Hump Day Classic Movie: Operation Petticoat (1959)
Curtis's comedic genius is often cited in Some Like It Hot, a gender bending comedy co-starring Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe. But for me, the quintessential Curtis movie is Operation Petticoat.
Also starring Cary Grant, Operation Petticoat is one of those films I think has held up well over time. Curtis plays a recreation officer turned supply officer who uses questionable methods to procure necessary supplies for a submarine during World War II. It's really a subtle role, where the humor is often situational and delivered in a dry, sarcastic and backhanded way.
In this movie, Curtis has that scoundrel air about him: the not quite a good guy but you love him anyway vibe. And that, I think, is what defines Curtis as an actor for me. He doesn't play the heroic good guy. He plays the reluctant one.
Watch a clip here.