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Flower Drum Song (1961)

7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 1,685 users  
Reviews: 43 user | 3 critic

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 »

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(screenplay), (novel), 2 more credits »
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Title: Flower Drum Song (1961)

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Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Linda Low
...
Wang Ta
Benson Fong ...
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
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:

Broadway's Most Romantic Musical Comedy comes to 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  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Anna May Wong was producer Ross Hunter's original choice for Madame Liang, and Wong wanted to do the film. Her sudden death at the age of 56, just before filming was scheduled to begin, resulted in the part being given to Juanita Hall, who had created the role on Broadway. See more »

Goofs

Linda ties her scarf in the car twice. 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

Referenced in ER: Blame It on the Rain (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Gliding Through My Memoree
Performed by Victor Sen Yung and show girls
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Great Musical from the Early Sixties
23 August 2005 | by (western US) – See all my reviews

This one takes me right back to the sixties when we were young and full of hope for the future. We saw it as a first run movie at Graumann's Chinese Theater in Hollywood and loved it. Even today, on the television set, it holds up well and the overture just jumps out at you. Soon, you hear "A Hundred Million Miracles, with doll-like Miyoshi Umeki, and other great songs like "Love Look Away," and "Sunday." The choreography is as impressive as the music, in particular the erotic dance sequence for "Love Look Away," with beautiful Reiko Sato as Helen. Her unrequited love for Ta (James Shigeta) is never neatly resolved, unlike the film's other romantic relationships, and unfortunately, she died in real life only twenty years later. Nancy Kwan as Linda Low, of course, looks great, sings well, and slinks around very nicely, as do the many other lovely Asian dancers who grace this testament to Chinese American culture and oriental beauty. The funniest and best acting came from old man Wang, played by Benson Fong. He complained to his wife's sister (Juanita Hall) that after five long years of citizenship school, the only thing she could say about America was, "This isn't China!" And when asked to describe the mugger who had robbed him on his doorstep, he replied simply, "How should I know. All white men look alike." James Shigeta and Jack Soo handed in memorable performances, as well. The former became one of the most successful and consistently employed oriental actors in American film and television, while the latter went on to play Nick Yemana on "Barney Miller." Although there are some corny aspects to "Flower Drum Song," these are more than counterbalanced by the many interesting elements that occur throughout the movie. In short, it's a sort of "Joy Luck Club" of the early sixties, on a similar level and released about the same time as "South Pacific" and "West Side Story." A couple of years later, America was again impacted by the Orient. The beautiful song "Sukiyaki," an imported hit from Japan, went to number one on the American pop charts. We had our problems in those days, but culturally speaking, it was a great time to be alive.


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