Starring: Cary Grant, Tony Curtis, Joan O’Brien
Director: Blake Edwards
Running Time: 126 mins
Operation Petticoat is an American film about a US submarine that takes on a crew of army nurses following the attack on Pearl Harbor, and the female presence on board causes chaos for the sailors.
This is a really weak comedy. It may have the great charm of lead actors Cary Grant and Tony Curtis, and the odd good slapstick gag, but in reality, this isn’t a funny film, and one that becomes not only boring, but quite annoying as it goes on.
Let’s start, however, on the positive side. I may call this comedy ‘weak’, but at least it’s light-hearted. It’s the sort of thing you can watch without thinking at all, and if you do that, you’ll probably enjoy it a little more, thanks to the upbeat and silly feel of it all, and pretty much no emphasis on the whole Second World War setting.
What’s more is that Cary Grant and Tony Curtis are, as usual, a great joy to watch. In a more intelligent and grounded role than a lot of his screwball comedies, Grant is suave and cool as anything, whilst Curtis, playing the wayward womanising colonel, provides a lot of the silly fun of the whole thing.
That’s why this isn’t a terrible film, but the problem is that I can’t call it an enjoyable film due to the quality of the comedy. It’s simply not funny enough, because the entire conflict between the women and the men is overplayed and repeated to excess throughout, making this a pretty boring comedy.
It’s also the fact that the story has pretty much no interest in telling anything about the early days of US involvement in the Second World War, apart from the odd battle scene, and is instead just going for pure stupidity with pink submarines and women being annoying.
Overall, this gets a 5.9, because it’s just too weak a comedy to be funny, and too boring a story to be interesting.