5.3/10
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26 user 5 critic

The Iron Petticoat (1956)

Approved | | Comedy | 7 January 1957 (USA)
Captain Vinka Kovelenko defects from Russia, but not for political reasons. She defects because she feels discriminated against as a woman. Captain Chuck Lockwood gets the order to show her... See full summary »

Director:

Ralph Thomas

Writer:

Ben Hecht (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bob Hope ... Major Charles "Chuck" Lockwood
Katharine Hepburn ... Captain Vinka Kovelenko
Noelle Middleton ... Lady Constance Warburton-Watts
James Robertson Justice ... Colonel Vladimir Denisovich Sklarnoff
Robert Helpmann ... Major Ivan Kropotkin
David Kossoff ... Dr. Anton Antonovich Dubratz
Alan Gifford ... Colonel Newton Tarbell
Nicholas Phipps ... Tony Mallard
Paul Carpenter Paul Carpenter ... Major Lewis
Sidney James ... Paul
Alexander Gauge Alexander Gauge ... Senator Howley
Sandra Dorne ... Tityana
Richard Wattis ... Lingerie Clerk
Tutte Lemkow ... Sutsiyawa
Olaf Pooley Olaf Pooley ... Major Osip Feodor Ganovich
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Storyline

Captain Vinka Kovelenko defects from Russia, but not for political reasons. She defects because she feels discriminated against as a woman. Captain Chuck Lockwood gets the order to show her the bright side of capitalism, while she tries to convince him of the superority of communism. Naturaly, they fall in love, but there's still the KGB, which doesn't like the idea of having a defected Russian officer running around in London. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He's a Spy...She's a Spy...and IT'S SPYHIGH WITH HILARITY! (original print ad - many caps) See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 January 1957 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Not for Money See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TCM print) (restored)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Colour by) (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's 2 leads 'Katharine Hepburn (I)' and 'Bob Hope (I)' both died in the summer of 2003 living exceptionally long lives - Hepburn died on June 29 at the age of 96, Hope died almost a month later on July 27 at the age of 100. See more »

Goofs

When the "MiG" is shown at the beginning of the film it's not an actual MiG, but a US-built Republic F-84F. The U.S. aircraft sent out to intercept it are North American F-86Ds See more »

Quotes

Vinka Kovelenko: A good Communist has no subconcious!
Colonel Tarbell: That may very well be what's wrong with them!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: U.S. AIR FORCE HEADQUARTERS GERMANY

Once upon a time. . . . See more »

Connections

Referenced in Harry Saltzman: Showman (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

The Knightsbridge March
(uncredited)
Music by Eric Coates
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Odd Cold War comedy buoyed by its stars
2 February 2002 | by gaityrSee all my reviews

This movie is by no means one of the classics in any sense: it's entertaining, occasionally LOL-funny, but nothing spectacular. Bob Hope plays Chuck Norwood, an English captain eager to marry into the British upper class; Kate Hepburn plays Vinka Kovelenko, a tough-as-nails Russian flying ace who defects because she feels discriminated against in Communist Russia.

What's odd, and possibly most positive, about this Cold War comedy (written and produced at the height of tensions between the US and the USSR) is that there is no moralising or preaching. No propaganda. In the end, it's simply a romantic comedy about opposites attracting.

And such opposites! Hepburn is great as Vinka--her trademark energy barely reined in, her Russian accent a little OTT but passable. Watch for the moment when she sits on a cushion in front of Chuck--she gives her one unguarded smile in the film, and it becomes obvious why Chuck (and everyone else) falls in love with her so quickly. Hope was on fine wisecracking form, although this is marred by the fact that he tried to dominate the movie from behind the scenes, bringing in his own team of joke-writers to increase his own footage. (Hepburn kept quiet as her role shrank proportionately, the most comedic scenes apparently landing on the cutting room floor--ever the professional.)

Bizarre, but interesting if you want to see Hepburn speaking in a Russian accent and examining a pushup bra with a look of utmost disdain on her face.


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