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South Pacific: Film in context

Sturma, M. (1997) South Pacific: Film in context. History Today, 47 (8). pp. 25-30.


When the musical-comedy South Pacific was released by Twentieth Century Fox in March 1958, Variety predicted the film would `mop up'. The movie had, after all, almost a decade of pre-publicity in the form of the highly successful Broadway production which first opened in April 1949. Apart from South Pacific's entertainment value, though, it provides a window on some American preoccupations in the mid-twentieth century. First, it reflected on the American presence in the Pacific during the Second World War. South Pacific's underlying themes of racial and cultural tolerance also came at a crucial juncture in American race relations. It is in these contexts that the film deserves some exploration.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Social Inquiry
Publisher: History Today Ltd.
Copyright: 1997 History Today Ltd.
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