Okay so most of you probably know that I don't know musicals from a hole in the floor, so it shouldn't surprise you that I have never seen and am nearly 100% unfamiliar with the 1958 Rodgers and Hammerstein WWII musical South Pacific. Honestly... everything I know about South Pacific I just wrote in that sentence. Rodgers and Hammerstein! World War II! The end! But today, I don't even remember how, I stumbled upon these pictures of the actor Ken Clark playing the role of "Stewpot" and... well, I hear music. I feel dancing. And I want you people to tell me what you know. Is this movie nothing but an obscenely bulging gay sailor speedo fantasia? How did I not know this before? Tell me more and you can see some a dozen plus more pictures after the jump...
I saw the 1958 film of South Pacific the first time when I was a little boy. My parents and grandparents and my sister went to the drive-in to see it. I expect my brother was a babe in arms, as well, but don’t remember. Years later I saw it on TV, and thought the tinting of the musical numbers was strange. I don’t care for Mitzi Gaynor, but it retains many of the original cast. John Kerr, who had played the young man accused of being gay in Tea and Sympathy was given the hetero role of Lt. Cable. However, there is a lot of beefcake, because Joshua Logan, the director, was a closet queen. Clark’s solo, “there is absolutely nothing like the frame of a dame,” was dubbed by Thurl Ravescroft, who voiced Tony the Tiger and sang “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch. In one scene, Clark wears a red speedo, something a soldier in WW II probably wouldn’t have appeared in.
Doing research someone wrote about his appearance in Attack of the Giant Leeches and not wearing any underwear. There’s an episode of Alfred Hitchcock where he shows it off blatantly. While most pages say he was unmarried, evidently, he had a wife and five children, but moved to Italy because there weren’t roles for him in Hollywood. It was here where he passed away 8 years ago at the age of 81.
He had a role opposite Elvis in Love Me Tender and made another movie where he showed off what he had in 12 to the Moon. He had his own TV series, Brock Callahan, but it was a failure.
I have no idea whether he can sing or dance BUT no doubt in my mind that Mark Valley would be drool-worthy in that "costume."
My absolute favorite thing about Stew Pot being such a drop-dead hunk in the film of South Pacific is that in the stage show, he's usually a chub. But yeah, movie Stew Pot was a total fantasy object for young me (as was most of the ensemble of men, honestly).
Oh, God, yes, Buckbitesback, Mark Valley, so underused and overclothed, would look divine in that shot, and in that suit, too!
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