On TCM now.\
What''s with all the crazy colors during the numbers?\
Did Josh Logan ever explain himself?
One of the gayest productions of all time. Did you see the bulges and chorus boys? How gay was Josh Logan?
Logan said in one of his memoirs that the idea came from his experiences watching SP on Broadway. The wash of color from deeply-colored gels in climatic moments of songs seemed to him to heighten the emotional impact, and he and his cinematographer were trying to recapture something of that feeling on film. Unhappily, by the time they came to the conclusion the experiment hadn''t worked out well, it was too late to reshoot all the location stuff, and they hadn''t provided themselves with protection footage. But seemingly Logan didn''t like the results any more than the rest of us have over the years. (Personally, I don''t find the colors as hard to take as perky Miss Gaynor in a role Doris Day could''ve knocked out of the park.)
OP, Logan intended the color filters to produce a subtle enhancement and pop. The effect was much greater than he intended, thanks to 20th Century Fox''s production work, and with the release fixed no changes could be scheduled once the initial work was done.\
That''s the story, anyway. People screeched about it. Note it won an Oscar for sound but its nomination for color cinematography went unrewarded - the Oscar went to Gigi (which was hauling in most of the awards that year anyway). Giving it an Oscar for Best Sound made sense because of how the outdoor work impressed the viewers/hearers.
I like Mitzi Gaynor in this film (and *only* in this film... I can''t stand her in anything else). She''s very moving to me when she cries, "This is something born in me!" before "You''ve Got to Be Carefully Taught."
When this is presented on an enormous screen in 70MM Todd AO, the color filters are not as distracting.
The color filters were added in postproduction. They could''ve reversed the effect but it came down to money and time.
Can the filter be removed at this point i time, like on another dvd release?
Stewpot had a massive bulge of sizemeat.
Ron Ely (Tarzan) is one of the shirtless hunks in the opening scenes - perfect nipple placement.%0D\
In the hospital scene toward the end, the gorgeous blond pilot lying in bed is Doug McClure - his first musical.
R7- I don''t think so. I remember reading somewhere that they could not do that. I don''t get it. They were able to remove the Cinerama seams in the blu ray How the West Was Won.
But the Cinerama seams were still showing in the version from just a few years ago. New technology got rid of the seams in the regular edition as well as the blu ray. %0D\
Thus, their ability to change the strange South Pacific colors may come along now or in the near future.
I read somewhere that Doris Day MIGHT have had the role but was asked to sing by Josh Logan at a party (something to this effect; does anyone know the story? Maybe it was one or both of the composers..although I cannot imagine Doris NOT agreeing to sing for Rogers and Hammerstein!) and it pissed her off in the way she was asked, like she was being auditioned. She declined. To sing and to audition.
About ten or twelve years ago, I saw Mitzi Gaynor put on a great show of all-Irving Berlin music. Her voice was better than ever - fuller, richer. I was thinking how great it would have been if she could re-dub all her songs from "South Pacific" because in 1958 she had that thin voice that just didn''t do justice to the R&H melodies.
When the sky is a bright canary yellow, what else are you going to do?
Mitzi Gaynor once told me personally that this production was a gay orgy morning noon and night.\
There was nothing else to due on location during down time but fuck.
Mitzi''s shows were something to behold. Columbus, Ohio was one of her most receptive audiences, her annual show selling out in minutes. She''s basically carried to and fro across the stage the entire night by chorus boys. The program would prominently credit the maker of her gowns.
[quote]The Navy had supplied extras, landing craft, trucks, jeeps and uniforms free of charge. But when Logan needed to film Kerr and Walston''s arrival on Bali Ha''i, with thousands of extras greeting them, the cutter the Navy had supplied was so decrepit it kept breaking down. They had to get a second ship and shoot an extra day%0D\
I was a Navy "supplier" when "War and Remembrance" was filmed in the 80s. We didn''t give the Hollywood people anything that was breaking down. They used our battleships (USS Missouri and USS New Jersey), our sailors, and our Marines. They had the full cooperation of the Department of the Navy. I even supplied myself to the film for several scenes with Robert Mitchum, Barry Bostwick, and Hart Bochner.
