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USA / UK 1956
Directed by
Ralph Thomas
87 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
2.5 stars

The Iron Petticoat

This comedy was based on a Ben Hecht story Not for Money. Although Hecht, who had Katharine Hepburn in mind to play Captain Vinka Kovelenko, a Russian aviatrix who is to be converted to the charms of capitalism, is given script credit, her co-star, Bob Hope, who plays the American assigned to convert her, apparently brought in his own writers (generically recognized by a credit to producer Harry Saltzman) to adapt the script around himself. Hecht disclaimed the end result, proffering an public apology to Hepburn and her fans.

The film is indeed frivolous and Thomas's journeyman direction is at best acceptable but it is a reasonably entertaining, the combination of Hope and Hepburn, not to mention minor roles supplied by such as Robert Helpmann as her Russian suitor and Sid James as a KGB henchman, which are incongruous enough to provide a certain perverse pleasure over-and-above Hope's steady stream of droll one-liners.




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