7.0/10
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47 user 8 critic

Flower Drum Song (1961)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | 28 March 1962 (Spain)
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.

Director:

Henry Koster

Writers:

Joseph Fields (screenplay), C.Y. Lee (novel)
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Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 1 win & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Nancy Kwan ... Linda Low
James Shigeta ... Wang Ta
Benson Fong ... Wang Chi-Yang
Jack Soo ... Sammy Fong
Juanita Hall ... Madame Liang
Reiko Sato ... Helen Chao
Patrick Adiarte ... Wang San
Kam Tong ... Doctor Li
Victor Sen Yung ... Frankie Wing
Soo Yong Soo Yong ... Madame Ten Fong
Ching Wah Lee Ching Wah Lee ... Professor
James Hong ... Headwaiter
Miyoshi Umeki ... Mei Li
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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 »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Cantonese

Release Date:

28 March 1962 (Spain) See more »

Also Known As:

Rodgers & Hammerstein's Flower Drum Song See more »

Filming Locations:

San Francisco, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the widescreen era, feature film versions of Rodgers & Hammerstein's musicals were usually shot on large format negatives such as Todd-AO or Cinemascope 55. This Universal production was shot on standard 35mm Panavision (anamorphic widescreen). Their next big musical to be filmed, "The Sound of Music" (1965) would be shot by 20th Century Fox in Todd-AO. See more »

Goofs

At Wang Ta's graduation party, he and Mei-Ling ballroom dance as part of the Chop Suey number. But several scenes later, at the Celestial Gardens, he asks her to dance and she responds, "I don't know how, but I will walk around with you." 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 The Jack Benny Program: Jack Meets Japanese Agent (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

You Be the Rock
Performed by Nancy Kwan, (Dubbed by B.J. Baker) and Patrick Adiarte
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Forget the PC and enjoy the movie, musical numbers, actors and film titles.
14 March 2005 | by kingcomSee all my reviews

The last time I saw Flower Drum Song on a big screen was at the Asian Pacific American Studies event at New York University, spurred on by David Henry Hwang's Broadway revival which received favorable reviews except for one paper. I was invited because my father created the film titles. Socialogical connotations at the event were discussed: cultural and generational conflicts, old and new set in the City on Golden Hill, the quest to achieve, etc. I have seen the original musical, the film many times, and the revival which deserved a longer run. Then the film began. I was impressed by Nancy Kwan's acting and others, memorable musical numbers and the opening and closing title paintings by my father, Dong Kingman. In many ways a beautiful film, and a case can be made, a pioneering one. Okay so it is a bit corny, a few young members of audience uneasily snickered at the stereotypes, scenes could have been cut, especially one fantasy sequence. Yet the Flower Drum Song endures and to enjoy. Rating is 7 1/2, plus half star more for dad.


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