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