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South Pacific (DVD)

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5 Reviews

Genre: Musicals & Classical / Theatrical Release: 1958 / Director: Joshua Logan / Actors: Rossano Brazzi, Mitzi Gaynor ... / DVD released 08 March, 2004 at 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment / Features of the DVD: PAL

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    5 Reviews
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      01.09.2010 09:26
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      Love blossoms in a time of war

      FILM ONLY REVIEW

      The year is 1943 and the US Navy has taken up base on a small Island in the South Pacific. The women on the island have all been moved away from the men and they are trying everything possible to get to them. A Lieutenant is bought onto the island to undertake a secret mission, in order for him to be able to complete this mission he must enlist the help of a secretive French an who knows the island very well.

      Nurse Forbush has fallen for the French man and soon finds she has to decide if she wants to stay with him or continue in the Navy. Lieutenant Cable has also found love on the island but with his mission due to start will he be able to complete it and return to his love? Can love blossom in this time of war and will the men ever make it over to the women?

      This film was being shown on the TV when my Nan was staying with us and when she found out I had never seen it she was very shocked and ordered me to sit and watch. I have to confess that I did actually get right into the film as so out Sunday meal went out of the window as I was not moving to make vegetables until the film was over! I did enjoy the story and found it was actually very basic and really revolved around two love affairs. There were a few strong support actors who were given minor storyline, like trying to get over to the island where the women were but mainly the story revolved around three lead characters.

      The film was made back in 1958 and so I was not expecting strong acting or special effects but I was quite shocked by the standard they were. The acting was good, the lead roles were played by Rossano Brazzi playing the Emile, John Kerr as Lieutenant Cable and Mitzi Gaynor who played Nurse Forbush. I thought that Nurse Forbush was a good strong character and I liked how she showed her strength when working but also managed to show her emotions and feeling when with her love. She came across as very genuine but I did find there was a lack of chemistry between her and Emile and at times they looked quite wooden together. John Kerr was good in his role and he seemed to be more confident when working with his love and they looked more natural on screen together. The individual performance when acting alone were much stronger.

      We had a good support cast who bought some good fun to the film and storyline, some of the names include, Ray Walston, Juanita Hall, Floyd Simmons and Russ Brown. They were all strong and good roles and I loved how different they were.

      This film is a musical and so we do get a lot of songs. It was easy to see when a song was coming as the background seemed to change colour and everything has an orange glow to it. The vocals on the songs were questionable at times but overall they were all in keeping with the film and the majority of the voices could hold a tune. There was the questionable singing from Rossano Brazzi which I did not enjoy and even my Nan had to say that it was not all his own voice and the high and powerful notes were sung by somebody else. I did find I knew quite a few of the songs but I was not able to sing along as I was not watching this on my own. The other music used in the film was good and mainly used for background music and to add drama and tension to some of the scenes.

      The film is set on an island and so we did at times got some wonderful shots over the sea and of the other surrounding islands. I thought this all looked lovely and it was clear to see that the film was partly shot on location. There were some very bad effects and these were mainly to do with backdrops. when in boats it was clear to see that it had been filmed in front of a green screen but given the age of the film I can forgive this.

      There are a few little laughs in the film as I enjoyed then all, I found it made the storyline a lot lighter. The laughs mainly came from the character Luther Billis as he was desperate to get over to the women and he was helping run a lot of money making scams.

      This is a film only review so there are no bonus features to mention. The running time of the film is 157 minutes and I did find this very long and it could have easily been shortened without loosing anything from the storyline. The rate is a U and I do agree with this.

      I am giving this film a good strong 3 stars. I would have gone for 4 stars but it is very old and dated. I found the storyline was good and so was the majority of the acting. Overall this is a good enjoyable film which has some very catchy tunes in it, perfect for a wet Sunday afternoon.

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        15.04.2010 23:29
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        Go and watch it if you haven't

        This is actually a musical that I have acted in myself. This was purely on an amateur level, however, by doing so I really immersed myself into the magic of what is one of the greatest musicals ever written.

