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Why was Mitzi Gaynor cast in South Pacific?

Why not Doris Day, or Shirley Jones, or Shirley Maclaine, or Debbie Reynolds, or Jane Powell, or Marilyn Monroe?

Why Mitzi?

by Anonymousreply 28608/01/2014

Believe it or not, Elizabeth Taylor actually made a screentest. Not sure about any of the others.

Doris insisted on a radio show last year that she was too busy with other projects and her agent/manager/husband felt R&H weren't coming up with enough dough. She would have been perfect, of course.

by Anonymousreply 103/25/2012

Supposedly, Doris Day refused to sing songs from "South Pacific" at a party, and angered Josh Logan and Richard Rodgers. (This seems fairly unbelievable to me.)

I'd guess that Marty Melcher asked for too much money. (They should have ponied up the dough, in my opinion. DD would had been perfect.)

by Anonymousreply 303/25/2012

Big tits.

by Anonymousreply 503/25/2012

Despite her carrying on about Jack Bean being the great love of her life, our little Mitzi did a great deal of comparison shopping during their marriage, as did he. Okay, she was a tramp. (Maybe still is, but it seems unlikely, given her venerable age.) And that might be a clue as to how she landed the role.

Yes, R2, there was something terrific about a lot of her TV specials, as pure, escapist entertainment. But she couldn't act, and wasn't much of a singer. They build spectacles around her on TV. The formula also worked in nightclubs once her screen career essentially went no where.

by Anonymousreply 703/25/2012

Doris Day - see above.

Shirley Jones - too staid. Also her legit soprano sound was not really right for the music - they wrote it for Nellie to have a musical comedy voice vs. Emile's legit one.

Shirley MacLaine - could have been good. Gaynor's a bit of a better singer, I would say, which probably appealed to them about Gaynor.

Debbie Reynolds - could have been good, but might have been a tarter, feistier Nellie than Mary Martin or Gaynor (which might not have been exactly the way they saw the character).

Jane Powell - same issue with her legit operetta-y sound as with Shirley Jones. Also I think her career may have slowed a little by that point so she wouldn't have been considered an exciting choice.

Marilyn Monroe - ludicrous. Everything about her aura and persona were absolutely wrong for the role.

by Anonymousreply 803/25/2012

Gale Storm?

by Anonymousreply 903/25/2012

Audrey Hepburn

by Anonymousreply 1003/25/2012

About fifteen years ago, I saw Mitzi Gaynor on stage and her voice was fantastic. So much better than the wispy voice she had when young and playing Nellie. It would have been great to have her re-dub all her songs for that film and re-release it.

by Anonymousreply 1103/25/2012

Julie Andrews would have been great.

Or Florence Henderson.

by Anonymousreply 1203/25/2012

[quote] Audrey Hepburn

When you say Audrey Hepburn, I think you mean Marni Nixon.

by Anonymousreply 1303/25/2012

A sober Garland would have been ideal.

Martha Raye could've done it.

Betty Hutton probably could've pulled it off since she played essentially the same role throughout the early 1950s, too old to be so naive.

I could just never envision Mitzi joining the service under any circumstances outside of performing for the USO.

by Anonymousreply 1403/25/2012

R2, her dress is amazing in that clip! But that's some of the most laughable choreography I've ever seen. Urgh.

by Anonymousreply 1503/25/2012

If SOUTH PACIFIC doesn't work, it's not Mitzi's fault.

I still think there's a great film version of this story. But it's not Mitzi's version, and god knows it's not the Glenn Close version.

by Anonymousreply 1703/25/2012

Garland, Raye and Hutton and even Jane Powell were all too old for the role by 1958. In spite of Mary Martin's success on stage as a middleaged woman, in the film the audience has to believe Nellie is a young and naive and inexperienced girl.

by Anonymousreply 1803/25/2012

Most of these are awful ideas.

Debbie Reynolds, however, could have been good.

I think Polly Bergen could have been a wonderful choice.

It doesn't really matter though because it was an awful movie. One of the most insipidly directed of all Broadway musical film adaptations.

by Anonymousreply 1903/25/2012

Betty Grable would have been better than Doris Day, if they had managed to get some of the weight off of her--she was beginning to look matronly by the early 50s, although she was still young.

by Anonymousreply 2003/25/2012

I didn't realize it came out in '58. Hell, just dub Sandra Dee or Tuesday Weld.

by Anonymousreply 2103/25/2012

A 16 year old Barbra Streisand could have been made up to look a few years older and would have nailed the part.

by Anonymousreply 2203/25/2012

The Glenn Close version had fantastic scenery and Harry Connick Jr. was great as Lt. Cable.

by Anonymousreply 2303/25/2012

maybe so, but i was waiting and waiting for 'happy talk' and the fucking thing was cut.

by Anonymousreply 2403/26/2012

Betty Grable always looked so artificial, with her delicate skin and false eyelashes, she never cou ld have been believable as a nurse in wartime. Really, her persona was almost as fakey as Gaynor's, although she was much more likeable.

Doris Day was willing to be seen with frowsy hair and leathery skin when the part called for it, she would have been more believable as a smart woman living in rough conditions. And I agree that she wasn't the best possible singer for the part, but in a movie good acting is more important than perfect singing.

The question is whether she could have saved the film from Logan's leaden direction. She did have a lot of clout in those days, but did she have enough? Did she understand enough about filmmaking to have made a difference?

by Anonymousreply 2503/26/2012

I think Logan almost spitefully avoided using Doris Day simply because everyone told him how perfect she would be.

Like so many famous directors, he was in love with his own brilliance. No one could tell him anything. I think he thought he could be a Svengali to Miss Mitzi.

by Anonymousreply 2603/26/2012

All these years I just figured she was a placeholder for Sutton Foster.

by Anonymousreply 2703/26/2012

r15, it was the 1960's. :)

by Anonymousreply 2803/26/2012

Doris suggested in a somewhat recent radio interview that Rodgers and Hammerstein were not willing to meet her usual fee and she was fine with walking away from it. She also hinted that Mitzi Gaynor was willing to take less money to get the role.

by Anonymousreply 2903/26/2012

Doris Day should have done it. So they offered her a few less dollars than she usually made. Big deal. Wouldn't have made a bit of difference to her in the larger scheme, and she might have delivered another career defining performance. Instead it went to B-list Mitzi Gaynor, who was not able to make the role a memorable one for herself.

by Anonymousreply 3003/26/2012

Rodgers and Hammerstein were notoriously cheap. They knew SOUTH PACIFIC was going to be a pre-sold hit no matter who appeared in it.

Doris Day was a much bigger star than Mitzi Gaynor. Doris could hold out for big bucks and not worry about finding something else to do if they passed on her. Mitzi, on the other hand, would have been a fool to turn down the part at practically any price.

by Anonymousreply 3103/26/2012

I love Doris, but it's a shame she didn't do it, particularly since it was a matter of money.

Doris is a great, versatile, and under-appreciated actress. Had she done SOUTH PACIFIC, THE GRADUATE (yes, she was almost signed to play Mrs. Robinson), and other roles, I think she'd be much more highly regarded today than she is.

The rom-coms with Rock are fun, but she could have had a much bigger legacy.

by Anonymousreply 3203/26/2012

I think you're probably right, R26.

