Flower Drum Song (1961) - News Poster

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The Crimson Kimono

Another great Samuel Fuller film on Blu-ray — this one is a crime tale set in downtown Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo, that forms an interracial romantic triangle. It’s risky for its year because of the sexual dynamics — a Japanese-American man falls in love with a Caucasian woman. Fuller’s approach is years ahead of its time, even if Columbia’s sales job was a little weird.

The Crimson Kimono

Blu-ray

Twilight Time

1959 / B&W / 1:85 widescreen / 81 min. / Street Date July 18, 2017 / Available from the Twilight Time Movies Store 29.95

Starring: Victoria Shaw, Glenn Corbett, James Shigeta, Anna Lee, Paul Dubov, Jaclynne Greene, Neyle Morrow, Gloria Pall, , Barbara Hayden, George Yoshinaga.

Cinematography: Sam Leavitt

Film Editor: Jerome Thoms

Original Music: Harry Sukman

Written, Produced and Directed by Samuel Fuller

“What was his strange appeal for American girls?”

Believe it or not, there was once a time when Samuel Fuller was a fringe figure,
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

The Hawaiians

The sequel to the epic Julie Andrews road show picture wasn't a hit, but it tells a good story of its own. Charlton Heston is okay but the central character is a Chinese immigrant played by Tina Chen. Against all odds, the peasant matriarch survives plagues and leprosy to found a family dynasty for the new Hawaii. The Hawaiians Blu-ray Twilight Time Limited Edition 1970 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 134 min. / Ship Date February 9, 2016 / available through Twilight Time Movies / 29.95 Starring Charlton Heston, Tina Chen, Geraldine Chaplin, Mako, John Phillip Law, Alec McCowen, Miko Mayama, Virginia Ann Lee, Chris Robinson, Naomi Stevens, Keye Luke, Khigh Dhiegh, Mary Munday, Harry Townes, Lyle Bettger, James Hong, James Gregory, Harry Holcombe, Victor Sen Yung Cinematography Lucien Ballard, Philip Lathrop Film Editor Byron Brandt, Ralph Winters Original Music Henry Mancini Written by James R. Webb from the novel by James A. Michener Produced by Walter Mirisch Directed by
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

On this day in pop culture history: ‘National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation’ opened in theaters

  • Hitfix
On this day in pop culture history: ‘National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation’ opened in theaters
26 years ago today, the Griswold family cemented their place in the pantheon Christmas movies. The third installment of National Lampoon’s “Vacation” comedy series features plenty of holiday hijinks ensuing — including a squirrel in the Christmas tree, a sled ride made dangerous by an experimental substance, and a bit of kidnapping — as Chevy Chase’s Clark Griswold tries to keep it all together in front of his siblings. Fun fact: “Christmas Vacation” was one of two Christmas movies released in 1989, the other being John Hancock’s “Prancer.” Johnny Galecki, a.k.a. Rusty Griswold (now better known as Leonard from “The Big Bang Theory”) appeared in both of these holiday movies. Other notable December 1 happenings in pop culture history: • 1887: The first Sherlock Holmes story, “A Study in Scarlet,” was published in “Beeton’s Christmas Annual” • 1903: “The Great Train Robbery,” notable for many firsts in filmmaking, had its
See full article at Hitfix »

Oscar Nominated Moody Pt.2: From Fagin to Merlin - But No Harry Potter

Ron Moody as Fagin in 'Oliver!' based on Charles Dickens' 'Oliver Twist.' Ron Moody as Fagin in Dickens musical 'Oliver!': Box office and critical hit (See previous post: "Ron Moody: 'Oliver!' Actor, Academy Award Nominee Dead at 91.") Although British made, Oliver! turned out to be an elephantine release along the lines of – exclamation point or no – Gypsy, Star!, Hello Dolly!, and other Hollywood mega-musicals from the mid'-50s to the early '70s.[1] But however bloated and conventional the final result, and a cast whose best-known name was that of director Carol Reed's nephew, Oliver Reed, Oliver! found countless fans.[2] The mostly British production became a huge financial and critical success in the U.S. at a time when star-studded mega-musicals had become perilous – at times downright disastrous – ventures.[3] Upon the American release of Oliver! in Dec. 1968, frequently acerbic The
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

