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South Pacific Reviews

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Super Reviewer

January 23, 2007
mitzi gaynor is absolutely stunning. south pacific is a fine musical with wonderful landscapes and really solid music. i did feel that the war story could have been used a little more and the love story a little less, but overall this is a great musical.

Super Reviewer

September 27, 2007
A mere shadow of the stage play. Overproduced and almost painfully overbright.
Lanning :

Super Reviewer

May 7, 2006
There is nothing you can name, nothing in the world . . . like it. A great song line-up. Ray Walston is one of the most memorable character actors . . . Bali Ha`i may call you . . . And a young France Nuyen--beautiful . . . Some enchanted evening, you may see a stranger across a crowded room . . . That booming Brazzi voice: Still dreaming of paradise, this nearly was mine . . . Not to mention it was shot on Kaua`i!

05/07/06: Up a half star.
Alec B

Super Reviewer

February 22, 2009
Out of all the Rogers and Hammerstein musicals South Pacific is probably the best. Still it's a wildly uneven piece with a few really good songs scattered among some very mediocre one's. As for this film, it's a very poor adaptation. The color filtered scenes gave me a headache and its really boring because almost none of it is at all interesting.
Andrew F

Super Reviewer

February 25, 2007
Saved by its songs.
Marion R

Super Reviewer

May 7, 2007
I enjoyied a couple of the songs, but overall it was just okay.
November 9, 2010
A second-tier mid-Century musical that nevertheless is still well respected, as it contains a goodly number of great Rodgers & Hammerstein numbers that will be re-remembered fondly by many viewers.

Two love affairs blossom on a quiet island, sheltered from most of the conflict of World War II. One affair is between a Navy Nurse and a French plantation owner with native children; the other between a young Marine and a far younger native girl.

Accordingly, each affair is inappropriately interrupted by the racial stigmas of the day. Such a topic was surely considered a touchy one in its day. Loosely based on the award-winning James Michener memoir 'Tales of the South Pacific.'

Even aficionados of mid-Century musicals may well have forgotten the many high quality R&H numbers that fell from this production, including 'Bali Ha'i,' 'Some Enchanted Evening,' 'I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair,' 'This Nearly Was Mine,' and 'Younger Than Springtime.' Such numbers readily qualify the film for a revisiting.

Director Logan controversially imposed heavily colored lens filters whenever there was presence of strong human emotion. Today's consensus is that the filters highly detract from the viewing experience. Logan eventually disowned the technique as a lapse in judgment. A proper restoration might bring the filtering down to a level that does not require such begrudging tolerance of the viewer.

RECOMMENDATION: This film will likely never be rated as well crafted as, say, 'The King and I', but it surely rates inclusion in the catalogs of viewers who are fans of the genre.
September 19, 2010
I've heard so much about this movie from everyone, and seen it talked about on countless t.v. shows, So, I decided to buy it, on v.h.s., & watched it
last night. I wasn't that impressed with it though. The odd thing is, in 1958
they were still tooting about younger women dateing or even marrying older men. That it was o.k. Yet, now a day's if a young girl & older man are seen
together, it's considered a bad thing, or a crime. I think, if everything clicks,
things just work out perfectly, then I see no reason why a young girl, or
young boy, can't have an older guy or girl as thier lover. It's in what the person see's in the other. You can't cage love. It will happen, no matter what. Obviously, they arranged it, so it was just fine for the 2 couples to marry. They were in another country. Not in the U.S.A., where it would have been illegal . Why, I'll never know. It's thier lives, allow them the freedom to live it how they want to.
September 4, 2010
Visually stunning, with a decent storyline, but overall a good movie to go to sleep to. This was almost like two separate movies, the second half being much more serious than the first - much like The Sound of Music.
December 17, 2009
I thought I'd hated this musical, based upon watching this lame adaptation of the classic Broadway show. The only worthwhile performances in this entire film are Ray Walston as Luther Billis and Juanita Hall as Bloody Mary. Don't bother watching, though, or you might be just as turned off as I. Go see a local production instead, or rent/borrow the DVD of the 2006 concert version starring the delightful Reba McEntire, swoon-worthy Brian Stokes Mitchell, and unexpectedly absolutely hilarious and perfectly-cast Alec Baldwin.
July 24, 2009
This has many of the elements that make me dislike musicals. It's overblown, WAY overlong, too many poor songs, too lively and colorful and soooo fake. The acting isn't particularly good. It does have top notch production values, but overall it was too nauseating for me.
June 2, 2009
I was forced to watch this movie against my will so it's amazing that I actually like it and this much.
October 10, 2008
This is THE greatest musical of all time! The plots are all feasible, with realistic characters. Racial prejudices and intolerance are part of the plot, as well as two plotlines involving interracial love.
The music is some of Rodgers and Hammerstein's finest!
August 2, 2008
where I will give Oklahoma credit for at least being very self-aware of its hokiness, this film takes itself way too seriously. a choppy, random jumble of storylines that translate more like a chronological brainstorm than a well-written script. some of the songs are very memorable, but others just don't really fit in. the editing and the constant use of color filters also subtracted from the flow and overall enjoyment. mediocrity often works with musicals because mediocrity works well with comedy. but when your musical is a weak attempt at a war drama/love story, mediocrity really shows in a bad way.
July 7, 2008
"Gayer than laughter" is right.

