Why not Doris Day, or Shirley Jones, or Shirley Maclaine, or Debbie Reynolds, or Jane Powell, or Marilyn Monroe?
Why not Doris Day, or Shirley Jones, or Shirley Maclaine, or Debbie Reynolds, or Jane Powell, or Marilyn Monroe?
|by Anonymous||reply 286||08/01/2014|
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 Anonymous||reply 1||03/25/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 3||03/25/2012|
|by Anonymous||reply 5||03/25/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 7||03/25/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 8||03/25/2012|
|by Anonymous||reply 9||03/25/2012|
|by Anonymous||reply 10||03/25/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 11||03/25/2012|
Julie Andrews would have been great.
Or Florence Henderson.
|by Anonymous||reply 12||03/25/2012|
[quote] Audrey Hepburn
When you say Audrey Hepburn, I think you mean Marni Nixon.
|by Anonymous||reply 13||03/25/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 14||03/25/2012|
R2, her dress is amazing in that clip! But that's some of the most laughable choreography I've ever seen. Urgh.
|by Anonymous||reply 15||03/25/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 17||03/25/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 18||03/25/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 19||03/25/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 20||03/25/2012|
I didn't realize it came out in '58. Hell, just dub Sandra Dee or Tuesday Weld.
|by Anonymous||reply 21||03/25/2012|
A 16 year old Barbra Streisand could have been made up to look a few years older and would have nailed the part.
|by Anonymous||reply 22||03/25/2012|
The Glenn Close version had fantastic scenery and Harry Connick Jr. was great as Lt. Cable.
|by Anonymous||reply 23||03/25/2012|
maybe so, but i was waiting and waiting for 'happy talk' and the fucking thing was cut.
|by Anonymous||reply 24||03/26/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 25||03/26/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 26||03/26/2012|
All these years I just figured she was a placeholder for Sutton Foster.
|by Anonymous||reply 27||03/26/2012|
r15, it was the 1960's. :)
|by Anonymous||reply 28||03/26/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 29||03/26/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 30||03/26/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 31||03/26/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 32||03/26/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 33||03/26/2012|
[quote] Doris Day could have had a much bigger legacy
Are you joking? Her legacy is about as big as it gets.
|by Anonymous||reply 34||03/26/2012|
r35, you're forgetting Deborah Kerr, who was already a major movie star when they cast her in THE KING AND I.
|by Anonymous||reply 36||03/26/2012|
|by Anonymous||reply 37||03/26/2012|
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.
|by Anonymous||reply 38||03/26/2012|
Interesting interview with John Kerr at the link--he sounds like a really nice guy.
Apparently he was considered for "Psycho!
|by Anonymous||reply 39||03/26/2012|
Juliet Prowse would probably have won an Oscar if she'd gotten the role.
|by Anonymous||reply 40||03/26/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 41||03/26/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 42||03/26/2012|
Patti Page relates in her book that she was among those who tested for the role of Nellie Forbush.
|by Anonymous||reply 43||03/26/2012|
[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 Anonymous||reply 44||03/26/2012|
Mary Martin was like Tallulah Bankhead: whatever magic she had onstage got lost on the big screen.
|by Anonymous||reply 45||03/26/2012|
Mary Martin wasn't photogenic, to be polite about it.
|by Anonymous||reply 46||03/26/2012|
Actually, Mary Martin WAS photogenic. Her actual appearance was worse.
|by Anonymous||reply 47||03/26/2012|
Mitzi Gaynor was perfect casting. I thought she was terrific in the part.
|by Anonymous||reply 48||03/26/2012|
A sober Garland? A fat sober Garland? Forget it.
|by Anonymous||reply 50||03/26/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 51||03/26/2012|
I would have liked to have seen Lucy give it the Mame treatment.
|by Anonymous||reply 52||03/26/2012|
Julie Andrews did her Nellie Forbush role in "The Americanization of Emily." Good movie, by the way.
|by Anonymous||reply 53||03/26/2012|
|by Anonymous||reply 54||03/26/2012|
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.
|by Anonymous||reply 55||03/26/2012|
[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 Anonymous||reply 56||03/26/2012|
Not true. It's not like she sings the belty parts in head voice. She shouts the usually belted notes.
|by Anonymous||reply 57||03/26/2012|
"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 Anonymous||reply 58||03/26/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 59||03/26/2012|
[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 Anonymous||reply 60||03/26/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 61||03/26/2012|
Speaking of Doris Day- April is DORIS DAY month on Turner Classic Movies. Yes, MIDNIGHT LACE will be broadcast!
|by Anonymous||reply 62||03/26/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 63||03/26/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 64||03/26/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 65||03/26/2012|
[quote] hoe "JUDY was BACK".
