Reviews written by registered user
|2 reviews in total|
It's a great pity but "The I Don't Care Girl" was indeed severely cut. Scenes and numbers were shuffled, scenes and numbers ended up on the cutting-room floor, scenes were re-filmed, Jack Cole was brought in (and even his 'I Don't Care' and 'Beale Street Blues' traded places so that the one designed to end the film, didn't, and the other one, with its scene to follow, did), until what was released (in 1953, rather than 1952) was the hodge-podge you see today. Yet despite all of the butchery the multi-talented Mitzi sets the screen on fire whenever she appears, whether it's in a dramatic scene or dazzling her way through those Cole-choreographed production numbers. Sadly we'll never see the complete version, or those cut numbers. Drat!
When are folks going to give 'South Pacific' an even break? It's a
film. A great big, colourful, emotional wallow, filled with romance, song,
splendor, humor, and expert acting. Sure the colour filters are somewhat
jarring. Blame it on the awful prints now (and it seems, forever) in
circulation. Back in June 1958 the Films and Filming reviewer put it this
way, "Logan has hit on the ingenious idea of using colour rather in the way
that a composer underscores a films drama with music. As the emotions of
characters find their expression in music, so the cold clear tones of
reality dissolve into the warm yellow and red hues of fantasy. I found this
a wholly acceptable compromise, and many of the effects (indeed the whole
level of the Todd-AO photography) were outstandingly good." Works for me to
- and goodness knows I've seen them often enough. It also worked for the
millions of cinemagoers who flocked to see the film - over and over again.
Mind you, had Logan decided to supervise all aspects of the cutting etc.,
instead of trotting off to direct 'Blue Denim,' Fox might, possibly, have
been persuaded to remove the filters before release? Perhaps, with film
preservation on so many agendas these days, some of this
colour-filter-exasperation could be channeled in that direction.
Now, regarding all this rubbish about 'South Pacific' being a financial and critical disaster? How? In Great Britain, where it had a four-and-a-half year run at the Dominion Theater in London, it recouped three times its negative cost before going into general release. It ran for three-and-a-half years in Sydney and Copenhagen. For over two years in NYC. It even broke box office records in Salt Lake for goodness sake. And this is just the tip of the successful iceberg. The critics? Sure there were dissenters, there always are, for any film. Most, however, echoed the headline which ran in London's Daily Mirror, 'South Pacific is just terrific.'
Which brings me to my final irritation, the casting of Mitzi Gaynor as Nellie Forbush. The delicious Mitzi is bloody marvelous in 'South Pacific.' She gives a beautifully multi-layered performance filled with truth and honesty. Her Nellie is real, human, and natural. In scene after scene this immensely talented actress subtly conveys, with humor and great sensitivity, her character's ever-changing moods. And, again, from NYC's Daily News to London's Daily Express, by way of Picturegoer and Films in Review, the majority of critcs agreed that, "Mitzi doesn't leave a palm-leaf on the trees when she goes into action."
'South Pacific?' It really is terrific.