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>
Concerned that the film's lush tropical settings would appear unnatural in Technicolor, and partially to cover up the fluctuations in weather during the shoot, director Joshua Logan hoped to soften the effect by filming several scenes through the newly available colored filters. He later indicated he considered this to be the biggest mistake he had made in his filming career. He wanted the filters to be subtler, but he says that the film processing lab had made them more extreme than he liked. There was no time to re-shoot without them or replace them because the film was a roadshow and tickets had been booked months in advance. However, according to his son Tom, when the film first became available on VHS and Mr. Logan watched it, he liked the filtered scenes. See more »
When Nellie asks Captain Brackett if the "Frenchman" on the island she's heard about from all the pilots in the hospital is "her Frenchman," there's a complete mismatch between what she says and the movement of her lips. See more »
Mother says older men are better for a girl than young men.
This has been a discovering day for me.
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 »
The UK cut of the film begins with the first scene of Nellie and Emile at the plantation, and then the first Seabees scene, as was done originally on Broadway. US distributor 20th Century Fox decided to rearrange the two sequences, thus opening the film with "Bloody Mary". See more »
When are folks going to give 'South Pacific' an even break? It's a wonderful 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 his 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.
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