Flower Drum Song - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Flower Drum Song Reviews

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½ September 25, 2009
Examining the crossroads of second generation Chinese-Americans as they grapple with the heritage of their parents and the American culture of their friends, FLOWER DRUM SONG pays appropriate respects to both sides of the argument, crowning neither perspective as correct. The cast consists only of Asian and Asian-American actors, which is refreshing to see, and secured my crush on Nancy Kwan, despite her character being light on moral fiber and female independence. I feel it's profoundly important that the film, produced in Hollywood, doesn't demonize Eastern tradition, yet I feel like the film made the characters themselves polarized in their behavior, existing as either "Asian" or "American," with the rare character who reconciles both identities being shunned by the man she is interested in. Still, like THE WORLD OF SUZIE WONG, I believe that FLOWER DRUM SONG has only the noblest of intentions but falls into the era's trap of simplification and essentialization. The music was fairly weak, too, although the accompanying dance numbers saved them on numerous occasions.
September 18, 2009
San Francisco Chinatown adapted from the broadway musical. Seen the various forms of Asian American assimilation but this is rather comical. Helps that Nancy Kwan is godd looking. Still find it weird that they use Japanese actors and actresses to portray Chinese characters.
September 1, 2009
A musical I'd never heard of? Well, I was only two years old when I was released. Imagine a completely Asian cast! It didn't contain Rogers and Hammerstein's most memorable tunes, but it was adventuresome and interesting even if in a historical pretext.
July 20, 2009
Hey, it's a Rogers and Hammerstein movie that doesn't annoy me lol. I guess there's just something less annoying to me about Asian people...I dunno...lol
July 18, 2009
This over-zealous adaptation to the big screen is probably still best seen on the stage. While the songs are nice enough, the over-stereotyped characters just become to much to endure after a while.
½ July 17, 2009
I'm watch this movie to learn a bit about the Chinese American story and how they view themselves and how they're portrayed then and now. Since I feel I'm more of a Chinese and American rather than say, a Chinese American.

The movie is a bit confusing to me. On the on hand I can see C. Y. Lee's use of plot elements from China 1st golden age of films. I can image the a Zhou Xuan or a Lin Dai in the movie and not been completely out of place. On the other hand it seems to a bit mushy at trying to a more typical Hollywood type musical. (As Chinese film plots are almost always tragedies)
However, one I was shock at is that how conservative the older generation are portrayed in the film. As they equivalent in China, if they are immigrated "recently" are the hell rising May Forth generation that perpetrated Chinese novels and films in China during that period. I don't know if the social dynamics is true during this time, or the movie went over board on the young vs. old generation theme. Serious, character in Chinese novel and films* during this period (and before 60's) seems more "American" than even the second generation portrayed in the film. (*writings by Zhang Henshui, Eileen Chang, Qian Zhongshu and perhaps Chiung Yao early works)

btw, Flower Drum song/opera/drama happens to be the native stage play from my province. I can say, it sounds nothing like they do in the movie; you'll be thankful for it, well, most of you anyways.
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.
½ 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.
March 9, 2009
½ February 17, 2009
I really liked this quite a bit, even more than I expected.
½ January 18, 2009
I'm not sure if I had to have grown up with a R&H musical to like it...because I didn't really care for this one much.
½ January 18, 2009
A cute little love story set in Chinatown. A groundbreaking film for Asian American's.
½ January 1, 2009
This is one of my fav movies of all time. It's fun, light, little love story, set in San Francisco Chinatown. I love the songs... I'm not sure what exactly it is about this movie but it's one I watch when I'm feeling sad. Movie musical fans will love this classic Rogers & Hammerstein movie.
½ September 30, 2008
Very cute movie and probably groundbreaking in its time for Asian-Americans having an all Asian cast (except for the white criminal lol). There are some stereotypes thrown in and most of the actors spoke like game show hosts, but well done for the 50/60's and such a beautiful cast!
September 27, 2008
it's lovely Movie and wonderful music in it! good Musical!
September 2, 2008
The reason its so cool is because before this musical there was nothing like it. There is always something to be said about an original.
½ August 16, 2008
Another childhood classic! "Don't Marry Me" -funny!
August 12, 2008
Not so much a musical fan (but oh James Shigeta!)
½ August 8, 2008
In many ways, the story and its values are way too antiquated and shallow for watching today. But a few of the dance scenes are exquisite, and I can certainly appreciate that it was one of the first films both to have a predominantly Asian cast AND to portray Chinese characters in a positive light--finding happiness, love, and success. Though the amount of actual Chinese playing Chinese was still a little low...
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