I think you mean 'ho', doll.
|by Anonymous||reply 66||03/26/2012|
"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 Anonymous||reply 67||03/26/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 68||03/26/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 70||03/26/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 71||03/26/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 72||03/26/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 73||03/26/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 74||03/26/2012|
Ed Fury's ass.
|by Anonymous||reply 75||03/26/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 76||03/26/2012|
"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 Anonymous||reply 77||03/26/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 78||03/26/2012|
R78, Polly Bergen is from Tennessee.
You may be right about her voice though.
|by Anonymous||reply 79||03/26/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 80||03/26/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 81||03/26/2012|
[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 Anonymous||reply 82||03/26/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 83||03/26/2012|
[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 Anonymous||reply 84||03/26/2012|
[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 Anonymous||reply 85||03/26/2012|
[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 Anonymous||reply 86||03/26/2012|
[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 Anonymous||reply 87||03/26/2012|
Agreed: Mandy Patinkin sounds like he's having a grand mal seizure during "You've Got to Be Carefully Taught."
|by Anonymous||reply 88||03/26/2012|
[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 Anonymous||reply 89||03/26/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 90||03/26/2012|
I always think Debbie Reynolds as the only one to pull off the character, singing and acting. She would have been excellent.
|by Anonymous||reply 91||03/26/2012|
RE 89 HOW DARE YOU !
|by Anonymous||reply 92||03/27/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 93||03/27/2012|
Gwen Verdon would have been FIERCE as Nellie.
|by Anonymous||reply 94||03/27/2012|
[quote] Gray actually originated the role of Lalume in KISMET when it opened in Los Angeles, prior to its Broadway run.
|by Anonymous||reply 95||03/27/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 97||03/27/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 98||03/27/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 99||03/27/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 100||03/27/2012|
Mitzi was the perfect Nellie, out of all of the aforementioned possibilities.
As the old saying goes....Why reinvent the wheel?
|by Anonymous||reply 101||03/27/2012|
As Oscar Levant once brilliantly observed, "I knew Doris Day before she was a virgin."
|by Anonymous||reply 103||03/27/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 104||03/27/2012|
Speaking of Oscar Levant: HE would have made a great Nellie Forbush! He certainly was nellie.
|by Anonymous||reply 105||03/27/2012|
[quote]He certainly was nellie.
Yes, but not for bush.
|by Anonymous||reply 106||03/27/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 107||03/27/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 108||03/27/2012|
Dolores Gray and John Raitt - Isn't It A Lovely Day?
|by Anonymous||reply 109||03/27/2012|
Has Debbie Reynolds said snything about wanting or being considered for the role?
|by Anonymous||reply 110||03/27/2012|
Dolores Gray would have been better cast as Bloody Mary than as Nellie Forbush.
|by Anonymous||reply 111||03/27/2012|
Here's a thought: Barbara Nell Cook, native of Georgia.
|by Anonymous||reply 112||03/27/2012|
Have you seen that Hitchcock episode she did?
|by Anonymous||reply 113||03/27/2012|
|by Anonymous||reply 114||03/27/2012|
|by Anonymous||reply 115||03/27/2012|
Horrible movie: overacting, ugly, boring, grating songs. Shit.
|by Anonymous||reply 116||03/27/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 117||03/27/2012|
Jaye P. Morgan could have nailed this with ease.
|by Anonymous||reply 118||03/27/2012|
So could JP Morgan.
