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Operation Petticoat

Operation Petticoat has no more weight than a sackful of feathers, but it has a lot of laughs. Cary Grant and Tony Curtis are excellent, and the film is directed by Blake Edwards with a slam-bang pace.

Operation Petticoat has no more weight than a sackful of feathers, but it has a lot of laughs. Cary Grant and Tony Curtis are excellent, and the film is directed by Blake Edwards with a slam-bang pace.

The time is December 1941, and the locale is the Philippines. Grant is the commander of a wheezy old submarine which he gets operational through his conniving junior officer (Curtis). In a series of improbable but acceptable situations [suggested by a story by Paul King and Joseph Stone], the sub takes on as passengers five army nurses, a couple of Filipino families (including expectant mothers) and a goat.

Grant is a living lesson in getting laughs without lines. In this film, most of the gags play off him. Curtis is a splendid foil, and his different style of playing meshes easily with Grant’s. David Rose’s score is especially bright, helping the comedy without getting coy.

1959: Nomination: Best Original Story & Screenplay

Operation Petticoat

  • Production: Granart/Universal. Director Blake Edwards; Producer Robert Arthur; Screenplay Stanley Shapiro, Maurice Richlin; Camera Russell Harlan; Editor Ted J. Kent, Frank Gross; Music David Rose; Art Director Alexander Golitzen, Robert E. Smith
  • Crew: (Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1959. Running time: 124 MIN.
  • With: Cary Grant Tony Curtis Joan O'Brien Dina Merrill Gene Evans Arthur O'Connell
  • Music By: