Started the year with Blake Edwards’ 1959 “Operation Petticoat” (which coincidentally has a New Year’s Eve scene), courtesy of the new Olive Signature Blu-Ray. I’d seen the film before (years ago, on television and with the aspect ratio ruined) and dismissed it as a minor start to Edwards’ career, a huge commercial success but only of minor interest as the breakthrough to his more significant films of the early sixties. (Does anyone today even know what a petticoat is? )The Olive release reveals that I had underestimated the film. Seen in its original dimensions, it’s a surprisingly attractive film that merges war movie conventions to sex-comedy material, plays on the images of its stars Cary Grant (just beginning the post-romantic idol, avuncular father figure stage of his career) and Tony Curtis, and allows Edwards to make much of the enclosed spaces and broad exteriors of its main setting, a submarine. Edwards takes much of the war-movie material for granted, pushing it in the background of an anecdotal comic script in which Grant’s weakened vehicle is forced to play host to a group of female sailors. Grant and Curtis are charming, of course, and the supporting cast includes Dina Merrill, Arthur O’Connell, Dick Sargent and Gavin McLeod, all gamely playing along. Yes, it’s probably still a minor work for Edwards (he didn’t write it), but it has a lot of the open-spirited humor that he would continue to pursue in his next films.