The Search for General Tso | Review

And Tso It Goes: Cheney’s Cuisine Opts for Sugar over Spice

It should go without saying that cuisines considered Chinese in the United States are hardly authentic recipes from the mother region from whence they came, and, at best, are pale echoes of inspiration. The same can be sad for that annoyingly middlebrow terminology referring to dishes that are “Tex Mex,” or any number of bastardized Italian dishes. In the great American melting pot, international cuisines have assimilated into the acceptable cultural fabric more so than the people responsible for creating them, and so starts the slightly evasive culinary documentary The Search for General Tso from documentarian Ian Cheney. Eventually, we get around to the actual dish that is the subject matter of the film, but it necessitates a more intriguing examination of the inherent racism of a dominant culture that had a helping hand. A crash course in
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

James Shigeta Dead At Age 81; Actor Broke Racial Barriers In The 1950S And 1960S

  • CinemaRetro
Actor James Shigeta has died at age 81. Born in Honolulu, Shigeta became a singing star in Japan- despite not knowing how to speak the language. In the 1950s and 1960s, he- along with actress Nancy Kwan- broke racial barriers in Hollywood. It was traditional for caucasian actors to play Asian leading characters. However, the handsome Shigeta landed a lead role in the film version of the Broadway hit musical Flower Drum Song, starring alongside Kwan. The film was significant in that all the leading roles were played by Asian actors. Shigeta, riding high from good reviews, carved a successful career in television and theatrical feature films. Among his credits were the Elvis Presley film Paradise, Hawaiian Style, Bridge to the Sun, Midway, the ill-fated 1973 musical remake of Lost Horizon and the blockbuster 1988 action film Die Hard. For more click here .  

(Nancy Kwan discusses her friendship with James Shigeta and
See full article at CinemaRetro »

James Shigeta Dead: Die Hard, Mulan, Flower Drum Song Actor Dies at 81

James Shigeta Dead: Die Hard, Mulan, Flower Drum Song Actor Dies at 81
Top Asian-American actor James Shigeta, who rose to fame in the '60s after starring in Rodgers & Hammerstein's Flower Drum Song, died Monday, July 28, in L.A., his publicist announced. He was 81. The Hawaiian native's nearly 50-year film and TV career spanned from the late 1950s into the new millennium. Shigeta received a Golden Globe Award for Best Male Newcomer in 1960, after starring as a young detective in the 1959 movie, The Crimson Kimono. He co-starred with Donald O'Connor and Glenn Ford in the 1961 movie, [...]
See full article at Us Weekly »

In memoriam: James Shigeta

We pay tribute to the actor James Shigeta, famous for his roles in Flower Drum Song, Die Hard, and a legion other turns on stage and TV.

For a generation of moviegoers, James Shigeta will be immediately recognisable as Joseph Takagi, the Nakatomi Corporation boss who's ruthlessly despatched by Alan Rickman's sneering villain in the 1988 hit, Die Hard. But there was so much more to Shigeta than John McTiernan's action classic - that appearance was, in fact, but one of many in a long and fruitful career on stage, television and the silver screen.

Born in Hawaii in 1933, Shigeta embarked on a singing career after winning first place in a TV show called Original Amateur Hour. His subsequent success was such that a lengthy run of appearances in Tokyo musicals left him with the nickname, The Frank Sinatra of Japan.

Returning to America in the late 1950s, Shigeta
See full article at Den of Geek »

James Shigeta, Groundbreaking Asian-American Actor, Dies At 81

Legendary Asian-American actor James Shigeta died at the age of 81 on Monday, July 28.

James Shigeta Died July 28

Shigeta’s agent announced the news on Monday with a statement:

“It is with great sadness that I report the loss of my long time friend and client James Shigeta…James passed peacefully in his sleep, July 28, 2014, at 2 p.m. The world has lost a great actor. Sadly, I lost a dear friend.”

Shigeta, who began his onscreen career in 1959, is largely considered the first breakthrough Asian-American star. Born in Hawaii, Shigeta studied acting at Nyu and served as a Marine in the Korean War. He also had a successful singing career in Japan prior to his American success.

Shigeta made his feature film debut in Crimson Kimono (1959), earning his breakout role two years later in the Rogers and Hammerstein’s Flower Drum Song.

Most of his career was comprised of TV guest
See full article at Uinterview »

Die Hard actor James Shigeta dies, aged 81

Die Hard actor James Shigeta dies, aged 81
Asian-American actor James Shigeta has died, aged 81.

Shigeta made several television and movie appearances throughout his career, notably in the first Die Hard film.

The actor played executive Joseph Takagi in the 1988 movie, who is shot by Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) after refusing to surrender the security code to the skyscraper's bank vault.

Prior to Die Hard, Shigeta also starred in the 1961 film adaptation of Broadway musical Flower Drum Song as Wang Ta.

