7.3/10
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Operation Petticoat (1959)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance, War | 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:

Writers:

(screenplay), (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:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Ens. Stovall (as Richard Sargent)
...
...
Robert Gist ...
...
Ernest Hunkle
George Dunn ...
The Prophet
Dick Crockett ...
Harmon
...
Lt. Reid RN
...
Lt. Colfax RN
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:

Language:

Release Date:

1959 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Sirenas y tiburones  »

Box Office

Gross:

$23,300,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Eastman Color)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Some of the plot points of the movie were based on real-life incidents. Most notable were scenes set at the opening of WW II, based on the actual sinking of the submarine USS Sealion (SS-195), sunk at the pier at Cavite Navy Yard, the Philippines; Cmdr. Sherman's letter to the supply department on the inexplicable lack of toilet paper, based on an actual letter to the supply department of Mare Island Naval Shipyard by Lt. Cmdr. James Wiggin Coe of the submarine Skipjack (SS-184); and the need to paint a submarine pink, due to the lack of enough red lead or white lead undercoat paint. See more »

Goofs

When Lt. Commander Sherman is talking to Captain Henderson they mention the submarine tender Bushnell as being in Darwin, Australia. That is not correct as the Bushnell had been transferred to duty as a Hydrographic Survey ship and renamed Sumner AGS-32 in 1940. The closest submarine tender was actually USS Canopus AS-9, which was in the Cavite Naval Yard. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Cmdr. Matt T. Sherman: Where is Lt. Holden?
Lt. Watson: When the air raid started they took off. All he said was "in confusion there is profit."
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 (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Works Quite Well as Light Entertainment
1 November 2004 | by (Ohio) – See 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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