I'd guess that the money guys at Paramount were nervous about paying big bucks for Doris, and then Logan took advantage of that anxiety, along the lines of your logic.

by Anonymousreply 3303/26/2012

[quote] Doris Day could have had a much bigger legacy

Are you joking? Her legacy is about as big as it gets.

by Anonymousreply 3403/26/2012

r35, you're forgetting Deborah Kerr, who was already a major movie star when they cast her in THE KING AND I.

by Anonymousreply 3603/26/2012

Tallulah Bankhead

by Anonymousreply 3703/26/2012

Little-known fact: Betty Hutton (who by 1954 was pretty much persona non grata in Hollywood) was offered the role of Ado Annie in the film version of Oklahoma! She turned it down, saying she was still a big movie star and didn't want to play a supporting role - it was either Laurie or nothing.

Self-deluded much?

by Anonymousreply 3803/26/2012

Interesting interview with John Kerr at the link--he sounds like a really nice guy.

Apparently he was considered for "Psycho!

by Anonymousreply 3903/26/2012

Juliet Prowse would probably have won an Oscar if she'd gotten the role.

by Anonymousreply 4003/26/2012

Joshua Logan considered virtually every top actress of the day for the role of Nellie Forbush, including Judy Garland, Elizabeth Taylor, Doris Day, Audrey Hepburn and even Ginger Rogers.

by Anonymousreply 4103/26/2012

According to some sources,Mary Martin did not play Nellie Forbush in the movie because Ezio Pinza, who had portrayed Emile de Becque on the stage, had already died and the producers considered it to be a hopeless task to find anybody who could match her in the movie. Other sources say that, at 45 years of age, Martin was too old for the role by the time the film was made.

by Anonymousreply 4203/26/2012

Patti Page relates in her book that she was among those who tested for the role of Nellie Forbush.

by Anonymousreply 4303/26/2012

[quote]Julie Andrews would have been great.

Julie Andrews cannot hide her British accent to save her life. She would have been ludicrous playing an Arkansas girl afraid to buck the racist sentiments of her family back home.

by Anonymousreply 4403/26/2012

Mary Martin was like Tallulah Bankhead: whatever magic she had onstage got lost on the big screen.

by Anonymousreply 4503/26/2012

Mary Martin wasn't photogenic, to be polite about it.

by Anonymousreply 4603/26/2012

Actually, Mary Martin WAS photogenic. Her actual appearance was worse.

by Anonymousreply 4703/26/2012

Mitzi Gaynor was perfect casting. I thought she was terrific in the part.

by Anonymousreply 4803/26/2012

A sober Garland? A fat sober Garland? Forget it.

by Anonymousreply 5003/26/2012

I'm more troubled by the casting of the wan John Kerr as Lt. Cable when Tab, Troy, Fabian, Ty, Rory and Guy were all floating around Hollywood.

Was he really the hunkiest Josh could come up with?

by Anonymousreply 5103/26/2012

I would have liked to have seen Lucy give it the Mame treatment.

by Anonymousreply 5203/26/2012

Julie Andrews did her Nellie Forbush role in "The Americanization of Emily." Good movie, by the way.

by Anonymousreply 5303/26/2012

We know.

by Anonymousreply 5403/26/2012

I'm truly baffled by everyone saying Doris wouldn't sing it well.

Her recordings of South Pacific songs were POP recordings. She could more than deliver musical theatre brass when needed (I'm Not at All in Love", "There Once Was A Man", "The Deadwood Stage" from Calamity Jane!!) .

She would have sung the shit out of the score AND acted it beautifully. A real lost opportunity.

Whip Crack-a-Way!

by Anonymousreply 5503/26/2012

[quote] or Florence Henderson

You mustn't have heard the Lincoln Center South Pacific CD with Henderson. Her singing is awful on it - no blend between chest and head voice. It almost sounds like two different singers.

Dolores Gray would have sounded great as Nellie. Indeed, she sang the shit out of Wonderful Guy as part of a Richard Rodgers medley on the Bell Telephone hour. It's available on DVD.

by Anonymousreply 5603/26/2012


Not true. It's not like she sings the belty parts in head voice. She shouts the usually belted notes.

by Anonymousreply 5703/26/2012

"Julie Andrews cannot hide her British accent to save her life. She would have been ludicrous playing an Arkansas girl afraid to buck the racist sentiments of her family back home."

Agreed. In "Thoroughly Modern Millie" she was supposed to hail from Small Town America yet she sounds her usual British way. Audrey Hepburn was another who never/couldn't hid(e) her accent. Her "Sabrina" was born and raised in Long Island yet she talks like she's from another land.

by Anonymousreply 5803/26/2012

R58, surely Sabrina's accent was affected by the years in Paris.

My CPA left his wife for a marginally less obese woman who explained that her own accent was the consequence of where she grew up. It turned out that she grew up in the home of two aunts who had been to France, but lived year-round in the city that she pronounced de-TWAT.

by Anonymousreply 5903/26/2012

[quote]NONE of the 5 big R&H films (Oklahoma!, Carousel, South Pacific, King & I, or Sound of Music) had already-known movie stars in the leads,

Gordon MacRae (Oklahoma!) had already starred in seven or eight musical films prior to being in "Oklahoma." He was also well-known on radio's "The Railroad Hour" for singing the lead in musicals. He was popular on juke boxes in songs with Jo Stafford. His film musical co-stars include Doris Day, Katherine Grayson, and June Haver.

by Anonymousreply 6003/26/2012

r58, Sabrina's father is British and there's nothing about her being born in Long Island.

As far as Nellie is concerned, I think Mitzi does a great job. I think if they had waited another year, Shirley Maclaine would have been a big enough star that they might have considered her. She wasn't a movie star yet, just an up and comer. And I still think Marilyn would have been a great Nellie Forbush.

I also think John Kerr is perfect for the part. At that time he had only played teenagers. The point being that he was still a kid rather than a big brawny leading man. It makes it more believable, being that this was towards the end of the war when the officers were getting younger.

by Anonymousreply 6103/26/2012

Speaking of Doris Day- April is DORIS DAY month on Turner Classic Movies. Yes, MIDNIGHT LACE will be broadcast!

by Anonymousreply 6203/26/2012

You just have to watch Gaynor perform 'Georgy Girl' at the '67 Academy Awards to know why she won the role of Nellie Fullbush. The crowd ovation for the performance is the longest and most raucous in Academy broadcast history.

by Anonymousreply 6303/26/2012

Right after A STAR IS BORN opened, One of the big movie magazines (I think PHOTOPLAY) ran a huge article on hoe "JUDY was BACK". It was mentioned that Garland was talking to R&H about playing Nellie in the movie.

It's a shame that Fox didn't make the film then instead of waiting a few years as Garland would have been perfect at that time.

by Anonymousreply 6403/26/2012

One of the greatest! The musical numbers are incredible. I love the beginning, movie version, with all the sexy sailors dancing and singing. How gay is that!

There so many great musical numbers in this, I can't even begin...Mitzi was fantastic, no other at the time could have characterized this role as well as she.

by Anonymousreply 6503/26/2012

[quote] hoe "JUDY was BACK".

I think you mean 'ho', doll.

by Anonymousreply 6603/26/2012

"Dolores Gray would have sounded great as Nellie. Indeed, she sang the shit out of Wonderful Guy as part of a Richard Rodgers medley on the Bell Telephone hour."

But she would have been completely wrong for the role in every possible way.

Doris would have been great as Nellie; her not having been cast is one of the worst examples of a missed opportunity in film history. But at any rate, as others have pointed out, Logan's direction is so awful that the movie would have been bad no matter who was in it. And, really, Mitzi's performance is one of the best things in it.

by Anonymousreply 6703/26/2012

Ron Ely, muscle guy who played Tarzan, is in the first scene showing the sailors and Seabees. Several gay bodybuilders are in the film.

