South Pacific

 (3,295)6.82 h 37 min1958X-Ray13+
Rodgers and Hammerstein's Academy Award-winning "South Pacific" is a towering musical masterpiece and the tender love story of a naive young Navy nurse (Mitzi Gaynor) and an older French Plantation owner (Rossano Brazzi) on a U.S. occupied South Sea island. The breathtaking score is highlighted by some of the most romantic songs ever written: "Some Enchanted Evening," "There is Nothin' Like a Dame," "Younger Than Springtime" and more. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, South Pacific ranks among the most celebrated of Rodgers and Hammerstein's acclaimed musicals.
Joshua LoganJoshua Logan
Rossano BrazziRossano BrazziMitzi Gaynor
Arts, Entertainment, and Culture
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Supporting actors
Mitzi GaynorJohn KerrJohn KerrFrance Nuyen
20th Century Fox
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4.6 out of 5 stars

3295 global ratings

  1. 81% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 9% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 5% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 1% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 4% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

Dan C.Reviewed in the United States on August 13, 2017
4.0 out of 5 stars
The blank screen at the beginning is NORMAL! (Great movie, BTW)
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First off, I wanted to address a number of negative reviews that claim their Blu-Ray disc or DVD must be faulty because there is only audio and no video. This is normal! The first few minutes consist of a short arrangement of music--no pictures! Once upon a time, this was a fairly common element called an overture. Don't panic or scramble to adjust your home theater settings (or file a return & post a 1-star review!) Make some popcorn, get comfy, and enjoy the music while you wait for the show to begin. After a few minutes, video will appear out of the darkness, and the opening credits will roll, exactly as intended. Maybe the producers could have placed a still image or the word "Overture" on the screen, but in 1958 I think people were used to this format and wouldn't have given it a second thought. The same blank screen over music will happen at the intermission about 2/3 through the movie.

Now, about the movie...

This movie is a classic. It has a great story that is nicely paced (considering it's 2.5 hours... pretty long by today's standards) and has a beautiful soundtrack. This was probably the high water mark for Rodgers & Hammerstein as far as movies go.

The color and audio are indredibly rich--many would say it's completely over the top, but that's part of the charm. Likewise, the song and dance routines initially seem more appropriate for a stage than a movie, but if you just go with it, I promise in short time you will be won over. The movie is so visually entertaining and has such a great story and soundtrack that this is one you will watch again and again.

The multi-format package is very convenient. We have a Blu-Ray player at home and the higher resolution is appreciated there, but having the DVD is great for road trips. In this day of ever-changing agreements between the movie rights-holders and the streaming services such as Amazon and Netflix, it's nice to have a physical copy that you can go back to any time.
123 people found this helpful
B. NiceReviewed in the United States on September 5, 2017
4.0 out of 5 stars
Fun movie; just a few caveats --
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Great classic Rogers & Hammerstein movie. I loved this musical many years ago (even though I'm usually not a big fan of musicals) and have tried to find it streaming for free on Netflix or Amazon Prime for so long, I finally gave up and sprung for streaming it on Amazon for the paid 48-hour rental fee. Enjoyed the movie a lot, but a couple of technical aspects to note:

First off, be warned: This movie starts out with NO PICTURE at all, just an instrumental soundtrack of the film's many songs playing over a completely blank screen. Just know that this is NOT your disc player or a streaming problem; it is made that way, and if you sit it out for a few minutes ( or advance ahead if you don't want to listen to the glorious soundtrack), the picture comes along and then the credits begin to roll. As another reviewer noted, that's the way the movie was made! It's something they used to do with big motion pictures with spectacular orchestral soundtracks back in the 50's, playing this "overture" in the theater while people are taking their seats and before the picture starts up. Same deal with the "intermission" midway through the film. Just enjoy a few minutes of listening to the music while you take a quick bathroom break and run to the snack bar without having to pause the movie. The movie really should have some kind of warning about this when you buy or rent it, because so many people these days would have no idea that that's why they're getting sound with no picture, and I bet countless younger viewers have been fooled and frustrated by this, and waste their time or money on trying other formats or players, or simply give up and return the movie.

The other not-so-groovy thing about seeing this movie in its remastered or HD digital version is that is has some VERY distracting, over-the-top, cheesy coloration issues that seriously brought it down a notch or two in my eyes. Even though it was already made in Technicolor and contained a lot of gorgeous colorful scenery and cinematography, it seems they got the not-so-bright idea of changing the hue of the scenes in which some of the songs are being sung by the characters, and also giving a large area of the picture a fuzzy/blurred-out, soft vignetting around the edges framing the singer. Cheesy. Just cheesy, I'm afraid. Distracting and unnecessary, so it constantly drew attention to itself.

