Title: Operation Petticoa
Director: Blake Edwards
Writers: Stanley Shapiro, Maurice Richlin, Paul King, Joseph Stone
This pink submarine farce is indeed an amusing adventure for a summer night in Shanghai. Made in 1959, the same year when SOME LIKE IT HOT came out, both stars Tony Curtis, but the latter is much more renowned for its groundbreaking intrepidity with sexual misidentification, which excels also in its narrative tempo and consecutive gags.
Nevertheless, OPERATION PETTICOAT, on the other hand, is marvelous under another circumstance, a closed submarine, the female sex-appealing mingled with misogynous among male crew ensues a fistful of jests, which are under a proper temperature and tempo lest to engender antipathy.
Cary Grant again reins the film using his comedic talent, compared with ARSENIC AND OLD LACE (1944), this round his performance is more unpretentious (it seems that a 15-year stretch does improve one’s acting skills). Tony Curtis as the co-lead, whose lady-killer persona doesn’t contribute any novelty here, but several intermezzi are memorably funny (in particular the piglet-snatching scene, which is hilarious)! All other female characters and secondary male characters mainly serve as props, which push the narrative heavily on Cary and Tony’s charisma, but strangely enough the sparkle between these two are meager and insipid (please check SOME LIKE IT HOT 1959, if you disagree).
Its Oscar nominated script can be regarded as a dearly pep talk, looking at the nomination lists of these years, a sad truth is that a mainstream comedy can barely be visible, not to mentioning directors and actors, even in the script category it is a null, god knows how tough to write a qualified script for comedies which must be all-demographically suitable.