Germany:16

Did You Know?

Trivia:
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 »
Goofs:
Anachronisms: Nick Holden tells Matt Sherman that the boys up in Las Vegas would say he is trying to make his point the hard way. Sherman latter repeats this to someone else. In 1941, while it existed and had gambling, Las Vegas was not yet the gambling and entertainment center it is known for. It was a small dusty town that was mostly a rest stop on the way to Southern California. People might know of it, and specially navy servicemen might know of it since they would stop there on their way to Pacific, but it wouldn't have been a standard cultural reference as it would be in the 1950's and beyond. In 1941, Reno, NV would have been a more appropriate reference as it was better known as a place to gamble and vacation.See more »
Quotes:
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 »
Movie Connections:

FAQ

Cary Grant---How Much Was He Paid for "Operation Petticoat"?
Chicago Opening Happened When?
Key West---Is that where "Petticoat" was filmed?
See more »
21 out of 25 people found the following review useful.
I can't find enough good things to say about this movie, 14 September 2003
Author: Gatorman9 (ca_palumbo99@yahoo.com) from Houston, Texas

Directed by Blake Edwards (well-known for the "Pink Panther" series, Breakfast at Tiffany's, The Great Race, "10", Victor/Victoria, and many others), this is an expertly-executed comedy with plenty of visual humor as well a "boat-load" of dry wisecracks and suggestive innuendo for the veteran cast to exploit, seemingly presaging the early 1960's sex comedies. Apparently inspired by the real-life adventures of the American submarines SEALION, SEADRAGON, and SPEARFISH, as well as humorous anecdotes adopted from other submarines, and technically advised by retired wartime submarine commander Rear Admiral Lucius M. Chappel, in a "funny" and sometimes subtle way it may be the most realistic movie about US submarines in World War II ever made. Plot outline: immediately following Pearl Harbor the Japanese prepare to invade the American-occupied Philippine Islands, and during an air raid on the Cavite naval base there, sink the almost brand-new submarine SEA TIGER. Nevertheless, her aggressive and professional yet equally human commander, Matt Sherman - played with admirable credibility by Cary Grant - is not about to take this lying down. After persuading the squadron commodore to give him the go-ahead, he and the remnants of his ship's company - diminished due to transfers made because of the boat's sunken condition - succeed in raising her from the harbor bottom and commence getting her seaworthy enough to escape to Australia before the pending Japanese assault. Unfortunately their repair efforts, already daunting enough, are impossibly impeded by an apparently bureaucratically-based shortage of crucial spare parts and supplies - even toilet paper (a gag in the film rendered nearly verbatim from the true-life experience of the submarine SKIPJACK). At this point Tony Curtis enters as Lt. Nick Holden (the character's name calling to mind actor William Holden's patented self-indulgent bad-boy persona). Having grown up in a neighborhood called "Noah's Ark" ("you traveled in pairs or you just didn't travel"), our Lt. Holden is an accomplished back-alley maneuverer who joined the Navy for the prestige of the uniform and what it can get him (in particular, a certain Miss "Super Chief"). Alas, having secured for himself a cushy job as an admiral's aid sent ahead to Manila to prepare for his admiral's later arrival, the sudden outbreak of the war results in the cancellation of the admiral's transfer and all Mr. Holden's carefully manipulated plans are sent completely awry. Thus being at loose ends he finds himself assigned as a replacement officer to the SEA TIGER. Faced with the alternative of being stuck on Bataan to endure the oncoming Japanese conquest, he sees it is in his best interest to make up for the seagoing experience he has managed to avoid up to this point in his naval career by becoming the boat's Supply Officer and securing everything the captain needs to get "the . . . submarine" out of there and to someplace where he can get a better deal. Although thoroughly uncomfortable with this new addition to his ship, Captain Sherman is so solidly dedicated to his responsibilities as the boat's commander that he is willing to make "a pact with the Devil" to get her going again and so Lt. Holden, allied with his handpicked detail of "scavengers" - Seaman Hunkle (Gavin McLeod), a sailor only known as "The Prophet {of Doom}," and of course the trusty (or at least reliable and punctilious) marine Sergeant Ramon Gallardo ("there isn't a burglar, swindler, pickpocket, or fence in the islands that doesn't know, love, and respect him") - commences a supply procurement program which might most charitably be characterized as unorthodox - or less charitably as just plain felonious. But he really hits his high point when he manages to "scavenge" five stranded Army nurses and convince the captain that he has to take them aboard. From then on the film becomes Cary Grant's battle to get his groaning, belching, backfiring, spit-and-bailing-wire-patched submarine safely to Australia while avoiding any "exchange of information" concerning "the facts of life" between the crew and their guests. His struggle is complicated all the more by his continual personal encounters with the almost terminally accident-prone but especially well-endowed young nurse Dolores Crandall (in the words of the "Chief of the Boat," Malumphry - "if you wanna know what you're fightin' for - there's your answer") who for all her blunders unintentionally winds up saving the boat and all aboard. As if to highlight the unconventionality of their situation along the way they manage to wind up with the vessel painted pink (don't ask me how - just try to believe I actually saw a performance nearly identical to Malumphry's in reaction to a similar problem aboard a real-life nuclear ballistic missile submarine around 1980), have to set up a maternity ward, complete with goat ("the children will need fresh milk"), and accomplish the unique induction of "Seaman Hornsby" into his brief but flavorful naval career. The plot is actually developed in the form of a flashback from about 1960 allowing it to end with a slightly sentimental and amusing bit of a twist. Clean and wholesome while still being thoroughly adult ("when a man is tired and irritable you can be sure there's one thing he's not getting enough of -- vitamins and minerals"), you can watch this one with your kids - maybe even after they've reached their cynical adolescent years.

Note: the use of the brackets {} above in place of the stylistically correct square brackets was made necessary by some IMDb format change that made use of the correct brackets impossible. Hopefully they will not eliminate other commonly used symbols in future updates simply because the people they employ never got better than a "C" in junior high school English class and don't know what they are for.

Was the above review useful to you?
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