And Doug McClure is in a scene in a hospital ward where Nellie is talking to wounded men. You can't take your eyes off McClure lying in bed in that scene.

by Anonymousreply 6803/26/2012

The show was the star - the studio felt they did not need to pay for a big name to carry it - which is why the male leads were the dull John Kerr and bland Brazzi.

Doris usually worked at Warners or MGM, so Fox who were making the movie would have to pay to get her, and had used Mitz several times before - in Theres No Business Like Show Business etc.

by Anonymousreply 7003/26/2012

Ed Fury is another muscle guy in South Pacific - they must have had a lot of fun on set between takes, I think Josh Logan liked having attractive guys around ?

by Anonymousreply 7103/26/2012

I find it interesting that there is someone in the world who thinks that Doris Day could not sing. WTF? She had/has a beautiful voice. Secret Love? Sentimental Journey? Que Sera Sera? Heaven.

by Anonymousreply 7203/26/2012

Judy Garland never recovered her ingenue looks after Easter Parade in 1949, a requirement for her to be correct casting for South Pacific in 1958.

by Anonymousreply 7303/26/2012

I agree with you. R72. Doris Day was a wonderful singer. That straightforward, unadorned approach to singing is a lost art in this era of American Idol caterwauling for gratuitous effect.

Judy Garland would have been all wrong for Nellie Forbush. She was old beyond her years in the 1950s and not in a good way.

by Anonymousreply 7403/26/2012

Ed Fury's ass.

by Anonymousreply 7503/26/2012

No response to my suggestion of Polly Bergen?

I was sure someone would have by now at least have told me I was completely crazy.

by Anonymousreply 7603/26/2012

"And I still think Marilyn would have been a great Nellie Forbush."

I literally can't imagine the fragile, hyperfeminine, Monroe as an army nurse! Army nurses are tough and brave and willing to put up with rough living conditions, Monroe spent most of her career being too frightened to come out of her trailer and do her job.

I also can't imagine her with a tan.

by Anonymousreply 7703/26/2012

OK, Polly Bergen was typed as playing Manhattan style sophiticates and socialites, even in the 1950s. She was far too ironic to pull off "corny as Kansas" and her voice was too sultry for Nellie's twang.

by Anonymousreply 7803/26/2012

R78, Polly Bergen is from Tennessee.

You may be right about her voice though.

by Anonymousreply 7903/26/2012

I actually like Mitzi Gaynor in this film. She's not a great actress, but she's genuinely quite moving and believable in her big anguished "I was born this way!" moment.

I agree Doris Day or Judy Garland would have been much better, though. Judy would have been perfect singing, although for me this is during her hypertwitchy acting phase where she might have been too much for the big emotional breakdown scenes. (I imagine her gasping and twitching hysterically after hearing Emile had been shot down.) Doris would have been the best: she would have been really fun for "Honey Bun," and she would have made "A Cockeyed Optimist" sound generally sweet. Plus she was a fine dramatic actress. And the score doesn't give her any of the pissed-off numbers she tended to make sound too strident in some of her other musicals (like "I'm Not at All in Love" in THE PAJAMA GAME).

Dolores Gray would have been terrible. She was too horsey-faced and campy to play an ingenue like Nellie Forbush--she was best off on Broadway or playing the kinds of secondary campy parts she got in KISMET and IT'S ALWAYS FAIR WEATHER.

The problem with the movie is not the actors at all but the infamous color filters during the musical numbers that are so lurid and ugly. What a weird idea that was.

by Anonymousreply 8003/26/2012

Delores Gray would have been much too sophisticated for the role.

Nellie can NOT be sophisticated, it's the opposite of everything the character is meant to be.

by Anonymousreply 8103/26/2012

[quote] she was best off on Broadway or playing the kinds of secondary campy parts she got in KISMET and IT'S ALWAYS FAIR WEATHER.

Gray actually originated the role of Lalume in KISMET when it opened in Los Angeles, prior to its Broadway run.

by Anonymousreply 8203/26/2012

I love Dolores Gray but she was completely wrong for Nellie.

Frankly, I don't think there was an ideal choice among the known singer/actresses working in film at the time. Nellie is a tricky role because although she is not sophisticated she is quite smart, soulful, self-conscious, and witty; and she must be vulnerable and capable of much more courage than she gives herself credit for. She defies stereotype.

Ironically, both Debbie Reynolds and Shirley Jones might have been excellent. But it's very easy to imagine performances forced into congruency with their musical movie images at the time (sanitized Eisenhower era images they would both break through from with some success in non-musical films) that would have been abysmal. And Logan wouldn't have helped matters. His direction of South Pacific is pathetically bad.

by Anonymousreply 8303/26/2012

[quote]Other sources say that, at 45 years of age, Martin was too old for the role by the time the film was made.

Why on earth did they let Close do it in her 50s????

by Anonymousreply 8403/26/2012

[quote] Why on earth did they let Close do it in her 50s????

Because she produced it, and all the R&H org cares about now is money.

by Anonymousreply 8503/26/2012

[quote]Ironically, both Debbie Reynolds and Shirley Jones might have been excellent.

Debbie Reynolds, yes; but not Shirley Jones. She doesn't have the right kind of voice. You need a fun musical comedy voice for Nellie, not an operetta soprano like Jones (or Ann Blyth or Kathryn Grayson, for that matter).

If you don't believe me, listen to the studio recording they made in the 80s with Kiri Te Kanawa, who wrecks the role because she doesn't have a fun musical comedy voice like Mary Martin or Mitzi Gaynor.

by Anonymousreply 8603/26/2012

[quote] If you don't believe me, listen to the studio recording they made in the 80s with Kiri Te Kanawa, who wrecks the role because she doesn't have a fun musical comedy voice like Mary Martin or Mitzi Gaynor.

Don't blame Kiri solely for wrecking that recording. Sarah Vaughn and Mandy Patinkin were FAR worse in their roles. At least Kiri looked and sounded like she was having fun.

by Anonymousreply 8703/26/2012

Agreed: Mandy Patinkin sounds like he's having a grand mal seizure during "You've Got to Be Carefully Taught."

by Anonymousreply 8803/26/2012

[quote]Because she produced it, and all the R&H org cares about now is money.

I was so embarrassed for her; nothing is more ridiculous than an actor/actress clearly playing a part that they are too old for.

by Anonymousreply 8903/26/2012

I, too, love Gaynor as Nellie. She's cute, sweet, killer ass, provincial and knows it, and I totally believed that Emile De Beque fell in love with her at first sight.

I thoght the entire cast was perfect.

I just could not like Kelli O'Hara as Forbush because she suffered in comparison to Gaynor.

I always get a lump in my throat when the old commander tells Forbush that "no matter how tough, they (the soldiers) talk," the Thanksgiving Follies is "a big show."

by Anonymousreply 9003/26/2012

I always think Debbie Reynolds as the only one to pull off the character, singing and acting. She would have been excellent.

by Anonymousreply 9103/26/2012


by Anonymousreply 9203/27/2012

I agree Kiri Te Kanawa was an embarrassment in the studio recording of "South Pacific." They should have let me sing the role in my famous and much loved falsetto! In fact, I should have sung all the parts. I'm quite talented, you know.

by Anonymousreply 9303/27/2012

Gwen Verdon would have been FIERCE as Nellie.

by Anonymousreply 9403/27/2012

[quote] Gray actually originated the role of Lalume in KISMET when it opened in Los Angeles, prior to its Broadway run.


by Anonymousreply 9503/27/2012

Here's the Mitz performing "Georgy Girl" at the Academy Awards, R63.

Sweet Christ Almighty, she's terrible--so bad that I love it.

by Anonymousreply 9703/27/2012

So often Mitzi's choreography seems like the prelude to a striptease. The only thing she had over Doris Day is that she was a better dancer. But Nellie isn't really a dancing role.

