[WIW] A Submariner watches "Operation Petticoat"

Ghoti

Pronounced "Fish."
Validated User
For anyone who is new to this series, I am a former US Navy submariner. I have been watching various submarine movies and reporting on their accuracy.

I have already done Crimson Tide and Down Periscope .

Now, I'll be doing Operation Petticoat.

This one dates back to 1959. It's directed by Blake Edwards and stars Cary Grant and Tony Curtis. Actors in the movie that later became notable are Dick Sargent (the second Darren Stevens from Bewitched), Marion Ross (Mrs. Cunningham, from Happy Days) and Gavin McLeod (captain of the Love Boat).

As with Down Periscope, I do realize that most of the inaccuracies were to make jokes. I enjoyed this movie (thanks, Commander Pulsar, for letting me borrow it). I think that what you want me to do, though, is to look at the movie and say what would really have happened, so that's what I'm doing.

Some people in my last thread suggested that I just do one huge thread and keep adding on new movies. Some of my friends, though, don't have that much time to read the threads but still want to read my reviews. If one of the mods will do the edits after the time expires, I'd like to keep putting the review in the first few posts with the discussion after that. I'll put a link to my previous reviews in the first post for any newcomers, and a post at the end of each thread with a link to the next movie review.

And now for part 1 of 3.

In the opening credits, the screen shows a view of the surface through the periscope. The sub submerges and various fish and sea life is seen through the scope. We generally lowered the scope when we were going deep. We did raise the scope before we came to periscope depth – we had it angled up so that we could look for any dark shapes or shadows. Colors start to get filtered out by the sea water at fairly shallow depths, so until we were almost to the surface fish wouldn't be nearly as vibrantly colored as they are here. I never looked through the scope as we were coming up, I don't know for sure if we ever saw fish like this. Since we were constantly moving, though, I doubt it.

After the opening credits, we see a pier at a naval base (probably supposed to be Pearl Harbor). A black car is driving down the pier. The car is flying a flag from the right front quarter panel with two stars on it. When I was in, all official cars were white with a US Navy stencil on the doors, but since this movie was filmed 4 years before I was born, it might have changed.

There is pretty much no movement on the pier. It must be pretty early for a pier with this many ships on it. Otherwise, there would be ships and vehicles moving everywhere.

The driver gets out and opens the door for Admiral Matt Sherman (Cary Grant). The driver is a Chief Petty Officer. It probably would have been a more junior enlisted man.

A quick note on Naval uniforms – they haven't changed. The Chief is a Boatswain's Mate – you can tell this by the symbol above his chevrons. His chevrons are on the left sleeve only. His chevrons and the four diagonal lines at the bottom of his sleeve are gold. The four diagonals at the bottom of his sleeve are service stripes. You get one ever 4 years, so he has been in for over 16 years. Since all of the stripes are gold, he has gone at least the last 12 years without any major screwups that would cost him his good conduct medal – otherwise, the stripes would be red.

Sherman gets out of the car with a brief case and walks across the brow onto a WWII fleet submarine, the USS Sea Tiger. He salutes vaguely toward the watchstander, then salutes the watchstander again as he walks on board. The first salute is supposed to be toward the ensign (the American flag, in this case, for those of you who don't speak Navy). Underway, the ensign is hanging from the bridge, the general direction that he saluted. When a sub is moored, though, they move the ensign back to the aft end of the deck, so his first salute was in the wrong direction. And like most military movies, his salutes left a lot to be desired.

Admiral Sherman exchanges good mornings with the watchstander. When I was in, the watchstander would check the Admiral's ID. If you weren't a member of the crew, they had to check your ID. There were no exceptions. Again, though, they could have tightened security since 1959.

A chief comes topside. He exchanges pleasantries and salutes with the Admiral (already, this one is more accurate than Crimson Tide). Sherman goes below to wait for the captain. The chief walks over to talk to the watchstander. The watchstander asks who the admiral was. The chief says “That's Sherman.” It probably would have been “That's Admiral Sherman.” The watchstander is impressed, but then asks “But what's he doing here at 6 in the morning?” This explains the empty pier.

The chief chides the watchstander. “Don't you know anything about submarines?” The watchstander replies “Yeah, know about Sherman. He's boss of submarines in the Pacific.” Cringe. He'd call him COMSUBPAC, for COMmander of SUBmarine forces in the PACific. The chief tells the watchstander that Sherman was also the first commander of the Sea Tiger. Since the Sea Tiger is scheduled to be decommissioned at 9:00 that morning, Sherman is there to say his goodbyes.

Sherman walks down a passageway, taking it all in. He walks into the Captain's cabin, sits down, and pulls a notebook out of his briefcase. It's the USS Seatiger's Captain's Journal. I don't think these actually existed. Sherman opens the book and starts reading the first page. “10 December, 1941. Moored in Cavite Harbor, Philippines, for fuel and provisions.” The first page of the first captain's journal starts when they are clear across the Pacific refueling. I guess nothing noteworthy happened during commissioning and the transit across the Pacific.

As Sherman reads that the Sea Tiger will be ready to pull out at 19:00, the camera closes on the book and you begin to hear an air raid siren. A chief sticks his head into the Captain's cabin, where LCDR Sherman is writing the entry, and tells him that enemy planes are overhead. As soon as he heard the siren, Sherman would have dropped the book and run topside.

Topside, we see a man in his boxer shorts firing one of the sub's .50 caliber machine guns at one of the Japanese planes. It's the middle of the work day when the sub is preparing to get underway. Why wasn't he wearing pants? I guess it was so we could see his name stenciled across the middle of the seat. We didn't stencil them there. We did stencil them. In boot camp. Another guy is running down the pier, trying to pull his pants on over his boots. What is it with everyone taking off their pants in the middle of the work day?

By the way, it's a beautiful day. There is not a cloud in the sky. It's December 10th, in the Philippines. It's the middle of monsoon season. The weather would make Washington look dry.

In the aftermath of the attack, the base is trashed. All of the stores that the crew of the Sea Tiger were loading are trashed. The Sea Tiger herself is sunk at the pier. The conning tower and the railings are all you can see above the water line. Something else that is below the water line? The book that Sherman was just writing in. The book that he has must be a replacement, procured who knows when, but it still has that day's entry. Aside from that entry, though, the lack of any previous entries is explained.

This part of the movie was based on what happened to the USS Sea Lion, which was sunk at the pier by the Japanese on December 10, 1941. They salvaged everything from her that they could, stuffed a few depth charges inside, and blew her up on Christmas of 1941 to prevent her capture by the Japanese.

Sherman is in the office of the base commander telling him that they have taken minor damage. “Minor damage? What will it take to convince you? You've been sunk!” He's right. Every motor on the sub has been salted. To clean them out, you have to flush them thoroughly with pure water, then dry them out. It takes hours per motor. You have to give the same treatment to each of the diesels (in the movie, the diesels never do fully recover). Sonar and radio will never work again (to their credit, I don't think they ever use sonar, and the radio gives them problems).

