The workers at Mr. Hasler's Sleep-Tite pajama factory are pushing for a 7 1/2-cent raise. The new superintendent, Sid Sorokin, is trying to get the plant into peak production. In the process he falls in love with Babe Williams, a member of the union's grievance committee. Vernon Hines, the plant's jealous time-study man, is similarly inclined towards Gladys, Mr. Hasler's secretary. The romance between Babe and Sid has built concurrently with union ferment over wage demands. Events surrounding the company picnic give evidence wedding bells are in the air. But the union has decided on a slowdown. When Sid manages to get things speeded up, Babe short circuits the machines in her department. It's a blatant act that forces Sid to fire her. In an attempt to reconcile their differences and head off a strike, Sid takes Gladys out and gets her drunk in order to get the key to Mr. Hasler's private files. Meanwhile a strike vote is affirmed at a union meeting. Babe sees Sid out with Gladys and is even more inflamed. Sid's research pays off. He calls the union delegation to his office and asks them to hold off the union rally until they hear from him. Babe sees that he is trying to get to the bottom of things and agrees to cancel a previous date in order to meet Sid after the rally. Sid has found that Hasler had added the 7 1/2-cent raise to costs six months before. When he confronts Hasler, he agrees to a settlement. Everyone is reunited and Hasler throws an employeerelations party where the latest styles of pajamas are modeled.
Maria Rainer, a postulant at Nonnberg Abbey in Austria, is sent to the home of a widower, Captain Georg Von Trapp to serve as governess for his seven children.
Although the Captain is engaged to wealthy Elsa Shraeder, both he and Maria find themselves falling in love with each other. After their marriage their happiness is short-lived because the Germans, who have invaded Austria, want Von Trapp to serve in their navy.
South Pacific is a World War II story of a Navy nurse who falls in love with a French planter many years her senior. It is also the story of a young Marine Lieutenant’s poignant attachment to a Tonkinese girl which is ruined by his inability to lose his Princeton background prejudices. Both romances are flavoured with the accents of two worlds meeting, of alien individuals thrown together in a remote part of the world against the background of war’s boredom and violence.