7.1/10
1,911
45 user 4 critic

Flower Drum Song (1961)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | 9 November 1961 (USA)
Chinese stowaway Mei Li (Miyoshi Umeki) arrives in San Francisco with her father to meet her fiancé, wealthy nightclub owner Sammy Fong (Jack Soo), in an arranged marriage, but the groom ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel) | 2 more credits »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 1 win & 7 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Robert Lomax, tired of working in an office, wants to be an artist. So he moves to Hong Kong to try his hand at painting. Finding a cheap hotel, he checks in, only to find it's used by ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Quine
Stars: William Holden, Nancy Kwan, Sylvia Syms
South Pacific (1958)
Musical | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

On a South Pacific island during World War II, love blooms between a young nurse and a secretive Frenchman who's being courted for a dangerous military mission.

Director: Joshua Logan
Stars: Rossano Brazzi, Mitzi Gaynor, John Kerr
Kiss Me Kate (1953)
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Fred and Lilly are a divorced pair of actors who are brought together by Cole Porter who has written a musical version of The Taming of the Shrew. Of course, the couple seem to act a great ... See full summary »

Director: George Sidney
Stars: Kathryn Grayson, Howard Keel, Ann Miller
Kismet (1955)
Adventure | Musical | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A roguish poet is given the run of the scheming Wazir's harem while pretending to help him usurp the young caliph.

Directors: Vincente Minnelli, Stanley Donen
Stars: Howard Keel, Ann Blyth, Dolores Gray
Gypsy (1962)
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Based on the Broadway hit about the life and times of burlesque dancer Gypsy Rose Lee and her aggressive stage mother, Mama Rose.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Rosalind Russell, Natalie Wood, Karl Malden
Carousel (1956)
Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Billy Bigelow has been dead for fifteen years, and now outside the pearly gates, he long waived his right to go back to Earth for a day. But he has heard that there is a problem with his ... See full summary »

Director: Henry King
Stars: Gordon MacRae, Shirley Jones, Cameron Mitchell
Oklahoma! (1955)
Musical | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In the Oklahoma territory at the turn of the twentieth century, two young cowboys vie with an evil ranch hand and a traveling peddler for the hearts of the women they love.

Director: Fred Zinnemann
Stars: Gordon MacRae, Gloria Grahame, Gene Nelson
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Millie comes to town in the roaring twenties to encounter flappers, sexuality and white slavers.

Director: George Roy Hill
Stars: Julie Andrews, James Fox, Mary Tyler Moore
Biography | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A widow accepts a job as a live-in governess to the King of Siam's children.

Director: Walter Lang
Stars: Yul Brynner, Deborah Kerr, Rita Moreno
The Music Man (1962)
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Harold Hill poses as a boys' band leader to con naive Iowa townsfolk.

Director: Morton DaCosta
Stars: Robert Preston, Shirley Jones, Buddy Hackett
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

This comedy-drama is partially a gentle satire on America's drive to change the world in the post-war years. One year after World War II, Captain Fisby is sent to the village of Tobiki in ... See full summary »

Director: Daniel Mann
Stars: Marlon Brando, Glenn Ford, Machiko Kyô
Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An Iowa pajama factory worker falls in love with an affable superintendent who had been hired by the factory's boss to help oppose the workers' demand for a pay rise.

Directors: George Abbott, Stanley Donen
Stars: Doris Day, John Raitt, Carol Haney
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
...
Linda Low
...
Wang Ta
...
Wang Chi-Yang
...
'Sammy' Fong
Juanita Hall ...
'Auntie' Liang
Reiko Sato ...
Helen Chao
Patrick Adiarte ...
Wang San
Kam Tong ...
Doctor Li
Victor Sen Yung ...
Frankie Wing
Soo Yong ...
Madame Ten Fong
Ching Wah Lee ...
Professor
...
Headwaiter
...
Mei Li
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jane Chung ...
Woman
Edit

Storyline

Chinese stowaway Mei Li (Miyoshi Umeki) arrives in San Francisco with her father to meet her fiancé, wealthy nightclub owner Sammy Fong (Jack Soo), in an arranged marriage, but the groom has his eye on his star singer Linda Low (Nancy Kwan). This film version of the Rodgers and Hammerstein Broadway musical is filled with memorable song-and-dance numbers showcasing the contrast between Mei Li's traditional family and her growing fascination with American culture. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Most joyous hit lights up the screen! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

9 November 1961 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Rodgers & Hammerstein's Flower Drum Song  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

While preparing "Oklahoma""" a full year in advance of production, art director Joseph Wright studied weather records for the location and discovered that they showed that the area was subject to horrible spring floods. Over the objections of budget-conscious producers, he insisted that $15,000 be spent on constructing a dam. The floods ultimately came as predicted and saved over $250,000 worth of sets. See more »