And then we have one of my biggest submarine movie pet peeves. One system is NEVER mentioned. This system is arguably the most important component on a WWII fleet boat. It's still quite important on a modern nuclear sub. It's the battery.

If the batteries got flooded, they are not going to produce anything but chlorine gas until they are drained, repaired, and refilled with electrolyte. If the battery wells haven't flooded by some miracle, they are sitting there with no ventilation. Batteries produce hydrogen. If you just turn on the battery vent fan, there is a good chance that you will get an explosion. You'd have to open the hatch and suck out the hydrogen with an explosion proof blower. The sub would have one or two – if they hadn't just been soaked in salt water. The rest of the base has been trashed, as well. Good luck getting one there.

I know that the point of the movie is to give us a submarine that is almost completely crippled. Unfortunately, they overdid it a bit. After reading Sherman's report, the port captain says “All you've got out there is a periscope sitting on a couple of tons of scrap metal.”

Sherman promises that his chiefs and his crew can get the sub refloated and back into the war. The captain points out that the Japanese are expected to invade in less than 2 weeks. Sherman points out that they just need to be able to get it to the nearest sub tender. Again, the captain objects. That's in Darwin, Australia, and it's 2000 miles away.

Sherman appeals to the captain. “Sea Tiger was built to fight. She deserves a better epitaph than “Built 1940, sank 1941, engagements: none, shots fired: none.” The captain gives him the two weeks. “Did you ever sell used cars? No? I've got a hunch that you've missed your calling.”

As he's leaving, Sherman points out that he's already lost 3 officers and 18 crewmen to other ships and asks when he can get them back. He can't, but the port captain says that he will give Sherman what replacements he can.

Next comes a montage of repairs. The captain is doing his best helicopter impersonation as he hovers over every task. During the repairs, it looks like the ensign is still hanging from the staff at the aft end of the deck. The ensign is half in the water. No. One of the first things that they'd do is move the flag to the bridge. Yes, they're in port, but you don't let the flag hang in the water any more than you let it drag on the ground.

They manage to refloat the Sea Tiger, but it's got a bit of a port list.

One of the men is happy because he found the remains of a cake that his mother sent. Why was he so happy? It's ruined. It's been underwater.

Frankly, it probably wasn't that great when it arrived. When I got to my first boat, I pointed out to my family how long it could take for any care packages to reach me. A ship's mailing address is “<ship name>, FPO AP (or Area Pacific – it'd be FPO AA for an Atlantic based ship, or AE if it was based in Europe). San Francisco, CA (New York for AA or AE), and a zip. The mail would go to San Francisco. From there, it would be in the Navy's hands. They would send it to your home port. From there, it would go to the next place that you were scheduled to go. Since ship schedules were generally firmly carved in warm jello, it could take months for it to reach you. And that was in peace time.

The chief tells the guy with the ruined cake to have the cooks warm it up for him. As the sailor walks away, the chief looks through the scope (for aircraft? Or just making sure it works?) and mutters “Mothers. Why couldn't she send him anything we NEED, like an universal coupling joint?”

No, the chief isn't looking for aircraft. He's just looking at the pier, wasting time. He starts laughing. The XO asks him what it is. “I don't know, sir!” and he gives the scope to the XO, who gives the scope to Sherman, who starts laughing, as well. A young officer in dress whites is threading his way down the pier, followed by someone else who is carrying luggage. A lot of luggage. Including a golf bag.

To me, their laughter is a but much. Yeah, OK, he's got way too much stuff to bring on a sub with him. His uniform is completely inappropriate for a sub that is under repair. Still, if you don't know what the uniform of the day is, you tend to report to your new command in your dress uniform. And it wasn't unusual for people to report to the sub with way too much stuff – almost anything is way too much stuff. And this guy left home during peace time. The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor just a few weeks ago.

The XO recognizes their new officer. He is Lt. Nick Holden. He's the darling of the highbrow social set in Honolulu. “He and the admiral's wife won the rumba championship two years in a row!”

As Lt. Holden (Tony Curtis) arrives at the sub, everyone stops to stare. Sherman comes down from the conning tower and tells everyone to get back to work. Sherman, wiping grease off of his hands, crosses the brow to meet him. Sherman apologizes for the crew's stares. He blames it on the aiguillette that Holden is wearing. “They don't often see an admiral's aide without the admiral.” Actually, they wouldn't often see the admiral at all. Holden explains that his admiral was supposed to transfer to the base. He had been sent on ahead to make arrangements, but then the war broke out.

As they are talking, one of the chiefs comes up to report. Some of the bearings are good, but they still need a lot of parts. “Hasn't Hunkle sent in the requisitions?” “Yeah, but we never get anything. We might as well be sending a letter to Santy Clause.” He, too stares at Holden. I really don't see his uniform as being all that funny.

Sherman tries to figure out what to do with Holden. He needs a good torpedo and gunnery officer, but Holden knows nothing about them. Or about navigation, or communications. Sherman asks Holden what he did before he was an admiral's aide. It turns out that he was the Naval Liaison to Hollywood. Then he was the recreation officer at the Royal Arms Hotel in Honolulu. His only sea duty was one week spent aboard a destroyer before they got it straightened out. He has no useful skills aboard a submarine.

Sherman goes to talk to Hunkle, the ship's yeoman (sort of a secretary). (Hunkle is Gavin McLeod). He's in some kind of a supply office. The office is way too big to be on board. It's also nothing like any store room that we had. Our store rooms were all wall to wall shelves. You had to cram as many parts and supplies as you could into the available space.

A crewman is sitting on a shelf playing a guitar (when everyone is supposed to be busting their asses to get everything fixed and get underway). If he's in a supply office, he probably stows it in one of the store rooms when he's not using it. Of course, if he had his guitar on board the sub, it got destroyed when the sub sank. Since they are having so much trouble getting anything, I seriously doubt that he managed to acquire a guitar here.

Sherman asks Hunkle about all of the requisitions. None of them have been filled. “Did you stamp them 'Urgent?'” Hunkle even had to requisition an Urgent stamp, because they don't have one. So far, though, the only requisition that has been filled was for more requisition forms. Frankly, I can understand this. The supply people on the island are busy getting everything ready to be either shipped off of the island or destroyed. Nothing new is coming in. Any requisitions from that sub that sank at the pier are probably tossed immediately. The supply clerks have more important work to do.

The guy with the guitar starts playing and singing. Hunkle tells Holden that he's the Prophet. His song is full of doom and gloom. It's tough when you have people like that on board. They can really kill morale.