The Honolulu-born actor also appeared in Paradise, Hawaiian Style, Midway and Lost Horizon.

His television credits include Hawaii 5-0, Perry Mason, Mission: Impossible, Ironside, and Beverly Hills 90210.
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

R.I.P. James Shigeta

R.I.P. James Shigeta
The actor whose 50-year career included a star turn in Flower Drum Song and a memorable roles in Die Hard and Midway, died today in Los Angeles. James Shigeta was 81. The Hawaii native had scores of film and TV credits from the late 1950s into the 2000s. In 1960, he shared a Best Male Newcomer Golden Globe Award with George Hamilton, Troy Donahue and Barry Coe after making his screen debut as a detective in The Crimson Kimono. Notable film roles followed in such early 1960s films as Walk Like A Dragon with Jack Lord, with whom he’d reteam […]
See full article at Deadline »

James Shigeta, Star of ‘Flower Drum Song’ and ‘Die Hard’ Co-Star, Dies at 81

James Shigeta, Star of ‘Flower Drum Song’ and ‘Die Hard’ Co-Star, Dies at 81
James Shigeta, one of the first prominent Asian-American actors, who co-starred in “Die Hard” and starred in “Flower Drum Song,” died Monday at 81.

Though largely a TV actor who guest-starred on dozens of shows, he appeared memorably in hit 1988 action film “Die Hard,” in which he played executive Joseph Takagi, who refuses to give up the security code to the skyscraper’s bank vault when a group of German terrorists seizes the building. He was shot in the head by the group’s leader, Hans Gruber, played by Alan Rickman.

In the big-budget WWII film “Midway” (1976), which told the story of the key battle from both American and Japanese points of view, Shigeta was featured prominently in the role of Vice Admiral Nagumo, whose despair at Japan’s loss in the battle is moving.

The actor had most recently appeared in the 2009 film “The People I’ve Slept With,” directed by Quentin Lee.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

James Shigeta, Star of ‘Flower Drum Song’ and ‘Die Hard’ Co-Star, Dies at 81

James Shigeta, Star of ‘Flower Drum Song’ and ‘Die Hard’ Co-Star, Dies at 81
James Shigeta, one of the first prominent Asian-American actors, who co-starred in “Die Hard” and starred in “Flower Drum Song,” died Monday at 81.

Though largely a TV actor who guest-starred on dozens of shows, he appeared memorably in hit 1988 action film “Die Hard,” in which he played executive Joseph Takagi, who refuses to give up the security code to the skyscraper’s bank vault when a group of German terrorists seizes the building. He was shot in the head by the group’s leader, Hans Gruber, played by Alan Rickman.

In the big-budget WWII film “Midway” (1976), which told the story of the key battle from both American and Japanese points of view, Shigeta was featured prominently in the role of Vice Admiral Nagumo, whose despair at Japan’s loss in the battle is moving.

The actor had most recently appeared in the 2009 film “The People I’ve Slept With,” directed by Quentin Lee.
See full article at Variety - TV News »

James Shigeta, Top Asian-American Actor of Early '60s and 'Die Hard' Co-Star, Dies at 81

James Shigeta, Top Asian-American Actor of Early '60s and 'Die Hard' Co-Star, Dies at 81
James Shigeta, a top Asian-American actor of the early 1960s who starred in the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical Flower Drum Song, died Monday in Los Angeles, publicist Jeffrey Leavitt announced. He was 81. The handsome Hawaiian, who later appeared as the ill-fated chief executive of the Nakatomi corporation in the Bruce Willis action film Die Hard (1988), had a great two-year run in Hollywood starting in the late 1950s. Shigeta made his feature debut in Sam Fuller’s Los Angeles-set noir The Crimson Kimono (1959), playing a young detective, and followed that by portraying a young Chinese

read more
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

James Shigeta Dead at 81: Character Actor and Singer Had Memorable Roles in Die Hard and Flower Drum Song

James Shigeta Dead at 81: Character Actor and Singer Had Memorable Roles in Die Hard and Flower Drum Song
James Shigeta started off by conquering the American Idol of his day. The singer and character actor won first place on the 1950s staple The Original Amateur Hour, and that proved to be a launching pad for a career on stage and screen.  Shigeta, whose long career allowed for memorable appearances in the likes of the 1961 musical Flower Drum Song and then 1988's Die Hard, has died. He was 81. "It is with great sadness that I report the loss of my long time friend and client James Shigeta," his agent said in a statement to E! News Monday.  "James was the biggest East Asian U.S. star the country had known. He filled both A-movie starring...
See full article at E! Online »

Blu-ray Release: Fate Is the Hunter

Blu-ray Release Date: May 13, 2014

Price: Blu-ray $29.95

Studio: Twilight Time

Nancy Kwan and Glenn Ford investigate an airplane disaster in Fate Is the Hunter.

