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Flower Drum Song Reviews

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December 27, 2009
You gotta hand it to Rodgers & Hammerstein for being the first duo to create a musical for an all-Asian-American cast. Unfortunately, though it may have felt progressive for its time, this film is quite dated - stuck in 60's slang ("tomato" and "bop"), taking women's lib back a couple years, and fraught with those silly Asian characters who quizzically look at American culture and don't know what to make of it.
Still, this is one of those iffy movies that you just love to watch! And the songs (well, most of them, I'm still not enthralled by "I Am Going to Like It Here") are so catchy! The "Love Look Away" dance sequence is one of the most beautifully over-dramatic numbers by far. And the personalities on-screen truly are lovable, especiall Benson Fong who steals the screen with his one-liners. I'm not quite sure how Juanita Hall got in the mix, but she acts as a great counter-balance of comedy with Benson. Dashing James Shigeta, foxy Nancy Kwan, city-wise Jack Soo, and aborable Miyoshi Umeki carry the ridiculous love quadrangle (plus one tragically written Reiko Sato) to its preposterous and Deus ex machina conclusion.
There are also lots of fun errors in the film - like people looking at the camera, or singing when they're not supposed to be, or the really sloppily danced Chop Suey. Fun times, fun times.
And I love the rhyme: "You can't have a new" with "Grant Avenue." Oh Hammerstein.
My friend A.W. better finish writing her script so we have more great, contemporary works from Asian writers!
August 15, 2013
This outdated musical is an endearing but misplaced historical anachronism. Overall acting is poor and the singing is worse; the singing is actually so bad it's hard to judge the quality of the music. Still, there are some charming moments to be had in this dated clunker.
April 5, 2012
The first time I saw this, I fell in love. An oriental musical and cast about a mail order bride who ends up in San Francisco from China, to claim her groom but ends up in a twist along the way. Miyoshi Umeki, who recently passed away plays the mail order bride. Interesting musical. Great scores A Hundred Million Miracles, Chop Suey, I Enjoy Being a Girl among others.
December 24, 2011
Enchanting musical romance set in 1960's San Francisco
April 27, 2011
This movie might be a bit dated now. Yet it's still entertaining. " I enjoy being a girl" & "The other generation" are still my favorites. I just wish they would take out the 15 min dance sequence, that adds nothing to the story.
December 29, 2010
Excellent classic to be watched.
June 22, 2010
So, I found a Rogers & Hammerstein musical I hadn't I know why...just an ok musical. The story was good...a Chinese woman and her father come to San Francisco to marry her off, by the traditionally "arranged marriage" way. Mioshi Umeki, who was the first Asian to win an Oscar (for Sayonara) but I remember her mostly as Mrs. Livingston on The Courtship of Eddie's Father series, was so cute and perfect as the little Chinese woman. I love musicals and I thought most of the musical numbers kinda sucked...that's what made this just ok for me...but it did have other aspects that kept my interest.
April 30, 2010
well umn just seen this movie 4 the 1st time n think that this is a good movie 2 watch.....its got a good cast of actors/actressess thorughout this movie...i think that benson fong, jack soo, james shigeta, juanita hall, miyoshi umeki, nancy kwan., reiko sato play good roles/parts thorughout this movie....i think that benson fong/jack soo were good throughout this movie....i think that the director of this musical/performing arts/drama/romance movie had done a good job of directing this movie because you never know what 2 expect throughout this movie...i think that this is a good musical movie 2 watch with a good cast thorughout this movie n its entertaining movie 2 watch
March 4, 2010
All Asian Cast!!!! Nancy Kwan, Miyome Umeki!!!
Lanning :

Super Reviewer

December 29, 2009
Maybe not in my Top 10 favorite musical list, but plenty of great songs. My favorite is probably "Love Look Away," and it's tough to beat the appeal of a young Nancy Kwan in her absolute prime. Amazing to see Miyoshi Umeki in a romantic lead as well. I will miss her. So now that I'm thinking about it, what are my Top 10 favorite musicals of all time? Hmmm . . . let me see . . .
Brigadoon Carousel Guys and Dolls The Music Man My Fair Lady On the Town Singin' in the Rain South Pacific Top Hat West Side Story For right this minute, then, on 12/29/09, I guess that does leave out Flower Drum Song, but like all my "Top" lists, this one can be very fluid.
July 4, 2009
My Chinese-American mother recommend the book to me and I was very impressed with the portrayal of the San Francisco Chinatown that she spent many of her early childhood years living in. The modern introduction of the book that taught me so much about half my heritage said wonderful things about this musical version of the story and I was sadly disappointed. The singer seemed about as Chinese as David Carradine in "Kung Fu". The script deviated too far from the book and the best parts were omitted. Although I like Mei Li the most, she was played by a Japanese actress (which is not terrible), but I was kind of offended by the "wetback" remark used in a desperate attempt to give this a happy ending.
April 29, 2009
This has got to be one of the greatest musicals i have ever seen.
March 25, 2009
Many of the songs are very well done and enjoyable, especially Nancy Kwan's "I Enjoy Being a Girl." All the actors are fabulous and the lines are a ball. Not only is it a love story but a great tale of modern versus the traditional values. It is absolutely suitable for all ages.
Byron B

Super Reviewer

July 3, 2008
nominated for best picture at the golden globes
June 30, 2008
on the one hand, the music was incredibly weak and gave almost no enhancement to the story. on the other hand, the story was strong and interesting enough that it didn't really need musical enhancement. I guess I would describe this movie not as a good or bad musical, but as a light-hearted social dramedy where people randomly break into song. in that respect, it's a little unusual, but it's not too bad. R&H were definitely out of their element on this one.
January 15, 2008
Really cute movie, I guess part of it is hearing the name Mei Li throughout the movie! lol...
December 15, 2007
Enchanting musical romance set in 1960's San Francisco
April 19, 2007
I was 6 yrs old the first time I saw this movie in the theater the year it was released and I was totally charmed! I loved Nancy Kwan's "I Enjoy Being a Girl" and remember coming home and doing the whole routine in front of my bedroom mirror the best I could remember. 46 years later I just watched it again and again was totally charmed by this highly under-rated Rogers and Hammerstein film. Wonderful tunes and great dance numbers. I'm humming "A Hundred Million Miracles" and will be for the next several days, and still after all this time 'enjoy being a girl'. (who loves her musicals - this one an ol favorite)
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