As Sherman dictates a letter to Hunkle about toilet paper (apparently the supply depot there can't identify it, even though Hunkle provided a sample), Holden finds his niche. He tells Sherman that he's doing what people in Las Vegas call “trying to make his point the hard way.” What he needs is a supply officer who knows the back alley ways to acquire things, instead of requisitioning everything. While Holden looks like he belongs in the society pages now, he grew up in a very bad neighborhood. He knows how to wheel and deal. Sherman tells Holden that he's not the volunteering type and asks him what his angle is. Holden replies that they are both after the same thing – to get the submarine out of there. Sherman wants to fight the war. Holden is an optimist. He's sure that, wherever they go, he can work out a little better deal than the one he's got. Reluctantly, Sherman gives Holden a shopping list. As he leaves, Sherman slaps Holden on the shoulder, leaving a big, black, greasy hand print on his dress whites.

That night, Holden, Hunkle, and the Prophet break into the supply depot wearing all black with their faces blacked out.. They start making a pile of everything that they need next to the door. In the middle of his gloom and doom predictions, the Prophet reminds Hunkle that he promised the guys that he'd turn his back when the shooting starts so that Gertie don't get splattered. It turns out that Gertie is a tattoo of a beautiful naked woman that Hunkle got tattooed on his chest once when he was very drunk. He was supposed to go home and get married, but with the tattoo, he couldn't. He re-enlisted instead.

The whole “Getting drunk and getting tattooed” thing was pretty common. I knew a lot of people who did it in places like the Philippines. The ones that I knew were lucky. A lot of places have pretty low health standards. You could get any number of diseases from getting jabbed repeatedly by needles of questionable cleanliness.

They hear MP's pulling up outside of the supply depot. Lt. Holden steps out to talk to them. He claims to be working there. The MP checks his ID and asks him about the black clothes and face paint. Lt. Holden goes on the offensive, citing a new order from Admiral Nimitz that called for new blackout precautions, including face paint. The fake order that Holden cites applies to all Navy personnel. This guy isn't Navy – the Navy has SP's, not MP's. He may be a marine, though. Holden threatens to put him on report, then relents and hands the MP a can of shoe polish. As the MP's drive away, they are smearing shoe polish on their faces.

At the start of the war, Admiral Nimitz was the chief of the Bureau of Navigation. He did not take over as CINCPACFLT (Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet) until December 31, 1941. The Sea Tiger was supposed to get underway by December 26th. Nimitz wasn't CINCPACFLT yet, so no orders would have come from him. They might have heard that he was coming, though, because he was given the assignment on the 17th. At the time, I don't know that a common sailor or marine would have recognized his name, though.

The men with Holden were wondering how they were supposed to get the stuff back to the sub. Holden goes outside and signals with a flash light. A deuce and a half (2 ½ ton Army truck) pulls up.

Next, the crew is unloading the truck at the pier. From conversations with the chiefs, they didn't just raid the supply depot. They took a refrigeration unit from an operating ice house. “It was cold in that ice house!” The thing that they were carrying doesn't look much like a refrigeration unit, though. Refrigeration units have condensers and compressors. To be of any use for a submarine, they have to be fairly large. This thing had neither.

Sherman asks Holden how he got the Army truck. Holden introduces Sgt. Ramone Gallardo, a Marine (Holden always calls him Ramone. If Holden wasn't Holden, this would be an inaccuracy). Apparently, Holden offered Ramone a place on the crew of the Sea Tiger if he helped them in their theft. Along with the theft, Ramone is committing another offense, here. It's called Desertion, and it is one of the few offenses that the UCMJ allows the death penalty for. By allowing the sergeant to come along, Sherman is an accessory. It's a lot more serious than the movie makes it.

When Ramone walks away, you see a big white P on the back of his uniform. He was a prisoner who escaped when the stockade was bombed. Holden sought him out because he's the best operator in the Philippines. Within a few months of his assignment as a general's personal chef, he was running one of the best restaurants in Manila. He was arrested when the Marines found out that the Corps was paying for all of the meats and the silverware. Ummm... no. You could get a lot better meat from the local economy than you ever could from the military supply system.

Sherman has to take Ramone on, though. Holden uses a classic blackmailer's gambit. By allowing him to steal everything that they need to get underway, Sherman is guilty himself. If they don't take Ramone along, he will tell everyone about the thefts, and Sherman will go down.

You then meet Ensign Stovall (Dick Sargent). He praises Holden for getting almost everything on the list. Sherman tells him “Think of it as a stripper. Don't ask how it's done – just appreciate what's coming off.”

Sherman writes about the thefts in his Commander's Journal. Confessing to a theft in an official document which would be subject to review is not a very smart move. It would have been better for Sherman to put something like this into a letter to a relative or something, except that letters were subject to censoring.

Sherman says in his journal that, where things weren't available at the supply depot, Holden had to improvise. It shows an MP getting into his jeep only to find the steering wheel missing. It then shows the steering wheel being fitted onto a piece of the Sea Tiger's equipment as a valve hand wheel.

The port captain is dressing Sherman down over the thefts. He's overlooked everything before, but now Sherman has gone too far! A big section of the captain's office wall is missing, and he wants it back.

The crew of the Sea Tiger did have a piece of corrugated metal like that at one time. It was before Holden came aboard. No way would it have gone unnoticed that long. Metal like that is completely unsuitable for use on a submarine, anyway. It's too thin.

An air raid siren goes off. Sherman hops into a jeep to head down to the Sea Tiger. The port captain goes along. This would never happen. In case of an attack, the captain would have a specific place to go to organize the defense. He's in charge.

The attack ends quickly. The Sea Tiger's camouflage net caught fire and had to be cut down, so the Japanese know that she is there and can bomb her any time they choose. Her anti-aircraft gun is out of commission, so Sherman asks for permission to get underway immediately. He tells the port captain that he only plans to go as far as Cebu and complete repairs there. The port captain is incredulous. “That's 400 miles. You'd be lucky to get 400 FEET!” Sherman asks his chiefs about the condition of the boat. All of them say that their equipment is in perfect condition. The captain doesn't believe a word of it, but tells Sherman to take his scavengers and “these liars” (his chiefs) and get underway. He puts one stipulation on it. Sherman is not to engage any shipping – not even a life boat.

After the port captain leaves, Sherman asks his engineman chief how the boat really is. He has the #1 engine in working order. He's not sure about #2. Sherman asks about #3 and #4. The chief has been using them for parts for #1 and #2. Sherman has been keeping on top of everything (like a good commander should). He wouldn't have had to ask.

When the bombing started, Holden took off. The confusion of the attack would lead to opportunity. When the port captain gets back to his office, he is told that someone stole the security officer's safe. When the port captain goes into his inner office, he sees that all of his office furniture is also gone. None of this stuff would be useful on a submarine. I could see getting stuff that you don't need to exchange it for something else, but not here. Even if they had unlimited time (and Holden didn't know that they would be getting underway ASAP), they weren't trading for anything. You don't need barter when you are stealing everything outright.

