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Operation Petticoat (1959)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance, War | 18 December 1959 (Japan)
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:

18 December 1959 (Japan) 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

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

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

Quotes

[part of the corrugated iron wall of the Admiral's office has vanished]
Capt. J.B. Henderson: Mr. Sherman, I want my wall back!
Lt. Cmdr. Matt T. Sherman: I'm not sure that we have it, Sir!
Capt. J.B. Henderson: You must have it! You've got everything else!
See more »

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 Urban Myths: Cary Grant and Timothy Leary (2017) 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

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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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