Some enchanted evening, you may meet a stranger... It's 1943 in the Solomon Islands. World War II is still raging, and the US Navy has established several bases in this corner of the South Pacific in order to press towards New Guinea and the Central Pacific.
One night Nellie Forbush (Mitzi Gaynor), a US nurse, meets Emile de Becque (Rossano Brazzi), a French painter who lives near one of the bases, and a whirlwind romance begins. When Nellie finds out that the mother of Emile's children was a native of the island, she turns down his proposal of marriage, unable to overcome the prejudices she was raised with.
In the meantime, Lieutenant Cable (John Kerr) has arrived on a mission to set up a spy post on a nearby island that is occupied by the Japanese. He, too, gets involved in a romance that is star-crossed by nothing more than prejudice: he refuses to marry innocent island girl Liat (France Nuyen) despite the girl's willingness and her mother's insistent matchmaking attempts. He hates himself for turning the girl down, and admits that his aversion to marriage to a woman from another culture is not natural: You have to be carefully taught.
Cable, with the reluctant help of de Becque, who has been pressured into assisting, begins his spy mission on the Japanese island. When things go wrong, Cable is killed, but de Becque survives and returns to the waiting arms of a very relieved Nellie, who finally agrees to marry Emile. SOUTH PACIFIC features such classic songs as Some Enchanted Evening, There is Nothing Like a Dame, Bali-H'ai and I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Out of My Hair.
The film won an Oscar for Best Sound, and was nominated for Best Music (Scoring of a Musical Picture) and Best Color Cinematography.