Did George Sanders really sign up to play Emile on screen and drop out due to his own lack of confidence? He sang surprisingly well, as can be heard in the film version of CALL ME MADAME. Although he was no Pinza, he could have done his own singing without apologies to the role.

by Anonymousreply 9803/27/2012

Debbie would have brought nothing new to the role of Nellie - we know exactly how she would have played it, just like all her other musical roles. Don't even mention THE UNSINKABLE MOLLY BROWN !

by Anonymousreply 9903/27/2012

Actually r99, I think you've also nailed it on the head about Doris Day.

Doris was so perfectly cast as Nellie that audiences wouldn't have even bothered seeing her in the film. Totally predictable performance.

by Anonymousreply 10003/27/2012

Mitzi was the perfect Nellie, out of all of the aforementioned possibilities.

As the old saying goes....Why reinvent the wheel?

by Anonymousreply 10103/27/2012

As Oscar Levant once brilliantly observed, "I knew Doris Day before she was a virgin."

by Anonymousreply 10303/27/2012

R102 has a good point. But I'll take it further and say that the 'blanding' of women's roles extended beyond musicals and it was just films in general.

by Anonymousreply 10403/27/2012

Speaking of Oscar Levant: HE would have made a great Nellie Forbush! He certainly was nellie.

by Anonymousreply 10503/27/2012

[quote]He certainly was nellie.

Yes, but not for bush.

by Anonymousreply 10603/27/2012

Rumor has it that Doris didn't get it because she refused to sing for Rodgers at a party, which was intended as some sort of an audition. But it was probably over money. Doris was top box office in 1958. She would've been an awesome Nellie however. She was great in "Pajama Game" around the same time.

by Anonymousreply 10703/27/2012

Dolores Gray didn't play another hick, Annie Oakley, for three years in London for nothing. Check out this video: she's sweet, girlish and goofy. Sure it's a little more cartoony than what South Pacific would require, but she could have refined it.

Gray was unfortunate that her screen image was cemented as the flamboyant, vampy bitch.

by Anonymousreply 10803/27/2012

Dolores Gray and John Raitt - Isn't It A Lovely Day?

by Anonymousreply 10903/27/2012

Has Debbie Reynolds said snything about wanting or being considered for the role?

by Anonymousreply 11003/27/2012

Dolores Gray would have been better cast as Bloody Mary than as Nellie Forbush.

by Anonymousreply 11103/27/2012

Here's a thought: Barbara Nell Cook, native of Georgia.

by Anonymousreply 11203/27/2012


Have you seen that Hitchcock episode she did?

by Anonymousreply 11303/27/2012


by Anonymousreply 11403/27/2012

Petula Clark!

by Anonymousreply 11503/27/2012

Horrible movie: overacting, ugly, boring, grating songs. Shit.

by Anonymousreply 11603/27/2012

I read here at DL about a year ago that Josh Logan was unhappy with the sky colors but when he saw it, it was too late to make any changes. Don't recall if they said it was due to time or dollars.

You would think modern technology could rework the garish skies into something more subtle.

by Anonymousreply 11703/27/2012

Jaye P. Morgan could have nailed this with ease.

by Anonymousreply 11803/27/2012

So could JP Morgan.

And yes, R113, I did see it. I STILL think she cudda done it.

by Anonymousreply 11903/27/2012


With or without chin strap?

by Anonymousreply 12003/27/2012

Dorothy Collins!

by Anonymousreply 12103/27/2012

I'm still waiting for Hugh Jackman to do "Carousel" before he gets too old. That would be great to see updated.

by Anonymousreply 12203/27/2012

Even as a child I found Jones irritating in "Carousel" and "Oklahoma" -- and btw, even then I didn't buy John Kerr as a romantic figure, even for a moment.

After college I worked in theatre for a while; I heard about Richard Rodgers' auditions, and Shirley Jones' dating habits -- then the movie casting decisions made sense.

Thanks to whoever wrote here about Gaynor's Fox contract; the money decision's the only way *not* casting Day made sense. Except maybe her husband (Melcher) promised Rodgers an audition at that party -- but didn't clear it with Day, then couldn't talk her into it once they'd arrived.

by Anonymousreply 12303/27/2012

Mitzi didn't get much of a career boost out of this; her IMDB profiles shows only three film credits after SP.

I can't imagine what Logan was thinking with Elizabeth Taylor. She would have been about as suited for the role as Marlene Dietrich.

by Anonymousreply 12403/27/2012

RE: Oscar Levant quote @R103...that's exactly why Doris day should have done 'South Pacific,' despite a lower than usual salary.

For many the Rock Hudson-Doris Day comedies have made people forget what a wonderful musical performance Doris Day was...even in "The Man Who Knew Too Much."

by Anonymousreply 12503/27/2012

I can see disliking Shirley Jones in "Carousel" (that cheesy ersatz Maine accent is pretty intolerable), but she's pretty terrific in "Okalahoma!" I have trouble understanding why you'd bitch about her there.

But you are right she did sleep with Richard Rodgers--but then so did many of his leading ladies: Jan Clayton, Diahann Carroll...

by Anonymousreply 12603/27/2012

[quote]Dolores Gray would have been better cast as Bloody Mary than as Nellie Forbush.

Actually, she would have been ideally cast as Luther Billis.

by Anonymousreply 12703/27/2012

r 123: Gaynor had left Fox by 1958. She was freelancing when she signed for SOUTH PACIFIC.

In Mitzi's first Fox film (MY BLUE HEAVEN, 1950) she introduces a musical take-off on SOUTH PACIFIC called FRIENDLY ISLAND performed by Betty Grable & Dan Dailey.

by Anonymousreply 12803/27/2012

Was Connie Stevens considered? She had the correct youthful zest in 1958 and often sang as Cricket on Hawaiian Eye.

by Anonymousreply 12903/27/2012

Mary Tyler Moore would have KICKED ASS had she been given the opportunity to play Nellie.

by Anonymousreply 13003/27/2012

r122, you have no taste - Hugh Jackman's nasal, grating voice has no business singing the score of CAROUSEL.

by Anonymousreply 13103/27/2012

Perhaps, R130, but at the time MTM was best known as Happy Hotpoint, the Dancing Elf who promoted Hotpoint appliances during the commercial breaks on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.

by Anonymousreply 13203/28/2012

Miss Carol Burnett, thank you very much

by Anonymousreply 13303/28/2012

Interesting theory, R102, but you forget South Pacific began its dramatic life as a play written 1949, and there's very little difference between the screenplay and the original playscript.

And in 1955, just 3 years before the South Pacific film, you still had women of depth in musicals - specifically Doris Day in "Love Me or Leave Me."

by Anonymousreply 13403/28/2012

Was Doris really the huge star in the mid-fifties that you all go on about? I thought her biggest fame and popularity was after Pillow Talk in 1959?

I realize she was a big movie star but I'm not believing she had quite the cache to make the Fox execs or R & H fall all over her in 1956-57 when the SP film was being cast and planned.

by Anonymousreply 13503/28/2012

Speaking of Doris Day --

The menacing voice in the fog!

The shocking phone calls at midnight!

The unexplained accidents!

The TERROR on the face of the beauty wearing Midnight Lace!




on TCM next week! Also catch JULIE where terrorized flight attendant Doris lands a plane!!

by Anonymousreply 13603/28/2012

Constance got her box

by Anonymousreply 13703/28/2012

Doris Day was the top revenue producing female star in the business for four years in a row, a status that has not been equaled since.

by Anonymousreply 13803/28/2012

Excellent point R135. In the Hitchcoch films of the 1950s, Grace Kelly was a bigger draw in "Rear Window" and "To Catch A Thief" than Doris Day was in "The Man Who Knew Too Much."