The hue-altering first came in on the song "Bali Hai", when Bloody Mary was sing about this magical, mystical island, so I thought maybe the subtle color change over the whole picture was meant to have that effect for that scene only, but then the color change became so extreme and UN-subtle that you start to realize this must be computer-generated tinkering for effect, and the colors go way too extreme, swinging from all-over purple to way too greenish-yellow during the song, until it feels like some amateur was just fooling with the basic color adjustments in a cheap video app. It was a relief when the song ended and normal color ranges returned to the screen. Unfortunately, they do this silly effect again repeatedly on other songs, where any magical, mystical island effects have nothing to do with it, so it just serves no good purpose. Ugh.

As for the blurring around the edges during musical numbers, same thing. Distracts from the original film, which should be thought of as a stage play brought to the "big screen" to really appreciate what you're looking at to begin with, so seeing anything about it that looks like special effects layered onto it just kind of pops you out of the good old fashioned place you're trying to put your mind in to enjoy this in the first place.

It is, after all, very old fashioned, as a story set in World War II and produced in the late fifties. This movie is a pretty fun romp I f you like to spend a couple of fairly light-hearted hours immersing yourself in that bygone era when women (or "girls") were called "dames" and the idea of people bursting into song every two minutes onscreen was much more common, so why remind the viewer repeatedly that they're seeing a new, updated copy of this film, which is, keep in mind, really a pretty out-of-date vehicle for singing, acting, storytelling and expressions in dialogue that you'd never see in today's movies. For an old classic like this, it's all about "suspension of disbelief." The music is fun, the lyrics are admirable, the acting is old-style, the stereotypes are not today's version of PC, but it's Rogers & Hamm at their best -- you know what you're getting here; if you're into that, or willing to check it out (and be prepared for these old-style musicals to be much slower paced than today's blockbusters), just enjoy the ride for what it is. That's the way I view it, anyway, so I just feel the after-the-fact adding on of PhotoShop-like effects is anachronistic and annoying.

All that said, I still find this to be a fine example of a fun musical from the heyday of big picture musicals, filled with a lot of good songs that stand the test of time, memorable characters, and great scenery, and would recommend it. And if you know where to find an un-retouched version of it, probably even better.
41 people found this helpful
JWSReviewed in the United States on August 30, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
One of R&H's best musicals and best screen adaptations - in 2 Blu ray formats!
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First of all, the format description stating this is "1 disc" is wrong. It has 2 Blu ray discs. Disc one contains the original movie, and Disc Two contains the "Roadshow" edition of the film, with "Overture" (NOTE: the screen is BLANK during this part! it is NOT a flaw!!!), "Entr'acte" music between acts 1 and 2, and closing music at the end. Roadshows were created for BIG films, treating the showings like the opening night of a Broadway play. They were shown in large markets like LA, NY, Chicago, Detroit, and other large metropolitan areas. So, like a live play, they would provide an "overture" (selections from the songs) to be played while people seated, an "entr'act" or intermission (for longer films 2:30 and longer), and "exit" music to be played at the end while people were leaving. Women dressed in evening gowns and men in tuxedos or evening clothes. These were big events. They disappeared decades ago.
As to the movie. Five stars. It is classic Rodgers & Hammerstein with unforgettable songs like "Some Enchanted Evening," "Bali Hai," "I'm In Love With A Wonderful Guy," and "Younger Than Springtime." Some of which have become standards. All of the actors' songs were dubbed, with the exception of Mitzi Gaynor, but this doesn't detract from the enjoyment of the film, and are not noticeable. Famous Metropolitan Opera singer Giogio Tozzi sang Brazzi's songs. Oddly, Juanita Hall's songs were dubbed even though she sang the role in the original Broadway cast!
This was a movie, in 1958, ahead of its time, dealing directly with racial bigotry, especially biracial sex and marriage. The song "Carefully Taught" takes this head-on. Although mild by today's standards, it was very controversial when R&H used it in the original show in the late 40s and in the movie in 1958. They were pressured to remove it from the original play, but they were adamant, saying that this is what the play is all about. They stood their ground, and it remained.
Typically movie versions remove songs from original plays to save time (and maybe to make the movie move ahead faster? Fear of 'too much"?). SP was just the opposite. Director Joshua Logan (a good friend and colleague of R&H) actually added "My Girl Back Home," a lovely song of homesickness at being so far away during war, removed from the original for time considerations. I'm glad he did it. It is a great duet with Lt. Cable (John Kerr) and Nellie Forbush (Mitzi Gaynor).
A controversial part of the film, technologically, was Logan's use of filters to add various emotional responses to scenes of the movie, such as in the song "Bali Hai," "Cock-eyed Optimist" and others. It was overused some, and Logan later apologized for it, taking the blame publicly! But it is a small, insignificant "mistake," and has actually become so strongly associated with the film that fans ignore it. Logan was actually attempting to recreated the lighting changes used in the original play (he was a theatrical director before making this, his first film).
The plot, the story, the romances, the beautiful filming locations in (I believe) Hawaii, make for a memorable experience. I took my daughter and grandson to see it at a 60th anniversary showing by TCM at a local cinema, and they loved it. Even the 18-year-old! Most highly recommended! (Oh, the Blu ray version is spectacular).
7 people found this helpful
SiegmundReviewed in the United States on August 27, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Gaynor is Perfection
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Of the many things I want to say about my favorite movie, the most outstanding is that Mitzi Gaynor as Nellie Forbush is the most inspired casting ever.... She is the perfect embodiment of the naive, midwestern girl who is a metonomy for a naive America confronting the world in so many ways. Her anguish caused by her prejudice is really believable, but it is her "cockeyed optimism" that captures our hearts and defines the movie. No one can do this like Gaynor did in this film and I doubt she could have repeated her success in a remake. It was once-in-a-lifetime magic.

