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Operation Petticoat [Blu-ray]
(Blake Edwards, 1959)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Universal International Pictures (UI)
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 21,853,836,997 bytes
Feature Size: 21,764,222,976 bytes
Video Bitrate: 22.00 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: July 1st, 2014
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
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)
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.
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.
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.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
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 probably benefits the most from the lossless rendering. There are no subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.
No supplements - not even a trailer which is the route that Olive are going with most of their releases.
June 16th, 2014
About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.
Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who
focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I
find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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