Rock the Oscars 2019: SOUTH PACIFIC

Written for the stage by Oscar winners Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, along with Oscar nominee Joshua Logan, in 1958 South Pacific was the fourth Rodgers and Hammerstein stage musical to make it to the Silver Screen.  With the female leading character, Nellie Forbush, hailing from Little Rock, there are references to Arkansas and its capital city throughout the film.

Mitzi Gaynor, played the Little Rock native, opposite Rossano Brazzi (with singing help from Giorgio Tozzi). Others in the cast were John Kerr, France Nuyen, Ray Walston, Juanita Hall, and Russ Brown.  Only Hall had been in the Broadway cast.

Though the film was financially successful, it was criticized at the time for its plodding direction (by Logan) and its use of tinted washes to reflect the moods of the characters and the movie.  (If the film was in a bright moment, the screen would take a yellowish hue; during tense times, it might get a blueish tint.)

Ironically, given the criticism of the film’s look, it did receive an Oscar nomination for Cinematography-Color.  It also received a nomination for Scoring of a Musical Picture.  South Pacific won the Oscar for Best Sound, which went to Fred Hynes.  He had previously won an Oscar for work on Oklahoma! and would also win one for The Sound of Music.

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Rock the Oscars 2019: THE ALAMO

One of the early settlers in Little Rock was a man from Tennessee named Davy Crockett.  He did not stay in Little Rock very long. He and several others ventured to the Republic of Texas.  His final days are depicted (with more liberties than the original Texans had under Mexican control), in the film The Alamo.

(While Stephen F. Austin does not appear in the movie, he was actually one of Little Rock’s founding fathers before becoming a founder of Texas.)

The very fictionalized, grandiose, and jingoistic movie starred John Wayne as Crockett, Richard Widmark as Col Jim Bowie (another Arkansas traveler who left his impact on the state), Laurence Harvey as Col. William Travis, along with Frankie Avalon, Patrick Wayne, Chill Wills, Ken Curtis, and Denver Pyle.

Though one of the top grossing films of the year, it was still a financial flop due to its excessive cost.  However, when Oscar time came around, the film received seven nominations. They were Best Picture, Supporting Actor (Wills), Cinematography-Color, Film Editing, Sound, Song, and Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture.

Wills took out an ad claiming that his fellow Alamo actors were praying for him to win even harder than the original Alamo soldier had prayed for victory.  There was much backlash.  It was felt that this may have affected award chances in all categories.  It only won the Award for Best Sound – which went to Gordon Sawyer and Fred Hynes.

The remake/new version of The Alamo received no Oscar nominations.

Rock the Oscars: SOUTH PACIFIC

Written for the stage by Oscar winners Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, along with Oscar nominee Joshua Logan, in 1958 South Pacific was the fourth Rodgers and Hammerstein stage musical to make it to the Silver Screen.  With the female leading character, Nellie Forbush, hailing from Little Rock, there are references to Arkansas and its capital city throughout the film.

Mitzi Gaynor, played the Little Rock native, opposite Rossano Brazzi (with singing help from Giorgio Tozzi). Others in the cast were John Kerr, France Nuyen, Ray Walston, Juanita Hall, and Russ Brown.  Only Hall had been in the Broadway cast.

Though the film was financially successful, it was criticized at the time for its plodding direction (by Logan) and its use of tinted washes to reflect the moods of the characters and the movie.  (If the film was in a bright moment, the screen would take a yellowish hue; during tense times, it might get a blueish tint.)

Ironically, given the criticism of the film’s look, it did receive an Oscar nomination for Cinematography-Color.  It also received a nomination for Scoring of a Musical Picture.  South Pacific won the Oscar for Best Sound, which went to Fred Hynes.  He had previously won an Oscar for work on Oklahoma! and would also win one for The Sound of Music.

Rock the Oscars: THE ALAMO

One of the early settlers in Little Rock was a man from Tennessee named Davy Crockett.  He did not stay in Little Rock very long. He and several others ventured to the Republic of Texas.  His final days are depicted (with more liberties than the original Texans had under Mexican control), in the film The Alamo.  (While Stephen F. Austin does not appear in the movie, he was actually one of Little Rock’s founding fathers before becoming a founder of Texas.)

The very fictionalized, grandiose, and jingoistic movie starred John Wayne as Crockett, Richard Widmark and Col Jim Bowie, Laurence Harvey as Col. William Travis, along with Frankie Avalon, Patrick Wayne, Chill Wills, Ken Curtis, and Denver Pyle.

Though one of the top grossing films of the year, it was still a financial flop due to its excessive cost.  However, when Oscar time came around, the film received seven nominations. They were Best Picture, Supporting Actor (Wills), Cinematography-Color, Film Editing, Sound, Song, and Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture.

Wills took out an ad claiming that his fellow Alamo actors were praying for him to win even harder than the original Alamo soldier had prayed for victory.  There was much backlash.  It was felt that this may have affected award chances in all categories.  It only won the Award for Best Sound – which went to Gordon Sawyer and Fred Hynes.

The remake/new version of The Alamo received no Oscar nominations.