I have been watching the various versions, DVD, Blu-Ray, and so on, and I come away from each viewing, feeling absolutely giddy. Since I have been watching this, I feel the most upbeat that I have in years. Nothing has ever lifted my spirits as this movie has, and it is because of Gaynor. Wonderful cast all around, but Gaynor IS "South Pacific,"
And kudos to the filters! They work wonderfully. A musical asks for a certain degree of suspension of disbelief. A movie filmed on islands in the South Pacific, involving battleships and war planes needs a device to nudge the audience into suspending disbelief as Seabees burst into song. "SouthPacific" was to be a new kind of musical, on site location, Todd-AO, multi-track stereophonic sound, hollywood throwing its kitchen sink at you, not an MGM studio production. All of that worked beautifully inspite of the terrible conditions the on-site filming caused,things like a typhoon, blowing aaway the sets.
It is wonderful to have these restored DVDs. Again, this feat can never be repeated, and just as "2001, A Space Oyssey," must be seen in a cinerama theater to experience the movie , as it was conceived, this is the one and only authentic 1950s "South Pacific. Forget all the community productions, or Broadway reprises. Twentieth Century Fox and Gaynor created the definitive version. And from a comment on the accompanying DVD a bout the making of the film, I see that I am not the only one to notice Gaynor has the most perfect female form ever created, that plus a perfect face, teeth, hair and ebullient personality, and you have an incomparable FORBUSH.
2 people found this helpful
Todd7Reviewed in the United States on February 20, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Pure Escapism
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South Pacific (1958) is a visual feast among a solid story. Director Joshua Logan takes risks in this Rodgers & Hammerstein adaptation of the play. His use of color filters evoke a mood in many scenes, mostly the musical numbers. He actually wanted the tint to be much lighter, but MGM overcompensated, making certain scenes too dark and ‘loud’, while other scenes seem spot-on with tint. The evening scenes seem to work very well, but the daytime scenes are a bit too dark. Mitzi Gaynor gives a great performance in her role, as does the rest of the cast. The musical numbers are catchy and memorable, which gives this film instant identification. This 4-disc blu ray set is loaded; it contains the theatrical version, the road show version, and many neat extras. The picture clarity and sound are very good, and the overall restoration is of high quality. South Pacific is essential to your R&H blu ray collection!
3 people found this helpful
R PetersonReviewed in the United States on January 15, 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
Todd AO preserved before gone!
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This is another wonderful roadshow release. This one nearly got away with key elements deteriorating. A great restoration of an important piece of work. Very early 70mm Todd AO production. If you have a decent home theatre, I hope you will consider getting this for your collection. Purchased from Amazon and arrived in perfect condition quickly. Thanks for reading.
27 people found this helpful
Jeff KalissReviewed in the United States on September 21, 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
It Ought to Be Carefully Watched (and Listened to)
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Whatever's old-fashioned in this almost sexuagenarian movie story is thoroughly enhanced by good acting, good scripting, and unforgettable music and lyrics by Rodgers & Hammerstein. This is no "From Here to Eternity"-type tale of the South Pacific, but it's ahead of its time in its looks at racial prejudice and ageism. Lots of comedy as well, somewhat oddly set against the threats of the Second World War. Mitzi Gaynor is irresistibly adorable.
20 people found this helpful
operamartyReviewed in the United States on March 15, 2015
5.0 out of 5 stars
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The Blue Ray version is like seeing the movie for the first time. I have additional speakers wired into my entertainment center with my HD Big Screen and these discs are just fabulous. I've shown it 4 times to friends since receiving it and everyone is blown away by the video and GREAT SOUND! So glad I bought it! Loaned out my old DVD version to someone who didn't return it so couldn't wait to get this replacement - it is more than a replacement - it is truly like seeing it in the theater the first time and I'm old enough to remember that experience. If you are tired of the junk on TV, give yourself and your family this wonderful treat! It is just gorgeous in color and sound! It is now time to replace all the old DVD's of my musicals with Blue Ray! The story is still relevant to culture today. A great balance of romance, comedy, human fragility, racism, and fantastic songs with the backdrop of Kauai's north shore. There was a controversy of Logan's use of colored filters on the cameras for effect and it never bothered me and it still doesn't. It adds the mood I think he was striving for. This is a must for your video collection!
23 people found this helpful
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