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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Operation Petticoat [Blu-ray]

 

(Blake Edwards, 1959)

 

 

Olive's first 'Signature' Blu-ray releases:

 Macbeth

(1948)

 High Noon (1952)

 Johnny Guitar (1954)

The Night of the Grizzly

(1966)

 The Quiet Man (1952)

 Hannie Caulder

(1971)

 Father Goose (1964)

Operation Petticoat

(1959)

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Universal International Pictures (UI)

Video: Olive Films / Olive Signature

 

Disc:

Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 2:00:43.236 / 2:00:20.296

Disc Size: 21,853,836,997 bytes / 47,481,690,869 bytes

Feature Size: 21,764,222,976 bytes / 30,116,278,272 bytes

Video Bitrate: 22.00 Mbps / 35.00 mbps

Chapters: 9 / 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case / Standard Blu-rays case is cardboard slipcase

Release date: July 1st, 2014 / November 28th, 2017

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.78:1 / 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 828 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 828 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)

 

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1791 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1791 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 /
48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1567 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1567 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 /
48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

 

Subtitles:

None / English (SDH), none

 

Extras:

• None

 

Audio commentary by critic Adrian Martin
That’s What Everybody Says About Me” – with Jennifer Edwards and actress Lesley Ann Warren (11:30)
The Brave Crew of the Petticoat” – with actors Gavin MacLeod and Marion Ross (20:19)
The Captain and His Double: Cary Grant’s Struggle of the Self” – with Marc Eliot, author of Cary Grant: A Biography (28:42)
Universal Newsreel footage of Cary Grant and the opening of Operation Petticoat at the Radio City Music Hall (4:05)
Archival footage of the submarine USS Balao, which doubled as the USS Sea Tiger in Operation Petticoat (17:10)
Essay by critic Chris Fujiwara

limited edition pressing of 3,500 units

 

Bitrate:

1) Olive - Region 'A' - Blu-ray  - TOP

2) Olive (Signature) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray  BOTTOM

 

 

Description: Rear Admiral Matt Sherman (Cary Grant) visits the submarine Sea Tiger on the morning of its decommissioning and reminisces about his time as the first commander of the boat, in 1941. Three days after Pearl Harbor, the sub is damaged during an enemy air raid in the Philippines; rather than abandoning her, Sherman and his chiefs refloat the boat. He's forced to accept the services of Lt. (jg) Nick Holden (Tony Curtis), who has no sea experience. Sherman appoints Holden -- a born conniver, deal-maker, and scrounger (his motto: "In confusion, there is profit") -- as supply officer, and through a series of burglaries and petty thefts he gets the Sea Tiger seaworthy again. Up to this point, the movie is an increasingly amusing service comedy, akin to the lighter moments of Mr. Roberts, running on Grant's wry exasperation and Curtis's cool arrogance, coupled with Arthur O'Connell's periodic sardonic yet optimistic jabs at their situation and Gavin MacLeod's fidgety nervousness.

 

 

The Film:

Directed by Blake Edwards from a screenplay by Stanley Shapiro and Maurice Richlin screenplay, Operation Petticoat (1959) was supposed to be a studio picture costing about a million dollars and shot in black and white. Maurice Richlin explained, "The first choice of romantic comedy writers was Cary Grant. When Cary said yes, the budget jumped to more than three million (a lot in those days) and went into color creating the now famous "pink sub". With a slight touch of anarchy and a complete disregard for authority, Operation Petticoat rates a perfect ten in the genre of service comedies.

Grant plays Admiral Matt Sherman, Commander of the submarine U.S.S. Seat Tiger, which is stationed in the Philippines at the beginning of World War II. Joining him is Nick Holden (Tony Curtis), as his conniving junior officer. The story is narrated by Grant, reading selected logs to us from the U.S.S. Sea Tiger captain's journal, a gimmick that was later used in the TV series, Star Trek.

Excerpt from TCM located HERE

After the end of WWII, Adm. Matt Sherman (Cary Grant) reads over his log from the USS Sea Tiger, the submarine he captains. Sherman is about to turn over the command of the sub to Lt. Nick Holden (Tony Curtis), who is assigned to squire it until it is destroyed and replaced by a nuclear vessel. The movie unwinds in flashback as Sherman recalls some of the events in the sub's life--particularly how that life was renewed when he became determined to raise the Sea Tiger in the wake of an attack in Manila Bay. It's December 1941 and, with help from Holden, who secures the supplies and gear to help restore the badly damaged sub, Sherman and his crew take to the waters. Along the way, they are joined by five stranded nurses, a couple of Filipino families, and a goat. The sailors ferry them out of harm's way, especially enjoying the presence of the nurses--a chesty bunch who always seem to be passing the hot young sailors in the sub's very narrow corridors. They also paint the sub pink. There's not much story to speak of, and the jokes are more than a bit sexist, but the gags are bright and Blake Edwards's direction adroit enough to make OPERATION PETTICOAT an enjoyable time. A TV series was later attempted, but never came close to the energy of the movie.

