South Pacific

D: Joshua Logan
Magna (Buddy Adler)
US 1958
170 mins


W: Paul Osborn [based on the musical by Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein II]
DP: Leon Shamroy
Ed: Robert L. Simpson
Mus: Alfred Newman & Ken Darby

Mitzi Gaynor (Ens. Nellie Forbush), Rossano Brazzi (Emile de Becque); Ray Walston (Luther Billis), John Kerr (Lt. Joseph Cable), France Nuyen (Liat), Juanita Hall (Bloody Mary)

Amongst the most popular of the Rodgers-Hammerstein musicals with a huge fan base still to this day, though this may be also to do with the many stage shows which have been in theatres since the film's release.
Set in 1943 on an island in the South Pacific, the story follows a romance that blooms between an American navy nurse and a French planter who later becomes a war hero.
Like all Rodgers-Hammerstein musicals, it will have many ardent fans, but will also have those who find this completely unappealing. It's not audience-friendly to the latter due to an overlong running time and its tendency to use colour filters in the cinematography for dramatic effect.
For those who do enjoy their musicals, this has some of the more memorable songs from the songwriter duo, including "Some Enchanted Evening", "There Is Nothing Like A Dame" and the quite inescapable "Happy Talk".

Rosanno Brazzi & Mitzi Gaynor in South Pacific
Rosanno Brazzi & Mitzi Gaynor in South Pacific