7.3/10
10,710
56 user 39 critic

Operation Petticoat (1959)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance, War | 14 December 1959 (UK)
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 »
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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 George Dunn ... The Prophet
Dick Crockett 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:

Submerged with 5 Girls...No wonder the S.S. Sea Tiger turned a Shocking Pink! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 December 1959 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Sirenas y tiburones See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$23,300,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

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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Did You Know?

Trivia

'USS Balao' SS-285 was painted pink and was used for exterior shots in and around Key West. 'USS Archerfish' SS-311 (originally 'USS Archer-Fish', renamed at 1952 recommission) wore the standard colors of gray and black, and was used for interior and exterior shots in and around Key West. 'USS Queenfish' SS-393 was used in opening and closing scenes, and was used for the "at sea" shots filmed in and around San Diego. See more »

Goofs

In several of the shots looking through the periscope, a piece of the black matte is missing and moving around. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Cmdr. Matt T. Sherman: It's like watching a strip tease. Don't ask how it's done, just enjoy what's coming off.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Soundtracks

By the Old Mill Stream
(uncredited)
Written by Tell Taylor
Sung at the New Year's Eve party
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Top talent makes this a winner.
6 April 2004 | by celluloidrabbitSee all my reviews

There's really no reason to expect that this easy-going military comedy should hold up so well after almost 50 years. While extremely popular as a Christmas release in '59, it then boasted two top box office stars to bring in the crowds, which most critics agreed were the primary attraction supporting some rather thin and predictable material. But the merits are considerably more than reviewers originally gave credit for, and the film endures as a cleverly crafted entertainment on several levels. Its uncomplicated premise accommodates humor less derived from incident than from character and situation, making it seem far less pretentious than most films of its kind. Service comedies of this period tend to follow a pattern set by MR. ROBERTS, which was based on a hugely successful stage play and quite reverent to those origins. PETTICOAT is far more spontaneous, so even if plot threads tend to be a bit familiar, its the delivery rather than the content which holds our attention. Of course it doesn't hurt to have Cary Grant at the peak of his powers, hitting all the right notes, balancing the role of naval officer with innate dedication combined with his own charismatic charm and seemingly effortless humor, a performance which is both naturalistic and funny. Curtis, too, had found his groove at this point (he had just completed his tour de force for Billy Wilder, SOME LIKE IT HOT) contributing just the right balance of ingenuousness and star-of-the-month savvy to make his `second banana' role a success. But the lion's share of the credit must go to Blake Edwards, then in the early stages of his most successful period as a master comedy craftsman, boisterous yet sophisticated, among the last of a breed of Hollywood stylists on the rise at a time when the old studio system was nearing its end.


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