Three-time Tony Award-winner Glenn Close and two-time Grammy Award-winner Harry Connick Jr. lead a sensational cast in an all-new version of Rodgers & Hammerstein's beloved musical SOUTH PACIFIC. Based on the Pulitzer Priz... more »e-winning book by James Michener, and featuring some of the finest music ever written for the stage ("Some Enchanted Evening," "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair," and "Younger Than Springtime"), SOUTH PACIFIC spins a romantic tale of love and loss on a tropical island naval base during the Second World War. Enjoy the fun and adventure of this breathtaking new production with a star-studded cast, timeless songs, and a story that has enchanted audiences for years.« less
A fun update on the original. I liked seeing starts like Glenn Close and Harry Connick Jr. performing in classic musical roles.
Interesting, different take on SOUTH PACIFIC
Mark Andrew Lawrence | Toronto | 02/08/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Though the stage show was one of Rodgers and Hammerstein's biggest hits, the script has not aged well. It is overlong and lacking in subtleness. The 1958 film, despite the beautiful scenery, is played woodenly. Even Rodgers and Hammerstein expressed disappointment with the finished film.So, in 2000, ABC TV and Glen Close produced a new TB film with a new script that weaves in most of the songs and situations of the original play while at the same time fleshing out the characters and making them more realistic.Is the film a complete success? Well, no. For starters Glen Close is too old for the role of Nellie. She does act it well, however, and she sings with a characterful chest voice though I do detect some of her high notes might be dubbed. I have just re-watched the movie and don't find her all that objectionable. She sounds like she is having fun cutting loose in "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair" and "A Wonderful guy." Remember too that Mary Marin and Mitzi Gaynor were both too old for the role originally. What Glen Close does play very effectively is Nellie's warring emotions. Aided by the camera work, we see her confusion and unhappiness when confronted with her own prejudices.Rade Sherbedgia certainly looks the part of DeBecque but since we are so used to hearing robust Bass singers in the role, his softly sung arias take a good deal of getting used to. Instead of an outpouring of emotion in "this Nearly Was Mine" he offers a more introspective take on the role. It's actually a good idea and might work better with a stronger singer. His acting is quite good but the script does tend to shortchange Emile in favour of Nellie.Harry Connick Jr acts the part of Cable quite well and shades the characters different emotions. True he is more of New Orleans than Philadelphia, and like the others he tends to pull the big musical moments inward. It is most effective in the scene after he first makes love to Liat and croons a tender "Younger Than Springtime." This is everything that the sung ought to be... passionate, sexy and filled with wonder. This is a young man caught off guard by true love for the first time and Connick communicates that brilliantly. His "crooning" is not wildly out-of-place and certainly in keeping with the types of singers he would have heard at home. Some scenes later he performs a remarkably understated "Carefully Taught" having played the intense anger in the dialogue scene that precedes the song. The result is more a case of Cable realizing what he is saying than just spitting out an angry indictment. It may not be the way it was originally done, but you can't argue with its effectiveness. Lori Tan Chin as Bloody Mary is much closer to the description provided by James Michener in his original novel than Juanita Hall. Hall indeed made the part her own, but that is not to say that hers was definitive.
In re-writing the screenplay, the scenes and songs were re-arranged from their traditional order. In this new version we see the first meeting of Nellie and Emile at an officers club dance, and the song "A Cockeyed Optimist" is used in this sequence to establish Nellie's outlook. It's part of her charm and clearly attracts DeBecque. The structure also allows the first two scenes of the musical to unfold simultaneously. Anyone considering a Broadway revival of SOUTH PACIFIC might do well to examine the TV film for its style and construction. There might indeed be a way to make the story work for modern audiences, clearing away some of the hoary old jokes and developing character instead."
dbw2cats | Illinois | 06/17/2001
(1 out of 5 stars)
""South Pacific" is one of my favorite musicals, but this version stinks like a week-old fish. I know Glenn Close produced this as a starring vehicle for herself, but somebody should have warned her that casting herself as the naive, small-town nurse Nellie Forbush was ludricous. And the whole Lt. Cable subplot gave me the creeps. Bloody Mary introduces him to her teenage daughter and stands there beaming while the kid strips off her robe 5 seconds later. Having him sing "Younger than Springtime" while they're in bed together just killed the romance for me.The '50's version with Mitzi Gaynor might not be a masterpiece, but it's a lot better than this piece of trash."
