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Cary Grant and Tony Curtis ship out for laughs and adventure in one of the most hilarious comedies to ever hit the high seas. Commander Matt Sherman (Grant) has his toughest assignment yet - to put a broken sardine can of a submarine back into action. Enter supply officer Nick Holden (Curtis), a master scavenger with the (illegal) means to get the Sea Tiger purring - or at least afloat. But after the rescue of five stranded (and beautiful) nurses, the grey, battle-scarred sub has suddenly transformed into a pink, party-ready hot tub. Now there's only one course of action Sherman and his men can take - surrender!
Blake Edwards's delightful 1959 comedy stars Cary Grant as a World War II submarine captain whose preference for a by-the-book command reluctantly yields to certain realities. Chief among those is that Grant's first officer (Tony Curtis, who impersonated Grant that same year in Billy Wilder's Some Like It Hot), a shameless hustler, is better than the navy at delivering whatever supplies the ship and crew need to keep going. But when Curtis sneaks a handful of Philippine refugees and several gorgeous nurses onto the all-male sub, the skipper not only has to cool down his crew but deal with an unexpected feminine influence on ship protocol. The film is a great deal of fun, sprinkled with the director's trademark sight gags (including one of Edwards's best, involving a torpedo and jeep), and graced with his unmistakable lilt. Grant is in great form, his comic brilliance almost impossibly effortless. --Tom Keogh
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Top customer reviews
Cary Grant is hilarious as the often befuddled captain of the Sea TIger, a submarine sunk at it's pier by the Japanese at the very beginning of WWII. The boat is raised, and partially re-fitted, with orders to make it to another island for overhaul. Then the hijinks begin.
Tony Curtis comes aboard as a misplaced (and morally flexible) supply officer, who will do what he has to to get the parts they need, and get them home (and him OFF the boat). Along the way, they are joined by Army nurses needing evacuation from one island, and natives from another. They constantly battle their barely functioning sub. And when at one point the Sea Tiger ends up painted bright pink, they find themselves under attack from BOTH sides.
Grant and Curtis are great headliners. I think many feel this is one of Grant's best movies. I do. The supporting cast is quite good, and includes tv stalwarts Dick Sargent, Gavin Macleod and Marion Ross.
Personally, I consider it a must-own. It's ABSOLUTELY a must-see.
On December 10, 1941 the recently commissioned U.S. submarine Sea Tiger is sunk by Japanese bombers while docked at a small Philippine island. The boat is raised, given a partial two-week overhaul, then limps out on one bad engine, headed for a repair station some 400 miles distant. Besides the crew, five nurses (the only Americans left on the beseiged island) are along for the ride-- a perfect opportunity for some laughs.
Just before New Year's Day, Sea Tiger is again docked and undergoes refitting. Red and white paint are combined for use as primer. The entire craft is thus a bright pink, with a topcoat of Navy gray scheduled for application at 5 pm on Jan. 1st.
The night before, the sub's conniving supply/morale officer, Lt. Holden (Tony Curtis) "requistions" a farmer's prize 200-lb. pig without his permission. The ugly Piggy is disguised in a uniform and sneaked past two M.P.s while an angry farmer follows the hog thieves to Sea Tiger. His animal is hidden in the Officer's "Head." Lt. Cmdr. Sherman (Cary Grant) looks in, quickly sizes the situation up, and manages to retain the porker.
The next afternoon, the entire crew and their passengers are top side enjoying a New Year's Day pork roast, when their boat is briefly attacked by two Jap bombers. The nurses are instructed to reboard for the trip to Darwin, Australia and just before they shove off, Lt. Holden arrives with several local children and women in tow. He convinces Sherman to take them along on the already overcrowded bright pink sub, which still hasn't gotten its last coat of paint.
Most of the women are pregnant and ready to deliver. While the submerged Sea Tiger is under accidental attack from one of our own destroyers, babies are being born, one after the other!
Just as it seems the ship will get rattled to pieces, Lt. Holden finds a novel way to halt the depth charges.
Not your typical New Year's!
In 1943, Cary Grant was featured in a more serious sub warfare film called DESTINATION TOKYO. (colorized VHS edition)
Tony Curtis co-starred with Debbie Reynolds and Pat Boone in Vincente Minnelli's gender-bender comedy, GOODBYE CHARLIE (1964)
Parenthetical number preceding title is a 1 to 10 IMDb viewer poll rating.
(7.3) Operation Petticoat (1959) - Cary Grant/Tony Curtis/Joan O'Brien/Dina Merrill/Gene Evans/Dick Sargent/Virginia Gregg/Gavin MacLeod/Marion Ross/Frankie Darro/Tony Pastor Jr./Arthur O'Connell
I watch it often if I want a movie that takes me away and back to the Golden Age of Hollywood.
I love it every time I see it.