A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from March 10, 2013
“In confusion there is profit”

The comedy film Operation Petticoat (1959) was directed by Blake Edwards and starred Tony Curtis and Cary Grant; the script (the product of four writers) was nominated for an Academy Award. Lt. Commander Matt T. Sherman (played by Cary Grant) asked Lt. Watson where Lt. JG Nicholas Holden (played by Tony Curtis) was, and Watson replied:

“When the air raid started they took off. All he said was ‘in confusion there is profit.’”

“In confusion there is profit” (or “there is profit in confusion") has been used both in business and in government. Confusing laws can mean profit for lawyers and tax preparers. Confusing technology can mean profit for consultants. Chaotic and confusing financial markets can mean profit for someone who knows how to take advantage of them, as shown in the financial proverb “buy when there’s blood in the streets.”


The Internet Movie Database
Full cast and crew for
Operation Petticoat (1959)

Directed by
Blake Edwards

Writing credits
Stanley Shapiro (screenplay) and
Maurice Richlin (screenplay)

Paul King (suggested by a story by) and
Joseph Stone (suggested by a story by)

The Internet Movie Database
Memorable quotes for
Operation Petticoat (1959)

Lt. Cmdr. Matt T. Sherman: Where is Lt. Holden?
Lt. Watson: When the air raid started they took off. All he said was “in confusion there is profit.”

Google Books
-and the truth shall set you free
By David Icke
San Diego, CA: Bridge of Love
1997
Pg. 384:
The general rule is that there is profit in confusion; the more confusion, the more profit. Therefore the best approach is to create problems and then offer solutions.

New York (NY) Times
Overtime Perks at Jail Revealed in Nassau
By MICHAEL COOPER
Published: January 21, 2000
The opportunities to work lucrative overtime shifts at the Nassau County Jail were so plentiful, according to an internal report, that correction officers had a saying: in confusion, there is profit.
(...)
Today’s hearing centered on an internal report on overtime at the correctional center that was prepared in December 1998. That report, by LaRocque Waters, a correction captain who has since retired, and Michael Califano, a county budget analyst, outlined a number of overtime abuses at the jail. The subtitle of the report was, quoting the department saw, ‘’In Confusion There is Profit.’’

National Review Online
MAY 6, 2005 1:41 P.M.
The British Elections, in Perspective
By The Editors
(...)
In confusion there is profit, however, as Tony Curtis’s character says in Operation Petticoat. There are signs of conservative opportunities in the current situation–in the form of voters, issues, and readiness.

The Potomac Highlands Conservative
Friday, February 13, 2009
In confusion there is profit
In the movie Operation Petticoat there is a great line that holds true in today’s troubled economy. When Lt. Com. Sherman (played by Cary Grant) asks where his supply officer, Lt. JG Holden (played by Tony Curtis), is during an air raid the commander is told, “When the air raid started they took off. All he said was, ‘in confusion there is profit.’” It is play on Rudyard Kipling who once reasoned that it was a good thing to keep one’s head while all around were losing theirs. Right now across the country the Federal Government and State Governments are loosing their heads over the economy but if West Virginia’s government keeps its head, then we as a state can profit from it.

Google Books
The Peacoat
By G. William Parker
Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse
2012
Pg. 10:
There’s an old saying, “There’s profit in confusion.”

Twitter
WhatCounts, Inc.
‏@whatcounts
“In Confusion there is Profit.” “Lt. Nicholas Holden” (Tony Curtis), From “Operation Petticoat”, (1959)
10:01 AM - Feb 14, 2013

Washington (DC) Post—Capital Business
Commentary: How to make money in the age of federal spending cuts
By Rick Harris, Sunday, March 10, 2013 8:07 PM
There’s an old saying in Hollywood: “In confusion there is profit.” Here in Washington, there is no doubt that sequestration has sowed confusion. The question before the local contracting community is how to survive, and even profit, in its aftermath.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • Sunday, March 10, 2013 • Permalink