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The Iron Petticoat

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The Iron Petticoat movie poster, starring Bob Hope and Katherine Hepburn
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The Iron Petticoat (1956) starring Bob Hope, Katherine Hepburn — €“ a Cold War comedy that’s short on the comedy

Synopsis of The Iron Petticoat

Set in the midst of the Cold War, Soviet pilot Vinka Kovelenko (Katherine Hepburn) defects to the West, despite her devotion to Communism, due to having been overlooked for a promotion due to her being a female.   American Air Force Major Chuck Lockwood (Bob Hope) is tasked with bringing her to embrace Capitalism.   Despite being engaged to an English heiress, Lockwood and Kovelenko begin falling in love. Stuck in the middle of the conflict between East and West.

Review of The Iron Petticoat

It’s not that The Iron Petticoat is a terrible movie — €”but it’s not a dreadfully good one, either.   The premise is silly. A Soviet aviatrix who defects from the Communist USSR, because she was passed over for a promotion … By a sexist superior? That Bob Hope would turn his back on a beautiful, rich English heiress. In order to fall for the Soviet …. Who has all the appeal of a cactus that’s been dipped in lemon juice?

Beyond that, there is no on-screen chemistry between the two stars. The various conflicts (the USSR trying to kidnap her back, put her on trial, and kill her, among others) seem artificial, with no real sense of danger.   I watched it recently on TCM, and I enjoyed it, but I doubt that I would have paid money to see it.

I rate The Iron Petticoat one and a half stars out of five. Be sure to check out the funny movie quotes from The Iron Petticoat as well.

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