7.3/10
12,740
60 user 48 critic

Operation Petticoat (1959)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance, War | 24 December 1959 (USA)
During World War II, a commander finds himself stuck with a decrepit (and pink) submarine, a con man executive officer, and a group of army nurses.

Director:

Blake Edwards

Writers:

Stanley Shapiro (screenplay), Maurice Richlin (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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 Clarence Lung ... Sgt. Ramon Gillardo (as Clarence E. Lung)
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

It all started when they smuggled 5 girls aboard their submarine! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The "sinking" of a truck was inspired by a real incident that happened in 1944. On August 9, USS Bowfin (SS-287) followed four Japanese ships into Minami Daito Harbor. She fired her six bow torpedoes at the moored ships, hitting three and sinking two of them, but one torpedo went astray and hit a pier. A bus parked on it was blown up and thrown into the water by the explosion. See more »

Goofs

During an air raid, several bombs go off near a truck Tony Curtis is driving. A cloud of smoke is shown coming up vertically at the driver's door while the background scene shows the truck is moving at a high speed. The wind created by the truck's forward motion should have blown the smoke horizontally. See more »

Quotes

Ens. Stovall: Wow! That's what I call scavenging! Uh, what I meant sir, is that I'm... That I'm sure there must be something they can be used for.
Lt. Cmdr. Matt T. Sherman: I can think of any number of uses. But not here and now. Mr. Stovall, Lieutenant Holden's influence upon you is beginning to worry me. I suggest you "Wow" less and "Tsk-tsk-tsk" a little more.
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Crazy Credits

Opening sequences as viewed through a periscope with cast and crew as various sea creatures. See more »

Alternate Versions

Original German version was edited by ca. 22 minutes. Kinowelt DVD release incorporates ca. 5 minutes back into the film (all non-dialogue) and has the uncut English version as a bonus feature. See more »

Connections

Referenced in White Collar: Prisoner's Dilemma (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Auld Lang Syne
(uncredited)
Traditional tune, lyrics by Robert Burns
Performed by Gene Evans and the Crew
Sung at the New Year's Eve party
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User Reviews

Works Quite Well as Light Entertainment
1 November 2004 | by Snow LeopardSee 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.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 December 1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Operation Petticoat See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$23,300,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Granart Company See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Eastman Color)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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