Umbrella Entertainment / Region 4 / 131 Minutes
Featuring Nancy Kwan, Juanita Hall, Jack soo, Benson Fong
Two of the biggest names in musicals are of course Rodgers and Hammerstein and their 1958 Broadway smash Flower Drum Song one of their most loved productions.
The movie version, made in 1961, has just been released in a special edition packed full of extras by Umbrella, and for fans longing for a spot of pure golden age of Hollywood this is perfect.
The story focuses on a quartet of immigrants in San Francisco’s Chinatown; Nancy Kwan headlines as a nightclub dancer out to find a rich husband, whilst Jack Soo is the owner of the nightclub where she works; James Shigeta is the eligible bachelor she has her sights set on and Miyoshi Umeki is a mail-order bride just arrived for an arranged marriage to Soo.
Full of top line songs, including the memorable I Enjoy Being A Girl and Chop Suey and with plenty of strong dramatic moments, Flower Drum Song is a highly watchable, old fashioned (in the best sense of the word) musical that entertains enormously, easy to then why it was nominated for a massive five oscars.
The DVD has lots of super extras too from a featurette offering up background info to the musicals genesis to a doco about the casting of the movie and the positive aspect of the strong roles for Asians (something of a rarity in Hollywood at the time); There is also a look at the songs, the stunning set design and costumes and a look at the work of Rodgers and Hammerstein and finally there is an audio commentary from star Nancy Kwan and film historian Nick Redman.