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.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.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.
This was directed by the very manic-depressive Josh Logan whose insanity is all over the screen in his directing of the movie version of "Paint Your Wagon", but Logan said that his first choice for Nelli was Elizabeth Taylor, but when she tried to sing for Rogers and Hammerstien, she was so nervous that her throat closed up on her, and she lost out. He was too afraid that Doris Day would turn South Pacific into a Doris Day vehicle, and then one day Mitzi Gaynor showed up and told him, "I know you probably think I can't play Nelli, but I'd like to test for it anyway!" After the test, he asked someone what he thought of her as Nelli and he was told, "Oh! She'll be very good if you can get her to do the things she should be doing instead of the things she's doing, her Gaynorisms - big winking eye's etc., and then he added, "Of course, you'll have to police her!" She smoked cigarettes like a chimney. So, Mitzi got the part, and at the world premier it was then well known that everyone's voice was dubbed except for Mitzi Gaynors and some woman in the audience was explaining to her friend who sang for who, and then ended up asking, "I wonder who sang for Mitzi Gaynor?" and not knowing that Ms. Gaynor was sitting in front of them, she turned around, looked at the two women and quipped, "Frank Sinatra"!
Personally, I love the filters on the musical sequences, and it really adds to the enjoyment of the film. Josh Logan didn't like them, but he was warned not to film the movie in Technicolor for fear that it would look like a picture post card that you could turn over and write "Having a Wonderful Time", but with it being a little bit too long, I love the movie, and again, it's just a shame that these movies cannot be seen in a movie theaters anymore. Then - the would see the expert craftsmanship in such movies as the glorious "South Pacific"!
So, considering Glenn Close in her version of South Pacific. Take it for what it is, it's not that bad. In fact, a big surprise that it turned out as well as it did. I understand that the Josh Logan version with Mitizi Gaynor is going to be released into the movie theaters again. After everyone today see's it as it should be seen, maybe this will cause the release of other musicals such as Oklahoma, The King and I, Carousel, and Guys and Dolls to be released into the theaters again. What a treat that will be, but here's another version, and a wonderful surprise:
You can purchase the South Pacific Concert on C.D. starring, ready for this, Reba McIntyre as Nellie Fobush, with audience response on the disc, and is everyone in for the surprise of their life. Beba is perfection. All of the music is combined with bits and pieces of the shows Dialogue so that you feel you're watching the complete show on the stage. Reba sounds like someone from Little Rock, and her singing is wonderful. All I can say is: Rogers and Hammerstien would approve 100% and be very proud of this version. Reba and the cast is perfection! Reba knocked their socks off on Broadway playing a dynamic performance as Annie in "Annie Get Your Gun"! No wonder she is simply wonderful playing Nellie in South Pacific! If Reba is smart, the next role she'll play is Sally Adams in the Ethel Merman hit "Call Me Madam"! Go girl! Go!
- Mar 4, 2004