And yes, R113, I did see it. I STILL think she cudda done it.
|by Anonymous||reply 119||03/27/2012|
With or without chin strap?
|by Anonymous||reply 120||03/27/2012|
|by Anonymous||reply 121||03/27/2012|
I'm still waiting for Hugh Jackman to do "Carousel" before he gets too old. That would be great to see updated.
|by Anonymous||reply 122||03/27/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 123||03/27/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 124||03/27/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 125||03/27/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 126||03/27/2012|
[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 Anonymous||reply 127||03/27/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 128||03/27/2012|
Was Connie Stevens considered? She had the correct youthful zest in 1958 and often sang as Cricket on Hawaiian Eye.
|by Anonymous||reply 129||03/27/2012|
Mary Tyler Moore would have KICKED ASS had she been given the opportunity to play Nellie.
|by Anonymous||reply 130||03/27/2012|
r122, you have no taste - Hugh Jackman's nasal, grating voice has no business singing the score of CAROUSEL.
|by Anonymous||reply 131||03/27/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 132||03/28/2012|
Miss Carol Burnett, thank you very much
|by Anonymous||reply 133||03/28/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 134||03/28/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 135||03/28/2012|
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!
DORIS DAY! REX HARRISON! JOHN GAVIN!
and MISS MYRNA LOY!
on TCM next week! Also catch JULIE where terrorized flight attendant Doris lands a plane!!
|by Anonymous||reply 136||03/28/2012|
Constance got her box
|by Anonymous||reply 137||03/28/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 138||03/28/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 139||03/28/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 140||03/28/2012|
Day first appeared on the top 10 box office draw list in 1951:
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
|by Anonymous||reply 141||03/28/2012|
Day & Grable are the ONLY women on that list.
Randolph Scott surprises me.
|by Anonymous||reply 142||03/28/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 143||03/28/2012|
What films did Doris Day make in 1951 that put her on that list? I really can't imagine.
|by Anonymous||reply 144||03/28/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 145||03/28/2012|
Patrick Wilson is a Jean Michel. A very old Jean Michel
|by Anonymous||reply 146||03/28/2012|
Anyone know if there are plans for a movie musical version of LA CAGE AUX FOLLES?
|by Anonymous||reply 147||03/28/2012|
|by Anonymous||reply 148||03/28/2012|
Mary Tyler Moore, r130??? Surely you are pulling our leg. Mary put the perkiness into over-perkiness. Plus, her singing is totally shitty.
|by Anonymous||reply 149||03/28/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 150||03/28/2012|
Now THERE's a thought; Susan Hayward with vocals by Jane Froman.
|by Anonymous||reply 151||03/28/2012|
Eydie Gorme should have been cast. She had the vocal chops like no other.
|by Anonymous||reply 152||03/29/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 153||03/29/2012|
[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 Anonymous||reply 154||03/29/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 155||03/29/2012|
Actually, Logan himself attributed the phrase "cheap shit" to Brazzi in his autobiography.
|by Anonymous||reply 156||03/30/2012|
I think we have a consensus: They should have waited a few more years until Liza Minnelli was old enough to play Nellie.
|by Anonymous||reply 157||03/30/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 158||03/31/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 159||03/31/2012|
[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 Anonymous||reply 160||03/31/2012|
Wow R160, I LOVE MTM but that was bad. And Letterman looks completely embarrassed.
|by Anonymous||reply 161||03/31/2012|
...she had good legs?
|by Anonymous||reply 162||03/31/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 163||03/31/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 164||03/31/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 165||03/31/2012|
It never worked in her other movies, R165. Except maybe "Airplane."
|by Anonymous||reply 166||03/31/2012|
R165 I know you are joking because Merman was 6 or 7 years older than Mary Martin.
|by Anonymous||reply 167||03/31/2012|
Oh, R167, you sly boots, you. you caught on so quickly.
|by Anonymous||reply 168||03/31/2012|
Angela Lansbury would've been awesome.
|by Anonymous||reply 169||03/31/2012|
A young Robert Wagner in drag with Marni Nixon dubbing would have been perfect.
|by Anonymous||reply 170||03/31/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 171||03/31/2012|
You might want to rethink your criticism of Mitzi after watching this...
|by Anonymous||reply 172||04/01/2012|
One of her screen tests . . .
