78 of 84 people found the following review helpful
More than a love story. And the music is great!,
This review is from: South Pacific (DVD)With the world a little shaky now, it's a real pleasure to be able to put on a DVD and take a trip down memory lane to 1958 when South Pacific was released in movie theaters. The Rogers and Hammerstein score sets the tone for this musical adaptation of the Broadway show that was based on Tales of the South Pacific" by James Mitchener.
The story is set on an island in the South Pacific during WW2. The Japanese are entrenched in a nearby island and are bombing American forces that go near, but life is sweet for the G.I.s at the naval base. Mitzi Gaynor, cast as a nurse, is beginning a romance with an older distinguished French planter played by Rossano Brazzi. John Kerr is a young lieutenant who comes to the island to convince the planter to risk his life to spy for the Americans. And Juanita hall is the older native woman who pushes her daughter, the lovely France Nuyen, at John Kerr. The music is excellent and the words of the songs really do move the story along.
The theme however, is more than a love story. It deals with racism and the tragedy of war too. And these themes are what held it all together for me. It's a great human statement surrounded by wonderful familiar melodies that I'm still humming this morning. I loved it. And I didn't even care that, with the exception of Rossano Brazzi and Ray Walston, whose role as a sailor who always has a scheme and adds some really funny comic relief to this tale of love and war, the acting in general was mediocre. Everyone else gave rather stilted performances, and Mitzi Gaynor might be pretty, but she can't quite show a wide range of emotion. Also, the songs were all dubbed and obviously so. But that was the way Hollywood did things in those days. It's also interesting to note what the standard for beauty was in 1958. With the exception of the dancers, it was youth alone and not workouts in the gym that shaped the actors' bodies. Narrow waists were in style for the women, but hips were allowed to flare naturally.
I loved South Pacific in spite of its few faults. It was great entertainment even though it didn't make me forget the prospect of war. If you've never seen this film, don't miss it. And if you've seen it before, it's certainly worth a revisit. Highly recommended.