YMMV / Flower Drum Song

  • Adaptation Displacement: The play and film are much better remembered than the original novel. The film likewise experiences this far more than other Rogers & Hammersteins properties. The stage version is rarely revived, so the film is what most people think of first.
  • Author's Saving Throw: Juanita Hall was dubbed when she appeared in South Pacific. She gets to sing her own songs here.
  • Awesome Music: It's Rogers & Hammertstein, duh!
    • "A Hundred Million Miracles" - a lovely soothing song that Mei Li sings at the very beginning, turning it into a Crowd Song as the entire street crowds round to watch.
    • "I Enjoy Being A Girl" is the movie's most popular song, enjoying numerous covers by singers such as Lea Salonga, Doris Day and Peggy Lee.
  • Ear Worm:
    • "Chop Suey" with its magnificent wordplay is going to get stuck in your head.
    • Fan tan Fannie was leaving her man/Fan Tan Fannie kept waving her fan - Linda's introduction song is ridiculously catchy.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Madame Liang for being the Only Sane Man and getting many of the best songs. Fans of the original stage version were quite annoyed at how her role was cut down in the film adaptation.
  • Fair for Its Day: The film averted many tropes associated with Asians and Asian-Americans in popular culture, featured many diverse characters and all but one of them were played by Asian actors. Considering the lack of representation Asian-Americans still suffer from in today's Hollywood, that's very impressive.
  • Genius Bonus: During "Chop Suey", Madame Liang sings that they can watch Clara Bowe movies on TV - to which the crowd of kids around her ask who that is. Clara Bowe was a big star during the Silent Age - the original 'It Girl' (because she starred in a movie called It). Her career however faded during the 30s and she retired at the age of 28. Madame Liang would of course have been old enough to be around when Clara Bowe was famous.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Anna May Wong had just accepted the role of Madame Liang before her death. She had been a star back in the Silent Age and The Pre-Code Era but often lost out on good parts in favour of white actresses in Yellowface. After she died, the role meant for her went to Juanita Hall...the only cast member to perform in Yellowface.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Helen Chao in the novel. Granted she does essentially date rape Ta but her eventual fate of committing suicide over his rejection is quite sad. Notably the film softens her and eliminates the depressing ending.
  • Mexicans Love Speedy Gonzales: Some Chinese-Americans love this musical, simply because it is about them, no matter how stereotypical. Of course, there are others who find it completely offensive. Its split down the middle.
  • Minority Show Ghetto: Despite the star power of Nancy Kwan, this was the only Rogers & Hammerstein musical to lose money at the Box Office. Perhaps an all-Asian cast (besides one caucasian mugger) was too much for an early 1960s audience.
  • Narm: Some of the exaggerated movements the children make in "The Other Generation" are just bizarre.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Ta's snarky little brother San only appears here and there, but he's guaranteed to make at least one great one-liner every time he does.
  • Values Dissonance:
  • Values Resonance: The themes of trying to move with the times while still upholding the values of where you came from are still relevant today for many, as noted here.
    "Where is the line between giving away your heritage and becoming accepted in your new society? Which traditions do you choose to keep or to discard? When is the time appropriate to give up on your dream and return home?"

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/FlowerDrumSong