What does Mitzi''s vagine look like?
It''s hair was frosted and tied with a pink ribbon.
The "South Pacific" collector''s edition has two DVDs. One of the features of the second disc is "60 Minutes: The Tales of The South Pacific," hosted by Diane Sawyer about writer James Michener. She goes with Michener back to the island where he wrote his stories and they find that the "Bloody Mary" character is still there. The Frenchman''s plantation house is a ruin and Michener weeps when he sees it. It''s really the best "60 Minutes" I''ve ever seen.
[quote]Logan said in one of his memoirs that the idea came from his experiences watching SP on Broadway.%0D\
Not just from watching it but from directing it on Broadway. Logan took credit for the colored gels in the stage version. The use of non-natural lighting flooding a Broadway set to suggest the exotic tropical locale was novel and much commented upon at the time. %0D\
Logan fell in love with his own genius, a fact he makes clear in his otherwise wonderful and dishy memoirs. He was determined to repeat his success with ambers and aquamarines for the film. Only too late did he discover that he didn''t like them and he couldn''t take them out. He does say film audiences in London loved the colored filters, maybe because they were a nice change from their own drab cityscape.
[quote]I even supplied myself to the film for several scenes with Robert Mitchum, Barry Bostwick, and Hart Bochner.%0D\
I would have done anything to supply myself to Hart Bochner.
I''ve always wanted to see it on a huge screen while stoned out of my head. I bet the colors are just fantastic under those conditions.
You''ll see the WHOLE show in Todd-AO!!%0D\
the original SOUTH PACIFIC tag line for the wide screen process. I miss 70MM.
R6, you''re wrong; read the link at R15.
70mm is the size of the film strip, and makes the image on the screen sharper, not larger. Although many wide-screen pictures were filmed in and projected in 70mm, the viewing audience is usually seeing the movie on whatever screen size the theater has already in place.
on the TCM article -- two things:%0D\
1. I''d read that Rodgers attended the Hollywood party on the understanding that Day would sing for him and the group as a tacit audition. Day was furious (she hated singing at parties and didn''t like the notion that Rodgers "expected" her to audition.) Her husband, something-Melcher (anyone?) was a rat and a crook and had likely offered Rodgers Day''s party performance as an audition situation without checking with her.%0D\
2. Gaynor has said that she, her husband Jack and the Brazzis spent a lot of time on the beach in Hawaii during the shoot, that Brazzi complained *a lot* about Tozzi''s singing. She and Jack warned him that the studio could drop and replace him in a hot minute and that he''d better deal with it. He shut up and performed as Logan ordered after that.%0D\
BTW, the Elizabeth Taylor story is marvelous - and Rodgers'' refusal to give her a second shot is characteristic. Too bad; she would have been an interesting Nellie.
Further on Gaynor''s interview -- it was hysterical, making the shoot sound as thought it would make a terrific movie on its own. She said Brazzi went to the beach each day with gold jewelry and Speedos, that his wife arrived with an unbelievable amount of luggage and fabulous formal outfits, in case she met a king.
[quote]Brazzi went to the beach each day with gold jewelry and Speedos, %0D\
Speedos would not be unusual for a European to be wearing.
Why is a black woman playing Bloody Mary? I thought the character was Asian?
R31, racially speaking SOUTH PACIFIC is all over the map. For starters, they filmed it in Hawaii and the locals played the natives. The only thing is, Hawaii is in the North Pacific and real South Pacific islanders don''t resemble Hawaiians.
[quote] Why is a black woman playing Bloody Mary? I thought the character was Asian?\
The same reason the same Black woman played Chinese n "Flower Drum Song" a few years later
a minority was a minority in those days
Diahann Carroll auditioned for ''Flower Drum Song'' and was shocked she didn''t get the part.\
Anyone know why she wasn''t cast and Nancy Kwan was?
The story about Day not wanting to sing at a party and therefore not getting the part doesn''t wash. I''ll bet it was money issue. No one could have preferred Gaynor to Day on style and talents points.
r34 -- dunno, but didn''t Rodgers write "No Strings" for her and Richard Kiley a few years later? Was that to make up for the decision? Did she have to "audition" for him at some point?
