Flower Drum Song

FlowerDrumSongBBB

(out of 5)


The least known of the Rodgers and Hammerstein movie musicals is this charmer that features an all-Asian cast. It centres around a young girl () who immigrates illegally with her father from China to San Francisco to marry her arranged fiance (). Soo has a mistress already (), a sexy nightclub singer who has no intention of giving him up to any tradition, so she pushes Umeki in the direction of , a plot which works quite well when the two end up falling in love. The great musical team behind the film tried to battle important social issues with their stories, and racism was a particular favourite, here done a particularly good service with their concentrating on a minority group that was completely under-represented in cinema at the time (and still remains marginally seen on movie theatre screens). The outcome is too frothy to be notable, however, and the songs aren’t among their best, so the audience can’t be fully blamed for having completely ignored it (especially considering it came out the same year as West Side Story). The visuals are extremely lovely, and Umeki delivers her songs about discovering the joys of life in America with delightful relish.


USA, 1961

Directed by

Screenplay by , based on the stage play by Joseph Fields, , from the novel by

Cinematography by

Produced by

Music by

Production Design by ,

Costume Design by

Film Editing by


Cast Tags:  , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Academy Award Nominations
Best Art Direction (Colour) (art direction: Alexander Golitzen, Joseph Wright; set decoration: Howard Bristol)
Best Cinematography (Colour) (Harry Stradling Sr.)
Best Costume Design (Colour) (Irene Sharaff)
Best Music (Scoring of a Musical Picture) (Alfred Newman, Ken Darby)
Best Sound (Revue Studio Sound Department, Waldon O. Watson, sound director)

Golden Globe Award Nominations
Best Motion Picture-Musical
Best Performance By An Actress in a Motion Picture-Comedy or Musical (Miyoshi Umeki)

Writers Guild Award Nomination
Best Written American Musical

Directors Guild Award Nomination
Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures (Henry Koster)


FlowerDrumSong

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