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South Pacific (1958)

Approved | | Musical, Romance, War | 14 April 1958 (Brazil)
Trailer
1:17 | Trailer
On a South Pacific island during World War II, love blooms between a young nurse and a secretive Frenchman who's being courted for a dangerous military mission.

Director:

Joshua Logan

Writers:

Paul Osborn (screenplay), Richard Rodgers (adapted from the play "South Pacific") | 3 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rossano Brazzi ... Emile De Becque
Mitzi Gaynor ... Ensign Nellie Forbush, USN
John Kerr ... Lt. Joseph Cable, USMC
Ray Walston ... Luther Billis
Juanita Hall ... Bloody Mary
France Nuyen ... Liat
Russ Brown Russ Brown ... Capt. Brackett, USN
Jack Mullaney ... The Professor
Ken Clark ... Stewpot
Floyd Simmons ... Commander Harbison, USN
Candace Lee Candace Lee ... Ngana - Emile's Child
Warren Hsieh ... Jerome - Emile's Child
Tom Laughlin ... Lt. Buzz Adams
Giorgio Tozzi Giorgio Tozzi ... Emile De Becque (singing voice)
Archie Savage ... Chief - Boar's Tooth Ceremonial Dancer / Ceremonial Dance Chief
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Storyline

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 <daleoc@interaccess.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

You Have Never Seen South Pacific Until You've Seen It on the Screen! See more »

Genres:

Musical | Romance | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

Towards the finale of "Nothing Like a Dame", Nellie jogs along and picks up her party dress from Luther although she won't even be invited to the party until several scenes later when she meets Emil. See more »

Quotes

Emile de Becque: You must never return anything you stole. Then they'll know you stole it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »

Alternate Versions

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.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Gorgo (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Bali Ha'i
(1949) (uncredited)
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Music by Richard Rodgers
Performed by Juanita Hall (dubbed by Muriel Smith)
See more »

User Reviews

 
In Love With A Wonderful Guy
14 September 2005 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Though it is only the second longest running of Rodgers&Hammerstein's musical shows, South Pacific I believe contains the best score with The King and I running a close second. On Broadway it opened in 1949 and closed 1925 shows later in 1954. It gave Mary Martin her career role on Broadway and made a pop star out of Metropolitan Opera basso Ezio Pinza.

Opening on Broadway only four years after VE Day, South Pacific found a ready made audience with the American public who believed in the rightness of the cause just fought for. The show is based on two short stories from an anthology of stories entitled Tales of the South Pacific by James Michener. The success of South Pacific boosted Michener's reputation as a novelist in no small way.

It's only too bad that South Pacific was not made with the original Broadway leads because it took so long to come to the screen. Ezio Pinza had died in 1956. He had done a couple of films in Hollywood that didn't do that good, but Pinza scored another great success on Broadway in Fanny. Too bad he didn't get to do that film either.

Mary Martin was also getting a bit long in the tooth by 1958 to be playing young Ensign Nellie Forbush. Also in a previous sojourn in Hollywood she hadn't done that good for some inexplicable reason. Mitzi Gaynor stepped very nicely into Mary's shoes and being more of a dancer than Martin, Gaynor's part had more dancing than on Broadway. Check the routine she has when she sings and dances about that wonderful guy she's just fell in love with. It's a shame that Mitzi Gaynor did not come along when musicals were at their height. How great she would have been in some Busby Berkeley epics.

Pinch hitting for Pinza is Rossano Brazzi and for Pinza's voice, Giorgio Tozzi. The big hit of South Pacific, probably the greatest hit from Rodgers&Hammerstein is Some Enchanted Evening. The popularity of that song made the South Pacific original cast album a big seller. And a whole slew of singers recorded it. Bing Crosby and Perry Como had big selling records in 1949 and Al Jolson as well.

The comedy is supplied by Ray Walston who was fresh from Broadway and Hollywood playing Mr. Applegate in Damn Yankees. He plays Luther Billis, sailor and conman extraordinaire. On Broadway the part was done by Myron McCormick.

In fact Walston's big scene is a reminder of how film can do things that on stage you can only imagine. He accidentally falls out of a plane with a parachute fortunately just off a Japanese held island. He's thrown a rubber life raft and has to paddle like mad to get out of range of the enemy weapons. And then sits back and enjoys the show as a whole slew of fighters pound the Japanese on that island. It's described on stage, but here you can enjoy it first hand.

The primary story is the romance between nurse Nellie Forbush from Little Rock, Arkansas and French expatriate planter Emile DeBecque, Brazzi's character. The secondary story line concerns marine lieutenant Joseph Cable, nicely played by John Kerr with dubbed singing voice. Juanita Hall who is from the original cast is Bloody Mary is trying to match Cable with her daughter Liat played by France Nuyen in one of her first screen roles. She's quite the operator herself, Bloody Mary and more than a match for Walston.

Three young players who made it big later and had bit parts in South Pacific were James Stacy, Doug McClure and featured prominently is Tom Laughlin, the future Billy Jack.

It's too bad that we don't have a nice technicolor version of Mary Martin and Ezio Pinza, but this is a pretty good group of players who worked hard and made a wonderful movie.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

14 April 1958 (Brazil) See more »

Also Known As:

South Pacific See more »

Filming Locations:

Moorea, French Polynesia See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$258,350, 26 August 2018

Gross USA:

$458,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$458,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (roadshow)

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (35 mm mag-optical prints)| Mono (35 mm optical prints)| 70 mm 6-Track (Westrex Recording System) (70 mm prints)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

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