Goofs

When Wang Chi-Yang sets off the alarm in the bank; the alarm goes off before his finger hits the button. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Tradesman: [in Chinese] What was that?
Tradesman: [in Chinese] I don't know. Must be my stomach.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywood Musicals of the 60's (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Love, Look Away
Performed by Reiko Sato (dubbed by Marilyn Horne)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
What my Chinese (PRC) wife thought of FDS
7 April 2006 | by (usa) – See all my reviews

Speaking for myself, I have been a huge fan of FDS since the '70s when I bought the soundtrack album (on Decca) at a used record store for $7. I saw it on TV one new years day i think 1980 and it's been one of my favorites ever since. Not only is it one of R and H's best scores, Alfred Newman's arrangements are simply lush and beautiful. The cast and the director are all top notch. The screen play is delightful, perhaps a bit long, but rather too long than eliminate one of the great songs, some of which were already edited down from the original Broadway version which was directed by the great Gene Kelly. I have often wondered what would have happened if he had directed the movie. On stage, I do like the full two versions of The Other Generation, for example.

My wife is from the Peoples Rep. of China. Shes 28 and has been in the USA for 15 months as of this writing. I was going through my stuff recently in storage and came across of my heavily yellowed copy of CY Lee's novel FDS and thought my wife would enjoy it. She did. So i thought well now it's time to break out my old VHS copy which i hadn't seen since 1990. it was playable but storage hasn't been very kind to it. C'Mon DVD!!!

Her final comment was "cute". Benson Fong's Mr. Wang reminded her of her own father. Even though my wonderful father in law is a hard line communist, I see the obvious paternal, controlling similarities between them. He made her very nostalgic for her home land and her family. If we ever have any sons, he will probably be like Wang San in many ways and she could see the old man's reaction to his youngest son's could be very similar between her father and our son yet to be conceived.

What she thought was laughably bad was "A Hundred Million Miracles" trying to be passed off as a real flower drum song. She said, "if they sung that in China as a flower drum song they would have been stoned to death." She almost lost interest in the movie at that point especially since the movie and original play deviate from the novel at that point. So she didn't buy that at all. Sammy Fong's lecherous behavior was also realistic for a Chinese businessman. My wife related to that too.

She didn't buy some of the costuming especially young women wearing hats. Married women wore hats in the '50s but Mei Li apparently wouldn't.

Speaking of Mei Li, she totally bought her character both in the book and the movie. Very realistic portrayal and Miyoshi looked like a typical peasant girl albeit Miyoshi is Japanese not Chinese and that was evident immediately.

Linda Low, though not a big part of the novel, if at all, (I have forgotten if that character appears in it), was another realistic character, even today in 2006!! She reminded both us of, well... shall we say... materialistic girls you could meet everyday in Shanghai, the ones that unsuspecting foreigners need to be careful of. In any event, Nancy Kwan has another fan in my wife. We have a copy of Suzie Wong - book and movie - in China.

For myself, it was interesting seeing the movie after having lived three years in the PRC and what an admirable job the creators of the movie did in keeping with the culture. They missed a few things obviously, but for two Jewish boys from NYC, R and H as well as Joseph Fields libretto did an awesome job of keeping it real, much more so here than with the King and I which both play and movie are banned forever in Thailand because the Thai people find it so offensive.

As far as David Hwang's remake of FDS goes, I really can't comment on it because I haven't read it or seen it. I don't know if I really want to although I am curious just because I have been a supporter of FDS for so many years. If the idea for the remake is to resemble the novel more, than I am all for it. I love the novel and I think the original play and movie missed opportunities for beefing up the Helen Chao character better. She just kinds of disappears with no mention of her suicide after the hauntingly beautiful "Love Look Away" a show stopper if there ever was one. That is a flaw.

I just love Sammy Fong. How can you have FDS without Sammy Fong? He is just so sleazy and brilliant and wonderful invention by the creative team. How can you do FDS without 'the other generation" in any version. That's the whole point of the both the novel and the original play as well as the movie - the generation gap and the cultural gap. In portraying that, FDS, the original play and movie, succeed on pretty much every level If the idea to create a new version of FDS was because the movie and play portrayed negative stereotypes, my wife who is Chinese has to disagree. She loves the characters in this movie; in many ways, they brought China to life for her and what it is like living in a totally new culture, not understanding anything at all, or in her case thinking you know a foreign culture because you have worked with foreigners and finding it's completely different over here.

Kudos and thank you to RandH, Ross Hunter and his team in creating a movie that has aged so gracefully, (as has Ms. Kwan) for the most part, and making serious cultural and generational issues that will probably never go away fun. This movie will be current in 100 years.


36 of 41 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Best line in the movie mozartmozart
Chop Suey Dance Scene parktwin
Favorite and Least Favorite Songs boarding_angel
What happened to Helen? bgarlick
...a hundred million miracles... keith-298
Flower Drum Song DVD mcbrydes
Discuss Flower Drum Song (1961) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?