"The Other Generation" is given different context in the film than the stage version. In the stage version, it's sung after Ta presents Linda as a possible bride. The film has it happening before Linda has even met his parents.
Breakaway Pop Hit: For all the covers "I Enjoy Being a Girl" receives, it seems a little unlikely that many people can name the musical it originated from, or even recognize it as a Rodgers and Hammerstein piece.
The Cast Show Off: Nancy Kwan, a trained ballerina, shows off plenty of her dance skills in Linda's routines.
Creator In-Joke: In the brief scene where Sammy Fong and Mei Lei sit in a beatnik coffee shop, on stage someone reads the poem "Like A God". This was a planned song between the two that got cut from the original stage version.
The lyrics of "Chop Suey" - "Harry Truman, Truman Capote and Dewey" - were changed to "Bobby Darrin, Sandra Dee and Dewey" because producer Ross Hunter had Bobby Darrin and Sandra Dee under contract, and they were more recognisable names. And of course Harry Truman hadn't been in power for a decade. Thomas Dewey remained in the song simply because no other words rhymed with 'suey'.
In the original novel Helen commits suicide. Rogers and Hammerstein thought that was too depressing an ending for such a strong character. As such her story is left unresolved.
Fake Nationality: A good number of the cast members in the film and Broadway performances are of Japanese descent. In the film, Madame Liang is played by Juanita Long Hall, who is Afro-American, and Wang San is played by Filipino Patrick Adiarte. The rest of the cast is effectively split 50/50 with actors of Japanese (James Shigeta, Jack Soo, Mysohi Umeki, Reiko Sato) and Chinese (Nancy Kwan, Benson Fong, Victor Sen Yung, Soo Yong) descent.
Keep Circulating the Tapes: The movie did not come to DVD until 2006, seven years after Rodgers and Hammerstein movies started coming to DVD. Even the long-lost TV special Cinderella and the widely panned State Fair remake beat it to the punch.
Nancy Kwan was dubbed by BJ Baker for Linda Low's singing.
Marilyn Horne dubbed Reiko Sato for Helen Chao's too.
What Could Have Been: Anna May Wong was set to star as Madame Liang in the film version. But she died suddenly before production began, and Juanita Long Hall replaced her.
For whatever reason, the 1961 movie stands as the only big-screen, live-action Rodgers and Hammerstein musical adaptation that 20th Century Fox doesn't own the rights to-Universal International released the movie instead.