How well do you remember "South Pacific?"

By: Susan McDonald
Estimated Completion Time
5 min
How well do you remember "South Pacific?"
Image: tmdb

About This Quiz

The music! The scenery! The weird colored camera filters! The film version of Rodgers & Hammerstein's "South Pacific" tells the story of true love's triumph over outdated prejudices amid the dangers of war, and the songs are timeless. Test your knowledge of the movie now!
What branch of the military does Joe Cable belong to?
Air Force
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Although he is being assigned to a Naval base, Joe is a Marine. That's why Captain Brackett, upon meeting Joe for the first time, asks why he has been assigned there.

What is Mary's nickname among the sailors?
Bloody Mary
Angry Mary
Nurse Mary
Sailor Mary
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Mary is a beloved character at the base, bringing local culture and native trinkets for sale. The guys call her Bloody Mary and even sing a song to her by that title.

How does the pilot prove to Joe that the Japanese control most of the islands they are flying over?
He shows him a map.
He descends lower and Japanese planes begin shooting at them.
He gets confirmation from Captain Brackett.
He lets him listen to radio interceptions.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

As they are approaching the naval base, Joe seems skeptical about the number of islands controlled by the Japanese, but he gets the picture when they come under fire as the plane descends. Maybe this is how pilot Buzz Adams earned his nickname.


Why can't most of the guys at the base go to Bali Hai?
Americans are not allowed there.
The island is surrounded by shark-infested waters.
Only officers can sign out boats.
Only women are allowed to go.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Luther Billis is most anxious to get to the mysterious island of Bali Hai, but one thing stands in his way. Only officers are allowed to sign out boats and he is an enlisted man. When Joe arrives, he sees an opportunity.

Why do so many of the sailors want to go to Bali Hai?
There are lots of women there.
There are good places to eat.
The scenery is beautiful.
There are rumors about buried treasure.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Not only is the island filled with native women, but most of the local planters sent their daughters to Bali Hai when the U.S. military is in the area. Luther wants to experience the local culture he has heard about, but like most of the guys, he is mostly interested in the women.

What does Bali Hai mean?
Lovely island
Your special island
Luscious island
Island of women
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Mary tells Joe that Bali Hai means "your special island," adding that she is certain it is special for him, in particular.


What is Nellie Forbush's job?
Communications specialist
Covert operative
Secretary to the base commander
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Ensign Nellie Forbush is a nurse assigned to the naval base hospital. She helps care for the guys on the base when they are sick or injured.

Why do Nellie's friends call her Knucklehead Nellie?
She is clumsy.
She is not very bright.
She has no sense of direction.
She is very optimistic.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Nellie tells Emile that even though they are in a dangerous area and in the middle of a war, she refuses to be gloomy and pessimistic. The song Cockeyed Optimist expands on her feelings.

What is Nellie's hometown?
Little Rock
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Nellie is from Little Rock, Arkansas, a far different world from the South Pacific island where she is now stationed. She became a nurse and joined the Navy to see more of the world and meet people who are different from those in the small-town life she has known.


How long have Emile and Nellie known each other when he proposes marriage?
Six months
Two days
Three months
Two weeks
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Nellie and Emile have only been seeing each other for two weeks when he asks her to marry him. Although both agree that it is a short time, they feel they know what is in their hearts.

Why did Emile leave France?
He killed a man there.
He wanted to help the war effort in the Pacific.
His dream was to live on an island.
He is secretly a spy.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Emile confesses to Nellie that he was forced to leave France because he killed a man in his hometown. When he explains the circumstances, she says the information doesn't bother her because she knows he is a good man.

Where did Nellie and Emile meet?
He was a patient in the hospital.
At an Officer's Club dance
She went on a tour of his plantation.
He saw her on the beach and introduced himself.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Emile and Nellie met at a function at the base Officer's Club. They were attracted to each other immediately and began seeing each other.