The port captain states that they have been victims of Sherman's March to the Sea.
 
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Ghoti

Pronounced "Fish."
Validated User
On the Sea Tiger, the Sherman gives the order to get ready on #1 engine. This is their best engine, but it refuses to start. A witch doctor comes up to the pier with two drummers and is greeted by Lt. Holden (wearing a life jacket). Sherman tries to get rid of him, but the witch doctor persists. And the #1 engine starts. They pull away from the pier, but the #1 engine keeps backfiring and blowing out huge clouds of smoke. As they pull away, the witch doctor takes off his mask and says “They'll never make it.”

With everything in that bad condition, they would only have pulled out to sea if they were truly desperate. As it was, though, their choices were to try to make it someplace where they could repair or to join the land defense.

They limp along on the surface all night. At dawn, they reluctantly dive. They do fine at 58' (periscope depth for that class). Sherman takes it down to 100' to check for leaks. They close all of the watertight doors. We see that, along with stealing from everyone else, Lt. Holden also made sacrifices to get them underway. The handles for a lot of the valves in the engine room are his golf clubs.

Despite all expectations (and despite the hull moaning and groaning), the Sea Tiger does fine in her dive.

As Sherman heads to the wardroom, Sgt. Ramone, who is carrying a tray, tells him that he'll be in the wardroom in a moment if Sherman wants some breakfast. It turns out that the tray is for Lt. Holden – he's having breakfast in bed. Sherman offers to take it to him.

Holden is sitting in his bed using a vibrating massager on his neck. Sherman talks to him politely, but it eventually Holden realizes that it's all sarcastic. “I guess after breakfast you'll want to go up on deck and play a little shuffleboard. This war must be rather inconvenient for you.” Sherman tells him that from here on in, they will all eat together and they will all work together. Until now, he hasn't raised his voice. Then he yells at Holden that he has THREE MINUTES TO GET OFF HIS FAT MATRESS and report to the XO for instruction. Sherman is going to make a submariner out of Holden.

Holden explains that he won't be wanting breakfast in bed every day. He had just heard that they would be submerging at dawn. Sherman tells him that they are already submerged. “But we can come up again?” “If we can't come up, what happens?” “If we can't come up, we go down.” “WHAT KIND OF AN ANSWER IS THAT?” It's an honest one.

In reality, we would look forward to diving. Modern submarines are round and have no keel. They rock and roll on the surface far worse than a surface ship. Since we spend so little time on the surface, we never get our sea legs. If it's rough out, a lot of us would be struggling to try to keep our lunches down and moaning “How far to the dive point?” Once you were past periscope depth, the sub was steady as a rock. I've cruised under typhoons at 400' and barely noticed.

Sherman asks why Holden joined the Navy to begin with. It was Holden's way of escaping poverty and finding a rich wife. A uniform can get you into all kinds of places that would otherwise have been denied to him. He is now engaged to a railroad heiress.

As the conversation winds down, Holden notices that there is about 1/4” of water on the deck. “Is this normal, or should I be nervous again?”

Sherman rushes from into the passageway. One of the chiefs tells him “One of our sea connections carried away. We got it fixed, but we need to surface to repair it.” For it to have put that much water into the boat, it would not have been reported to the captain in the passageway. It would have been called away as flooding.

They pull into an island with a sheltered harbor to make the repairs. To get Holden out from underfoot, they send him out with his men to scout the island. This is a Bad Idea. When he comes back this time, he brings women with him. Ensign Stovall first says “Now that's what I call scavenging!” When Sherman glares at him, he backpedals. “I meant, I'm sure that we can find a use for them.” Sherman replies “I can think of a lot of uses for them, but not here and now!”

The women are 5 nurses – Major Heywood, Lt. Reid, Lt. Colfax (Marion Ross), Lt. Durran, and Lt. Crandall. They were stranded there, and so Holden offered them a ride off of the island. This part of the movie was based on the evacuation of several nurses from the island of Corregidor by the USS Spearfish. They were taken to Australia.

This island is also under attack by the Japanese, so the Sea Tiger can't just leave the nurses there. Sherman has the nurses escorted to the wardroom. On the way, Lt. Crandall manages to get her heel stuck between the deck slats, and Sherman helps her retrieve her shoe. She is quite clumsy and accident prone. Sherman plans to drop the women off at Cebu, since there are other Army personnel there.

As Sherman is telling his officers that the crew is to forget that the nurses are women, the collision alarm sounds. One of the lookouts panics and starts looking around for what collided with them. On his way below, Sherman tells him to relax. “We're not even moving!” You also sounded the collision alarm for flooding, though.

It turns out that Lt. Crandall accidentally hit the collision alarm on the way down the ladder. This really makes no sense. There is no reason why she would have taken her hands off of the ladder. On the Alabama, a guy accidentally set off the collision alarm in Shaft Alley, but he caught it with his pants leg as he was coming down some stairs.

The nurses are to be put into the Goat Locker (cheif's quarters) and the CO's stateroom. Sherman will be sharing with Lt. Watson, the XO. Ensign Stovall will be in with Lt. Whatsisname – oh, Yes. Holden. I don't care how distracted Sherman is – by now, he would be more likely to forget his own name than that of his nemesis, Lt. Holden.

Sherman tries to explain to the nurses and officers that it's going to be difficult and that he doesn't want any fraternization with the men. He'd having trouble expressing himself, though. Everyone else is amused by this.

Ensign Stovall shows them the sub. When he gets to the shower, he tells them that they are each allowed a minute and a half in the shower due to fresh water supply. Actually, that wasn't true. In the Navy, you turn on the water and get wet. Then you turn off the water. You soap up, wash your hair, etc. Then you turn the water on again to rinse off. On the nuc boats, we would occasionally be allowed to take “Hollywood” showers, where you could just stand under the hot water. This was very rare.

The heads (commodes) on the old WWII fleet boats were quite complicated.. They took the waste and flushed it directly overboard with seawater, I believe. Two of the three boats I served on had your standard tankless porcelain throne. My first boat had big metal bowls with ball valves at the bottom and a seawater valve at the top. A ball valve is pretty much what it sounds like. It's a big ball with a hole drilled through it. When the hole was aligned with the piping, stuff could pass through it. You'd open the ball valve to drop the waste down into the sanitary tank. You'd then open the seawater to rinse out the bowl and the line. You'd shut the ball valve, but keep the seawater running until you had a few inches of water above it for the next person. When the sanitary tanks filled, you would blow the contents overboard with 700# air. If you opened one of the ball valves when the tank was pressurized, the contents of the tank would blow out and hit you in the face and chest, and you joined the 700 Club (this was also the name of an old religious TV show). They would put signs up on the stalls, but they would sometimes forget.

