Starring Miyoshi Umeki, Nancy Kwan, Jack Soo, James Shigeta, Juanita Hall, Reiko Sato, Benson Fong, James Hong
Unique. Important. Enjoyable.
Wang Ta: This is not China. This is a different world. And here a man has the right to choose his own wife.
The Orient has always held a strong fascination for us westerners as a world so unlike our own; it’s exotic. Flower Drum Song isn’t so much about that as it is the inverse. A Chinese father and his daughter, Mei Li (Umeki), sneak into America on an arrangement for a wedding. Mei Li is set to marry the fully Americanized, Sammy Fong (Soo), but he’s in love with nightclub performer, Linda Low (Kwan), and Mei Li falls for Wang Ta (Shigeta). Flower Drum Song offers many fish-out-of-water moments, some nice Rodgers and Hammerstein songs, and a look at the sixties from a unique perspective. Mainly, it’s notable for being a rare vehicle for Asian-American performers and they make the most of it.
-Walter Tyrone Howard-