Hammerstein had passed in 1960 so there would be no involvement. Also Fox was bleeding money trying to make CLEOPATRA at the time and had no interest nor funds to make the film. They also were in the midst of remaking STATE FAIR, which was supposed to be a big Todd-AO production but lack of funds changed that. Universal and Ross Hunter jumped at the chance.
Matches what I have heard several times.
I am glad it was a Ross Hunter production. I think his style really fits the story.
Flower Drum Song (and also State Fair) are very different from the rest of the musicals. It is topical, lacks the timeless quality of the rest, and is a true musical comedy, It does not have the gravitas of the other films (although the immigrant experience and the generation gap are potentially serious issues but are allowed to be dealt with for their comedic dimensions).
I love it.
Universal had very few stereo productions during that period but they did spring for a good stereo sound track (3-track magnetic, missing the surround channel as far as I could tell), and it holds up.
The DVD is very nice. It has appeared on HDNet in HD looking plausible. Unhappily the sound on HDNet is almost never very good, generally all centered; this is observed on all productions not just Flower Drum Sound. We need a Blu-ray.