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

There is a running gag about Kropotkin's inability to dance. He is played by Robert Helpmann, one of the leading ballet dancers and choreographers of the 20th century. See more »

Goofs

The MiG shown at the beginning of the film has the letter S written on it. A Soviet aircraft would only use letters from the Cyrillic, not the Latin, alphabet. See more »

Quotes

[Chuck tells Vinka how he plans to talk Colonel Tarbell into letting Vinka go to London]
Vinka Kovelenko: Do you think the Colonel would be fooled by such a ridiculous statement?
Major Chuck Lockwood: If he'll eat Army food, he'll swallow anything!
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

 
Bob&Kate Put The Cold War In Deep Freeze
8 February 2008 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Until ironically both stars of The Iron Petticoat died within a month of each other in 2003, this film may have had until June 29 of that year of holding the record for having its two co-stars survive the longest. That was the day Katharine Hepburn died and Bob Hope died on July 27 and between them they had 196 years on earth. That's the only distinction The Iron Petticoat has.

Ben Hecht got on Bob Hope's case for allowing his gag writers to intrude in on his screenplay and story. Personally I can't believe they could have loused it up as bad as what his idea originally was. Katharine Hepburn is a female Russian jet ace who defects from the Soviet Union, not because of any disagreement with Communism, but because she was passed over for promotion in the Russian Air Force.

But the Americans still think they can convert her for propaganda purposes and who do they assign to the task? Not real life American air war hero James Stewart, but Bob Hope who plays the jet pilot who forced Kate's jet down. Who here really believes Bob Hope as a war hero pilot?

It's obvious Hope did interfere and it probably cost Hepburn some of her scenes, but the premise was so ridiculous I can understand why he thought the film needed help. As for Hepburn she throws on an accent that might be described as Maria Ouspenskaya on crystal meth.

Even such fine players as James Robertson Justice as the KGB man assigned to kidnap Hepburn back are wasted here.

The Iron Petticoat was a terrible idea made even worse in the execution. No wonder it's never shown in revivals of either Hope or Hepburn.


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