South Pacific is a musical film set during WWII, (1939-1945). It’s about two love stories threatened by the hardships of war. This movie topped the box office in 1958 and stayed in theaters for four and a half years. South Pacific was the highest-grossing Rodgers and Hammerstein musical film until The Sound of Music came out in 1965.
I loved the idea of a 40’s photoshoot and there were 2 specific scenes from the movie that I thought would be fun to re-create. The first scene was when all the nurses sang, I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair. So I started looking for high waisted bathing suits and clothes that looked like the costumes worn in the movie. The second scene I re-created was when all the soldiers were singing, There Aint Nothing Like a Dame. The costumes for that were pretty easy; khakis, jeans, and white t-shirts.
The challenge for me was creating a tropical war time set in Ohio. I did get the opportunity to shoot some friends for this project on Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key in Florida. So a few of the shots were actually taken on the beach. When we came back, I started searching for the perfect location. Who knew it would be right in my own backyard? I ended up buying palm trees 3 different times and then returning them just so I could get a more tropical feel. The garden hose became the shower and an old painting tarp became a roof for the soldiers.
The United States officially entered WWII after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941. Two years later fighting began in the Pacific. Instead of attacking Japan’s Imperial Navy, the goal was to capture islands along the Pacific towards the Japanese home islands. Eventually, after years of fighting, the Americans dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which led to the Japanese surrender on August 15, 1945. The Japanese government signed the Japanese Instrument of Surrender, bringing WWII to an end on September 2, 1945.
(Watch the behind the scenes video)