Operation Petticoat, 1959

Cary Grant played Lt. Cmdr. Matt T. Sherman, the captain of a WWII submarine stuck with some army nurses and a pink sub. Tony Curtis, now 84 years old, played Lt. JG Nicholas Holden when he was 34.

This film, directed by Blake Edwards, was shot in the Florida Keys and in San Diego. This wasn’t the first time Tony Curtis was on a submarine. According to imdb.com, he worked as a crewman on a sub. He was honorably discharged from the Navy when he realized that the GI Bill would allow him to go to acting school.

The writers were nominated for an Academy Award. A Golden Globe nomination was received for Best Motion Picture – Comedy, and for Cary Grant’s work, a nomination for Best Motion Picture Actor – Musical/Comedy.

The nurses added to the comedy. Joan O’Brien played Lt. Dolores Crandall, and classy Dina Merrill played Lt. Barbara Duran. Marion Ross who played another nurse, Lt. Colfax, went on to gain a household name as Marion Cunningham of Happy Days.

Tony Curtis was thrilled about being in a movie with Cary Grant. “He could have picked anyone, but he allowed me the privilege to be in the movie with him.” He called Cary Grant “the greatest movie actor of all time.”

1959 was a busy year for movies. Cary Grant was in North by Northwest which also released that year. Tony Curtis was in Some Like It Hot, which released earlier that same year. Arthur O’Connell played Chief Machinist’s Mate Sam Tostin. A popular character actor, he was in four movies which released that same year: Operation Petticoat with Cary Grant and Tony Curtis, Hound-Dog Man with Fabian, Anatomy of a Murder with James Stewart, and Gidget with Sandra Dee, James Darren, and Cliff Robertson.

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