What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that there's some warfare in this movie, set during WWII. Airplanes bomb Navy vessels, and an airplane is hit by enemy fire. There's a machine gun attack on an unarmed man in a rubber raft. Heroes are caught by gunfire behind enemy lines. However, these are not realistic, gruesome battles: there are no on-camera hits with the exception of a hole in an airplane, no blood, and no one is injured on camera. One leading character is killed (off-camera), but his body is shown without any wounds or blood.
What's the story?
Troops of US Navy men and women are stationed on a beautiful island in the Pacific during World War II. Their assignment is to send scouts to watch for Japanese Imperial Fleet ships on the move and report activity. The island is a paradise, and the troops mingle happily with the native Polynesians, as well as some expatriates from France. Love is in the air, and while Nurse Nellie Forbush (Mitzi Gaynor) falls for French landowner Emile DeBecque (Rossano Brazzi), Lieutenant Cable (John Kerr) is smitten with the daughter of Bloody Mary, one of the island's most colorful characters. But the narrow-minded prejudice rampant in mid-20th century American life shows its face and threatens the flowering romances.
Is it any good?
Rodgers and Hammerstein's SOUTH PACIFIC is a lighthearted musical with serious themes playing under the rhythms of some of the most wonderful standards in the American Songbook: "Some Enchanted Evening," "I'm Gonna Wash That M an Right Outa My Hair," "I'm In Love With A Wonderful Guy," among them. In retrospect it seems that Director Joshua Logan made some clumsy and ham-handed choices when he designed the lighting and elicited performances that are "as corny as Kansas in August." It's not the best translation to film of the masterful composers' work, but the music alone makes it worth another trip to the island.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about how musicals have evolved since 1958, when this movie was made. What are some of the filmmaking techniques that make today's musicals more realistic? And how have the morals and values shown in this film evolved?