Lt. Colfax asks why they call it the head. The origins of a lot of Navy traditions are hard to pin down. They are so old that there are a lot of different versions, and nobody really knows where they started. This version of why we call it the head makes as much sense as any of them.

Like a lot of Navy traditions, it goes back to the Age of Sail. The officers had places in their staterooms or near the wardroom where they could take a dump and it would go into the water. The crew, though, had to go topside. The place that was set up for them was on either side of the bowsprit. This was right near the figurehead, if the ship had one, so they started calling it “going to the head.”

The Engineman chief, Tosten, complains to Sherman that women on board are bad luck. If one is bad luck, what will they get with five? Sherman tells him that he can't throw them overboard and sends him on his way.

Sherman hears cheering from the crew's mess. He is told that Holden is raffling off the nurses. Instead, he is raffling off who will get to give the nurses their extra clothing. Since the nurses lost everything on the island but the clothes on their backs, they do need spares. I really don't get this. It's not like Holden to do anything altruistically, and nobody would cheer for the chance to give up their own clothing.

Also, it seems like a very inefficient way to go about it. Lets say I won the raffle and gave my clothes to one of the women. They wouldn't come anywhere near fitting her. I'm 6'2” tall. Wouldn't it be better to pick the guys who are closest to the nurse's sizes and tell them that they just volunteered to give up a set of clothes?

The nurses are doing alterations on their hand-me-downs., One of them is putting on a pair of dress blue pants. No way in hell would that have been donated. First, it's unlikely that the sailor would have had them on board. You generally don't carry your blues when you are going to the Philippines. You won't need them. Second, he wouldn't give them away. They are damned expensive.

The nurses discuss the flap on the dress blue pants. For those of you who are not familiar, the Navy dress blue pants are quite complicated. Two buttons hold the top front closed. You button them, and then you fold the big front flap up and button it on. It is held in place by 13 buttons around the sides. One of the buttons that holds the waist closed also holds the flap in place. While there are really 14 buttons, only 13 show, so they are called 13 button pants. As the nurse says., the buttons represent the 13 original colonies that formed the United States.

These pants suck. If you feel like you might have to go to the bathroom any time in the near future, you had better head that way. It's going to take you that long to undo your pants.

My father, who eventually retired from the Air Force, started out in the Naval Reserve back in the mid 1950's. Back then, you had to wear your dress uniforms on liberty. According to him, a lot of the guys had their dress blue pants altered. They had a zipper put into one side, so that they could do up the 13 buttons once and leave them buttoned.

Despite all of Sherman's warnings, Holden hits on one of the nurses, Lt. Barbara Duran. He tells her that the pants that she has do nothing for her. He takes her into his cabin and gives her a lot of his clothes, including a tennis outfit and his pajamas. She balks at taking the clothing. Probably figuring that there are strings attached. Ensign Stovall walks into the cabin (that he is now sharing) during this. Holden hands him his hat and reminds him that he has to go stand watch. This is a bad move. Even though he's not due to stand watch for another hour, he goes to the bridge to relieve the watch. Sherman is there. Sherman gets suspicious and goes down to Holden's cabin.

Sherman walks in and catches Holden and Duran drinking champagne. Lt. Duran leaves. Sherman dumps the champagne and chews Holden out. This is one of the few times during this movie that Sherman has done this in private. As I said in some of my earlier reviews, you ALWAYS chastise in private. You praise in public.

It shows the crew's berthing space. Several guys are in their bunks, but the Prophet is playing his guitar and singing a song about gloom and doom. The guys would not have been lying there quietly. At least one of them would have threatened to shove the guitar up his ass.

The next morning, the captain heads to the shower. It is apparently right after the nurse's time. Lt. Crandall apologizes for setting off the collision alarm, then tells Sherman that she is having trouble with the showers. He steps into the shower in his robe, etc. to figure out the problem. She says “I turned this one, and this one, and then I pulled this” and sprays water in Sherman's face. She insists on trying to dry Sherman off. He tries to stop her. Of course, this is when Holden walks down the passageway. Of course, he misinterprets the situation. Frankly, there isn't room in a submarine shower for any kind of hanky-panky. There was little enough room for just me. Lt. Crandall remembers that she has forgotten something in her cabin, anyway. She hands Sherman her back scrubber (where the hell did she get one?) and goes to get her dusting powder (which must have come with the back scrubber). When Chief Tosten comes to complain about the women hanging their laundry in his engine room, Lt. Crandall comes back and hops into the shower. During the conversation, she opens the door and has Sherman hand her the back scrubber, reinforcing the impression that they were showering together.

Now, I don't really know what they did with their clothes once they washed them back then. It just makes sense that the women would hang theirs the same place that the men did. Apparently,. the men never do laundry.

Chief Tosten goes back to try to straighten out his engine room. As he said, Major Heywood is hanging clothes everywhere in the Engine Room. It probably would have been on of the lower ranking nurses who did this unless either the major was incredibly bored already or she had some inkling of what was to come. She calls him “Sailor,.” and tells him to call her when her clothes were dry. He tells her “I'm a Machinist's Mate, not a laundry feeler.”

Two things wrong here. Unless the two ratings split off after WWII, he wouldn't be a Machinst's Mate. He'd be an Engineman. Second, he would have had her head for calling him Sailor. Chiefs tend to be incredibly prickly about that – especially with people who they don't like. He's already chewing her out about everything else, so he wouldn't hold back here. If he was yelling at a man, he would probably throw in a ton of profanity that would not make it into the movie, but he probably would withhold that when talking to a woman.

She then tells him to be careful not to knock anything down. She would hate to have them land on the dirty floor. He then goes ballistic about her insulting his engine room. “If you was bombed and blew up and sunk, you'd be a little greasy, too.” Did I mention that the salt water probably would have got into all of their fuel tanks, lube oil sumps, etc.? With the state of supplies at Cavite, they would never have been able to replace all of the fuel oil and lube oil.

Chief Tosten is working on some of the machinery as the major turns to leave. She watches him over his shoulder as he tinkers with it. She tells him “Sailor (he finally corrects her and says “Chief!”) You'll never get it to work that way.” He tells her to go roll some bandages or something and questions her knowledge of engines. She tells him that her father was the chief engineer of the Seattle power plant. Odds are that he wouldn't have taken his daughter to work much. And I seriously doubt that they had a lot of diesel engines at the Seattle power plant. They were probably some kind of coal burning steam turbines.

She tells him that the piece of equipment that he is working on would work if he installed a new valve spring. He makes fun of her and tells her that the equipment doesn't belong on a submarine to begin with and they don't have any valve springs. She points out that he's talking to an officer. He replies that Congress made her an officer, but she's still a woman. That attitude was prevalent at the time. When I was a kid, it was still unusual for a woman to be anything but a secretary, a school teacher, or a nurse. In high school, my sister took a lot of courses in short hand and typing to prepare her to be a secretary. She also took a lot of Home Economics courses to prepare her to be a housewife.

