Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1960s Petticoat Pirates (1961)

Petticoat Pirates (1961)

TV comic Charlie Drake again finds himself up a well-known creek without a script in his third tilt at movie stardom.

This time, however, he’s only got himself to blame, as he co-wrote this woeful comedy, in which he plays a timid stoker who disguises himself as a member of the Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS; popularly and officially known as the Wrens) in order to recover a frigate hijacked by a mutinous all-woman crew.


The company of 150 Wrens led by spirited Chief Officer Anne Stevens (Anne Heywood) have set out to prove equality with their male counterparts by taking over HMS Huntress with breathtaking efficiency, sailing it out to sea and into a NATO naval exercise.

Director David MacDonald had made some pretty ropey pictures since his debut in 1937 with Riding High, but this was rock bottom.

Spare a thought for Cecil Parker, who somehow allowed himself to be talked into co-starring.

Stoker Charlie Drake
Charlie Drake
Chief Officer Anne Stevens
Anne Heywood
Commander in Chief
Cecil Parker
Lieutenant Michael Pattinson
John Turner
Mary (Superintendent)
Maxine Audley
Captain Jerome Robertson
Thorley Walters
Chief Wren Mabel Rawlins
Eleanor Summerfield
COC Nixon
Victor Maddern
US Navy admiral
Lionel Murton
Physical training instructor
Barbara Hicks
Dilys Laye
Penny Newington

David Macdonald