|by Anonymous||reply 173||04/01/2012|
Gaynor's prettier in R173's link than she was in the finished movie.
|by Anonymous||reply 174||04/01/2012|
[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 Anonymous||reply 175||04/01/2012|
Watching Glenn Closes' remake all I could think of was Norma Desmond in her much talked about "return".
|by Anonymous||reply 176||04/01/2012|
Every time I scroll past this thread, I think it reads "Why was Mitch Gaylord cast in South Pacific?"
|by Anonymous||reply 177||04/01/2012|
MTM's choreography at R160 has that distinct mark of Bob Fosse.
|by Anonymous||reply 178||04/01/2012|
Yes r160, Bob Fosse does Romper Room School.
|by Anonymous||reply 179||04/01/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 180||04/02/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 181||04/02/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 182||04/02/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 183||04/02/2012|
Mitzi was MAD, I tell you, MAD!
|by Anonymous||reply 185||04/02/2012|
Alice Faye would have been perfect if the movie was made in 1938 instead of 1958.
|by Anonymous||reply 186||04/02/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 187||04/02/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 188||04/02/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 189||04/03/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 190||04/03/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 191||04/03/2012|
[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 Anonymous||reply 192||04/03/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 193||04/03/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 194||04/03/2012|
[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 Anonymous||reply 195||04/03/2012|
It could have worked, R195. Don't forget to take the time difference into account.
|by Anonymous||reply 196||04/03/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 197||04/03/2012|
R197, it's hard to take you seriously when you use words like "vocily."
|by Anonymous||reply 199||04/04/2012|
[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 Anonymous||reply 200||04/04/2012|
That's hilarious R20 -- thanks for the laugh.
|by Anonymous||reply 201||04/04/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 202||04/04/2012|
Mitzi and Debbie Reynolds together, taken last year. No feud here.
|by Anonymous||reply 203||04/07/2012|
Patti Page or Janis Paige could have done it.
|by Anonymous||reply 204||04/09/2012|
Carol Channing, always the perfect ingenue at any age.
|by Anonymous||reply 205||05/17/2012|
[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 Anonymous||reply 206||05/18/2012|
They should have redone this with Barbra about 35 years ago.
|by Anonymous||reply 207||07/22/2012|
Actually, I have done it in stock.
|by Anonymous||reply 208||07/22/2012|
R208, we're talking Barbra, not Barbara.
|by Anonymous||reply 209||07/23/2012|
R204, don't forget Geraldine Page. Or Satchel Paige
|by Anonymous||reply 210||07/23/2012|
Oh, me? Only if they raise the keys.
|by Anonymous||reply 211||07/23/2012|
Audrey Hepburn was born for that role.
|by Anonymous||reply 212||07/23/2012|
Paging Marni Nixon!
|by Anonymous||reply 213||07/23/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 214||07/25/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 215||07/25/2012|
Yes, but what has this all got to do with me, Barbara?
|by Anonymous||reply 216||07/25/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 217||07/25/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 218||07/25/2012|
Mitzi Gaynor's voice was so much better in later years. Too bad she coudln't have re-dubbed her SP songs.
|by Anonymous||reply 219||07/27/2012|
The Glen Close version had some spectacular scenery. Harry Connick Jr. was a better Joe Cable than the forgettable guy in the film.
|by Anonymous||reply 220||07/27/2012|
Wait, are we talking about Mitzi Gaynor or Janet Gaynor?
|by Anonymous||reply 221||07/27/2012|
Polly Bergan would have been perfect.
|by Anonymous||reply 222||08/04/2012|
Because the beautiful Miss Cillian Murphy wasn't even born yet.
|by Anonymous||reply 224||09/20/2012|
|by Anonymous||reply 225||09/20/2012|
So did we ever reach a consensus? Who should have been cast?
|by Anonymous||reply 226||10/18/2012|
R129 Connie Stevens wasn't considered for SOUTH PACIFIC, but she did test for MY FAIR LADY. The test is out there somewhere.
|by Anonymous||reply 227||10/18/2012|
Mitzi Gaynor could have done well if her voice had been dubbed.
|by Anonymous||reply 228||10/19/2012|
[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 Anonymous||reply 229||10/19/2012|
Is Mitzi a real name, or is it one of those made up names like Trig or Trapp?
