© 1959 Granart Company

Operation Petticoat (1959)

It takes a director like Blake Edwards to take the WWII submarine genre and turn it into light comedy, and that is exactly what he does in this campy farce.

Cary Grant was nearing the end of his very long career, and allowed Tony Curtis to take on the second lead, if not top billing. The effect of this, unfortunately, is neither one of them have any really good comedic moments. Although Curtis was seen as a sort of heir to Grant’s film persona, their scenes together are not as funny as they could be. Perhaps they are too similar as actors. When the heavily damaged submarine limps through the South Pacific and picks up a stranded bunch of female Army officers, the comedy does pick up a bit. The funniest subplot is a very minor one, with the submarine’s misogynistic chief mechinist (Arthur O’Connell) feuding with the headstrong Major Heywood (Virginia Gregg).

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