Sherman walks into the ward room and grabs a cup of coffee. As he sits down with it, he notices something in it. Then Lt. Crandall walks in looking for her cigarette. Sherman hands her his cup of coffee. The cigarette is in it.

Lt. Crandall is concerned that Sherman is nervous. He's looking run down. She gives him some pills to take and tells him “We wouldn't want you to get sick, too!” Sherman thanks her, then thinks about what she said. “Wait a minute, who's sick?” It turns out that most of the crew is “sick.” Two of the nurses have been taking care of them.

Now, I'd think that the nurses would realize that the men aren't really sick and just want their attention because they are the only women on board. I've known some people (male and female) who would love all of the attention. I think most people would get pretty pissed off.

Sherman charges to “Sick Bay.” There wasn't one. At least not one with several beds. If the Pharmacist's Mate (back then, Hospital Corpsman now) had to do an operation, the operation would be done on the table in the ward room.

Sherman confronts the last man in line. “What's wrong with you?” “ I don't know, Captain. I don't feel good.” “But you smell good!” All of the men in line have put on cologne to go to sick call. While the nurses may not realize that this is unusual, Sherman does. He sends them all back to work, thanks the nurses, and tells them that they won't be needed anymore.

While all of the nurses are beautiful (because Hollywood), Lt. Crandall is the most well endowed. Submarine passageways are quite narrow. We still passed each other by turning our torsos sideways. I never spent any time on a sub with women on board, but in the movie, it is a bit tough to pass Lt. Crandall without any contact. So naturally, the crew always needed to go past when she was in the passageway. Lt. Crandall seems to be rather naive (along with being sweet on the captain) so she doesn't say anything. Sherman puts out the word that Lt. Crandall is to be given a wide berth when she is in a passageway.

The XO tells Sherman that Holden is in his cabin reading some of the manuals to learn basic submarining. While they are talking, Lt. Duran, dressed for tennis, comes down the ladder from the conning tower. She is followed by Lt. Holden, who is also wearing shorts. Lt. Duran explains to Sherman that Holden has been showing her around and explaining how everything works. Naturally, Sherman puts a stop to this.

Sherman gets a call from Chief Tosten. “It's either her or me in MY ENGINE ROOM!” When he gets back there, the major points to the assembly that Chief Tosten was working on earlier and says “It works! You're just too stubborn to admit it!” She's used a girdle in place of the valve spring. Sherman doesn't care. It works. The chief thinks it's indecent. Before Sherman can respond, he gets another call. This time, Lt. Reed has hit Hunkle, the yeoman.

When he gets there, she is apologizing. He was changing his shirt and she saw Gertie, his tattoo. She was embarrassed and so she hit him. Times have changed a bit since then...

As soon as that is cleared up, Sherman gets a call from the aft torpedo room. Lt. Colfax is dizzy and insists that she has the bends.

Holden's seduction of Duran continues. They kiss in the galley. Unfortunately for Holden, the kettle comes to a boil at that moment and the Captain comes in to make himself some tea. They're busted. While Sherman is going to chew out Holden in his quarters, Major Heywood walks up. Sherman tells the major to control her women. Major Heywood goes in to the wardroom and talks to Lt. Duran. Lt. Duran is thinking about marriage with Holden already.

Sherman has had enough. He confines Holden to his quarters. As he finishes talking to Holden, the General Alarm sounds. This was used for security violations and battle stations.

They have found a tanker tied up to a pier on another island. Since it's riding low in the water, it must be mostly full. They have one torpedo tube operational, so they decide to ignore their orders to avoid combat and attack. Apparently nobody told the nurses what to do if they went to battle stations.

They do the solution for the freighter almost right. They aren't worried about course and speed at all, since it's tied to a pier. They take the bearing, which is the easy part. He takes the range mark, which is good, but they only do half of it.

To get the range of a target with the scope, you get the height of it on the scope's crosshairs. The captain would call out “2 divisions, high power.” That gives the tracking party the height locally. The ship is then checked in Jane's Fighting Ships, or a similar reference. This gives the height of the highest mast above the water line. You do a bit of trig, and you have your range.

To do the trig, we had a little device that they called a “banjo” back then. We called them a “whiz wheel.” If you line the two wheels and the bar up properly, you get the solution. I got out of the Navy in '98, but I would imagine that they still use them. They were faster than plugging in the equation in a calculator.

They do a final range. They wouldn't. The target is not moving. The range doesn't matter as long as you are sure that it is between the minimum and the maximum for the torpedo. The captain would really say “Final bearing and shoot.” Back then, once the torpedoes left the tube, they moved in a straight line until they hit something or ran out of fuel, so the bearing was very important.

Lt. Crandall comes in to the conning tower to give the captain his vitamins (that he doesn't want). Normally riders would be told to go to the crew's mess, but in this case, due to their orders and all of the damage done to the sub, they might not have mentioned it. Or Lt. Crandall, being something of a ditz, could have ignored it. Sherman yells at her to get below. As she turns around and starts to go back down the ladder, she steadies herself on a panel. It happens to be the torpedo firing panel. She accidentally hits the switch to launch the torpedo.

This switch is nowhere near anything that she would really use to steady herself. She wouldn't have accidentally launched the torpedo. Even if she had, they were about to shoot, anyway. If the torpedo was going to hit the tanker based on their solution, it would have hit the tanker.

Instead, the torpedo goes wild. It hits the bottom and continues up onto the shore, where it destroys a truck.

This is actually based on a real incident in which the USS Bowfin sank a bus. What really happened was more believable, though. The bus was on a dock. The Bowfin's torpedo blew up the dock and dropped the bus into the water. In the movie, not even a Mk 48 ADCAP would be going fast enough to drive that far onto the beach. Still, Cary Grant saying incredulously “We sank a truck!” is a classic line.

Normally, they would have launched another torpedo. In this case, they only have one working tube (out of the 6 forward and 4 aft). Shelling forces them to dive and run away.

And that's it for part 2.
 
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Ghoti

Pronounced "Fish."
Validated User
ANd now, part 3., If any mods are reading this thread, I would appreciate it if you would edit it into the reserved post.

The next day, they reach Cebu. Sherman is happy because they can finally get rid of the nurses. Unfortunately, they can't. Cebu is also about to be invaded. The army is preparing for guerrilla warfare. They can't take on the nurses. I would think that they would be happy to get extra medical help for their resistance, but that would kill the plot of the movie.

Sherman tries to requisition supplies. All of the local supplies have been hidden up in the hills. The only way that they can think of to get the rest of what they need is to unleash Holden. He convinces Holden to help by pointing out that, if they don't get the supplies, Holden will never get back to his fiance, the railway heiress.