Even Kim Novak in "Vertigo," while not as big a star as Doris Day in the mid 1950s, survived the initiate poor reaction to the film, which is now considered one of Hitchcock's best...not true of "The Man Who Knew Too Much."

Certainly, Rodgers and Hammerstein wanted Mary Martin badly for the Broadway "South Pacific," to the degree that they easily granted all her wishes...such as Martin not singing a duet with Ezio Pinza and having her clothes designed exactly as she wished, etc. They apparently were not all that interested about Doris Day for the film.

by Anonymousreply 13903/28/2012

r126 -- 123 here. Dunno, but I've always found Jones phoney. Something about her body language and the way she produces her sound. Odd that would resonate with a little girl in the audience, but it did.

by Anonymousreply 14003/28/2012

Day first appeared on the top 10 box office draw list in 1951:

1..John Wayne

2. Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis

3. Betty Grable

4. Abbott & Costello

5. Bing Crosby

6. Bob Hope

7. Randolph Scott

8. Gary Cooper

9. Doris Day

10.Spencer Tracy

by Anonymousreply 14103/28/2012

Day & Grable are the ONLY women on that list.

Randolph Scott surprises me.

by Anonymousreply 14203/28/2012

On that list, one is a team of two comedians, then there are two teams of a comedian and a singer. Both the women could sing and play comedy. Two of the men primarily acted in westerns. I suppose Hollywood really can do different things in different eras, but when they find a winning formula they repeat it until they wear it out, and then move on to something different.

by Anonymousreply 14303/28/2012

What films did Doris Day make in 1951 that put her on that list? I really can't imagine.

by Anonymousreply 14403/28/2012

The role Hugh Jackman was born to do is Zaza in La Cage Aux Folles. Patrick Wilson would be good in that movie role, too. (If the musical movie ever gets made.)

by Anonymousreply 14503/28/2012

Patrick Wilson is a Jean Michel. A very old Jean Michel

by Anonymousreply 14603/28/2012

Anyone know if there are plans for a movie musical version of LA CAGE AUX FOLLES?

by Anonymousreply 14703/28/2012



by Anonymousreply 14803/28/2012

Mary Tyler Moore, r130??? Surely you are pulling our leg. Mary put the perkiness into over-perkiness. Plus, her singing is totally shitty.

by Anonymousreply 14903/28/2012

Doris also appeared on the 1952 list:

1. Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis

2. Gary Cooper

3.. John Wayne

4. Bing Crosby

5. Bob Hope

6. James Stewart

7. Doris Day

8. Gregory Peck

9. Susan Hayward

10. Randolph Scott

She didn't appear on the list again until 1959. She would appear on the list for the next seven years:

1. Rock Hudson

2. Cary Grant

3. James Stewart

4. Doris Day

5. Debbie Reynolds

6. Glenn Ford

7. Frank Sinatra

8. John Wayne

9. Jerry Lewis

10. Susan Hayward

by Anonymousreply 15003/28/2012

Now THERE's a thought; Susan Hayward with vocals by Jane Froman.

by Anonymousreply 15103/28/2012

Eydie Gorme should have been cast. She had the vocal chops like no other.

by Anonymousreply 15203/29/2012

Josh Logan told a funny story on Rodgers and Hammerstein. Apparently they had the final say in casting and they signed Rossano Brazzi to play Emile de Becque. Brazzi was so thrilled he flew home to Italy and cut a record singing some operatic material. A concerned soul forwarded a copy to R&H who realized to their horror that the leading man they had announced to the world could not sing worth a damn. Logan had no idea how Brazzi had conned these two great masters into believing he could pull it off.

They had to hire Giorgio Tozzi to dub the vocals. Brazzi was so humiliated he fussed and fumed on the set whenever he had to mouth to the other man's voice until Logan (according to Logan) told him off then convinced him to cooperate.

by Anonymousreply 15303/29/2012

[R153] Great story. To add some more, Brazzi was so pissed off that he complained loudly and publicly "I cannot sing along to that cheap-shit voice" referring to Tozzi. Apparently Josh took Brazzi aside and tore him a new one.

by Anonymousreply 15403/29/2012

R154, do you think that "cheap-shit" was used as an adjective in the late 50's? Or was Brazzi translating literally from the Italian?

by Anonymousreply 15503/29/2012

Actually, Logan himself attributed the phrase "cheap shit" to Brazzi in his autobiography.

by Anonymousreply 15603/30/2012

I think we have a consensus: They should have waited a few more years until Liza Minnelli was old enough to play Nellie.

by Anonymousreply 15703/30/2012

Mitzi still lives in the same Bev. Hills house she's been in for over 50 years. I see her in her Caddie often, and she seems very sweet, and looks terrific. Annie Miller used to live 1 block over, on Alta Dr., and used to see her in her (old) white Caddie too.

by Anonymousreply 15803/31/2012

Didnt they tear Ann Miller's house down ? Used to drive by, and loved the old Hollywood style of the house. Red tile roof, Mediteranian style, and those great black & white awnings. And yes, with her 1968 white Cadilliac, parked in the driveway. They'll probably put up some Persian monstrosity, in it's place.

by Anonymousreply 15903/31/2012

[quote] Mary Tyler Moore, [R130]??? Surely you are pulling our leg. Mary put the perkiness into over-perkiness. Plus, her singing is totally shitty.

OMFG, how can you say that??

by Anonymousreply 16003/31/2012

Wow R160, I LOVE MTM but that was bad. And Letterman looks completely embarrassed.

by Anonymousreply 16103/31/2012

...she had good legs?

by Anonymousreply 16203/31/2012

I've never seen any of Rosemary Clooney's films, but she would've been a better vocal fit than Doris Day (Clooney had a belt in the 1950s). Clooney also had the right look.

by Anonymousreply 16303/31/2012

Clooney couldn't act.

MTM would have been a bit young -- and that clip at 160 really was appalling. But she wasn't the worst thing in it. Letterman was deliberately trying to look bemused, as though he were above the job that was paying his bills. He should have just sucked it up, like Michael Keaton did. But Letterman has made a career out of implying that he is superior to the fools around him.

As long as we're indulging in anachronistic casting (not a bad idea for another thread, by the way), I gather that in her day Billie Burke was not only comely but had a well-turned ankle and a way with a ditty. Perhaps she could have been cast as Nellie Forbush.

by Anonymousreply 16403/31/2012

Ethel Merman would have been great. I'm sure with all those weird color filters and lighting tricks they used on this movie Logan could have some way to make Merman appear younger and female.

by Anonymousreply 16503/31/2012

It never worked in her other movies, R165. Except maybe "Airplane."

by Anonymousreply 16603/31/2012

R165 I know you are joking because Merman was 6 or 7 years older than Mary Martin.

by Anonymousreply 16703/31/2012

Oh, R167, you sly boots, you. you caught on so quickly.

by Anonymousreply 16803/31/2012

Angela Lansbury would've been awesome.

by Anonymousreply 16903/31/2012

A young Robert Wagner in drag with Marni Nixon dubbing would have been perfect.

by Anonymousreply 17003/31/2012

I remember the reviews of Close's abortion mentioning how her arms never raise above her waist in the 'I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair' outdoor shower number.

by Anonymousreply 17103/31/2012

You might want to rethink your criticism of Mitzi after watching this...

by Anonymousreply 17204/01/2012

One of her screen tests . . .

by Anonymousreply 17304/01/2012

Gaynor's prettier in R173's link than she was in the finished movie.

by Anonymousreply 17404/01/2012

[quote]I remember the reviews of Close's abortion mentioning how her arms never raise above her waist in the 'I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair' outdoor shower number.

