Musical Monday: South Pacific (1958)

It’s no secret that the Hollywood Comet loves musicals.
In 2010, I revealed I had seen 400 movie musicals over the course of eight years. Now that number is over 500. To celebrate and share this musical love, here is my weekly feature about musicals.

This week’s musical:
South Pacific” (1958) – Musical #2

Twentieth Century Fox

Joshua Logan

Mitzi Gaynor, Rossano Brazzi, John Kerr, Ray Walston, Juanita Hall, France Nuyen, Russ Brown, Ken Clark, Archie Savage, Richard Harrison, Candace Lee, Warren Hsieh, Tom Laughlin, Floyd Simmons

Set during World War II, the Navy is stationed on an island in the South Pacific. Nellie Forbush (Gaynor) is a Navy nurse who falls in love with Emile De Becque (Brazzi), a French civilian who lives on the island. Marine Lt. Joe Cable (Kerr) is sent to the island on a secret mission and the military wants De Becque’s help because he is familiar with the islands. De Becque is hesitant to help because of his love for Nellie, but her prejudices complicate the relationship when she realizes Emile has two Polynesian children. Lt. Cable has to come to terms with his prejudice Philadelphia upbringing when he falls in love with a Polynesian girl, Liat (Nuyen).

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Turner Classic Film Festival: Mitzi Gaynor and South Pacific


Last night (Thursday, April 25) I saw my first film at the Turner Classic Film Festival: South Pacific.
The film was shown poolside at the Roosevelt Hotel and introduced by Ben Mankiewicz with France Nuyen and Mitzi Gaynor as special guests.
Nuyen told about how she got her role in the film and was a French model. She went on set with high fashion makeup and was told to wash it off for the film. She cried because she thought she would be ugly.
Gaynor was hilarious. Her feistiness and off color stories could be compared to a Debbie Reynolds interview.
Gaynor got the role of Nellie Forbush in South Pacific over actresses such as Susan Hayward, Elizabeth Taylor, June Allyson, Doris Day and several others.
While Mankiewicz was interviewing Gaynor, she demanded he bring out his new baby for everyone to see. By the end, she had taken over the interview.
Hilariously Gaynor told of how she complimented her costar Rossano Brazzi on his good looks and Brazzi said, “I know.”
During the screening of South Pacific, people clapped after each song.
The ambiance of the film by the pool was beautiful.
This is just a brief post to keep y’all updated during TCMFF.

This morning I saw Jean Harlow in Libeled Lady (1936) and am now waiting to see Suddenly It’s Spring (1947) with Fred MacMurray and Paulette Goddard introduced by MacMurray’s daughter, Kate MacMurray.

More about Friday’s events in the next post.