Okay, I'm not bigoted or anything, but seriously, this movie's got some masculinity issues. Pretty much the opening scene is a bunch of shirtless guys singing about how great dames are. Really, guys? How many of you really know how awesome dames are? I can just imagine one of them singing "and they're stronger than bears!" because they're all just guessing and trying too hard.

This is the kind of musical I severely dislike. Call me a facist, but Rogers and Hammerstein annoy the living daylights out of me. The lyrics are annoying and most of the music is sung simply for the sake of singing. It's more "ooh, isn't that catchy" than, "my, this is advancing the character and the story." Now, I'm not saying that situation is an absolute in South Pacific, but it is defintiely there. The real reason that these kinds of songs annoy me (outside of their general uselessness) is that it takes a very short plot narrative that is already too preachy and turns it into a very boring two-and-a-half hour movie. There is no reason that this movie couldn't have been told in 70 minutes. Two subsconsciously racist American soldiers fall in love but are too racist to do anything about it, hurting the ones they love. Gee, if I can really sum up a plot that easily, there isn't much to it.

Now, I've put my hatred for the typical Broadway musical on the backburner in the past. Pretty much, my main hatred are the typically Broadway musicals. This is one of them. The reason is that the movies feel so stagey. Now, I don't like the stage productions of these movies either because I believe theatre should have more purpose, but I'll set that aside for now. The stagey feeling of the movie is usually compounded by lack of imagination in these films and South Pacific is no different. It tries to be different using an absolutely miserable gimmick, but it is no different. The gimmick I'm talking about is the use of the colored filter over the lens. Now, I think color is an extremely powerful way to convey emotion and change attitudes, but the way they use color in this film is just lazy and nauseating. Washing the screen out with that color just takes all the beauty out of the moment and makes everyone look sickly. Stage lights get away with it a little better because almost no stage light would be so harsh for so long. I've directed with extreme specials in the past and you know to use those choices sparingly. Unfortunately, this movie just failed when it came to that account.

The real shame is that the scale on this film is pretty grandiose, but it really fails to use any of that grandiose scale to help the movie. The wipes of color distract from the beauty of the film. Also, this is a WWII film. There's the scene of the plane coming in on the island and the miniature boat being attacked, but how about addressing the fact that these people are at war. There's the focus on how importance the Thanksgiving Bash is to the morale of these troops, who seem to be enjoying a tropical vacation the entire time. One of the main characters just comes down with malaria out of nowhere just to make the story slightly more girm. (When he got malaria, I don't know. But he addressed getting out of the hospital, so we have to believe it happened.) But I felt like I was watching Sgt. Bilko more than I was watching a WWII film.

As you can see, I was quite turned off by this movie. It is far too long and I, although I hate using this word, have to say it is really a boring as hell movie. If you like the music, more power to you. That's pretty much all you have going for this film.
June 13, 2006
A childhood favorite that still carries me away on a wave of good feelings. Great songs, great story.
July 1, 2007
The movie was wonderful, and transported you to a South Pacific island during WW2, and shows us that racism can exist anywhere.
September 25, 2007
Probably the greatest of the post war R&H musicals and a wonderful film to watch. Very lush and beautiful scenery throughout. The story was quite daring for the time period and had striking social references for the film audiences of that period. It's still a joy to watch today.
July 21, 2007
This movie has a perfect cast, everyone fits in their roles as if the movie ahd been made around them, and the movie is visually stunning and the music wonderful.
May 29, 2007
Guy broke your heart? Listen to this song, it'll cheer you right up!
"I'm gonna wash that man right outta my hair, i'm gonna wash that man right outta my hair, i'm gonna wash that man right outta my hair , and send him on his way!" dooo dooo dooo
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