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50th Anniversary

Mitzi Gaynor will return to Kauai for celebration of South Pacific

eTN Staff Writer  Sep 04, 2009

LIHUE, KAUAI, HI - Mitzi Gaynor, Hollywood legend and the unforgettable star of the classic movie musical South Pacific, is returning to Kauai in October to take part in the Garden Isle's celebration of the film's 50th anniversary. This will be Ms. Gaynor's first visit back to Kauai since taking part in the movie's filming on the island in 1957-58.

"I have such joyful memories about Kauai," said Ms. Gaynor. "Our cast and crew had a fabulous time filming there on location, and it was undoubtedly the most beautiful setting I've ever had the pleasure to work in. Kauai, and especially its warm and generous people, has long occupied a special place in my heart. I'm thrilled to be coming back and seeing this gorgeous island and its wonderful people once again."

Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho, Jr., commented: "Mitzi Gaynor and South Pacific dazzled movie fans everywhere, and we're proud of how Kauai's incredible beauty was instrumental to the movie's success. It's an honor for Kauai's people to welcome Ms. Gaynor back to our island home and join us in this 50th anniversary celebration."

Ms. Gaynor will be the star attraction for two special events on Kauai the first weekend of October, the first of which is a private Grand Opening reception to celebrate the reopening of the St. Regis Princeville Resort following its extensive renovation. It was where Princeville Resort is now located that Emile de Becque (portrayed by Rossano Brazzi) wooed Nellie Forbush (Mitzi Gaynor) with the ballad, Some Enchanted Evening.

On October 4, the Kauai Visitors Bureau (KVB) is presenting An Afternoon with Mitzi Gaynor at the Kauai Marriott Resort & Beach Club, an entertaining reflection by Ms. Gaynor on the filming of South Pacific and her career. The event is open to the public and benefits the Kauai Museum. Admission is US$20.
Re-released this year on Blu-ray Disc by Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, South Pacific tells the story of forbidden love in the tropics during World War II.

The movie was a box-office smash at the time of its release and Mitzi Gaynor was the main reason why. As dynamic Navy Ensign Nellie Forbush, she carried the film with her beauty, charm, and engaging performance, including memorable songs like I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair and I'm in Love With A Wonderful Guy.

Most of South Pacific's filming took place in 1957-58 on Kauai's beautiful north shore and showcased the island's lush tropical setting. The location was a popular choice with the crew, with Director Joshua Logan noting at the time, "Kauai is a place that will enchant movie audiences, giving reality instead of stage illusion."

Popular sites like Hanalei Bay, Lumahai Beach, and Mount Makana (South Pacific's mystical "island of Bali Hai") are easily recognizable in the movie and visitors coming to Kauai's north shore today will note how largely unchanged the area remains five decades later.

For more information about Kauai, visit or call KVB toll-free at (800) 262-1400.

Mitzi Gaynor will return to Kauai for celebration of South Pacific
Mitzi Gaynor / Image via

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