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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:

20,000 Laughs Under The Sea! 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

Of the three boats to portray the "Sea Tiger", one--the USS Archer-Fish, SS-311--was present at the Japanese surrender which ended WWII in the Pacific Theater. The USS Wren, DD-568, which was shown as the destroyer attacking Sea Tiger, was also present. See more »

Goofs

A late 1950s vintage car - possibly a Dodge or Chrysler is visible through an open door in one of the rooms at the naval base. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Nicholas Holden: You've gotta sneak up a few back alleys. What you need, sir, is a supply officer who can help you find those back alleys.
Lt. Cmdr. Matt T. Sherman: You, Mr. Holden?
Lt. Nicholas Holden: Yes, sir.
Lt. Cmdr. Matt T. Sherman: You'd ruin your manicure! Here.
Lt. Nicholas Holden: Uh, don't let my manicure fool you, sir. I was born and raised in a neighborhood called Noah's Ark. If you didn't travel in pairs, you just didn't travel.
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 The Pink Panther Story (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

By the Old Mill Stream
(uncredited)
Written by Tell Taylor
Performed by Arthur O'Connell and the Crew
Sung at the New Year's Eve party
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
We All Live In A Pink Submarine
31 March 2007 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

In Tony Curtis's filmed tribute to Cary Grant for TCM he made much of his well known idolatry of the man who made him want to become an actor. As a kid growing up in the mean streets of New York, young Bernie Schwartz saw in Cary Grant all he ever wanted to be up there on the silver screen.

During naval service on board a submarine in World War II he got to see Cary Grant in Warner Brothers Destination Tokyo. As Curtis said, life has a funny way of working things out. What happens; Tony Curtis gets to star with Grant years later in a World War II service comedy that is set aboard a submarine.

Destination Tokyo was not one of Grant's best films, but Operation Petticoat definitely is. Right after World War II starts, Grant's new ship, the Tigerfish is sunk right in her berth in a remote Pacific Island. Grant persuades Admiral Robert Simon to make whatever repairs he can and try and get the ship back to Pearl Harbor for repairs.

Among other things Grant gets is a new officer Tony Curtis who hasn't exactly seen much sea duty, but he's quite the operator. The two develop quite an interesting relationship on the voyage.

And it's one thing after another on that memorable shakedown cruise back to Pearl Harbor. But Cary Grant is as unflappable and charming as ever, though even he seems a bit put out at times.

There are some pretty hilarious moments in Operation Petticoat, the sinking of a truck, the painting of the Tigerfish pink and then having to leave it that way until Pearl Harbor. And who can forget how they are saved from friendly fire at the climax of the film.

Operation Petticoat was one of the biggest commercial and critical hits that Cary Grant had in Hollywood. Coming right after North By Northwest it could well be argued this was the high point of his career.

The film holds up very well today, I think today's audience would laugh just as hard as they did in 1959.


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