Monday, December 1, 2008

Operation Petticoat

I have been trying to see the classics for a couple of years now. I'm not so sure that Operation Petticoat is considered a classic, but it does star Tony Curtiss (father of Jamie Lee) and Cary Grant, who is a classic actor. The movie was directed by Blake Edwards, director of the infamous Pink Panther movies and Breakfast at Tiffany's. The movie even casts minor roles for Marion Ross (Happy Days) and Dick Sargent (I Dream of Jeanie).

Operation Petticoat is a comedy about the U.S.S. Sea Tiger, a U.S. submarine during World War II. The movie follows the zany adventures of the sub and it's eclectic and often times dysfunctional crew members.

The movie starts off with an attack on the naval base and the Sea Tiger is sunk. Cary Grant (Lt. Commander Sherman) is given permission to raise and repair his ship, but only with a skeleton crew. Furthermore, he is given Naval dandy supply officer Lt. JG Nicholas Holden (Curtiss). Holden's naval experience does not exceed organizing some social activities for the Officers' Ladies Club.

Because of the shortage of supplies, Cmd Sherman cannot repair his ship. Holden, however, uses ingenuity and comes up with the supplies through some creative acquisitions.

Once off at sea, they attack a ship near an island, only to learn that some American nurses are trying to escape. The rest of the movie deals with interactions between the men and the women and Captain Sherman trying to maintain some sort of normalcy on their voyage. Things are only complicated when the ship needs to be primed and painted because of the recent repairs. The paint situations causes them to paint the ship pink.

This movie is clever and classical funny from the days of yore, not the in-your-face kind of funny of today's movies. Operation Petticoat was made in 1959, the same year that Grant starred in the critically acclaimed North By Northwest. Had it been rated by today's standards, it probably would have been rated PG-13 for theatrical violence and some sexual undertones.

I give this movie 4 stars. I enjoyed it, but remember that I have a bias towards older movies. But this one is in color, so don't be too afraid to watch it.

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