Well cripes, what hair was she washing?

by Anonymousreply 17504/01/2012

Watching Glenn Closes' remake all I could think of was Norma Desmond in her much talked about "return".

by Anonymousreply 17604/01/2012

Every time I scroll past this thread, I think it reads "Why was Mitch Gaylord cast in South Pacific?"

by Anonymousreply 17704/01/2012

MTM's choreography at R160 has that distinct mark of Bob Fosse.

by Anonymousreply 17804/01/2012

Yes r160, Bob Fosse does Romper Room School.

by Anonymousreply 17904/01/2012

RE 173 - Thanks for posting that !

I think Mitzi was much thinner when she did the film. Her face looks very puffy here, and she looks shorter- which usually means a person's heavier. She was sick thin (for the 50's) in the film.

by Anonymousreply 18004/02/2012

I agree that Mitzi looks better in the test than in the film! I don't like really short hair on a woman, though, as it wound up in the finished product. Either a way to invoke Mary Martin or keep things simple for "Wash that man..." (which wouldn't even have been necessary for a movie where things can be cheated!)

What about Anne Francis?? She was allegedly good enough in Funny Girl to warrant Babs having her cut out of it, practically. She had the right pert look and acting chops.

by Anonymousreply 18104/02/2012

LOVE that clip of John Raitt at r109!!!

Thanks for posting. Sexy as he is, he really wasn't Hollywood photogenic so I guess I can see why he never became a movie star.

by Anonymousreply 18204/02/2012

I either heard or read a Gaynor interview in which she said during the SP shoot in Hawaii Brazzi complained bitterly about Tozzi's being used for voiceover, until she and her husband told him bluntly that Brazzi could be replaced with someone who didn't mind so much. He shut up. He would show up at the beach in a speedo, and his wife would wear all her jewelry with her swimsuit, in case she met someone important.

by Anonymousreply 18304/02/2012

Mitzi was MAD, I tell you, MAD!

by Anonymousreply 18504/02/2012

Alice Faye would have been perfect if the movie was made in 1938 instead of 1958.

by Anonymousreply 18604/02/2012

And Jenny Lind would have been perfect, if the movie had been shot in 1850. So would the history of cinema, to say nothing of the history of the second world war, which kinda rules out Alice Faye in 1938.

by Anonymousreply 18704/02/2012

All of those young 1950s stars had that short dykey hair: Doris, Mitzi, KIm, even Liz and Ava.

Exceptions were Audrey, Grace and Marilyn.

by Anonymousreply 18804/02/2012

RE 188 - Have you ever SEEN a photo of Audrey H. from the 50's. She had a short pixie cut for years. Do your research.

by Anonymousreply 18904/03/2012

Audrey and Leslie Caron and Shirley MacLaine had different versions of pixies hairdos. They did not have those short dykey hairdos like the others.

by Anonymousreply 19004/03/2012

In the best of all possible worlds, it would have been Judy Garland at the time of A Star In Born. "I'm in Love with a Wonderful Guy" was a fixture of her concerts in the 50's and she sang the hell out of it!

by Anonymousreply 19104/03/2012

[quote]You just have to watch Gaynor perform 'Georgy Girl' at the '67 Academy Awards to know why she won the role of Nellie Fullbush.

O. My. God.

by Anonymousreply 19204/03/2012

In the best of all possible worlds, R191, RIchard Rodgers would have found a better lyricist, and we'd have been spared the preachy crap that flowed from the fingers of Oscar Hammerstein. "You've Got to be Carefully Taught" is too heavy handed for even a child to enjoy.

Perhaps Hammerstein somehow inspired Rodgers, even though his lyrics added nothing (although they were better than the absolute drivel of "Carmen Jones," or other collaborations with composers who apparently didn't keep him in check as well as Rodgers did). But I think that Rodgers should have bid him adieu ("adieu, to yieu and yieu and yieu").

NO star of the fifties could have made that garbage sound intelligent.

by Anonymousreply 19304/03/2012

That MTM show clip is one of the most embarrassing things I've seen in a while. Letterman doesn't look smug. He looks like he's doing his best not to laugh at the sheer awfulness around him.

Mitzi always seemed a bit manic to me. Her Nellie was too shrill.

"This is emotional!!!!"

by Anonymousreply 19404/03/2012

[quote]in the best of all possible worlds, it would have been Judy Garland at the time of A Star In Born

Hogwash. Judy was already brittle and twitchy in A STAR IS BORN. She was not the right type for Nellie in the first place and was never fully functional after 1950. Imagine taking her to Hawaii with an entire film crew and expecting her to show up every morning on time!

by Anonymousreply 19504/03/2012

It could have worked, R195. Don't forget to take the time difference into account.

by Anonymousreply 19604/03/2012

Judy Garland may have been right for the role voclly... but like Marilyn Monroe, she was far too fragile and vulnerable to make a believable army nurse. Those two couldn't stand to come out of their trailers and face a film crew, can you imagine them packing wounds in a jungle tent full of bugs?

Doris Day was not so far off, with her leathery skin and bulletproof perkiness. You can imagine her efficintly packing the wound and telling the soldier to keep his chin up, and then going out to wash a man right out of her hair.

by Anonymousreply 19704/03/2012

R197, it's hard to take you seriously when you use words like "vocily."

by Anonymousreply 19904/04/2012

[quote]it's hard to take you seriously when you use words like "vocily."

You're just lucky it wasn't signed by Helen Lawson.

by Anonymousreply 20004/04/2012

That's hilarious R20 -- thanks for the laugh.

by Anonymousreply 20104/04/2012

R7 is correct.

How else to explain a virtual nobody -- who yes, did an "adequate" job -- landing a role that was such a huge hit on the stage.

She was a whore, darlin', a WHORE.

by Anonymousreply 20204/04/2012

Mitzi and Debbie Reynolds together, taken last year. No feud here.

by Anonymousreply 20304/07/2012

Patti Page or Janis Paige could have done it.

by Anonymousreply 20404/09/2012

Carol Channing, always the perfect ingenue at any age.

by Anonymousreply 20505/17/2012

[quote]You can imagine her efficintly packing the wound...

No, I can't imagine that. Just like steak and butter, the efficintly was rationed in war time and wasn't allowed to be used on wounds.

by Anonymousreply 20605/18/2012

They should have redone this with Barbra about 35 years ago.

by Anonymousreply 20707/22/2012


Actually, I have done it in stock.

by Anonymousreply 20807/22/2012

R208, we're talking Barbra, not Barbara.

by Anonymousreply 20907/23/2012

R204, don't forget Geraldine Page. Or Satchel Paige

by Anonymousreply 21007/23/2012


Oh, me? Only if they raise the keys.

by Anonymousreply 21107/23/2012

Audrey Hepburn was born for that role.

by Anonymousreply 21207/23/2012

Paging Marni Nixon!

by Anonymousreply 21307/23/2012

hasn't anyone seen the original 'a star is born,' with janet gaynor and fredrick march? gaynor did a terrific job as a clueless young out-of-towner, and kept her innocence throughout the movie. and march as the drunken, sinking norman main, was stunning. i don't care about the huge hype of the 1954 version being garland's big comeback. she was way too old to play the lucky young rube-turned-ingenue. of course, she killed on the musical numbers, but she was barely holding on emotionally in the acting scenes, clearly. in hindsight, i thought it was a too-long, overwrought wreck. i'm a big james mason fan, but i tought march was far superior to mason as main, and as much as i like jack carson, i thought lionel stander was far superior to carson as the studio flak.

by Anonymousreply 21407/25/2012

Well aren't you just the 1954 'A Star Is Born' hater.

