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Can a girl from Little Rock find happiness with a mature French planter she got to know one enchanted evening away from the military hospital where she is a nurse? Or should she just wash that man out of her hair? Bloody Mary is the philosopher of the island and it's hard to believe she could be the mother of Liat who has captured the heart of Lt. Joseph Cable USMC. While waiting for action in the war in the South Pacific, sailors and nurses put on a musical comedy show. The war gets closer and the saga of Nellie Forbush and Emile de Becque becomes serious drama. Written by
Dale O'Connor <email@example.com>
The original Broadway production of "South Pacific" opened at the Majestic Theater on April 7, 1949, ran for 1925 performances starring Mary Martin as Nellie Forbush and Ezio Pinza as Emile de Becque, and won the 1950 Tony Award for the Best Musical, Libretto and Score. Both stars won the Tony Award for Best Actor and Best Actress in a Musical. Juanita Hall reprises her role as Bloody Mary in the movie. See more »
When Luther Billis is in the lifeboat being fired upon by Japanese troops, the rear of the lifeboat shows its manufacturing date as 'APR 1956'. See more »
There are probably more dubbed singing voices in this film than in any other screen version of a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, but the only one which actually receives screen credit is that of Giorgio Tozzi, who dubs the singing voice of Emile de Becque (Rosanno Brazzi). This is because Tozzi was a renowned bass-baritone with the Metropolitan Opera. See more »
While I was too young to have seen the original Broadway production - and thus that might account for the previous criticism posted above - I think the fault lies with the reviewer (seeing a 1950's musical in 1990's terms).
The lighting, so criticized, added and accented the moods of the film as few films did at the time. The music, possibly without match in an American musical, fit the moods equally well - taking the viewer from the high tensions of the Young Lovers or of the eventual return of Emile. At the same time, the bawdy humorous numbers add temporary humor while the tension of the story line mounts.
Socially, the themes of race and general human cruelty are delivered to the audience without them even noticing. Something in which so many of the modern-day productions fail miserably.
Truly the most complete American musical on many levels!
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