This time, Holden sets up a crooked casino. He gives out chips for equipment and supplies, but the games are rigged so that they don't have to pay out. Since everything is scattered and hidden, the only way to get what he needs is to have the people who hid it bring it to him.

A guy comes in with 25 cans of gray paint. Hunkle is pleased, but asks about the red lead primer. The guy only has 8 cans – that's all there is on the island. They need at least 20 cans to do the job. The guy does have 12 cans of whit lead. They take it all. Holden gives the guy his chips, then has his people unload the paint and steal the truck. Sherman looks into the casino, then decides that he really doesn't want to know what is going on.

Sherman again writes incriminating evidence in his journal. He says that Holden will probably be the first man to be presented the Navy Cross at his Court Martial. He won't be alone. Sherman will be right next to him.

It's New Year's Eve. The whole crew starts to paint the boat. They mix all of the primer together before they start painting. Why? It's primer. Some parts of the boat would be primed with white, and some would be red. After all, it's all going to be gray in the end. Of course, then the sub wouldn't be pink.

While the crew paints, Holden and Hunkle are out scavenging. Holden decides to steal a pig for New Year's dinner. They sneak it to the pier by putting a jacket on it and convincing the MP's that it is an extremely drunk crew member, Seaman Hornsby. The MP's must have been pretty drunk themselves to fall for this one.

The pig's owner comes to the sub with the MP's. Sherman backs up the story, but gives the pig's owner most of Holden's remaining possessions to pay for the pig. Sherman tells the MP that Seaman Hornsby is too sick to be punished now, but he's going to get a good roasting tomorrow. When the MP's still want to take Hornsby in, Sherman tells him that Hornsby is drinking because he has been selected to go on a dangerous mission that he doesn't expect to survive.

The next day, the sub is completely primed. There was no need to prime everything. You only need to prime the parts that have not been painted since the repairs and any areas where the paint has peeled. They would attack it with sand paper, wire brushes, and pneumatic needle guns in the damaged areas, they they would prime it with either white or red – not both. Until the top coat was put on, the boat would be gray with splotches of white and red. It wouldn't be pink.

It amuses me. When I mentioned this movie to people, the ones who remembered it at all said "Oh, yeah. The pink submarine." I can't blame them - that's how I remembered it, as well. But the sub was only pink for the last few minutes of the movie.

After the boat is painted, they hold a New Year's feast. It's held topside. The primer wouldn't be dry yet.

Major Heywood tells Sherman that Lt. Crandall doesn't want to come to the party because she thinks that he doesn't want her to. He has been avoiding her since they sank the truck “Only out of self defense!” Major Heywood asks Sherman to ask Lt. Crandall to come to the party. He goes off to give her a personal invitation. Major Heywood then gives Chief Tosten some more advice about the diesels. His first response is to tell her that she's crazy. After a minute's thought, though, he says “You know, that might work?” He then offers her a piece of the pig.

While he is going to talk to Lt. Crandall, the XO tells Sherman that Holden is missing. So it Lt. Duran. And so is the #3 life boat. Sherman doesn't seem to care. After all, whatever is happening between the two of them is not happening on his boat.

Lt., Crandall is using a curling iron. They only had the clothes on their backs. And powder. And makeup. And a back scrubber for the shower. And a curling iron. And... Sherman sits down to wait for her to finish her hair. Of course, he sits on the curling iron. This is NOT her fault – he should have looked before he sat down.

Holden and Lt. Duran are on a beach. She is telling him what a great father he will make. She tells him that he has genetically dominant characteristics. Dark hair, blue eyes... Blue eyes are recessive, not dominant. A nurse would know this.

Lt. Duran starts talking about how hard it will be when they get married, but she will help with the expenses by getting a job., Holden panics and tells her about his engagement. She takes off, swimming back to the sub. He follows her the whole way in the life raft.

In a piece of wonderfully convenient timing, a Japanese air raid hits right after Holden and Duran get back The Sea Tiger starts to get underway. A lot of native women and children start coming aboard. Holden promised the dealers at his casino that they would take the women and children with them for their help. There is no time to put them off of the boat, so Sherman is stuck with several more women (most pregnant), several kids, and a milk goat. If the crew hadn't been short handed to begin with, there would have been no room for anyone on board.

In the battle, the Prophet's guitar is destroyed. I am sure that the other people in his bunk room were pleased.

They manage to get away from the Japanese and dive.

A couple of days later, some of the children are born. The whole crew adopt them, and the other children as well. The Captain goes through the new maternity ward to the engine room, where he catches the major and Chief Tosten in a compromising position. Chief Tosten has some calipers in hand and claims that they were taking measurements, but Sherman isn't buying it.

To the military, this is a worse offense than Holden and Lt. Duran. Lt. Holden and Lt. Duran would be a case of sexual misconduct. Major Heywood and Chief Tosten is sexual misconduct and fraternization. Officers do not date enlisted. Even if there is nothing sexual going on, fraternization is not just about sex. You were really only supposed to hang out with people who were within two ranks of you. Still, if it wasn't sexual (especially with people under you in the chain of command), they wouldn't pursue it unless they were already throwing the book at you for other offenses.

Sherman gets called to the Radio Room. They finally have the radio ready to receive. They are picking up Tokyo Rose. As Sherman gets there, Tokyo Rose talks about the pink submarine, telling them to go ahead and surrender. Again, this is based on something that really happened. When the Sealion sank at Cavite pier, she also burned. The heat from the fire damaged the paint on the USS Seadragon, which was moored next to her. The Seadragon had to get underway with just a coating of red lead primer. Tokyo Rose broadcast something about red American pirate submarines.

Sherman is sure that they have nothing to worry about. He is wrong. When the US fleet hears Tokyo Rose's broadcast, they are sure that it's some kind of a Japanese trick. If they do see a pink submarine, they plan to sink it.

The Sea Tiger sees an American destroyer and surfaces. Their radio still isn't broadcasting, so they decide to use visual signals. The destroyer fires on the Sea Tiger. The Sea Tiger immediately dives, but the destroyer starts to depth charge them.

The sub starts taking damage from the depth charges. They go to all stop and try to be as quiet as possible. Naturally, at this exact moment, one of the pregnant woman gives birth to twins. The destroyer has one of those magic sonar sets (in WWII, no less!) that can hear babies crying through the hull of the sub. The destroyer assumes that it is a secret weapon and keeps depth charging.

To make the destroyer stop shelling, Sherman puts a lot of debris and oil into a torpedo tube and jettisons it. He hopes that they will think that the sub has been sunk and stop depth charging. Based on what I've read, this was a fairly common tactic.

