By Sean Brawley; Chris Dixon
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Extra resources for Hollywood’s South Seas and the Pacific War: Searching for Dorothy Lamour
60 For many servicemen, “home” provided an evocative point of comparison to the South Pacific. 62 Edward G. ”63 Yet such comparisons were not always easy.
Cruise ships famous for plying the South Seas during the prewar years were appropriated for war service. 9 More commonly, however, servicemen enjoyed their Pacific voyage, which was as close as most would ever come to realizing long-held dreams to travel overseas in an era when international holidays or pleasure cruises remained the domain of a wealthy minority. The opportunity for servicemen to spend time above deck and enjoy the physical beauty of the South Seas reflected a long-held tourist practice, and servicemen penned detailed descriptions of their trans-Pacific journeys.
In the South Pacific, the Bounty story saved expatriate writers Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall from an uncertain future during the Great Depression. 46 By 1935 the book was in its twelfth edition and had attracted over three million readers. The film rights had been snapped up by MGM. An enduring theme in the Bounty story was that the sexual availability of attractive Tahitian women had been the motivation for the mutiny. ”47 In the new era of the PCA, however, MGM had to tread warily. Reflecting Nordhoff and Hall’s depiction of the Bounty story, the film attributed the mutiny largely to Captain William Bligh’s character failings, rather than to the sexual allure of the Tahitian women.