Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Lensed in England, The Iron Petticoat has been out of circulation for so long that it's difficult to determine whether it is a long-lost classic or the unmitigated disaster many have claimed it to be. Essentially a rehash of Ninotchka, the film stars Bob Hope as Chuck Lockwood, an American military officer assigned to "de-Communize" defecting Russian aviator Vinka Kovelonko (Katharine Hepburn). Meanwhile, Vinka tries to win Chuck over to the glories of the People's Republic. The film remains on a fairly subtle comic level until its unecessarily slapsticky finale, which, in to paraphrase one reviewer, caused many film fans to completely "give up Hope." Those who've seen The Iron Petticoat are astounded at how well Bob Hope and Katharine Hepburn worked together, especially since it has been well documented that the two stars were decidedly not close chums off screen. The film sparked a now-famous war of words between Hope and scriptwriter Ben Hecht, both of whom took out long, rambling trade-paper ads to lambaste each other for "ruining" the project.
Air-Force, America, army, army-officer, barnstorming, boss [employer], Britain, capitalism, champagne, Communism, conversion, death-penalty, employment, enemy, execution, flying, forbidden-love, government, kidnapping, love, major, marriage, military, officer, policy, rescue, romance, Russia, traveling, hope