Perveresely, R35, Josh Logan seems to have done just that. If you read his book you get the distinct impression that he was determined to NOT cast Doris Day simply because everyone everywhere told him she was perfect for the part. He seems to have felt that it was uniquely up to him to find the perfect Nellie and mass opinion couldn''t possibly be right.%0D\
Logan had a lot of mental issues (he was in profound denial about his homosexuality among other problems.) He made lots of wacky decisions in the course of his career. I think he blundered badly on this one. No one was better suited for the part than Doris Day and they should have moved Heaven and Earth to get her.
Here''s Doris Day''s version of A Wonderful Guy. I was shocked at how shit it is.
r38, Doris made several STUDIO recordings of showtunes over the years that were more "serviceable" renderings and without her special brand of charisma and joie de vivre that always showed up when she sang onscreen. Now, of course, THOSE songs were also pre-recorded but Doris always added that something "extra" when the songs were performed on film that make her a joy to watch. She also did the soundtrack from Annie Get Your Gun and it was surprisingly "bland."
Yes, but her Wonderful Guy isn''t simply "bland". She plods through the melody in an almost speak-sing style. It''s shocking how much her interpretation lacks lyricisn. And she SHOUTS the last held note.
r40, I must agree with you (I am r38). Yep. But I think it is because, for whatever reason, Doris was not given any coaching or direction before she went in there and recorded. She was a huge star at the time she made that recording. I bet she just "winged" it, was given carte blanche, and just sang it and however it came out it was the take they used. %0D\
Hey, just because someone HAS talent, it doesn''t mean they can always USE it properly.
Why are you gentlemen going on and on about that old movie? The definitive version was broadcast on TV just last month.. for free!!!
True R27- But when I was a kid most 70MM films were shown on really large curved screens.%0D\
And it was an event to see a film in a hard ticket road show that would play in one theatre for 9 months to a year before going into general release.
R39- ANNIE GET YOUR GUN was a studio recording produced by Columbia, not a soundtrack. Robert Goulet sang Frank Butler.
Yeah r42. With the definitive Cable to boot.
Watching the film at the Norway pavillion at EPCOT, the screen is huge and curved. You feel as if you''re in the picture.
Here is a link and picture of the Todd AO screen when it was installed at the Rivoli Theatre in NYC for OKLAHOMA!%0D\
This website www. widescreen museum has some interesting facts and pictures about the various formats that were popular back in the day. And the webmaster was a HUGE Mitzi Gaynor fan.
Could Elizabeth Taylor sing well? She is not too impressive in the film of A Little Night Music.
Back then they probably would have dubbed Taylor like they did with Deborah Kerr in The King and I.
I couldn''t sing for shit and it didn''t stop me in movie musicals.
Great link R48/49. I love the fact that they went to the expense of installing a special "cowboy" themed curtain just to use while the theater was showing Oklahoma.
R53- I saw THE SOUND OF MUSIC at the Rivoli on my first trip to NYC. We arrived in the city on a Sunday and as there were no plays or musicals playing that night, I got to see MUSIC in Todd AO at the Rivoli. A few years later a friend and I saw the reissue of GONE WITH THE WIND at the same theatre. It was a 70MM blow up that really didn''t work. I believe those were the only two times that I saw a movie at the Rivoli but what a glorious theatre it was!
I believe Bloody Mary and her daughter were called "Tonkinese" in the script, which must have meant Vietnamese because Tonkin is a northern Vietnamese province.%0D\
Now back to bitching about Mitzy Gaynor''s weak performance, please.%0D\
Doris needed a hit in 1958 because her career s=was in a temporary slump and her last few pictures were less than successful.\
Luckily, Oscar-winning Pillow Talk in 1959 put her back on top (and her only Oscar nomination) where she stayed for the next 10 years or so, until she quit movies.\
But I wonder what path her career would have taken had she played in South Pacific.
[quote] I believe Bloody Mary and her daughter were called "Tonkinese" in the script, which must have meant Vietnamese because Tonkin is a northern Vietnamese province.\
Michener referred to them as Tonkinese in his book.