I think the '54 version is far superior to the Gaynor - March version. It bores me. Gaynor is sweet , March is always good, but no comparison to the Garland- Mason chemistry, and their scenes together.

by Anonymousreply 21507/25/2012

Yes, but what has this all got to do with me, Barbara?

by Anonymousreply 21607/25/2012

What is wrong with you queens who are suggesting that Doris Day wouldn't have sung the SOUTH PACIFIC songs well? Are you insane?

Still, I agree that Mitzi Gaynor's casting is the least of the film's problems, and that as long as Josh Logan was directing, it would have been a bad movie no matter who was in it.

by Anonymousreply 21707/25/2012


Because, I for one, have heard her recordings of some of the songs. She shouts the last note of Wonderful Guy. It sounds horrible.

She probably would have been ok in the role, but not ideal.

by Anonymousreply 21807/25/2012

Mitzi Gaynor's voice was so much better in later years. Too bad she coudln't have re-dubbed her SP songs.

by Anonymousreply 21907/27/2012

The Glen Close version had some spectacular scenery. Harry Connick Jr. was a better Joe Cable than the forgettable guy in the film.

by Anonymousreply 22007/27/2012

Wait, are we talking about Mitzi Gaynor or Janet Gaynor?

by Anonymousreply 22107/27/2012

Polly Bergan would have been perfect.

by Anonymousreply 22208/04/2012

Because the beautiful Miss Cillian Murphy wasn't even born yet.

by Anonymousreply 22409/20/2012

She swallowed.

by Anonymousreply 22509/20/2012

So did we ever reach a consensus? Who should have been cast?

by Anonymousreply 22610/18/2012

R129 Connie Stevens wasn't considered for SOUTH PACIFIC, but she did test for MY FAIR LADY. The test is out there somewhere.

by Anonymousreply 22710/18/2012

Mitzi Gaynor could have done well if her voice had been dubbed.

by Anonymousreply 22810/19/2012

[quote]All of those young 1950s stars had that short dykey hair: Doris, Mitzi, KIm, even Liz and Ava.

Even old bulldozers like Joan Crawford and Jane Wyman got that haircut. You have to be very beautiful and young to pull it off, though.

by Anonymousreply 22910/19/2012

Is Mitzi a real name, or is it one of those made up names like Trig or Trapp?

by Anonymousreply 23010/19/2012

[quote] You just have to watch Gaynor perform 'Georgy Girl' at the '67 Academy Awards to know why she won the role of Nellie Fullbush.

I just watched it and the song she performed seemed to be called Hey Theh Jawchee Cull.

by Anonymousreply 23110/19/2012

"Josh Logan told a funny story on Rodgers and Hammerstein. Apparently they had the final say in casting and they signed Rossano Brazzi to play Emile de Becque. Brazzi was so thrilled he flew home to Italy and cut a record singing some operatic material. A concerned soul forwarded a copy to R&H who realized to their horror that the leading man they had announced to the world could not sing worth a damn. Logan had no idea how Brazzi had conned these two great masters into believing he could pull it off."

Typical Josh Logan bullshit. As if R&H would ever have signed Brazzi without a vocal audition, assuming he could handle the score, and then would find out otherwise only because someone sent them recordings of his voice. I guess Logan was a liar as well as a pathetic closet case.

by Anonymousreply 23210/19/2012

Martha Raye?! Too ugly. Mitzi was always annoying for some reason. Too perky??

by Anonymousreply 23310/19/2012

Nathan Lane was unavailable.

by Anonymousreply 23410/19/2012

Was Josh Logan gay? Discuss.

by Anonymousreply 23510/19/2012

If they had dubbed her with Mary Martin's voice and eliminated the jello-colored skies, it could have been a great film.

by Anonymousreply 23610/19/2012

It is so obvious. Mitzi is doing the best Doris Day impression that i have ever seen! From haircut to the but-shots she IS a poor man's Doris Day.

by Anonymousreply 23712/28/2012

mitzi was the perfect choice for south pacific,but her career started 3 years after that, when she broke all records at the flamingo hotel in las vegas, and she never looked back, then seventeen emmy nominations for her fabulous tv shows, movie musicals were finished in the 60s, you could count on your hand the successful ones, also the top musical film stars careers were finished when musicals were no longer popular, as they could'nt hack it on the stage, most of the were dubbed on the screen

by Anonymousreply 23803/22/2013

billy wilder wanted mitzi for some like it hot, as he knew using the talented and professional mitzi, the film would have taken weeks to make, instead of months and months, he had to do sometimes 80 takes just to get poor marilyn to say one word, as for mitzi getting the plum part in south pacific, mitzi was perfect, doris day would have played doris day like she did in every film, and debbie reynolds would not have been considered as her career was over by then, it only revived when liz taylor took her husband

by Anonymousreply 23903/22/2013

mitzi was a great success because she did'nt take herself seriously, also she had a wonderful 52 year marriage, ignore all that fooling around nonesense, mitzi and jack had a solid marriage

by Anonymousreply 24003/22/2013

Since this thread was bumped up...

Mitzi was perfectly cast in "South Pacific" and the only good thing about that otherwise awful adaptation. No one would've been better.

by Anonymousreply 24103/22/2013

I like Mitzi Gaynor better in r173's clip than in the movie. While I believe Doris Day would have nailed it, Mitzi could have knocked it out of the park with a better director.

by Anonymousreply 24203/22/2013

Josh Logan quote:

"When people tell me the direction was wonderful, I know I've failed..."


"...The audience should be entranced, hypnotized, transported like children listening to a fairy tale. The individual actor, playwright, or director who breaks the spell by drawing attention to himself and crowing 'See how clever I am!' is a crook."

by Anonymousreply 24303/22/2013

r243's post made me think of Bill Murray's birthday party scene in "Tootsie".

by Anonymousreply 24403/22/2013

This is my favorite clip of Mitzi from one of her TV specials. She's very sexy (even though the clip makes clear she's really not all that good of a dancer--her movements are not focused or crisp), and the song is arranged exactly in her range and style (she always sounded forced when trying to sing pleasant ballads rather than growly sexy numbers).

It's incredibly cheesy, but this does show why she had a following in the 50s and 60s and early 70s.

by Anonymousreply 24503/22/2013

[quote]even though the clip makes clear she's really not all that good of a dancer

Mitzi was an excellent dancer with years of extensive training, though she often suffered from poor choreography.

Yankee Doodle Mitzi:

by Anonymousreply 24603/22/2013

Look at the clip at r245 again, and watch her movements closely when she strips down to the corselet. Her gestures are very muddy and poorly executed. It's not just the fact it's weakly choreographed--she's not dancing very well. Maybe she was having an off night, but one thing I will say about Joey Heatherton (who is even cheesier than Mitzi Gaynor, and who also did those same sorts of sexpot dancing specials on TV in the early 70s): Joey never had an off night in terms of her dancing that I ever saw.

by Anonymousreply 24703/22/2013

Actually on closer inspection you're right, R247. I guess I was distracted by Mitzi's fabulousness when I first saw it.

Her walk at 1:51 also looks quite amateurish and not at all like a professional dancer's.