Rodgers & Hammerstein's South Pacifice 2001
Mark Andrew Lawrence | 06/12/2001
(1 out of 5 stars)
"This has got to be the worst remake of a classic motion picture in history. Most of the characters are not believable and most cannot sing. For a 50+ year old woman to try and play a 20 year old is a stretch and Glen Close did not come close. The picture dragged and seemed out of step with the original play and movie. There were only two bright spots in the whole movie, Billis and Ensign Cable. I would not place this picture in my collection if it was given to me."
Michael J Edelman | Huntington Woods, MI USA | 12/06/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Let me begin by saying I absolutely love South Pacific. It was the very first musical I ever saw (my parents took me to the movie when it came out, when I was hardly more than an infant) and I grew up listening to the Broadway sound track.
I'm a big fan of Harry Connick Jr.'s musical work, and I think he's an excellent actor. I've been impressed by Glen Close's work, I think Robery Pastorelli is a pretty decent comic actor, and when I saw the "Making of South Pacific" promo on TV, I made a point of setting my VCR to catch the movie. I was ready to really enjoy this show.
And boy, was I let down. First of all, no matter how good she looks, Glen Close does not look like a young nurse. She doesn't even look like a middle aged nurse. In her scenes with Rade Sherbedgia, despite all the soft focus photography (and half of this movie looked like it was shot through a pound of vaseline) she didn't look anything like a young woman swept off her feet by an older man. To tell the truth, she looked like Sherbedgia's mother. When Nellie sings that she's just a simple girl and Emil is a sophisticated man, it borders on the tragicomic.
But what makes or breaks a great musical is the singing. Both the Broadway and the original Hollywood versions of this movie were characterized by great voices. The part of Emile de Becque was played on Broadway by Ezio Pinza, and on the screen sung by Giorgio Tozzi, both strong and expressive baritones with an operatic background. The ingenue leads were the great Mary Martin and Mitzi Gaynor. Even the smaller parts were played by dynamic performers like Broadway's Juanita Hall, whose "Bali Hai" sends chills down your back.
But these TV version is completely lacking in anything approaching a dynamic vocal performance. Connick, an excellent singer in his own genre, does a workmanlike job with "Younger Than Springtime" and then delivers a half-spoken, half sung and essentially emotionless version of "You've Got To Be Taught". Sherbedgia, who has some of the strongest songs in the show, can barely produce a whisper. When Pinza sang "This Once Was Mine" it brought tears to your eyes; when Sherbedgia sings it, it's incidental music. It's almost as if the entire cast were picked so as not to show up the limited vocal abilities of the star.
All in all a tremendous disappointment. Even if you liked the TV version- especially if you liked it- you owe it to yourself to buy the Broadway album and hear this music as it was meant to be heard."
Get the original
dbw2cats | 09/16/2003
(2 out of 5 stars)
"If you're going to see South Pacific, do yourself a favor and get the original. Debecque in the remake was just plain awful. Some Enchanted Evening was nothing like in the original, he sang it far too soft. He did not put any heart into the part of Debecque. Glenn Close was good, but far too old for the part of Nellie (a twenty-odd year old nurse). I have to admit however, she did do well in terms of acting and singing, and she really got into the part. Another complaint was the relationship between Liat and John Cable was not good whatsoever. They never talk, Cable just gets what he wants and leaves. Their relationship is never explained clearly, Cable just goes to Bali Hai, gets what he wants from her, and leaves the island. The movie doesn't go into enough depth. Plus, "Happy Talk" was cut (very sad in my opinion.) Also, the remake kind of brushed over the important parts about racism and prejudice. It was too casual in the important issues. Added some swears and fighting and stuff too, sorry, but I just don't enjoy that in a musical. Musicals to me are supposed to be pure and fun. But I do have to give some credit, Glenn Close was good despite her being too old, and it was well filmed."