What is a "coast watch" operation?
Hiding in the mountains, watching for enemy ships, and radioing information back to the base
A game the men play in which they hide behind bushes and watch the nurses swim.
Watching to see when the officers are not looking so the guys can sneak off to Bali Hai.
Observing weather patterns to determine the best times to attack the Japanese
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Joe and Emile are asked to undertake a dangerous "coast watch" mission to further the war effort. The job is to hide in the mountains on a nearby island where they can see the area below and report on the movement of enemy ships.

Why does Emile refuse to help with the secret operation?
He has no military skills.
He doesn't want to risk his life with Nellie.
He is not on the U.S. side in the war.
He doesn't think he knows the area well enough to be of value.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Emile is not unsympathetic to the Navy's cause, but he has just found happiness with Nellie. He does not want to take a chance on losing the future they are planning.

When he arrives on Bali Hai, why does Mary take Joe to her house?
She wants to make him a home-cooked meal.
She wants him to repair her thatched roof.
She wants him to meet her daughter.
He asks to see what a native home looks like.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

From the moment she meets Joe, Mary is determined that he should marry her daughter, Liat. Her instincts are good, because they fall in love immediately.


Where does Liat take Joe?
A secluded lagoon
A native festival
Her brother's house
The top of a mountain
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Liat takes Joe to a secluded lagoon where they enjoy swimming together. Her mother comes along and sings the classic song "Happy Talk."

Why does Captain Brackett call Nellie into his office?
To tell her she is being transferred off the island
To tell her she is being promoted
To ask her to learn more about Emile
To tell her she must stop seeing Emile
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

There are lots of rumors about the mysterious planter, and the captain wants to know more about him before asking him to join a spy mission. Who better to ask than Nellie, since it is known that the two have been dating.

Who sings the song "Some Enchanted Evening?"
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

"Some Enchanted Evening" is perhaps the most famous song in South Pacific. Emile sings this romantic ballad to Nellie when they share an evening together at his plantation as he tells her he wants a future with her.


How does Mary try to entice Joe to marry Liat?
She says she will provide for them so he won't have to work.
She says Liat's father is royalty and he will be a prince.
She threatens him if he does not comply.
She says her family is very fertile and Liat can give him many children.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Mary tells Joe that since the war started, she has made lots of money by selling her trinkets to the guys on the base. She promises to continue working and earning money so Joe and Liat can spend all their time enjoying themselves.

What kind of show does Nellie put on?
Thanksgiving follies
Christmas pageant
Easter parade
Fourth of July extravaganza
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Part of Nellie's role on the base is helping plan and implement entertainment for the troops. Although she is distraught over the state of her relationship with Emile, she goes ahead with the base's Thanksgiving show, much to the delight of her audience.

When Nellie decides to break up with Emile, what metaphor does she use to describe how she plans to forget about him?
Send him packing
Kick him to the curb
Shed him like a snakeskin
Wash him out of her hair
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

In one of the film's most memorable songs, Nellie vows to "wash that man right out of my hair and send him on his way." Some of her fellow nurses join her and encourage her decision.


What is the rumor about all the planters on the island?
They came there hoping to marry native women.
They are all running away from something.
They are Japanese spies.
They drink too much.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The planters on the island have come from other parts of the world and it is rumored that they are running from something. In Emile's case, at least, this proves to be true.

Why does Emile throw a party?
To show Nellie what her life would be like on the island
To see if his friends approve of Nellie
To introduce his friends to the naval officers
To curry favor with Captain Brackett
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Emile hopes to accomplish two things with his gathering. He wants Nellie and his friends to meet each other, but his larger goal is to let her see what her life would be like if she marries him and stays with him on the island.

What does Emile hate most?
The Japanese
The military base on his island
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

When Emile explains to Nellie the reason he left France, he tells her the man he killed was a bully and the people in his town were glad Emile killed him. He brings up the topic again in a conversation with Captain Brackett, saying there is nothing worse than a bully.


