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"South Pacific" 1958 - when?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Eric Huffstutler, Jun 12, 2006.

  1. Thomas T

    Thomas T Well-Known Member

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    Gerardo, I think we agree and disagree here.

    I agree that it's good for people to introduce new visions and revisions in the arts. But their OWN art, not somebody elses. Perhaps you would be comfortable with, say, a new hip hop soundtrack to Gone With The Wind by Jay-Z instead of that old fashioned droning max Steiner score but I wouldn't.
     
  2. GerardoHP

    GerardoHP Well-Known Member

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    In principle, that sounds like a hideous and extreme idea, Thomas (not that I don't think someone couldn't do something really interesting with that).

    But in the case of SOUTH PACIFIC's filters, if it could be done well, I can't imagine too many people (including the ghost of Josh Logan, wherever he is) would complain. [​IMG]
     
  3. Thomas T

    Thomas T Well-Known Member

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    Speaking of "filters", John Huston's brilliant Reflections In A Golden Eye HAS been restored with its golden filters after Warners yanked the film after one week in 1967 and replaced the amber prints with regular color prints. It can be seen in all its glory in the new Brando box set.
     
  4. Mark B

    Mark B Well-Known Member

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    Just picked up SOUTH PACIFIC, CAROUSEL, and THE KING & I. Am currently listening to the isolated score on the CAROUSEL disc and it's fantastic.

    The lifts and cuts inserted into the "roadshow" version of SOUTH PACIFIC were quite interesting to see. Many cuts seem censorship related. The joys were a bit of Juanita Hall dancing in "Bloody Mary," the full reprise of "Some Enchanted Evening" during the "born on the opposite sides of a sea" scene, and the reinstatement of Emile's "surprise" following the party.
     
  5. Joe Lugoff

    Joe Lugoff Well-Known Member

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    The reinstatement of the "surprise" is very important. Without that, it looked like his surprise was springing his two children on her. He wouldn't call that a "surprise" in such an offhand way. The cut in the movie ended up totally changing his character and what the scene was all about. With the scene put back the way it was, we can see he didn't expect his children to walk up at that moment, and he was very serious about how Nellie might react. So, that cut always aggravated me, and it's nice to see it fixed. Now I'm still aggravated about "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair" being thrown away, but I have to get over that.
     
  6. GerardoHP

    GerardoHP Well-Known Member

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    What, they got rid of "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair"?! Do you mean, the main version of that number?!
     
  7. Mark B

    Mark B Well-Known Member

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    No. He was referring to the full length number, which never made it into any version.
     
  8. Eric Huffstutler

    Eric Huffstutler Well-Known Member

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    I have seen this is an improvement and this isn't - back and forth. But for me, which should I get?

    All I remember is the theatrical and not the road show version so to me that is a moot point.

    Should I seek out the OOP version or get the new one for the shorter film?

    Color shifting is distracting to me so which would I prefer?

    Eric
     
  9. Mark B

    Mark B Well-Known Member

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    Well, you definitely don't want the OOP disc. It is non-anamorphic and has no extras to speak of. With the new issue you get both versions of the film, so if the inserts bother you, just watch the general release version.
     
  10. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    I watched part of the Roadshow version of South Pacific last night...and while the inserts are interesting in a historical and creative light...the dramatic difference in quality/color take me right out of the film. I suspect once I've seen the Roadshow version, it'll be right back to the shorter theatrical release for me.

    Watched bits of The King & I last night and couldn't get over how clean and bright it looked. Remember how bad the colors used to be in the "Shall We Dance?" sequence in older home video incarnations? All those bleeding reds and golds? That looks beautiful now...and the March of the Siamese Children is a real spectacle again. [​IMG]
     
  11. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Well-Known Member

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    I saw a 35mm print of King and I about 3 years ago which was gorgeous at the AFI in silver spring MD. I'm looking foward to my box set of these DVDs to see the new transfers!
     