Hunkle is distraught. They are going to die by friendly fire right after someone has figured out how he can go home. Lt. Reed pointed out to him that all he has to do is tattoo panties and a bra on Gertie. That gives Holden an idea. They have been sending up the wrong stuff! Sherman orders all of the nurses to their quarters to remove their undergarments. Holden collects them and they shoot them out the torpdo tube. When they rise to the surface, the crew of the destroyer are confused. They pick up one of the bras – Lt. Crandall's. “The Japanese don't have anything like THIS!” They stop depth charging.

The Sea Tiger pulls triumphantly (?) in to Darwin, Australia to jeers and catcalls from everyone. Sherman doesn't care. “We may be pink and coming in by grace of a woman's brassiere, but we are coming in under our own power!” The journal ends with a picture of the pink submarine taken by a sailor at Darwin.

As Admiral Sherman closes the book, he is informed that the captain has arrived, and the sub is ready to get underway. The captain,. Commander Holden, gets out of a cab with his wife (formerly Lt. Duran) and their two sons. Holden asks the admiral's driver if he will drive Mrs. Holden and the boys back. He should have asked Sherman. His driver doesn't make those decisions.

Sherman promises Holden command of a new atomic sub that is being launched in about a month. The new sub is to be named the Sea Tiger. She will be Holden's next command. I really doubt it. If Holden's entire service has been with diesel boats (and it probably has), he has never been to Naval Nuclear Power School. That school takes 6 months for the enlisted course. I believe that the officer's course takes longer. Then, he would be sent to one of the prototypes to learn how to actually run a reactor. He wouldn't see his next command for over a year.

Sherman hands the journal to Holden and takes his leave, recommending that he not show the journal to his kids until they are old enough to understand.

In reality, Sherman wouldn't have kept that journal. It would have gone with the Sea Tiger. The evidence in the journal would have prevented either man from reaching their current positions. The results of their actions might have done them quite well in war time, but after the war was over, their records would have served only to prevent charges from being brought against them.

Sherman asks Holden where his wife is. Holden doesn't know – she never showed. Sherman asks Mrs. Holden where his wife is (Holden's sons call him “uncle.”). She never showed. As the Sea Tiger begins its last underway, Mrs. Sherman finally arrives. The guards at the end of the pier normally wouldn't have let a civilian drive a car onto the pier, but she may have been able to bully her way on because her husband is COMSUBPAC. She rear ends Sherman's staff car, causing it to collide with a bus, locking the bumpers. Not realizing this, the bus driver takes off, pulling the staff car along with it. Sherman's driver chases it. Sherman's wife (the former Lt. Crandall) apologizes for the accident. Sherman tells him that they'll stop it at the gate.

As the Sea Tiger heads off to the scrap yard, the engine backfires and sends out another big puff of smoke. They never were able to fix it.

Roll Credits.

They made this movie into a TV show back in '77. I remember some of it. It was pretty bad. They gave Cary Grant's role to John Aston (best known for playing Gomez Addams in the Addams Family). Sherman was taking Holden's side against their by-the-book XO. One cool thing about it that I didn't realize at the time – In the show, Lt. Duran was played by a then unknown actress - Jamie Lee Curtis. She's Tony's daughter., I normally don't care much for someone getting a role because of who their parents are (unless it's acting with their parents), but her playing the character that was her father's love interest in the movie was kinda cool.

I was 14 at the time, and the show had pretty women, so I watched it. The main thing that I can remember is that they had to come up with more and more implausible reasons why they couldn't paint the sub gray again. In one episode, they actually managed to repaint it. Unfortunately, it was water based paint that came off the first time they submerged. Don't ask me why they would have 20+ cans of water based gray paint in the south Pacific during WWII.

There was a good reason why the show lasted less than 2 seasons.
 
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Shawn_Hagen

Shawnya the Evil?
RPGnet Member
Validated User
I always liked Operation Petticoat, will be interested in reading the rest of your reviews on it. Enjoyed part 1.
 

Truthseeker

Registered User
Validated User
In the opening credits, the screen shows a view of the surface through the periscope. The sub submerges and various fish and sea life is seen through the scope. We generally lowered the scope when we were going deep. We did raise the scope before we came to periscope depth – we had it angled up so that we could look for any dark shapes or shadows. Colors start to get filtered out by the sea water at fairly shallow depths, so until we were almost to the surface fish wouldn't be nearly as vibrantly colored as they are here. I never looked through the scope as we were coming up, I don't know for sure if we ever saw fish like this. Since we were constantly moving, though, I doubt it.
You know, I like the film, but it is an older comedy, so I had been wondering whether there would be much to say about it. Silly me, 'cause here you are throwing out genuinely interesting commentary in response to the opening credits gag (and beyond, of course). Thanks for doing this, Ghoti!

You know, it's one of those things. "Of course they can angle the periscope up." We just never really see it done in film. (With the amusing exception of Down Periscope, where I still think their periscope tracking shot on an ASW plane is suspiciously good).
 

RK_Striker_JK_5

Registered User
Validated User
Ah, awesome! This one... I've heard of it, but that's about it. I knew a hell of a lot more about the previous sub movies.
 

Sabermane

Proud Fianna knight of hope and peace
Validated User
Subscribed.

So, on the "gold marks good, red marks bad"--can you have like a good year, then a bad year, then a good year? I've just never seen it. Or is it closer to "if you're kinda decent you're gold, if you're just here to piss off your parents you're probably always gonna be a red-stripe."?
 

Ghoti

Pronounced "Fish."
Validated User
Subscribed.

So, on the "gold marks good, red marks bad"--can you have like a good year, then a bad year, then a good year? I've just never seen it. Or is it closer to "if you're kinda decent you're gold, if you're just here to piss off your parents you're probably always gonna be a red-stripe."?
To get the gold stripes, you have to have 12 straight years without any real offenses. It doesn't take much to get the one black mark on your record, though. You could be in the wrong place at the wrong time, or you could be the designated scapegoat.
 

Afterburner

Remarkably expressive bandages
RPGnet Member
Validated User
As with Down Periscope, I do realize that most of the inaccuracies were to make jokes. I enjoyed this movie (thanks, Commander Pulsar, for letting me borrow it). I think that what you want me to do, though, is to look at the movie and say what would really have happened, so that's what I'm doing.
In the finest traditions of good-natured nitpicking.

I love nitpicks, but so many people can't separate nitpicks from actual complaints. They just assume that since it's negative, it must be a complaint. But I have picked many a nit over a wide variety of topics (games and media, mostly) with absolutely no ill-will in my heart. In many cases (video games, usually), I feel genuine affection for the circumstances which result in nits worth picking.

So yeah, I'm enjoying your submariner nitpicking, and look forward to more.
 

Sabermane

Proud Fianna knight of hope and peace
Validated User
To get the gold stripes, you have to have 12 straight years without any real offenses. It doesn't take much to get the one black mark on your record, though. You could be in the wrong place at the wrong time, or you could be the designated scapegoat.
That makes more sense.
 
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