7.3/10
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57 user 41 critic

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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In order to provide information for the first air raid over Tokyo, a U.S. submarine sneaks into Tokyo Bay and places a spy team ashore.

Director: Delmer Daves
Stars: Cary Grant, John Garfield, Alan Hale
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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:

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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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

This is the second time Cary Grant played a submarine commander. The first was Destination Tokyo (1943). See more »

Goofs

During the New Year's Day celebration the sub is pink. However, in the night scene immediately following the sub is gray again. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Nicholas Holden: The scuttlebutt is that we're going to try to submerge at daybreak, and I figured if you've got to go, you might as well go big.
Lt. Cmdr. Matt T. Sherman: Mr. Holden, it's past daybreak, and we are submerged.
Lt. Nicholas Holden: We are?
Lt. Cmdr. Matt T. Sherman: We are.
Lt. Nicholas Holden: You mean, we're under?
Lt. Cmdr. Matt T. Sherman: Yes.
Lt. Nicholas Holden: Well, it isn't a permanent situation, er... What I'm trying to say is, I mean, we can come up if we like to.
Lt. Cmdr. Matt T. Sherman: Well, I like to think we can, but then, I'm an incurable optimist.
Lt. Nicholas Holden: What happens, sir, if we, er... What happens if we can't...?
[he motions upward]
[...]
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

Featured in The 76th Annual Academy Awards (2004) 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
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Fun and amusement with two kings of comedy , Grant and Curtis , demonstrating their hilarious talents
17 September 2013 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

World War 2 comedy about a submarine commander (Gary Grant , though Jeff Chandler was originally offered the role that went to Gary) teams with a cocky wheeler-dealer (Tony Curtis, though Bob Hope always said it was his biggest regret that he turned down this character), both of whom to make the sub seaworthy . Captain finds himself stuck with a decrepit (and pink) sub . The sub's commander experiences a certain amount of surprises at the unconventional methods used by his first lieutenant . They are joined by a group of army nurses (such as Nurse Barbara performed by Dina Merrill and Nurse Crandall played by Joan O'Brien , though Tina Louise was offered but turned down the role) whose lingerie is put to some unusual uses and the gags begin .

Agreeable comedy set in Pacific Ocean during WWII with plenty of humor, laughters , tongue-in-cheek and results to be pretty funny , though some jokes may be considered sexist these days . Top-notch performance by two masters of comedy , as Gary Grant was his hero in the genre and likable acting by Tony Curtis as a con-man executive officer . Great teamwork from Grant and Curtis keep things rolling . The whole film is a happy and at times comic vehicle for its wonderful stars . However , Grant himself was at first reluctant to take his role , knowing he was much too old to play a wartime captain . 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 , 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 by Lt. Cmdr. James Coe of the submarine Skipjack ; and the need to paint a submarine pink, due to the lack of enough red lead or white lead undercoat paint . Later remade , as nurse Barbara interpreted by Dina Merrill, the love interest for Tony Curtis' character, was played in the 1977 remake by Curtis' daughter, Jamie Lee Curtis ; furthermore TV series .

The motion picture was well directed by Blake Edwards , as he directs with good pace and enjoyable sense of humor . Blake is a classic comedy filmmaker and director of his own dialogue , there's no doubt he knows what he's about . His stories are amusing and well-realized though uneven , but thanks to Sellers many movies stand out . He had successes with ¨Pink Panther¨ series who became him a world-wide celebrity as ¨A shot in dark¨ , ¨Return of pink panther , ¨Revenge of pink panther¨ , ¨Curse of Pink Panther¨ , ¨Pink Panther strikes again¨ , ¨Trail of Pink Panther¨ , ¨Son of Pink Panther¨ , among others . Since then , there have been many more hit-and-miss comedies , some wildly unsuitable vehicles for his second wife Julie Andrews as ¨The Tamarind seed¨ , ¨Darling Lili¨, ¨SOB¨ , ¨10¨ , ¨That's life¨ . His greatest hits were ¨The party¨ , the travestite comedy ¨Victor/Victoria¨ and of course the joyously ¨Breakfast at Tiffany's ¨. The flick will appeal to Gary Grant and Tony Curtis fans . This is arguably one of the Blake Edwards' best . This consistently fun comedy deserves 'Two thumbs up' .


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