What does Nellie say is the biggest difference between her mother and herself?
Her mother doesn't like anyone who is different than she is.
Her mother doesn't approve of the war.
Her mother doesn't respect the nursing profession.
Her mother doesn't like music.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

After reading a letter from home, Nellie tells Joe that her mother doesn't understand or like anyone who is different. This frustrates her, because Nellie has come halfway around the world hoping to meet people unlike those she grew up with.

Who plays "Honey Bun" in Nellie's show?
Captain Brackett
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The highlight of the show is the musical number "Honey Bun." While Nellie sings the song, Luther parades around the stage in a wig, grass skirt and coconut bra.

Why does Nellie change her mind about marrying Emile?
She learns he has lost all his money.
She thinks the age difference is too great.
She learns he has children.
She learns he was married to a Polynesian woman.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Nellie is not bothered by the fact that Emile has two very young children, or that he was married before. Because of the way she was raised, she is upset that his late wife was not white, but rather a native of the island, and she decides that she cannot overcome that.


On what island is the covert outpost located?
Bali Hai
Marie Louise
Santa Maria
Sacred Heart
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Marie Louise Island is chosen because it overlooks the "bottleneck," or a channel through which Japanese naval vessels often pass. Because he used to have a plantation on the island and knows it well, Emile is asked to join Joe in the mission.

Why does Emile change his mind about taking part in the spy mission?
Nellie convinces him to do it.
Since Nellie broke up with him, he has nothing to lose.
He sees a chance to be on the winning side.
He hopes to win a medal.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Since his initial reason for refusing the mission no longer exists, Emile agrees to participate. This means the mission, which was about to be scrapped, can go forward.

How does Nellie learn that Emile has joined a spy mission?
He sends her a note before he leaves.
Joe tells her.
She overhears patients at the hospital talking about it.
She goes to his house and the children tell her.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Since Nellie has broken off contact with Emile, she does not know he has embarked on a dangerous mission for the Navy. When she hears talk among patients about "the Frenchman" and the valuable information he is sending, she asks Captain Brackett if they are talking about Emile and he confirms it.


What do Joe and Nellie have in common?
Both are uncomfortable with mixed race marriages.
Both are from Little Rock.
Both enjoy performing in public.
Both hope to stay in the islands after the war ends.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Although they realize it is wrong, both Nellie and Joe learn that they hold deep-seated prejudices that they did not realize existed. Although Joe loves Liat, he cannot bring himself to marry her because she is Polynesian, and Nellie has the same feelings about Emile having been married to a Polynesian woman.

How does Luther become involved in the spy mission?
He begs the captain to be included.
Joe invites him to participate.
His navigational skills are needed.
He stows away on the plane.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Luther's presence on the plane becomes known when the Japanese blow a hole in the section where he is hiding. He falls out of the hole, but parachutes safely to the water and creates a diversion that ends up helping the plane land safely.

How does Joe die?
He contracts malaria.
He is killed by the Japanese.
His parachute fails to open.
He drowns.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

After providing a great deal of information on enemy movement, Joe and Emile must move quickly because the Japanese are zeroing in on their location. Later Emile transmits a sad message to the base, letting them know that Joe did not survive.


What is Joe and Liat's love song?
Younger Than Springtime
Some Enchanted Evening
You've Got to be Carefully Taught
Happy Talk
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

"Younger Than Springtime" is the song Joe sings to Liat when he first meets her on Bali Hai. The song comes up several more times during the film to denote the love they feel for one another.

What do Emile's children refuse to do until Nellie sings?
Go to bed
Take a bath
Give her a hug
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Not knowing whether he is dead or alive, and realizing that her love for Emile outweighs her prejudices, Nellie goes to his home and cares for his children while he is away. She serves them lunch, but they refuse to eat until she sings the French song their father sings with them.

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