Perhaps the worst directed movie musical of all time. Logan was a big deal on stage but was clueless when it came to making a movie.\
I know, I know, ALNM and Mame may be worse; but that''s about it.
[quote]Why is a black woman playing Bloody Mary? I thought the character was Asian?\
I love Mitzi Gaynor! I also thought that she did a credible job with the part. Remember that this was before directors were "re-inventing" Rodgers and Hammerstein. With the Oklahoma!,Carousel, The King and I and South Pacific revivials, we have come to expect a little more depth and darkness to their shows. If you watch the tape of Mary Martin from the London Production you see a very different show! \
As for the above Flower Drum Song clip, I am more taken back by the rascist Hollywood "Asian" orchestrations then by Miss Hall!
How far we have come
Josh Logan directed some fine non-musical films: the classic Picnic and a little known comedic gem called Tall Story starring Tony Perkins as a college basketball player and Jane Fonda in her film debut, as the co-ed cheerleader who loves him.\
Both films have big shirtless scenes, of course. Bill Holden famously in Picnic and luscious young Van Williams emerging wet from the college locker room shower in Tall Story.\
OK, now back to South Pacific.
The Van Williams Troll
Thanks for that link at r49. That''s a fascinating story about the Rivoli.
I agree R60- I can barely get through that Mary Martin filmed SOUTH PACIFIC from London. Part of the problem is that it was shot on 16mm and lacks close ups. As the cast did the performance on a dark day, the lack of audience response is very telling. But of course, it''s worth having from a historical perspective. Now if I could only figure out which sailor Sean Connery played!! Hard to distinguish faces.
Ed Fury was one of the hunks in the "Bloody Mary" scene.
As I said in another thread: "Nellie Forbush" - gayest or most oxymoronic name ever?
OP, there is no excuse for Josh Logan.
As for whether or not the color filters could be removed through modern technology: Sure they could, even if it meant "colorizing" the tinted sequences frame-by-frame to match the non-tinted sequences. That would be a very expensive proposition; but if entire films like IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE can be colorized from black-and-white, there's no reason why the tinted scenes in SOUTH PACIFIC couldn't be fixed in the same way.
Of course, the best thing would be if someone could find the original film of the tinted sequences, before they were tinted. But if that stuff hasn't been found by now, I guess we can assume it no longer exists.
[quote]As for whether or not the color filters could be removed through modern technology: Sure they could, even if it meant "colorizing" the tinted sequences frame-by-frame to match the non-tinted sequences. That would be a very expensive proposition; but if entire films like IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE can be colorized from black-and-white, there's no reason why the tinted scenes in SOUTH PACIFIC couldn't be fixed in the same way.
Somebody needs to start a FaceBook page to get this done.
They re-worked the Cinerama films frame by frame so they could do that with "South Pacific."
[quote]Of course, the best thing would be if someone could find the original film of the tinted sequences, before they were tinted. But if that stuff hasn't been found by now, I guess we can assume it no longer exists.
No one says the original elements don't exist. They are probably in the 20th century Fox vaults but it's expensive to restore a movie, millions. Nobody thinks "South Pacific" is worth the money restoring.
Logan took Aqua Marine literally
R19, What does Mitzi's vagina look like? You ask.
I remember when Mitzi did her show at the Muny in St. Louis in the late 70s or early 80s. She wore a short little outfit, and said to a guy, or the guys, in the front rows" "You boys just wanna see Mitzi's hoo-ha!" It got a big laugh from the St. Louis audience.
[quote]Did you see the bulges and chorus boys?
That opening beach scene with all the hunky sailors must have been worth the price of the ticket.
There's a nice DVD set that has the special event version of the film as well as the regular release version that followed. It also has an extra - interview with James Michner who wrote "Tales of the South Pacific."
R37 has it right. Aside from (or related to) the fact that he was apparently a pathetically closeted homosexual, Josh Logan had some major mental issues. Maybe that's why so many of his decisions were so bad and strange, and it also means that anything he ever wrote or said later to explain his decisions and choices should be taken with a huge grain of salt. For instance, the story about Doris Day not being cast in "South Pacific" because she declined to sing at a party.