An ex-husband and wife team star in a musical version of 'The Taming of the Shrew'; off-stage, the production is troublesome with ex-lovers' quarrels and a gangster looking for some money owed to them.
During World War II in the South Pacific love is found between a young nurse, Nellie Forbush (Glenn Close) and an older French plantation owner, Emile de Becque (Rade Serbedzija). The war ... See full summary »
Harry Connick Jr.,
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
For many years, Rossano Brazzi maintained that he himself had performed his vocals in South Pacific (1958), despite the fact that prominent baritone Giorgio Tozzi received on-screen credit as "the singing voice of Emile de Becque." Brazzi later sang for himself in The Christmas That Almost Wasn't (1966), and his vocals in that film forever laid to rest any doubts as to his classical singing ability. See more »
While singing "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair", the soap on Nellie Forbush's shoulders disappears and come back. 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 »
Original roadshow version ran 171 minutes. 20 minutes were edited for general release, subsequently shown in theaters, television, and home video. These scenes were:
A non-musical bridge during the song "Bloody Mary" in which Mary attempts to sell a shrunken head to a sea-bee. Mary calls him a "stingy stinker," and it resumes with the chorus of the song.
As Luther explains to Cable what goes on on the island of Bali Ha'i, he sings a short reprise of the song of that name.
Nellie and Emile repeat the chorus to "Some Enchanted Evening" before kissing. In the general release, the chorus was removed from this reprise.
Much of the scene at Bali Ha'i, including shots of Cable and Billis's entry to the island, and much of the Boar's Tooth ceremony.
After the party, Emile's surprise was that he put a towel on his head and sang a comic reprise of "I'm Gonna Wash That man Right Outta My Hair".
-Then* his children walked out to meet Nellie. As it stands in the edited version, it seems as if the children themselves were the surprise.
Luther complains about the absence of gas for the generator during rehearsals
Luther asks a nurse about Nellie as the ships go out.
With overture, ent'racte, and exit music, this complete cut was approximately 175 minutes. Some people claim that the original full-length version shows Lt. Cable getting shot and falling dead, but others say that this is never shown. As shown in most prints, Emile merely reports Cable's death, just as he does in the play, and Cable is shown lying dead as the natives prepare to bury him.
The Broadway version of South Pacific was an amazing breakthrough in confronting attitudes that today's politically correct culture would consider completely racist. According to Mary Martin and others, she received death threats and the play was picketed regularly, which is hard to believe now.
I have to hope the Broadway version moved along a bit faster than the movie version, or there would have been a massive exodus from the unforgiving New York crowd. I can only guess that Josh Logan was feeling the humid heat of those islands, because the pace of the film is not just temperate, it's downright slow. I know it's hard to fit in songs when you're not used to doing musicals, but it only got worse from here for him (Camelot and Paint Your Wagon were just dreadful). If we're trying to get across that the machine of the military moved inexplicably slow, I got it, but I don't think that's it. I think it's Josh.
The music, of course, is wonderful. And I loved Mitzi Gaynor. I think she's perfect as light-hearted, silly Nellie, who lives within boundaries she's never even thought about, but suddenly finds some strength of character when she realizes that she loves someone without reservation. I'm not a fan of choosing the actor and having him lip sync, but Rossano certainly did so with feeling. Ray Ralston played his usual belligerent/con artist character. And who knew Tom Laughlin could act like a human being instead of just Billy Jack? Nice appearance there.
The colored filters are unfortunate. Good thing all the other directors saw Josh's mistake and didn't head down that rainbow road.
And I still find the job that Oscar Hammerstein III did of condensing James Michener's collection of short stories into this socially relevant (at the time) play truly amazing.
I gave the movie a seven because musicals always get five from me, the concept of the movie/play is great (if it gives us a reminder of where we've been), and the acting solid. I have to think that, in the hands of a better director, this movie might be dated, but truly wonderful.
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