In May, Fate Is the Hunter, the 1964 mystery drama film directed by Ralph Nelson about the drama revolving around an ill-fated commercial airline flight, makes its Blu-ray debut from Twilight Time.

From the 1961 best seller by aviation author Ernest K. Gann, Fate Is the Hunter details a horrific airplane crash and, in its aftermath, the desperate attempt to discover what brought plane, passengers, and crew to their fiery fate. Directed by Ralph Nelson, with striking black-and-white cinematography by Milton Krasner (All About Eve), Fate is a combination of disaster movie and mystery that interweaves the stories of a dogged investigator (Glenn Ford, 3:10 to Yuma)), the doomed pilot (Rod Taylor, The Time Machine), his bereaved girlfriend (Nancy Kwan, Flower Drum Song), and the tragedy’s sole survivor (Suzanne Pleshette,
See full article at Disc Dish »

TV Writer’s Childhood Letter to Jackie Kennedy Is Part of TLC Special

TV Writer’s Childhood Letter to Jackie Kennedy Is Part of TLC Special
Janis Hirsch has spent years in sitcom writers rooms trying to make people laugh. But her next screen contribution might very well bring a tear to your eye.

At 13, the writer-producer — who has worked on such shows as “Frasier,” “Will & Grace” and “Murphy Brown” — was among more than 800,000 people who wrote letters of condolence to first lady Jackie Kennedy in the immediate wake of John F. Kennedy’s assassination, with 2 million received overall. Much to Hirsch’s surprise, a few years ago she heard from Ellen Fitzpatrick, who was assembling a book titled “Letters to Jackie: Condolences From a Grieving Nation.”

The project, now subtitled “Remembering President Kennedy,” has been turned into a TLC special by Amblin Television, and Hirsch’s is among the letters featured in the Nov. 17 telecast.

“I got this call asking, ‘Are you Janis Hirsch from Trenton, New Jersey?’ ” says the writer, whose first thought upon
See full article at Variety - TV News »

DVD Playhouse--October 2012

By Allen Gardner

Prometheus (20th Century Fox) Ridley Scott’s quasi-prequel to his 1979 classic “Alien” has an intergalactic exploratory team (Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Guy Pearce, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba) arriving on a uncharted planet, where they discover what appears to be a dormant alien spacecraft and what might be the first discovery of intelligent life outside of Earth. Of course, everything goes straight to hell before you can scream “Don’t touch that egg!” Sumptuous visuals and strong performances from the cast (not to mention a nearly-perfect first half) can’t compensate for gaping plot and logic holes that nearly sink the proceedings in the film’s protracted second half. It feels as though some very crucial footage wound up on the cutting room floor. Perhaps, as with “Alien” and “Aliens” we’ll see a “Director’s Cut” of “Prometheus” arriving on DVD within the next year. In the meantime,
See full article at The Hollywood Interview »

The Top 40 Hottest Guys of New York Theater!

It's no surprise that summer tends to bring out the hottest guys in New York. And as the dog days of summer start to wane on the streets of the Big Apple, it's time to once again turn our attention to where the hottest of the hot like to spend their time: the New York stage.

Sure, movies and television have their share of rippling abs, but glimpsing a hottie on the screen is nothing compared to the live, in-the-flesh experience. So without further ado, we present the Hottest Guys of New York Theater!

Cesar Abreu

Ricky Martin isn't the only sexy stud to come to us via the pop group Menudo - we can thank our lucky stars we also get the stunning, studly Cesar Abreu. Currently dancing for the Metropolitan Opera, Cesar has also, unsurprisingly, been featured many times in the annual stripfest Broadway Bares.

Nick Adams

No stranger to this list,
See full article at The Backlot »

‘Version 3.0′ Gives Platform to Asian American Playwrights

David Henry Hwang

About five years ago, Chay Yew, a playwright and the artistic director of the Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago, was approached by schools for copies of Asian American plays that could be taught and performed. Except Yew couldn’t find a recent compilation of Asian American plays. So when Theatre Communications Group (Tcg) approached him about editing a new anthology, he agreed, and the result is “Version 3.0,” released by Tcg yesterday.

“What was important was to platform
See full article at Speakeasy/Wall Street Journal »
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