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operation petticoat

“... we both contemplated that for a second or two, and it blew both our minds.”

By Cinema

Glenn Kenny remem­bers Tony Curtis rather nicely at Some Came Running:

I had the priv­ilege of doing a phone inter­view with Mr. Curtis for Première a long, or longish, while back, tied into the DVD release of some clas­sic pic­ture of his that I don’t recall. And we got on the sub­ject of Cary Grant, as one will, and he talked about how see­ing Grant in Destination Tokyo com­pelled him to both join the Navy and take up act­ing, or, rather, the idea of Hollywood star­dom. And of how he developed this Cary Grant imper­son­a­tion way back in the day and how it sub­sequently pretty much blew his mind to be asked to do this very inter­est­ing post­mod­ern Cary Grant avant le lettre bit in Billy Wilder’s Some Like It Hot, and how that was pretty much the most fun a per­son could have, except that same year, pretty much, he was cast in Operation Petticoat, which, like Destination Tokyo, was set on a sub­mar­ine and starred…Cary Grant him­self. And how that pretty much blew his mind even fur­ther. And I brought up how Elvis Presley had, well before his own film career began, dyed his hair jet black in homage to Curtis, and we both con­tem­plated that for a second or two, and it blew both our minds.

In that same post Kenny links to Dave Kehr’s obit­u­ary in the New York Times which, in turn, men­tions that one of Curtis’ early appear­ances was in Anthony Mann’s great west­ern Winchester ’73 (along with Rock Hudson play­ing an Indian chief called Young Bull). This promp­ted me to get the DVD out last night and watch it again.

Now, Winchester ’73 is as close as any­thing to being the film that got me in to this game and I’ll do a longer appre­ci­ation of it at some point, but in the mean­time here’s Anthony Curtis wait­ing for Rock Hudson’s war party to arrive from over the ridge:

Jay C. Flippen (Sgt. Wilkes) and Anthony Curtis (Doan) in Anthony Mann’s Winchester ’73 (1950). Click to enlarge.