  12. DeeF

    DeeF Well-Known Member

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    I don't know if I disagree with Glenn Erickson or Dave Kehr about the quality of the South Pacific film. But this I know: the cinematography is breathtaking, and the background score astounding. Drama be damned: the movie is wonderful to watch and listen to (at least it is on this new DVD).

    Each of the R&H movies on DVD has its particular problem. Oklahoma! has that problematic Todd-AO transfer. Carousel suffers from the loss of DeMille choreography, some unfortunate casting choices, and a few exterior scenes shot in a studio seem very inferior to the beautiful location shots. The King and I is missing some of its score, and the interior palace shots do look cheap. South Pacific has got those ugly filters over some of the songs, and it could have been staged and structured (and cast) better. Flower Drum Song is fairly dated, and it does seem rather cheaply done. The Sound of Music is crude drama-making at best, though it is probably the most "movieish" of all of these.

    Nonetheless, these are all trend-setting movies, as far as technology goes, and they were all hits, and they're among my favorite movies, and these new DVDs are swellephant. And these movies all contain one or two of the greatest songs ever written, by the greatest team ever to write songs for dramatic vehicles. The power of Rodgers and Hammerstein has not diminished one iota in 60+ years.
     
  13. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Well-Known Member

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    Dee,

    very eloquently expressed.
     
  14. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Dee: Hear, hear! I couldn't agree more.

    Except maybe to change your choice of adjective from "swellephant" to "swellegant"...stealing from Mr. Cole Porter in High Society. [​IMG]
     
  15. Joe Lugoff

    Joe Lugoff Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I forgot to say, the main number sung by Nellie on the beach. (I should have been more clear, because Emile's "surprise" is his imitation of her singing that song. Since the greatest thing about "South Pacific" is the songs, and since that song is just as well known as most of them, I'll never understand why it was cut down to almost nothing. That's just as silly a decision as the color filters.)
     
  16. Joe Lugoff

    Joe Lugoff Well-Known Member

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    And here we're in 100%, total agreement.
     
  17. DeeF

    DeeF Well-Known Member

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    Whew! That's a relief.

    Yes, The King and I interior sets look cheap, like painted flats. There was an entire Bangkok exterior built for the movie, which is seen only once, close to the beginning as they are arriving at the palace.

    But the interiors are often supposed to be open-air courtyards, with towers of other buildings in the background. These are painted backdrops, which is painfully obvious.

    The King and I is the one of these shows which doesn't have 2 of its great songs ("My Lord and Master" and "I Have Dreamed").

    South Pacific actually restores a number cut from the show "How Far Away." One wishes the movie was structured like the show, which was a superior project. Doris Day was not ever in the running for the movie, because she was asked to audition, but she (or her agent) refused. There were some other actresses considered for Nellie, including Elizabeth Taylor.

    Yes, Flower Drum Song is dated, and it seems cheaper than all the others. And it does have that very bizarre dream ballet after "Love Look Away," which is quite ridiculous, ending with Helen Chao sliding down to hell at the end.
     
  18. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Dee: Isn't it fair to point out that many of your concerns are not with the DVD presentations...but the original film presentations of the material? You could leave out the "on DVD" section of your quote above.

    =====================================

    I love running into other afficionados of Oscar Hammerstein's work. While many might compare his approach to lyric writing to Norman Rockwell's approach to painting, I am a fan of both! I take comfort in those idealized representations of life in America.
     
  19. DeeF

    DeeF Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, that wasn't very smart of me, was it?

    In some cases, I'm criticizing the movie itself, and in one other case (Oklahoma!), I'm mostly criticizing the DVD.
     
  20. Mark B

    Mark B Well-Known Member

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    There was an entire Bangkok exterior built for the movie, which is seen only once, close to the beginning as they are arriving at the palace.[i/]

    According to the new DVD, that scene was added at Zanuck's request after filming wrapped, to give the film a more opened up feeling, and "We Kiss in a Shadow" was re-shot on an exterior set for the same reason.
     

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