|by Anonymous||reply 230||10/19/2012|
[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 Anonymous||reply 231||10/19/2012|
"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 Anonymous||reply 232||10/19/2012|
Martha Raye?! Too ugly. Mitzi was always annoying for some reason. Too perky??
|by Anonymous||reply 233||10/19/2012|
Nathan Lane was unavailable.
|by Anonymous||reply 234||10/19/2012|
Was Josh Logan gay? Discuss.
|by Anonymous||reply 235||10/19/2012|
If they had dubbed her with Mary Martin's voice and eliminated the jello-colored skies, it could have been a great film.
|by Anonymous||reply 236||10/19/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 237||12/28/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 238||03/22/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 239||03/22/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 240||03/22/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 241||03/22/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 242||03/22/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 243||03/22/2013|
r243's post made me think of Bill Murray's birthday party scene in "Tootsie".
|by Anonymous||reply 244||03/22/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 245||03/22/2013|
[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 Anonymous||reply 246||03/22/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 247||03/22/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 248||03/22/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 249||03/22/2013|
"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 Anonymous||reply 250||03/22/2013|
Is Mitzi lonely? Her husband died and she has no family.
|by Anonymous||reply 251||03/22/2013|
Who gave a better performance, Betty Hutton in "Annie, Get You Gun" or Mitzi Gaynor in "South Pacific"?
|by Anonymous||reply 252||03/22/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 253||03/22/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 254||03/22/2013|
Getting back to the original question, how about DL fave and possible closeted lesbian Kaye Ballard?
|by Anonymous||reply 255||03/22/2013|
How is that the original question, R255?
|by Anonymous||reply 256||03/22/2013|
[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 Anonymous||reply 257||03/22/2013|
Her singing isn't awful, not great but it's in tune and an easy song to sing.
|by Anonymous||reply 258||03/22/2013|
On other songs it's okay, but there it's genuinely awful.
|by Anonymous||reply 259||03/22/2013|
Good lord, that link at R253 is just awful on every level.
|by Anonymous||reply 260||03/22/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 261||03/22/2013|
She was perfect.
|by Anonymous||reply 262||03/22/2013|
[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 Anonymous||reply 263||03/22/2013|
Yes, it's not great nor is it awful. It's okay.
|by Anonymous||reply 264||03/22/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 265||03/22/2013|
if it's "not great," then it's not "fabulous on every level."
|by Anonymous||reply 266||03/22/2013|
"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 Anonymous||reply 267||03/22/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 268||03/22/2013|
Can someone tell me just what exactly was wrong with Mitzi in "South Pacific".
I thought she was wonderful.
|by Anonymous||reply 269||03/22/2013|
The pic's cute:
|by Anonymous||reply 270||03/22/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 271||03/22/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 272||03/23/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 273||03/23/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 274||03/23/2013|
1968 was a seminal year in the transitioning of America into an entirely youth-based and dominated pop culture.
|by Anonymous||reply 275||03/23/2013|
You must be kidding!
|by Anonymous||reply 276||05/31/2013|
"She truly commands the stage, every inch a star. She's already 36 years old here ...and radiant."
|by Anonymous||reply 277||05/31/2013|
Because she was the best! As F rank Sinatra put it, "...the best of everything rolled into one"
|by Anonymous||reply 278||07/27/2013|
I agree. Mitzi was wonderful
|by Anonymous||reply 279||07/27/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 280||07/31/2014|
buy the dvd mitzi the razzle dazzle years, she show what real X Factor is
|by Anonymous||reply 281||07/31/2014|
Our realtor looked like Mitzi Gaynor, which was only one of the many strikes against her.
|by Anonymous||reply 282||07/31/2014|
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 Anonymous||reply 283||07/31/2014|
Ten years later, Mitzi Gaynor's voice was so much better. Too bad they didn't redub her songs in "South Pacific."
|by Anonymous||reply 284||07/31/2014|
[quote] Too bad they didn't redub her songs in "South Pacific."
|by Anonymous||reply 285||07/31/2014|
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 Anonymous||reply 286||08/01/2014|