1958 Motion Picture

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1958 Motion Picture

Music by Richard Rodgers | Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II | Screenplay by Paul Osborn | Adapted from South Pacific by Oscar Hammersetin II and Joshua Logan and the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Tales of the South Pacific by James Michener

Produced by Rodgers & Hammerstein and 20th Century Fox, the film version of South Pacific premiered on March 19, 1958. Directed by original Broadway director and co-librettist Joshua Logan, the film starred Mitzi Gaynor as Ensign Nellie Forbush, opposite Italian film star Rossano Brazzi as Emile de Becque. Rounding out the cast were Ray Walston, who had played Luther Billis in the national and West End companies, and Juanita Hall, reprising her Tony Award-winning performance as Bloody Mary. A momentous critical and commercial success, the film was the fifth highest-grossing film of the year.

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Alongside the blockbuster film starring Mitzi Gaynor and Rossano Brazzi, the soundtrack to 1958’s South Pacific was released in March of 1958. The album includes a song that was originally cut from the stage version: “My Girl Back Home,” sung by Lieutenant Cable, played by John Kerr in the film. Not only did the movie’s soundtrack spent 31 weeks at number one on the popular albums chart, making its cumulative time at number one 100 weeks in the US; it also placed the Original Broadway Cast Album back on the charts. In the UK, the album bobbed around the top five of the charts for 27 weeks before cruising at number one for a record-shattering 115 straight weeks. After that, it would return to the top five for even longer.