Flower Drum Song

Flower Drum Song

Downloadable Video - 1961
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A young woman arrives in San Francisco's Chinatown from Hong Kong with the intention of marrying a rakish nightclub owner, unaware he is involved with one of his singers.
Publisher: [United States] : Samuel Goldwyn Films, LLC, 1961
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1 video file (approximately 133 min.)) : sd., col
Credits: Directed by Henry Koster.
Performers: Nancy Kwan, James Shigeta, Benson Fong, Jack Soo, Juanita Hall, and Miyoshi Umeki.
Audience: Not rated
Call Number: eVideo hoopla


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May 26, 2019

Good movie, and one I'd like to see again! I loved the music and the dance routines as well as all the references to American pop culture.

Aug 01, 2017

I forgot what a true gem this is. The last time I saw it was when I was a small child over 50 years ago. It truly stands the test of time.

May 29, 2016

GREAT 1961 Hollywood film musical based on best-selling 1957 novel which was used as base for 1958 Broadway musical. Interesting example of evolution from book, to play, to film - and the ways film can add dramatic elements not possible in a live stage production - during 'Sunday' song, a b/w cowboy and Indian smash out of the television to briefly join Sammy and Linda.
Although its roots are primarily in West Coast Chinese American culture, it expands that to more general Asian American culture. Many of the film's characters are played by Japanese American actors. It was interesting to see Jack Soo (later in TV's 1975-82 Barney Miller as Detective Nick Yemena) in an early role. Also interesting to discover his actual name was Jack Suzuki and they shortened it to Soo to be more Chinese - and it stuck. Patrick Adiarte as the highly Americanized younger son Wang San was fun, too, i.e. - 'Oh Pop, that's Bop'.
Many fabulously staged dance/song numbers. I particularly enjoyed 'Chop Suey' celebrating the, um, flavorful mixture of Asian American food/culture - with fabulous dancing after singing. 'A Hundred Million Miracles', used a couple times over the course of the film, was great, too.
Another terrific film I somehow hadn't seen before - but now I have - highly recommended.

Jan 22, 2015

When a young Chinese stowaway shows up in San Francisco’s Chinatown with her elderly father in tow she winds up complicating the lives of everyone she meets in this sparkling Rodgers & Hammerstein musical of romantic misunderstandings and happy endings. Petite Mei Li originally came to meet nightclub owner Sammy Fong for a prearranged marriage masterminded by his mother. But Sammy is already involved with his star performer so he tries to pawn her off to Mr. Wang, a staid businessman looking to pair his increasingly Americanized son with a traditional Chinese wife. His son, meanwhile, is pining away for someone else... Based on the novel (and subsequent stage play) by C. Y. Lee, Flower Drum Song takes a rather lighthearted look at the generation gaps and culture clashes in an immigrant Chinese community circa 1958. From the bright colourful sets to the wonderfully camp songs and lively dance numbers this is one of the more striking widescreen musicals. It also broke a lot of racial barriers for Asian-American actors who were no longer content playing stereotypical roles (never mind that many of the “Chinese” characters here are actually played by Japanese-Americans...and one African-American). Unfortunately the film’s cloying sentimentality has not aged well in the 50 years since its release and what was once considered groundbreaking theatre now seems somewhat bland. Still worth renting if only for the vibrant song and dance routines.

Aug 27, 2014

A decent, though not thrilling, musical, but unusual in exploring a theme and community mostly ignored in its time.

d2013 Jan 23, 2014

A lavish extravaganza of song and dance. Winner of 5 Academy Awards including Best Music. Superb!

Jan 07, 2014

I enjoy some musicals, but am not a great fan. I think this movie is wonderful. The actors and dancers are very talented and the characters are warm and human.


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