Although normally she's better. Here she is with Gene Kelly's choreography, sharp and graceful: (as Kelly would've demanded)

by Anonymousreply 24803/22/2013

go to youtube and watch how mitzi had matured into a consummate entertainer, see her sing the song "everything old is new again",,triple threat entertainer, mitzi is 82 years of age this year and is still strutting her stuff, and not for the money as she is a very very rich lady, after decades of being the top female act @ the nevada casinos, she is now an american treasure and icon, deservedly so

by Anonymousreply 24903/22/2013

"Alice Blue Gown" was written about Alice Roosevelt, daughter of President Theodore Roosevelt, and the most noteable BITCH of the early 20th century.

"Alice Blue" was her favorite color.

by Anonymousreply 25003/22/2013

Is Mitzi lonely? Her husband died and she has no family.

by Anonymousreply 25103/22/2013

Who gave a better performance, Betty Hutton in "Annie, Get You Gun" or Mitzi Gaynor in "South Pacific"?

by Anonymousreply 25203/22/2013

This (link below) is the Mitzi Gaynor performance that revived her career.

It's the 1967 Academy Awards ...she was sensational. From this performance she got her Christmas special (1967) and then a string of 8 more TV specials.

She sounds a little flat and breathy at the beginning but she pulls it together. I doubt her voice is being augmented.

And remember too: this is all done in one take...unlike a dance number in a movie.

She truly commands the stage, every inch a star. She's already 36 years old here ...and radiant.

by Anonymousreply 25303/22/2013

She's on tour right now with her one-woman show. She's going to be in a nearby city next month so I may check her out.

by Anonymousreply 25403/22/2013

Getting back to the original question, how about DL fave and possible closeted lesbian Kaye Ballard?

by Anonymousreply 25503/22/2013

How is that the original question, R255?

by Anonymousreply 25603/22/2013

[quote]It's the 1967 Academy Awards ...she was sensational.

Sort of. She's very cute and sexy, and her dancing is great; but her singing there is genuinely awful. That song is not something she could sing.

And don't pretend otherwise. Don't pee on my leg and tell me it's raining.

by Anonymousreply 25703/22/2013

Her singing isn't awful, not great but it's in tune and an easy song to sing.

by Anonymousreply 25803/22/2013

It's awful.

On other songs it's okay, but there it's genuinely awful.

by Anonymousreply 25903/22/2013

Good lord, that link at R253 is just awful on every level.

by Anonymousreply 26003/22/2013

It's fabulous on every level and she received the longest standing ovation in Academy history for it. (I don't think if the record still holds.)

by Anonymousreply 26103/22/2013

She was perfect.

by Anonymousreply 26203/22/2013

[quote]It's fabulous on every level

You had just admitted previously at r258 that her singing on it wasn't great. Those were your exact words.

by Anonymousreply 26303/22/2013

Yes, it's not great nor is it awful. It's okay.

by Anonymousreply 26403/22/2013

She retired for a few years and put on weight. Then she decided to make a comeback; lost all the weight and got back in great shape. But her voice had changed and that was another real plus. Her singing was rich and full for the first time. She went on tour to sell-out audiences.

Helen Reddy took ten years off. She's back on tour at 71 with a voice as powerful as ever.

by Anonymousreply 26503/22/2013

if it's "not great," then it's not "fabulous on every level."

by Anonymousreply 26603/22/2013

"I just could not like Kelli O'Hara as Forbush because she suffered in comparison to Gaynor."

There really is no accounting for taste.

by Anonymousreply 26703/22/2013

Mitzi's voice isn't great but her interpretation of the song is, better than the original. The song "Georgy Girl" doesn't require a great vocalist only a decent singer with enthusiasm. Her voice in general is untrained but singing that song it's fine.

Like the score to "South Pacific" it requires a comedic voice, which is why Jane Powell would've been awful in that movie and awful singing this song.

by Anonymousreply 26803/22/2013

Can someone tell me just what exactly was wrong with Mitzi in "South Pacific".

I thought she was wonderful.

by Anonymousreply 26903/22/2013

The pic's cute:

by Anonymousreply 27003/22/2013

If she was 36 in 1967 when she sang Georgy Girl, she must be about 22 in that photo at r270 that looks like it was taken in 1953.

by Anonymousreply 27103/22/2013

From that 1967 number you can see why Gaynor got those 9 TV specials.

Who else could have done anywhere near as well? Chita Rivera and Gwen Verdon would have been all wrong. Donna McKechnie would have danced the shit out it, but she was still unknown. Juliet Prowse is probably the only popular performer back in '67 who could compare.... but she was not as likable or as beautiful.

by Anonymousreply 27203/23/2013

But even by 1967 that Georgy Girl number was a throwback and look hopelessly dated to anyone under 30, especially as it was erformed by a 36 year old former movie star.

by Anonymousreply 27303/23/2013

R273 wrote: "But even by 1967 that Georgy Girl number was a throwback and look hopelessly dated to anyone under 30, especially as it was erformed by a 36 year old former movie star."


In 1967 everything looked dated to kids under 30.

The truth is, that silly "Georgie Girl" number was exactly the kind of thing the very popular Carol Burnet Show did at the time as did other TV variety shows.

by Anonymousreply 27403/23/2013

1968 was a seminal year in the transitioning of America into an entirely youth-based and dominated pop culture.

by Anonymousreply 27503/23/2013

You must be kidding!

by Anonymousreply 27605/31/2013

"She truly commands the stage, every inch a star. She's already 36 years old here ...and radiant."


by Anonymousreply 27705/31/2013

Because she was the best! As F rank Sinatra put it, "...the best of everything rolled into one"

by Anonymousreply 27807/27/2013

I agree. Mitzi was wonderful

by Anonymousreply 27907/27/2013

Mitzi has become a legend,thru talent, people wanted doris day in south pacific WHY? I personally liked doris, but far too sweet,can you imagine her rejecting the mixed race children in south pacific, and you must remember doris had not made a hit musical for a few years,the pajama game bombed at the box office,they blamed her leading man,also jumbo was a ,flop, doris went on to star in those silly outdated comedies, when Richard Harris commented he had never seen anything more ridiculous a middle age woman dressed with pigtails and lomg socks, NO Mitzi everytime,she went on to have a great career,doing what she loved the best, singing and dancing, and still doing it today, the other great dancers careers were finished in the late fifties, as they could not hack it on the stage, no dubbing there voices, no camera to do twenty takes, I am so glad Mitzi is getting all the attention and life time achievement awards she so deserves, a great talent, should have done more in Hollywood, but what was around, not a lot

by Anonymousreply 28007/31/2014

buy the dvd mitzi the razzle dazzle years, she show what real X Factor is

by Anonymousreply 28107/31/2014

Our realtor looked like Mitzi Gaynor, which was only one of the many strikes against her.

by Anonymousreply 28207/31/2014

Hi, Mitzi! (Waves to R280)

And FYI Doris Day wasn't actually "sweet" onscreen, she usually played women who were down-to-earth and outspoken (and who acted much younger than their years, and were oddly terrified of sex).

"South Pacific" would have been a great career move, her down-to-earth quality would have made that film much more believable than it was with Mannequin Mitzy, and it would have given her a chance to play a character who was much more real than the usual aging virgins. Her initial rejection of the children would have given her a chance to play someone imperfect, allowed her to really act as well as sing and look cute. As Gaynor obviously failed to "really act", it's not like Day could have done worse.

by Anonymousreply 28307/31/2014

Ten years later, Mitzi Gaynor's voice was so much better. Too bad they didn't redub her songs in "South Pacific."

by Anonymousreply 28407/31/2014

[quote] Too bad they didn't redub her songs in "South Pacific."

I offered!

by Anonymousreply 28507/31/2014

1958 must have been the gayest year ever at the American box office.

The five highest-grossing films of the year were South Pacific, Auntie Mame, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, No Time for Sergeants, and Gigi.

by Anonymousreply 28608/01/2014
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