7.3/10
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54 user 34 critic

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:

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:

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

'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

Nick Holden tells Matt Sherman that the boys up in Las Vegas would say he is trying to make his point the hard way. Sherman latter repeats this to someone else. In 1941, while it existed and had gambling, Las Vegas was not yet the gambling and entertainment center it is known for. It was a small dusty town that was mostly a rest stop on the way to Southern California. People might know of it, and specially navy servicemen might know of it since they would stop there on their way to the Pacific, but it wouldn't have been a standard cultural reference as it would be in the 1950's and beyond. In 1941, Reno, NV would have been a more appropriate reference as it was better known as a place to gamble and vacation. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Cmdr Matt T. Serman: Sir, Sea Tiger was built to fight. She deserves a better epitaph than 'Commissioned 1940, sunk 1941, engagements none, shots fired none.' Now, you can't let it go that way. That's like a beautiful woman dying an old maid, if you know what I mean by old maid.
Capt. J.B. Henderson: Did you ever sell used cars?
lt. Cmdr. Matt T.Sherman: No, Sir.
Capt. J.B. Henderson: I've got a hunch you missed your calling.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in The 76th Annual Academy Awards (2004) 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

Curtis and Grant at their peak.
9 August 2003 | by (North Carolina) – See all my reviews

A wry and lighthearted look at the U.S. Navy in 1941. Cary Grant and Tony Curtis shine amongst a wonderful supporting cast in this fictional story inspired by an actual incident that occurred during WWII. So many war movies are depressing, while others are completely ridiculous. This film, while full of sexual innuendo and lighthearted humor, still manages to keep it's humanity, with one foot planted firmly in the reality of the Pacific theater.

A jaunty tale of an injured sub, a few army nurses, a group of lonely sailors, and some pink paint. The direction is above par for the time period and genre, the writing is bright and witty, even for today's standards, and the performances are thoroughly entertaining.

This is a recommended must-see for fans of Curtis and Grant. Grab the popcorn and soda and enjoy! I give this charming 1959 classic a 7 out of 10.


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