Excerpt from TV Guide located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Operation Petticoat has a modest Blu-ray transfer from Olive Films. This is only single-layered and there are a few sequences where the black levels look crushed. It can also look a bit dirty and there are a few scratches and speckles. Colors are the most impressive attribute of the 1080P and there is some occasional depth. The black levels seem a shade inconsistent - probably due more to the source than the transfer. It is in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio. Detail is superior than SD could relate and it the weaknesses tend to look less noticeable in-motion. The Blu-ray video is imperfect but not fatally so - the visuals are less stellar than many might anticipate.

 

Olive's new Signature Blu-ray is cited as a "New High-Definition digital restoration". It has a max'ed out bitrate but not a film-level restoration. It's richer and darker than Olive's own 2014 bare-bones 1080P transfer. It's a shade blue/yellow-leaning, still has direct, debris and speckles and the framing is now 1.85:1 - slightly cropped on top and bottom from the older 1.78:1, opened-up, rendering. There are still issues with inconsistency (softness, color bleeding) - bottom line is that it is better but still requires a deeper effort for the film to reach premium levels on Blu-ray.      

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Subtitle Sample Olive (Signature) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

 

1) Olive - Region 'A' - Blu-ray  - TOP

2) Olive (Signature) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray  BOTTOM

 

 

1) Olive - Region 'A' - Blu-ray  - TOP

2) Olive (Signature) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray  BOTTOM

 

 

1) Olive - Region 'A' - Blu-ray  - TOP

2) Olive (Signature) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray  BOTTOM

 

 

More Olive (Signature) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray Captures

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Olive use a DTS-HD Master mono track at a puny 828 kbps. I don't doubt it sounds authentic and some of the, more aggressive, effects (bomb expositions, fire) show a bit of depth. It's the score by David Rose and an uncredited Henry Mancini (Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation, Experiment in Terror, Charade), that benefits the most from the lossless rendering.  There are no subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

The 'Olive Signature' audio transfer is more robust and 24-bit (as opposed to 16-bit.) So it has more depth, heavier bass response and it now offers optional English (SDH) subtitles. It is Region 'A'-locked.  

 

 

Extras :

No supplements - not even a trailer which is the route that Olive are going with most of their releases.

 

This is where Olive's new release make the most significant advance, imo. There is a new audio commentary by critic Adrian Martin who offers plenty of value with details of Blake Edwards' comedic style, and plenty of Cary Grant - very worthwhile to indulge. That’s What Everybody Says About Me” has with Jennifer Edwards and actress Lesley Ann Warren talking about Cary Grant an the production for almost a dozen minutes. The Brave Crew of the Petticoat” has interviews with actors Gavin MacLeod and Marion Ross with discussion of their career start and reminiscing about the production. It runs over 20-minutes. The Captain and His Double: Cary Grant’s Struggle of the Self” has Marc Eliot, author of Cary Grant: A Biography for almost 1/2 hour. There is some Universal Newsreel footage of Cary Grant and the opening of Operation Petticoat at the Radio City Music Hall, archival footage of the submarine USS Balao, which doubled as the USS Sea Tiger in Operation Petticoat and a text essay in digital by critic Chris Fujiwara. The limited edition release is of 3,500 units.

 

Olive - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

 

Olive (Signature) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I admit - I wasn't into this at all. I recall trying to get into the DVD of Operation Petticoat with a similar reaction (hence no SD review). I liked Cary Grant as the Rear Admiral - and in a different mood - I would probably find this appealing. The Olive Blu-ray has some inconsistencies and, typical for them, is bare-bones. So... I find this price exorbitant for the value offered. Perhaps 'Blake Edwards' or 'Cary Grant' completists might be the best market. I'm not very enthusiastic. At almost $30, I'd say 'pass'.

 

While I finally enjoyed the film, more power to the Adrian Martin commentary, and the a/v transfer has improved. Plus there are other extras. It seems more like correcting the weakness of the first bare-bones Blu-ray. Funny, cute film - some nostalgia here. The Olive Signature is the way to do and the extras make it valuable.    

Gary Tooze

June 16th, 2014

November 25th, 2017

 

Olive's first 'Signature' Blu-ray releases:

 Macbeth

(1948)

 High Noon (1952)

 Johnny Guitar (1954)

The Night of the Grizzly

(1966)

 The Quiet Man (1952)

 Hannie Caulder

(1971)

 Father Goose (1964)

Operation Petticoat

(1959)




 

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