Operation Petticoat [1959]

Director: Blake Edwards
Stars: Cary Grant, Tony Curtis, Joan O'Brien, Dina Merrill, Gene Evans
Genre: Comedy, Romance, War
Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Runtime: 124 minutes

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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