        The story is based on a Pacific Island where several love affairs happen. At the centre of the story is the marine corps, who are rowdy men who seem to be desperate for some ladies. Stewpot and the Professor are the comedy duo (predominantly Stewpot) who provide slapstic and humour to the musical. Joe cable comes across to the island, and meets the group, before Bloody Mary (a native to the island) tells them about the Bali H'ai.

        In parallel, nelly forbush has fallen in love with the wonderful emile de becque. Whilst they, and joe cable deal with their love problems, the musical delivers some fantastic songs:

        Bali H'ai, there is nothing like a dame and happy talk are my personal favourites, although there is not one song I don't enjoy there.


        The DVD itself is a good version. It is obviously very dated, but produces some very good representations of the musical. I recommend going to see the musical itself, however, if producing a play, this DVD can come in handy.

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        09.02.2010 21:13

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        A clever and elegiac film

        South Pacific is a pretty underestimated film in its own right; it's a very fun film that got vibrant, rich colours, and a sweeping romance story, which is packed with plenty of gags and, of course, great acting. In fact, it has such a rich colour scheme that it's often a bit much on the eyes, mainly because it is old and so there is some colour seeping. Still, there is a very clever use of colour throughout, with colour displaying the emotional states of the film's characters. For its age, it's an undeniably looking film, and criminally underrated.

        The film was a huge success when it was first released, playing for years in both the US and the UK, but critical fervour for it has slowed considerably over the last few years. It's regarded by some as a bit slushy, but I think it works as the sort of classically romantic melodrama that so many films today - like Australia - have, mostly unsuccessfully, attempted to recreate.

        There is one especially outstanding feature in this film, and that's Mitzi Gaynor, who plays Nellie Forbush. She's great, no doubt, and proved here that she was an actress with staying power even if most modern audiences couldn't pick her out of a line-up. It evokes a lot of pathos, and in a film often criticised for being overly dramatic and not very plausible emotionally, she brings it back down to Earth with what is without a doubt the film's most authentic portrayal.

        As a musical, it is exuberant, and as a war commentary, a sad elegy on the lives lost, it is unremittingly powerful despite its glossy appearance as a whimsical musical.

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        26.12.2008 22:31

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        best of all rodgers and hammerstein musicals!

        out of all the rodgers and hammerstein musicals, this is my favourite one of all! I first watched this musical when I was a little girl, my gran introduced me to them and I got hooked on it. the story is undoubtedly romantic and it focuses on the love story of two couples. Nellie and Emile - an older man with two children she knows nothing about and Nellie - the young woman who believes and hopes for the best in everything and everyone. Their road to romance is rocky but obviously meant to be! then there is Lieutenant. Joe Cable and Liat - the young star crossed lovers! They are brought together by Bloody Mary who is Liat's mother. However the pressures of expectations are too much for both Joe and Nellie and both face the break up of their relationships. There is a great musical score throughout this movie and the songs are very moving. It is sad and a bit of a tear-jerker but it has lots of laughs too throughout!

