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The Iron Petticoat (1957)

aka The Iron Petticoat

"Bob and Kate...Simply Great"

Directed By: 
Details: 87 mins · English


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Small Major Charles "Chuck" Lockwood
Small Captain Vinka Kovelenko
No_movie_poster Lady Connie Warburton-Watts
Small Colonel Sklarnoff


No_movie_poster Ben Hecht Screenplay
Small Ralph Thomas Director
No_movie_poster Harry Saltzman Production
No_movie_poster Harry Saltzman Writer


"Bob and Kate...Simply Great"


Captain Vinka Kovelenko (Katharine Hepburn) lands a Russian jet in West German territory, to the surprise of U.S. armed forces who take her prisoner. She is neither on a mission nor defecting, however, just upset about a personal matter back home. American Col. Tarbell (Alan Gifford) cancels the furlough of Capt. Chuck Lockwood (Bob Hope), who is eager to leave for London and visit his wealthy fiancée Connie (Noelle Middleton). The colonel wants Chuck to sell the Soviet aviatrix on everything that is good about America and permanently come over to their side. He even dangles a $100,000 bonus if Lockwood succeeds.

Vinka is pursued by her former lover, Ivan (Robert Helpmann), an engineer. She shows no interest in Chuck and is just as determined to sell him on Russian virtues as he is on influencing her. He describes her as cold and unappealing, but when Connie makes a surprise visit, Vinka strolls into Chuck's room wearing little else but a pajama top and her military medals. Connie becomes increasingly angry with Chuck, more so when she finds out that he is not as well-off financially as he has pretended to be.

Vinka begins to dress more and more in an enticing manner. One night at a Russian restaurant, comrades come to kidnap her. A sleeping potion meant for Chuck ends up in Tarbell's drink instead. Connie is mistaken for Vinka in a cloak room and taken captive. In time, the Russians misunderstand Vinka's intentions and charge her with treason. Chuck leads a daring aerial escape and they end up falling in love. Money does not matter as much to Vinka as it does to Connie, and at the end of the film, as Vinka and Lockwood are leaving for America, a Russian agent runs up, offering her the $100,000 bonus. She declines the check, but Lockwood takes the $100,000.