The Glass Bottom Boat (1966)

Fifty-five years ago today, the film The Glass Bottom Boat premiered. The actors that played Gladys and Abner Kravitz on Bewitched play ‘an inquisitive wife and her disinterested husband’ in this movie that also has Paul Lynde and Dom DeLuise in it. If that isn’t enough camp cred to watch this movie, at one point, Doris Day falls into an anti-gravity tank, there is a chase scene involving a runaway remote-control speed boat, and the alternative name for the film is The Spy in Lace Panties.

Title: The Glass Bottom Boat
Directed by: Frank Tashlin
Produced by: Everett Freeman and Martin Melcher
Written by: Everett Freeman
Starring: Doris Day, Rod Taylor, Arthur Godfrey, Paul Lynde, and Dom DeLuise
Music by: Frank De Vol
Cinematography: Leon Shamroy
Edited by: John McSweeney Jr.
Distributed by: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date: June 9, 1966
Running time: 110 minutes
Country: United States
Language: English
Box office: $9.2 million

Axel Nordstrom manages a glass-bottom boat tourist operation in the waters of Santa Catalina Island, California. His widowed daughter, Jennifer Nelson, occasionally helps by donning a mermaid costume and swimming underneath his boat for the passengers’ amusement.

One day, Jennifer accidentally meets Bruce Templeton when his fishing hook snags her costume. He reels in the bottom half, leaving the irate Jennifer floating in the water bottomless. Jennifer later discovers that Templeton is a top executive at her new place of employment, a NASA aerospace research laboratory in Long Beach, where she works in public relations.

Templeton later recognizes Jennifer at the research laboratory and hires her for a new full-time assignment: to be his biographer and write his life story. His real purpose is to win her affections. There is a problem: the laboratory’s security chief, Homer Cripps, after observing her mysterious behavior and curious, code-like phone calls, concludes that Jennifer is a Soviet spy. To prove his suspicions, he has Jennifer put under surveillance by everyone at the lab. When she learns of this, Jennifer sets out to turn the tables on the bumbling Cripps by pretending that she is a spy, a charade that eventually exposes a real spy, Edgar Hill.

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