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        10.03.2001 23:03
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        Well I'm halfway through reading a very long book, but feel I must feed my addiction to Dooyoo, so I'll write yet another musical opinion about one of my favourite films of all time South Pacific.......yes, I know, I'm a soppy romanticist! ! I first saw this film as a youngster and was hooked, in fact I was so hooked that life thereafter was a downer. I was convinced that one day I would sail off to the South Pacific and meet a handsome man who would sweep me off my feet in much the same way as Joe Cable did to Liat, swinging her from side to side and singing "younger than springtime"........no it's not a porno film either.Enough of the witless humour however,and on with a review of the film. South Pacific is set in the Second World War. It is supposed to be l943 at a time when a U.S.navy base is set up in the Solomon Islands ready for an invasion towards New Quinea. One of the heroes is Joe Cable (my screen idol for many years after) who has been sent to one such island on a special mission. The plot progresses and Joe Cable falls in love with a Polynesian girl Liat who is the daughter of Bloody Mary, a hideous fat rich native of the local island Bali Hi. Alongside Joe and Liat's love affair, we meet Nellie Forbush, played by Mitzi Gaynor who is a rather naive navy nurse who falls in love with Emile De Beque, a rich french plantation owner.Both love affairs have a background of underlying racial prejudice, Joe's because he loves a native girl, and Nellie's prejudice when she discovers Emile is a widower with two Polynesian children. There's no point giving the complete storyline away as obviously this will spoil it for any who have not been fortunate yet to see the film, so I'll try to write up some backgrounds to the making of it. Originally South Pacific was adapted for the screen from two short stories. The two stories tie up on screen by Joe Cable and Emile De Beque g
        oing on a mission together behind Japanese lines. Originally, of course, South Pacific was a stage production and Nellie's part was played by Mary Martin (J.R.Ewing, or Larry Hagman's if you prefer his real name, real life mother). The stage production was a huge success with Rogers and Hammerstein's musical scores and eventually the film was made and first hit the cinemas in l958. It was one of the first films to be produced in Todd AO and many people auditioned for the star roles, including Rock Hudson as Emile De Beque and Doris Day and Elizabeth Taylor as Nellie Forbush, but these parts were eventually given to Rossanno Brazzi and Mitzi Gaynor.Unfortunately, however most of the stars selected couldn't sing and their voices were therefore dubbed (some say very badly)although Mitzi Gaynor was an established singer and dancer and the voice in the film is her own. The supporting cast include Juanita Hall who played Bloody Mary on stage as well as screen, France Nuyen who is beautiful as the Polynesian Girl and Ray Walston who plays the comic part of Luther. Ray Walston,some readers may remember, was My Favourite Martian on T.V. many years ago and unfortunately he died this year. Apparently the movie was filmed in Malaysia, although some say it was Hawaii. There has been some criticism in later years of the racial content in that the Polynesian girl barely speaks and is offered for sale by her mother and the natives are portrayed as happy but idiotic savages. I can honestly say I never thought of this at the time, although I can understand this point of view now.Other criticisms are of poor dubbing and poor direction by Joshua Logan. I've never personally noticed this, but I suppose I will look for it now the next time it is on t.v. and I just hope it doesn't spoil my enjoyment. All this aside, Rogers and Hammerstein's music steals the show with songs such as Some Enchanted Evening, Cockeyed Optim
        ist, Bali Hi. and listen out for You've got to be carefully taught ...a well thought out objection to racial prejudice written at a time when such things were considered taboo. The colour filtering effect, especially during the singing of Bali Hi is glorious, if perhaps a bit too glorious, but manages to give the film an even more romantic air. Certainly, one the family should not miss, even though it may perhaps be considered to be somewhat dated at times. The film is available on video and I believe DVD at £9.99. It is one of the few musicals which I feel would appeal to both men and women with some comedy, some action and a lot of love stories......oh well.....I'm gonna wash that man right out of my hair......and perhaps watch the film again too. .... Bye.

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      • Product Details

        The dazzling Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, brought to lush life by the director of the original stage version, Joshua Logan. Set on a remote island during the Second World War, South Pacific tracks two parallel romances: one between a Navy nurse (Mitzi Gaynor) "as corny as Kansas in August" and a wealthy French plantation owner (Rossano Brazzi), the other between a young American officer (John Kerr) and a native girl (France Nuyen). The theme of interracial love was still daring in 1958, and so was director Logan's decision to overlay emotional moments with tinted filters--a technique that misfires as often as it hits. The comic relief tends to fall flat and an overly spunky Mitzi Gaynor is a poor substitute for the stage original's Mary Martin. But the location scenery on the Hawaiian island of Kauai is gorgeous and the songs are among the finest in the American musical catalogue: "Some Enchanted Evening", "Younger than Springtime", "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair", "This Nearly Was Mine". That's Juanita Hall as the sly native trader Bloody Mary, singing the haunting tune that launched a thousand tiki bars, "Bali H'ai". The movie is based on stories from James Michener's book Tales from the South Pacific. --Robert Horton, Amazon.com