Flower Drum Song (1961) DVDRip (SiRiUs sHaRe) CD1.avi
Flower Drum Song (1961) DVDRip (SiRiUs sHaRe) CD2.avi
Flower Drum Song (1961).rtf
Flower Drum Song (1961)
A Chinese woman and her father illegally enter San Francisco to marry her fiance. While in San Francisco, she meets another man and falls deeply in love with him and the American way of life; to her father's disapproval.
Nancy Kwan ... Linda Low
James Shigeta ... Wang Ta
Benson Fong ... Wang Chi-Yang
Jack Soo ... Samuel Adams 'Sammy' Fong
Juanita Hall ... Madame '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
James Hong ... Headwaiter
Miyoshi Umeki ... Mei Li
Director: Henry Koster
Music: Richard Rodgers / Oscar Hammerstein II
XVid / AC3
Flower Drum Song holds a special place for me because it was the first Broadway show I ever saw. And I don't think it's been given the proper place in the pantheon of Rodgers&Hammerstein shows.
Back then minority players had a hard time getting parts and Flower Drum Song certainly filled a need there in the same way Porgy and Bess has done for black people. This was the first time a Broadway show was completely cast with oriental players. A milestone not to be overlooked.
Several of the Broadway cast made it to the film version. Juanita Hall, Patrick Adiarte, Keye Luke and most of all Miyoshi Umeki repeated their roles. Miyoshi was very big news then. When I saw the play she had just won her Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Sayonara. Also a significant milestone, very significant in the repair of Japanese- American relations from World War II.
Jack Soo also made it from Broadway. But on Broadway the future Detective Nick Yemana of the bad coffee, was the "Commodore" from the Chinese nightclub. Here he is one of the male leads in a part originated by Larry Blyden on Broadway. Soo's deadpan delivery that made him so popular on Barney Miller is working undertime here. If you liked him on Barney Miller, he's great here.
James Shigeta took the place of one Ed Kenney from Broadway. Shigeta was at the start of a long career as probably THE Oriental leading man in American films for many years.
The big hit song from Flower Drum Song is I Enjoy Being a Girl which was and is the anti-battle cry against feminism. Doris Day had a big hit record of it (she would), but today feminists would be picketing the show with the message that conveys. I mean, really, the goal of the American woman is to be barefoot and pregnant at the "home of a brave and free male." Gloria Steinem would have cardiac arrest.
Nancy Kwan does wonderfully in the role of Linda Low who lip syncs those sentiments previously mentioned. Right around this time, Kwan, France Nuyen, and Nobu McCarthy all came along at the same time and seemed to battle for the same parts.
Two songs that are overlooked gems are You Are Beautiful which Johnny Mathis sang beautifully on record and Love Look Away. The latter is sung offscreen by Metropolitan Opera diva Marilyn Horne. That's not to be missed.
This is film making the likes of which will never be seen again. It gives romance, comedy, drama and a fantastic Rodgers and Hammerstein score. Ross Hunter pulled out all the stops making this film a feast for the eyes with fabulous technicolor, brilliant costumes and the great Hermes Pan doing some of the most original choreography of his career. It's escapism at its best. Miyoshi Umeki gives a fresh and fantastic oscar worthy performance totally topping her oscar winning role in Sayonara. For some reason this film has always been overlooked and the score written off as forgettable maybe because it doesnt have a caucasian leading actor and the music isnt as instantly recognizable as The Sound Of Music. Of course you know its going to be a happy ending but you don't have any idea how the characters are going to overcome the obstacles. The music may take some people a closer listening but it is definately R&H in top form - from the ballads to the swing numbers - it's poetic clever and very melodic. This film like all big musicals is best seen on the big screen where it can be enjoyed as it was meant to be. It really is a secret gem.
* This was the only film version of a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical not released by 20th Century-Fox. (The 70mm Todd-AO version of "Oklahoma!" (1955) had been released by RKO, but the 35mm Cinemascope version was released by 20th Century-Fox.) "Flower Drum Song" was produced and released by Universal-International.
* This was the first Oscar Hammerstein II film released by Universal since the 1936 version of "Show Boat".
* Average Shot Length = ~11.1 seconds. Median Shot Length = ~11.0 seconds.
* During the brief scene where Sammy Fong and Mei Lei sit in a beatnik coffee shop, on stage someone reads the poem "Like a God". This was originally a song in the stage production sung by Wang Ta to Mei Lei, but was cut out of the screenplay.